Don’t let injury get in the way of half marathon training – these simple tips will help you get through without a hitch.
Running isn’t always easy, and training for a big goal like the Windsor Half Marathon is a significant challenge. But running doesn’t’ have to be painful. Yes, you might feel discomfort and you might not always want to go and train. But you should be able to train for a half marathon without pain. Here’s how to minimise your risk of pain throughout the half marathon training period.
Get a good training programme, and stick to it. Consistency is really important and will help you ward of pain and injury. You don’t have to run every day, but make sure you run frequently and consistently. This will build up strength in your muscles, joints, and connective tissue and encourage your body to adapt to the training stimulus. Remember how you felt when you first started running? You’ll never feel soreness like that again – and that’s because you run more consistently these days. Ramp up the routine for half marathon training.
Improve your gait
Your gait is literally how you run – your stride, your style, even the number of steps you take per minute. If you can improve the efficiency of your gait, you will reduce your chance of injury and minimise the soreness you feel after a training run. Think fast, light steps, an upright posture, and strong core. A good gait will reduce the load on your lower body joints (like hips, knees, and ankles).
Some strength training
We know it can be tough to find extra training time during a half marathon training programme, but make time for a little strength training each week. This doesn’t mean lifting heavy in the gym and making your legs sore. Good strength training for a half marathon will support your big running muscles to make you more efficient and powerful – helping reduce your risk of injury. Try single-legged strength work like lunges or Bulgarian split squats, step ups, or weighted step downs.
You could have the best half marathon training plan in the world, but if you are not recovering well between runs, your body will suffer. Lack of sleep and rest leads to impaired judgement, poor efficiency, lack of concentration, and can even impact your food choices. Your body needs sleep, especially when you are training for a half marathon. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night (no phone, no light, in a cool dark quiet room). And pay attention to other types of rest, too – stress management, active recovery like walking outdoors, and looking after your emotional health.
Windsor Half Marathon Sunday 29th September 2024. Click here to sign up today.