Eight Tips Every Runner/Walker should know
8 TIPS EVERY RUNNER/WALKER NEEDS TO KNOW
FOR THE (CARDINAL) ATHLETE IN ALL OF US
By: TARYN SHEEHAN
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE’S CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK & FIELD
TIPS PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE’S ASSISTANT COACH IN CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK & FIELD, TARYN SHEEHAN. UOFL ATHLETICS AND GET HEALTHY NOW ARE PARTNERING WITH HOSPARUS IN SUPPORT OF THE LUNAR 5K. 100% OF THE RACE PROCEEDS BENEFIT HOSPARUS PATIENTS AND FAMILIES.
1. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR RUNNING SHOES?
Everyone knows having a good foundation for a house is essential, just as having good tires on your car. The same is true for having a good pair of running shoes that fit your own specific needs. Wearing improper shoes that don’t properly suit your individual biomechanics can result in injuries that could otherwise be avoided. One of the best ways to ensure you have the proper shoes and fit is by heading to a local specialty running store. Most local running store employees are well versed in running mechanics, foot strike, and will be able to fit you in a shoe that matches your personal needs. While, proper running shoes do come at a cost, it is well worth it to stay healthy and avoid hefty doctor’s bills.
2. SHOULD I INVEST IN A GPS WATCH?
It depends. GPS watches can be a great training tool to help a runner know how far and the pace that they are averaging on a run. However, be cautioned these watches should be a mere “tool” not something to be held a slave to. Recovery and easy runs should be based more on feel, not worrying about the pace of a watch. The best thing a runner can do is listen to their body cues and know when to push and when it’s best to take it easy; something a watch can’t communicate.
3. RULE OF 10%
Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Motivation and excitement early in training is great for getting out the door. However, ramping up training too fast and too quickly can really create a situation for negative results. Runners looking to increase mileage and workouts, should never try to increase more than 10% each week. Another great rule with this is increasing miles for three weeks, and taking a down week the fourth week. The rule of 10% really helps runners increase and maintain longevity in training.
4. BUDDY SYSTEM
Getting out the door day after day can be difficult. Using the buddy system, training partner, or training group can really help the motivation going even on the toughest days. Not only is running with a buddy more enjoyable, but it can also help make you a better runner by pushing each other. Running with a partner usually helps guarantee running faster than you would on your own.
5. RUN THE HILLS
Hills are one of the best training tools available to runners. Hills can help runners multiple ways. First they help encourage proper running form over time by increasing hip and knee drive, as well as a more mid-foot running strike. Second, hills really help overall running strength aerobically. Thirdly, hills are a natural way to work on speed. Runners should incorporate hills into their training regiment every 2-3 weeks.
6. USE A TRAINING PLAN
A great way to stay motivated is having a plan. Running the same distance and pace everyday can get mundane. However, having a training plan with varied distances of runs and workouts can really keep some spice into training. Training plans are also a sure way to help runners achieve their goals. There are many great websites that have free online training plans. Additionally, there are also great online coaching services available to runners of all ranges, from beginner to expert looking to make new improvements in their training and race goals.
7. HAVE A MANTRA
Mantras are a great way to encourage positive self -talk to help subside nerves and refocus to more confident thoughts. Use a mantra that you can easily remember. Ones that rhyme, such as “fast as a fox, strong as an ox” are catchy and help you focus. More importantly, ensure that all words in your mantra are positive. “Pain is temporary” or “hurt is good” are not effective mantras as your mind subconsciously holds on to the negative words, pain and hurt. A mantra is a great way to push through, when the going gets tough.
8. DON’T TRY NEW THINGS ON RACE DAY
So you’ve done all the training, logged some great miles, invested in the right running gear and apparel and have set yourself up for a positive race experience. The easiest and quickest way to negate all of this hard work is to eat or drink something new you’ve never tried before. Be sure to experiment on a workout day in the weeks prior to be sure what you eat or drink is easily digestible. Everyone’s body is different so make sure you find what works for you.