Maintaining good posture when running is crucial: it can affect breathing, shock absorption, and power generation.

a. Head: Look up Straight and don’t Hunch forward .Imagine a string pulling your head up and extending your spine.

b. Arms: The arms and shoulders play an important role in keeping your upper body relaxed and in generating power. Your arms work with your legs to drive you forwards or up hills and minimize wasteful lateral (side-to-side) movements.

c. Core: The core is the body’s transition zone between the upper body and lower body. It is the site of many muscle attachments that drive both upper and lower limbs. As such, it needs to be inherently stable in order for these muscles to derive power. To engage the core, imagine your belly button is fixed to a string pulling you forwards, and that your upper body and lower body are rotating counter to each other without inhibiting one another. Practice dissociating these areas in your drills and exercises.

d. Feet: The feet are the interface between your body and the ground and effective foot strikes can make a big difference to running efficiency. Imagine your feet as springs, absorbing energy on landing and bouncing back to return that energy on toe-off.

Consciously practicing your running form will bring improvements and help you maintain good form even when running at a fast pace or if fatigued. When practiced with drills, your form becomes more natural and relaxed, which leads to better running economy. Additionally, as you become fitter through structured training, your body makes beneficial adaptations that increase your lactate threshold, your VO2 max, and endurance.

a. Achievable Goals: It is important to keep your first goals realistic, for example running continuously for 5 km, or for 30 minutes. If your eventual goals are ambitious, such as completing your first marathon, break them down into a series of targets, or into A, B, and C goals to organize your priorities.

b. Developing Fitness:  Even if your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, your first objective should be to build up to a minimum base of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Before starting a structured training programme for the first time, you should be capable of doing short, hard sprints and easy continuous running over longer distances. When you can do both of these workout types, you can progress towards race-specific training. If you have not run before, the Beginner 5km walk-run programme is a good place to start.

c. Increasing Load: When training for a race, your goals are to build volume by increasing the overall distance you run, and to improve speed by increasing the intensity of your workouts. Aim to increase your training load by 10–15 per cent per week. The exact amount will depend on factors such as your training history and resilience, so it is important to keep monitoring your training load. Your highest loads should be undertaken 3–4 weeks prior to race day.

d. Training For A Race Training Volume: This graph shows the training volume per week in the Advanced Marathon training programme. As this example shows, there should be periods of building and periods of recovery in every training plan. 2–3 weeks prior for shorter races. After this point, you should “taper”, or decrease training enough to ensure your body is fresh and ready to perform on race day.

e. Planning For Recovery: Following a race, give your body a period of active recovery by doing low-impact cross training before preparing for another race. If you intend to run several races throughout the year, design a seasonal plan so that you peak for the important races and do not overreach. For complete recovery, it is also vital to have down periods during the year, or times when you focus on different types of running or alternative activities altogether.

Runners are known for running through pain, but it is crucial to recognize the difference between the pain of exertion and the pain of injury. If you feel pain that you would rate greater than 3/10, during or after a run, stop training and seek advice from a physiotherapist. Another signal to stop is if your running gait changes due to pain. Some wearable sensors can detect asymmetries early on to warn of potential changes in gait. Engaged with your Physiotherapist before your injury worsen!
Napier, C. and Lewis, A. (2020) Science of running: Analyze your technique, prevent injury, revolutionize your training. New York: Dorling Kindersley. https://www.podiumrunner.com/training/everything-know-ideal-running-posture/
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