Osteopath Dr. Lisa Gadd Explains How To Set Your Body Up For Success This Fun Run Season

Fun run season is creeping up on us again, and while it is exciting that they are finally happening again after a two year hiatus, that means that we probably need to do more to prepare our bodies more, especially if we have been doing less activity over the past two years.

Here are some tips on how to set your body up for success this fun run season. 

1. Have a clear goal with a plan.

Pick an event that you wish to participate in then create a clear plan and your goals to help you map out your training program and recovery periods. Consult with someone who can help you draw up a training/running plan. This will ensure you stay on track and incrementally increase your load. Most programs will look to increase training by around 10% weekly with recovery periods every 2-4 weeks.

2. Keep your body strong:

Aim to do strength training 1-2 x a week specifically focusing on lower body and core strength to help keep you strong for the run season and to avoid your risk of injuries. Strength exercises that focus on glutes, core, hamstrings, calves and quads will all help keep your body strong. 

3. Train with a friend.

Training with a friend helps keep you accountable and can be more enjoyable. Plan your training schedules around times that suit you both to help keep you consistent. 

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4. Allow for proper recovery:

Give your body time to recover after each run. Space your running sessions out so you have 1-2 days break between them (to start.) Ensure you are getting adequate (8+ hours sleep) to assist the body with recovery. Fueling your body with the right nutrition will also play a big part in recovery, aim to eat a well balanced diet packed with protein for muscle repair and growth, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Stretching and foam rolling will help the body recover post run session, aim to spend 10 min each night stretching and rolling. Also remember to refuel your body with adequate hydration- water, hydralyte sports, gels if using them. Even though the weather is cold you will still lose fluids through perspiration during the session. Keep your body hydrated daily, aim for 2-3 liters a day. 

5. Listen to your body:

If you are starting to develop a “nagging injury” you will need to reduce the load (intensity + distance). We use a subjective measurement for this. If your pain is greater than a 3/10 for you (10/10 = worst pain you have had) you need to stop and find something else you can manage. The 3/10 pain also applies for the 2hr post your training session i.e if your pain after exercise increases above 3/10 then your session was doing more damage than good.

6. Mix up your sessions & speed:

i.e. for runners, continue to do your long slow runs. Mix it up with speed/ interval training later in the week. It is important you don’t run at high intensity for lengthy periods. This means if you’re doing a longer training session the intensity needs to be about 70% of your maximum output.

Dr Lisa Gadd is an osteopath who works closely with elite AFL teams and Ironman athletes.

She is also the founder of the Living Health Group, she is a business leader and a keynote speaker.

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