Our new blogger, physiotherapist Scott Mitchell, explains how to keep on track with your running resolutions for the new year.
Runners will often set grand targets, usually time focused and naturally want to see quick results but often don’t know how to plan towards it or how to structure a program to chip away at the bigger goal. Even the obvious planning to fit training sessions into your daily schedule can be a difficult problem to overcome.
Planning a whole program in a way that will allow your body to get stronger and adapt to handling progressively harder sessions and larger volumes of training requires a good understanding of what different sessions target and how the body responds to exercise. You often need to be flexible and ready to adjust programs depending on how you react. This isn’t always predictable so getting good quality advice is priceless.
There are lots of places to find information from here on RW where you’ll find structured and safe generic programs, to local running clubs where there will be runners of varying levels of experience or qualified coaches who can work with you directly or by correspondence, writing and continually adjusting programs based on your feedback. The experience of a coach can help to make sure you don’t push to hard, too fast but also that you aren’t being too soft.
Finally, plan your recovery. Recovery should be written into your program as rest or easy sessions but also includes nutrition, stretching, trigger pointing or massage and it is just as important as going for your runs. Think of it as giving your body a chance to soak up the training and an opportunity to deal with the negative effects of training such as excessive tightness, which can lead to injury.