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Running off the Winter Blues Part 10

In the final part of our “Running off The Winter Blues”, series, Rob Hanley of our Dooradoyle clinic in Limerick discusses how beginner runners can plan out a timetable for progressing to running 5km and then how to plan out training for a full marathon.

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” - John Bingham

In the last few weeks we’ve looked at how to run well and some of the stretching, strengthening and core work you need to do for enjoyable and injury free running. Once you start improving your fitness you will inevitably try to build on your sessions by either increasing the distance you run, the intensity you go at, or a mixture of both. Many of the patients that are I see in clinic are those who run into problems at this stage. The most common reason is that they try to take on too much too soon.

the finish line is in sight

As we've looked at before in my previous entries, jogging does put a lot of force down through your joints so it is very important to follow a healthy diet to fuel you as you run, maintain good hydration, and progress your training at a steady rate. Rest days are vitally important as they allow your muscles, bones and joints to recover from your runs so you can run again. Without recovery days you will not improve. It’s also good to run on softer terrain, such as firm sand or grass when possible, as this is a little easier on the body.

Now everyone will be a little different on how quickly they can progress their runs as it often depends on your sporting background, your general fitness and how much running you have done in the past. There are no perfect programs to follow as each person will recover from each run at a different rate but there are some very good guideline programs out there. Why not look at this programme from Hal Higdon’s excellent training program series.

This training schedule could then be built, gradually increasing mileage to marathon distance.

Sundays in the marathon training program are devoted to cross-training. Cross training is any other form of aerobic exercise that allows you to use slightly different muscles while resting after your long run. The best cross-training exercises are swimming and cycling as these will allow you to exercise while giving your joints a rest from the strain of your long runs.

First Marathon (From Novice Level)

So if you are thinking of beginning training for a 5km, 10 km or perhaps have an interest in running a marathon, you might want to discuss your general fitness and have a medical check up with a physiotherapist and GP first. If you would like to see one of our Chartered Physiotherapy team you can book an appointment with us today. 

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