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Rod Cedaro: 10 Tips a Week to Keep You injury Free Whilst Running- Part 5

41. Running is the most physically demanding sport of all for triathletes. Swimming is technically the most demanding, cycling demands the most time and running is physically the most demanding of the three triathlon disciplines. It places the most stress on your body and causes the most injuries so build up to it more slowly than the other two and ensure you have good biomechanics in it.

42. A change is as good as a holiday. Mix up your training. Don’t always do the same things week in week out. Not only will this keep you fresh mentally, it’ll also ward of the potential for overuse injuries by mixing up the surfaces on which you run, the terrains you run over and the intensity at which you go.

Mix up the terrain when training

Mix up the terrain when training

43. Heart rate monitors are a great tool – use them. Get yourself a heart rate monitor and learn how to use it appropriately. Most people that buy a heart rate monitor have no idea what information they can get from it. Used correctly, heart rate monitoring can help improve your performance considerably.

Heart rate monitors are great

Heart rate monitors are great

44. Refuel post exercise. Research suggests that the first 90 minutes post exercise is the most crucial time during which to restock your muscle glycogen stores and speed your recovery rate. As soon as you finish training have a carbohydrate rich food source on hand ready to eat.

Eat carbohydrates post workout

Eat carbohydrates post workout

45. Fuel up during competition. Your body can store enough muscle glycogen for about 90 minutes of continuous hard training/racing. Ideally you should be ingesting (via appropriate food sources or fluids) about 60-80 grams of carbohydrate per hour of hard training or competition.

46. Recovery starts during the previous training session. Maintaining hydration status, eating adequate carbohydrate during a training session not only aids the current training session, it helps to ensure your recovery process is underway so that you can train more effectively the next time you venture out.

47. There’s no training like racing. As you get closer to your key races use small, less important events as lead up races to help sharpen and lift your performances to a higher level.

Small races are useful when training

Small races are useful when training

48. Rest and recovery are just as important as training. Most novice triathletes don’t recognise the importance of rest and recovery. This should be built into your training program. Learn how to “periodise” your training program. Understand the notions of meso, macro and micro cycling your training to ensure you stress and allow adequate recovery and “down” time – a break from formal training at the end of your competitive phase.

49. Choose your running surface wisely. Given the choice running on natural surfaces like grass is better than asphalt which is better than concrete. Concrete is your worst choice to run on.

running on grass is ideal

Running on grass is ideal

50. Change your running shoes regularly. The mid-sole of your running shoes, which provides them with all of their shock absorbing characteristics, have a life of between 300-500 kilometres. Replace your running shoes regularly to ensure optimal shock absorption.

Replace your trainers regularly

Replace your trainers regularly

51. Horses for courses. Just as different race horses specialise in running under different conditions, different types of running shoes are made for different terrains. Know what sort of terrain you intend to do most of your running over and buy your running shoes to compliment (a) the characteristics of your foot and running style and (b) the sort of surface over which you predominately intend to run.

52. Know your foot type and gait characteristics and choose your shoes accordingly. There are three basic foot types: (i) pronators who “roll” in, (ii) neutral foot types who hit the ground and move evenly along the foot from the heel (point of landing) to the toes (point of take off) and (iii) supinators who “roll” out.

Pronators are the most common foot types (up to 85% of all runners) and require good “medial” support – along the “inside” of the foot. Supinators and neutral foot types are about equally as common and typically require less support but often more shock absorption as such foot types are typically rigid and stiff with poor innate shock absorption characteristics and hence prone to ailments such as stress fractures.

Whilst this isn’t the definitive/complete/exhaustive list of running do’s and don’ts, by heeding at least some of the suggestions within you’ll find yourself spending more time on the road running and less time with the physio or doctor getting over injuries.

Remember – train smarter, not just harder

Rod Cedaro