As you increase your mileage, muscular aches and ‘niggles’ may occur, therefore build up gradually.
Never increase your mileage by more than 10% in a week; and never increase both speed and distance in the same week.
If the increasing mileage proves too tough, take an easy day or rest, this will allow your body to refuel and recover.
Vary your running surface and direction of your runs.
You don’t have to run all the time; include cross-training into your programme with cycling, rowing and swimming.
Include resistance and core training into your programme, this will aid in preventing low-back, hip and leg/foot injuries.
As your fitness improves it will feel more natural to train more often, and enhance your chances of enjoying the mini marathon experience.
Replace running shoes regularly; look under the soles for wear and the mid-sole for over-compression. It’s better to vary between two pairs during your preparation. Go to a specialist sports shop for advice on the best running shoe for your foot type, it’s an essential expense!
Increased back/leg aches and pains may be a sign that your running shoes need to be changed.
Orthotics (permanent insoles) are often used by runners to help prevent common running injuries. Check with your local Chartered Physiotherapist for a biomechanical assessment to ascertain if you require such insoles in your running shoes.
Warm up adequately with easy running to prepare your joints and muscles for your race pace, include stride outs, high knee lifts, heel kicks and trunk twisting.
Perform static sustained stretches after running to minimise muscle soreness and joint stiffness. This helps to prepare your body for your next running session.
Keep a training diary. This is a useful way of monitoring last year's form and your training prior to an injury. Use the information to prevent the same pitfalls and to plan your next running programme.
Never run if you feel unwell. Do not attempt to catch-up on lost mileage after illness/injury. This can cause further damage and result in a longer period off running. Better 3 to 4 days of rest than 3 to 4 weeks of frustration!