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Training Tips

Below is a selection of Run Coach training tips. 
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Useful Tip 1 On your longer runs, sports drinks are a good way to get carbohydrates and fluid into your system without upsetting your stomach.  You’ll be using the drink stations on race day, so practice taking on fluids in training.
Useful Tip 2 Rest. It’s that simple. As you train harder & longer, your body adapts - this is you getting fitter. For this to happen effectively, you need to get plenty of sleep and have some quality couch-time. Run Coach recommends a minimum of 1 rest day a week and another easier training day.
Useful Tip 3 Avoid doing anything new on race day.  If you always have toast for breakfast, have toast on race day.  If you've never taken an energy gel in training, don't take one on race day.  Your body is already coping with running at race pace for an extended time.  By trying something new, you are potentially adding more stress to the body that it may not cope with.
Useful Tip 4 To recover as quickly as you can from training you need to stretch & eat.  Stretch each of the main muscle groups you used and hold for at least 30 seconds.  Then eat 50-100g of carbohydrates within 60 minutes of exercising.  You can get this much carbohydrate by taking a sports drink and a banana, 2 pieces of toast and a fruit juice or 2 energy gels.  For more ideas on recovery nutrition, send your questions to
Useful Tip 5 Several of you will have experienced blisters while you're running, what can you do about them?  Ideally, you would find out what caused them and solve this - blisters are often caused by wearing shoes or socks that aren't right for you.  If you can't figure it out, try rubbing vaseline into the area that gets affected before you run.
Useful Tip 6 If you find you're getting a sore neck and shoulders after longer‚ runs, think about your head position. For efficient and injury-free running, you want to‚ remember these points:
Keep your chin down
Watch the horizon, as if you're looking over the top of your glasses
Keep your head steady, it shouldn't be bouncing up and down or rocking side-to-side
Useful Tip 7 Do you suffer from cold hands and fingers when you run?  Run Coach recommends polypropylene gloves, available for about $10 at any outdoors store.  The fibres will not absorb sweat, like some of the more expensive gloves, so your hands will stay dry and warm.
Useful Tip 8 Know how far you're running.  If you are training to race a specific distance, you need to know how far you are running in training.  We find easiest to use, google maps pedometer is another option.
Useful Tip 9 To run better up hill, take smaller steps and use your arms more. This gives you more forward momentum and will get you to the top quicker.
Useful Tip 10 Stretching before a run is only beneficial if you have a specific condition.  You'll benefit more by stretching the major muscle groups after a run, when your body is warm.
Useful Tip 11 Not sure when to use ice and when to use heat on aches and pains?  Ice is best used immediately after training or on acute (recent) injury.  It works to reduce the bloodflow and subsequent swelling to the area.  Heat is generally used for chronic (ongoing) pains where there is no inflammation or swelling and it is great for sore and stiff muscles and joints.  Heat will stimulate blood flow and increase muscle elasticity, it has been shown to be beneficial when used on chronic pain before warming up.
Useful Tip 12 Almost everyone has suffered from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It is almost inevitable if you change your volume or intensity too quickly or are new to running.  Prevention is the best tool, new runners can avoid these pains by following the 10% progression rule.  Don't increase your running volume by more than 10% each week and always include a thorough warm-up.  Australian researchers have shown that there is no reduction in DOMS even if you cool down and stretch well after a hard session...... "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
Useful Tip 13 If you incorporate hill running into your training week, remember to train your legs on the downhills too.  Running downhill is metabolically easier but places more strain on the muscles, which reduces strength and impacts the rest of your race.  train these 'braking' muscles as you would any others to maximise performance.
Useful Tip 14 To get more out of your interval training, mix up your work:rest ratios. Ratios can range from 1:2, 1:1 and 1:1/2.  By using different rest ratios you are challenging different energy systems, which will train your body to cope in a greater variety of running situations.
Useful Tip 15 To maintain optimal energy while running, you need to consume 30-60g of carbohydrate an hour.  This is equivalent to 400-800ml of standard sports drink or 1 energy gel per hour.
Useful Tip 16 To keep fit while you're on holiday without wasting precious relaxation or sight-seeing time, stick to short sharp bursts.  Beach sprints and stair runs are both great options.
Useful Tip 17 During the hot weather, your muscles are warmer.  Use this as an opportunity to stretch more regularly, rather than only post-exercise.
Useful Tip 18 When running in the sun, it's best to wear a hat that is dark under the brim.  This reduces glare from the road.
Useful Tip 19 Use your arms to create more power while running.  Your thumbs should be up, elbows at 90 degrees or less and drive the arms from your shoulders. Your arms should be moving in the same direction you are running, not across your body.

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