With the HBF Run for a Reason 2018 fast approaching, now is a great time to revisit some principals around preparation for the big run. Or for any training session for that matter.

There are plenty of different components that will help you to achieve your goals on the day. From running gear and footwear, to sleep, to the weather that Perth decides to put on for us on the day, it all counts towards turning this into one of your best runs yet. Another critical part of your preparation is of course nutrition and hydration. For some great and very practical info on this, I would strongly suggest checking out this excellent blog by dietician, performance specialist and friend of Perth Run Collective, Julie Meek

From a physical preparation standpoint, there are some great (and simple) strategies that you can implement before you run that should have you feeling ready to go as you cross the start line.

Trigger point release and foam rollers

In the days and hours leading up to the race, spending time on your foam roller and/or trigger ball can free up some of those tense muscles around the hips, thighs lower legs which will allow for longer strides and a more energy efficient run.

Try the following 16 minute routine for starters:

1. ITB

Move your body slowly along the foam roller, so that you get pressure from the bony part of your hip to about 10cm above your knee repeatedly.

Repeat for two minutes each side.

2. Quads    

Find the bone at the front of your hip and your kneecap. We want to target all the muscle between these two bones.

Lie with your face towards the floor and slowly roll up and down between these two points.

Repeat for two minutes each side.

3. Hamstrings

With one foot flat on the floor, and the back of your thigh balancing on the foam roller, use your body weight to get a nice release as you roll back and forth along the roller.

Work between your sit bone and the back of your knee

Repeat for two minutes each side.

4. Calves

Roll your body up and down along the roller, this time feeling pressure behind your knee to about 10cm above your heel.

Repeat x 2 mins each side.

Neural mobility

Particularly early in the morning, your nerves can still be a bit sensitive and need some waking up, which will contribute to a feeling of general stiffness through the low back and legs. Try this activity in the last hour before you start your run.

Starting position:

Slumping on a table or chair with chin to chest and knees bent at about 90° Keep your knees and heels together.

End position:

One leg out straight with toes pulled back towards you. You should feel a gentle stretch in behind the knee, back of the thigh and perhaps in your back. Return to start position and repeat on your other side.

Repeat this exercise 20 times on each leg.

Dynamic warm-up

Our bodies have lots of physiological systems that all need to “ramp up” as we approach the start line. Breathing rate, heart rate, adrenaline levels, lung volume and body temperature all need to increase before you start the run to ensure that the first 10 minutes isn’t spent catching up (and therefore working harder than you need to!!).

A dynamic warm-up done as close to the race as possible is ideal. Whether it be 10 minutes on a bike or a five-minute walk/jog to the start line, this will take care of all these other things and have you poised and ready to go with little effort.

I hope that some of these tips make for a great run for everyone. All the very best with whatever distance you are taking on next Sunday!!!


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