It can be daunting counting down the weeks to race day when you know you’re behind in your training, unsure about how you might squeeze in the extra miles around a busy schedule and worrying whether you can make the distance. But don’t panic - Mbition is on hand to help.
If you’re on the back foot in your training, take a look at these 3 top tips:
1) DON'T BE TEMPTED TO PLAY 'CATCH UP'
If you've missed some of your training, the temptation to squeeze those sessions into the following week is strong. Unfortunately this tactic can often make you run slower because your body won’t get the recovery it needs between runs.
All good training programs are periodized, which means are they are made up of progressive cycles and phases of training. The sessions in each week are designed to complement each other so you can reach the best possible performance, and ensure you recover sufficiently after each session. By adding in ‘unscheduled’ sessions you will unbalance your training program and give your body more work or stress than in can handle, increasing your risk of getting injured.
If you do need to miss a session, don’t worry about it and just move on to the next one in your plan. Mbiton’s Adaptive Coaching Engine is designed specifically to make the most out of the time you have left to train, giving you a sensible achievable plan till race day.
2) DON'T WORRY ABOUT BEING ABLE TO RUN THE FULL DISTANCE BEFORE THE BIG DAY
The long run is one of the most crucial parts of your training preparation for a half marathon, as it will ensure you can run the distance on race day. But ultimately, the most importance focus is on the quality of your training not the quantity.
Running long distances are tiring, repetitive and will place a significant amount of load on your body - two and a half times your bodyweight to be exact! So it’s not surprising that the chance of injury also increases as your mileage ramps up.
It’s best to bolster shorter long runs with other quality training sessions such as tempo, steady and speed workouts throughout your training week. This will simulate the fatigue you’ll experience at the end of the race, but significantly reduce your risk of injury and stress you place on your body.
3) CONDITIONING YOUR BODY - WHEN WALKING IS BETTER THAN RUNNING
Hippocrates was right when he said ‘walking is man’s best medicine’. If you’re struggling to run continuously in your longer runs or have a niggle or two, don’t worry - here’s 2 reasons why walking can be an excellent addition to your training schedule.
• The challenge when you get injured is maintaining and improving fitness. We can still make fitness gains however - and the good news is that walking quickly does just that. It elevates your heart rate and also works all the major muscles groups you use when running.
Top tip: Find a hill or two to walk up as this will work your body harder - you will be amazed at the fitness you will have retained when you’re back running.
• Walking activates our posterior kinetic chain, the muscles behind us - the back of our legs, bottom (glutes), back etc. However to run efficiently we want to use our front muscles in tandem with our back muscles. But because we spend a lot of the day sitting down, are posterior muscles become lazy. So when we go out for a run we tend to overuse the front muscles like our quads and hip flexors and underuse our glutes and hamstrings.
Top tip: You can increase the use of your rear muscles by walking with a long stride. When you’re back running you may find you have more power because you are able to utilise your posterior chain better!
There are still many training gains you can make in 7 weeks, and the great news is it’s not too late to set up your own custom and adaptive training plan.