Beginner runners conditioning
Growing up I was far from a runner! To be honest I bloody hated it with a passion. I would ditch all athletics carnivals and never bring my uniform to P.E. class (I was that chick with the note every week). It wasn’t in till just over a year ago I made it a goal to be able to run a solid distance. It started when I was getting into the whole fitness thing and wrote down what I wanted to achieve.
Near my house there is this track called “The Bay run”, it is a 7m walk along the water. I first started my running “journey” by timing my walks, trying to get use to the distance. Then once I had a solid fitness routine in place and was seeing progress I decided I was going to dedicate my Sunday as my run day. I would interval the track at first by running to certain points then stopping for a walk break and then going again. That was all I did for a little while in till one afternoon I got to the half way point and said ‘right I want to try and run it to the end’.. I didn’t think I would actually be able to do it but surprisingly I did. it was a milestone! I was so proud of myself I couldn’t believe it! (for me running was just not something that came naturally).
That night I decided “right this is it, next Sunday you are going to attempt to run the whole track without stopping”. I remember being so nervous at the thought, I am the type of person that if I say I am going to do something and commit mentally I will do it therefore it had to happen! The Saturday before I genially remember dreading the next day as I knew I had committed to it and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it! But the next day I geared up and boom got it done! I was soo happy with myself. My first ever time was 43:36 and I was stoked.
I kept up my usually Sunday running raceme (paired with the rest of my training during the week) and slowly got faster and faster. My best time now over a year later is 32:47 and I have a big love for it. I never EVER thought I would but now Running is a time for me to switch off and almost meditate. I also love having a time to beat and conquering that.
So theres my running story! Never thought growing up I would even have one lol! BUT in saying this it is soo important to condition the body in order to improve and prevent injury, this is something that took me a while to learn and lead me to come some nasty pains.
SO If you decide you are going to pick up running we must be smart in the ways we go about doing so! Some people dive in head first and end up with a nasty injury. This could just be due to lack of knowledge in how to condition the body for it. If this sounds like something your interested in listen up!
Strengthening your core in my opinion is one of the most fundamental elements in aiding your form- good form= injury prevention. Let me remind you that your core doesn’t stand for your just your “abs” , the core covers your whole mid section (lower back, obliques, pelvis and yes your abdominals as well). Another area that runners need to focus on building strength in is their hamstrings, quads and glutes. This is what’s going to create speed and endurance. Not only will you improve your running skills but also reduce the risk of injury as you will be lighter on your feet which takes the load off the back and ankles.
Of course, we have to be fit to run. If we want to reduce injury risk, make our running easier and more efficient we should incorporate various types of body conditioning aside from the running we do.
Here are SOME exercises you can use to conditioning for running outside of the track:
Stand with legs parallel, feet hip-distance apart. Step your right leg back so you are on the ball of that foot. Lower your right knee toward the floor until you reach a 90-degree angle in both of your legs. Make sure your front knee does not extend over the foot. Lower from your center without leaning forward or backward. Rise upward to the starting position as you straighten your legs.
Stand with legs parallel, feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Sit back as if you’re sitting in a chair, making sure your knees don’t go beyond a 90-degree bend. Knees are stationary, pointing forward and do not extend over the feet. Bring your arms in front of you for balance. Be careful not to lean forward as you lower. Push through your heels as you return to standing.
Push up starting position, straighten your elbows and holding yourself up with arms and legs. Make sure you are straight the whole time thus engaging your core. Also like if someone where to have dinner on your back the dish would not fall off!
4. Hip bridges
Ly on your back with legs bent. Lift your hips, butt and quads off the floor squeezing the glutes, come back down and replete.
modification: Hip extensions on stability ball.
5. Back extensions
Ly face down on the floor then slowly bring your chest and feet off the floor squeezing your lats and glutes, bring everything back down and repeat.
Modification: Stability back extension
Sneaky top tips:
- Ensuring you don’t go too hard too soon
- Fuel the fire with proper nutrition pre and post run
- Stretch stretch stretch!
- Find some killer tunes.
Anywhere runners conditioning circuit: x4 rounds.
Exercise 1: Alternating Lunges x25
Exercise 2: Knee drives (right side) x15
Exercise 3: Knee drives (left side) x15
Exercise 4: Cat kick backs (right side) x15
Exercise 5: Cat kick backs (left side) x15
Exercise 6: Hip bridges x20
Exercise 7: Plank 1 minute