Running a half marathon requires doing thorough training. Elite runners run over 200Kms per week when preparing for a race. A hobby run will need to run at least 75-100 Kms per week to be able to able to finish in a descent time. Although running many Kilometres in training is good, it also increases the likely hood of suffering a running injury.
Simple precautions to prevent injuries when training for a half marathon
Don’t be too enthusiastic
This is common with new runners. Starting to train for a first half marathon can be very exciting. When new runners start to feel the improvements in their performance from one run to the next, and begin to see significant improvements when they look in the mirror, it is really easy to get carried away with enthusiasm and train too hard. Unfortunately that can often lead to a highly demotivating injury, which always occurs at the most inconvenient time.
Listen to Your Body When Training
The first important thing for all runners to do is to listen to their body. Often nagging aches and pains are a warning that we’re pushing too hard. Most injuries give a warning before becoming serious. That is the time to stop, have a few days off running, then start back very gently, being wary of any further warnings. It may be frustrating to have a few days without running, but that is much better than having an enforced month off. And even while you are off running you can still do some cross training or other exercises so the time is never wasted.
Strength Training Exercises to Prevent Injuries
Next runners need to do extra work on various parts of the body. It is very tempting to think that running provides all of the exercise that we need. In reality, most of us need to work on increasing core strength and leg strength. Both help to ensure that our muscles are strong enough for the things we are asking them to do, and they help to improve running posture and movements, reducing the stress placed on joints. Running five days a week may sound great, but sometimes it’s better to run three days, and do some serious muscle building on the other two.
Go Easy on Long Runs
As distance increases, speed should decrease. Trying to run as fast as possible every time you get your running shoes on is only ever going to end badly. It’s fine to do some speed work every week, but that really should only be a small percentage of the total distance run. Even elite runners only do a tiny amount of fast work – use long runs just for increasing endurance. That is the way to long term success.
Get Faster by running less
Finally, sometimes less is more. And with running, it is better to workout often but not too hard, than to end up visiting the physiotherapist. Above all, listen to your body – if it hurts, stop before it breaks!