In the 80s Joe Henderson, editor of Running World, wrote a book which hardcore runners regardto as one of the most important writings in their lexicon. In this Henderson talks about athletes who increase their runs by great distances and eventually end up biting off more then they can chew. So, instead of jumping from 5 Km to 10 Km increase your distance by 10% – 5 Km to 5.5Km, and from there increase it with another 0.5km and so forth.
If you’re going to try, go all the way. Start consuming good carbohydrates at least three days before a big run or race… bad carbs being junk food. Pizza is awesome but not recommended for carbo-loading. This will allow your body to store glycogen (energy) in your muscles and liver which you will burn during longer distances. Fair warning: don’t eat a big meal before the race unless you want to be dragged down by your digestive system or paint the pavement mac and cheese yellow.
The better you rest the better you will be able to run.We often overlook the role sleep plays in our lives. It’s not all about resting your body and dreaming of fast cars and unicorns. Sleep does a runner a world of good, and it prepares the body mentally for the tasks ahead. Sleep longer for longer runs is the go-to point here.
Running is not enough. Nope. Never. Once a week throw in a bike ride or go for a swim. The idea is to get your heart rate 70% above your average rate. Not too sure what your average rate would be? Take 220 and minus your age. If you are 28 your average heart rate should be around 192. Now, go beyond that and get the blood pumping.
Coffee it Up
This is an age-old trick hardcore runners have been using to give them a start-line boost. By consuming 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight – a shot of espresso contains 75mg of caffeine, you do the math – you are able to use alternative energy. How does it work? Science! Caffeine increases the flow of free fatty acids which in turns spares glycogen, which you need to reserve for later in the race.
Keep Right Pass Left
In most states in the United States of America it is illegal for joggers to run with their backs to traffic. This tip won’t increase your stamina or make you run faster but it will keep the tire tracks out of your running clothes. Stick to the right of the road and keep an eye on traffic at all times. Safety first.
By Shawn Greyling