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Give it a Rest!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Give it a rest!

Run better by not running – too good to be true?

RB project manager Ian gives the lowdown on taking time out.

In just under 2 weeks’ time, over 40,000 people will go down the Strand – and as the song goes, some of them probably will have had a banana. I’ll be one of them, but my pickiness about banana ripeness means I’ll probably give that a miss.

Yes, on 22 April in London it’s marathon day for runners of all shapes and sizes – taking on the full 26.2 miles. Whether they’re there for a good time or have trained hard for a better time, the first-timers, fun-runners and world’s fastest have one thing in common right now.

They need to stop running so much.

To get the most out of their day, runners need to be fresh, fit and flexible – and training hard right to the wire, cramming in sessions in these last few weeks, will do more harm than good.

It’s called the taper, reducing the training ahead of a race so your body is recovered and ready and your energy stores are topped up. Whilst the maths of energy out vs energy in makes a taper especially key for races beyond 20 miles, taking your rest days seriously is important to runners of all levels.

Taking the ouch out of Couch to 5K…

Birmingham is an increasingly active city – over 6,000 of you have taken part in a Couch to 5k in the last few years with Run Birmingham and Active Parks. Backed by the NHS as a safe and achievable way to get active for the first time, Couch to 5k includes 3 sessions a week and includes those all-important walk breaks in the first few weeks.

Now that still leaves 4 days a week going spare and time and again the RB team deal with the keen beans who want do more. That might be fine for some people, but too much too soon can put your running or your health at risk.

Whether you’re a chopper and changer, making the most of all our locations, or a Cotteridge regular, C25k sessions are best taken on with a day or two in between. This gives the vital time to rest and repair for those muscle groups you may be working hard for the first time in years. Does ‘I haven’t ran since school’ ring a bell?

If you’re set on working out in the rest of the week, you can always swim, bike or (gentle!) gym your way to increased fitness. Don’t forget walking counts too.

Overtraining can lead to injury and take the fun out of your run.

Be kind to your legs.

If you don’t make the start line you’ll never make the finish line.


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