Are you running the 10km Road Race at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 20?
If you are, then make sure you read this!
Here’s our top 10 tips for running a successful build-up to the race!
If it’s your first time running then think about what you want to achieve. Is it just about crossing the finish line or do you genuinely want to achieve a good race time? Once you have an answer then set out how you are going to succeed. Is it going to mean running two nights a week or do you want to run five nights a week in order to target a faster time on race day?
You’ve set your plan and now training has begun. During your running week, listen to your body. If you’re sore then don’t train that day. The last thing you want to do is pick up an injury or a niggle in the build up to the race. If you feel sluggish one evening then go for a swim and do some stretching to keep the body moving.
It is important to warm up and loosen your muscles to prevent injury. If you’re going out for a training run, do some free-flowing dynamic movements before, such as walking lunges, twists and jumps. Post-run, you should do some static stretching and hold the stretches for at least 30 seconds, working your quads, hamstrings, calfs and glutes.
Mix up your training venues in order to prevent boredom. Running is meant to be fun so if you feel fed up of running the same route it is important to change. If you know the route you’ll be running for the 10km, then no harm in testing that at least once.
EMBRACE THE PAIN
Nothing is easy. Your training schedule is going to be difficult initially as the distances are only new to you. Keep pushing yourself and try not to stop. If you really need to stop during your training run – count to 30 and go again.
ONE DAY OF SPEED WORK
Depending on your training volume (and rest in between) you should aim to do one speed session a week. Whether you’re living close to Skydive Dubai, Zabeel Park, Safa Park or Sports City, find a flat patch of grass that allows you to practice some fast strides. If you’re unsure of a particular programme then try 10 x 50m sprints (two sets) or 10 x 100m.
Your body is like a car so it needs the right fuel. Have some oats and fruit for breakfast, rice and chicken for lunch, and a piece of meat, veg and sweet potato for dinner. You don’t have to be overly strict but eliminate as much chocolate and sugar as you can. The bad food will only make you feel sluggish.
RECOVERY IS KEY
Recovery is critical to athletic performance in order to help the muscles rebuild. During your training for the 10km, it is important to take your recovery seriously as this will effectively impact how your body feels the following day. The three main tips for recovery are to hydrate, stretch and take in some protein after exercise (20-40g).
RUN A DRESS REHEARSAL
A few days before the race you should run 3-5km at your chosen race pace (for example: if your aiming to do 10km in 50 minutes then try 4km in 20 minutes). This will boost confidence and get your body prepared for what lies ahead on race day. Picture running strong during the race and crossing the finish line happy!
Enjoy it. You may never do one of these races again, especially in Dubai, so make the most of it and ensure you are as best prepared as you can be!
I know it’s just another day, but that first day of a new year fills me with hope. I guess this is why we make new year resolutions: we can draw a line and start afresh, putting all the bad stuff behind us and starting anew, full of enthusiasm.
The problem is that as the weeks and months pass, our eagerness wanes and by the end of the year, we haven’t managed to achieve any of our goals.
As usual, I have a long list! Try not to be over-ambitious; have some that are easily attainable to spur you on; write them down and read them every day.
To help you make 2017 the year when you finally stick to your resolutions, here are a handful of great apps for some of the most popular resolutions:
First up, this great little app will help you stick to your resolutions. You set up your six daily tasks, notch them up on the app as you complete each one and collect “streaks”.
An ideal way to hold you accountable and create good habits. It can really help you improve your life in so many small ways.
For example, your six daily tasks could be along the lines of: jog, meditate, cook a healthy dinner, drink eight glasses of water, read the next chapter of one of those many self-help books you’ve accumulated, be in bed by 22:00.
Since even the US elections seemingly couldn’t avoid being hacked, internet security is high on many lists. How many of us can remember all the passwords we have to use to access everything we do online?
This app securely stores them all and all you have to do is use one password to access the list. Safer than storing them on your mobile or that scrap of paper in your wallet/purse.
Get into home cooking this year and improve your health. This app is also ideal for those of us who already cook, but are bored with the same five or six recipes we feel comfortable with. This app is a collection of healthy recipes with new ones to try every week.
SIMPLE HABIT AND BUDDHIFY
If you haven’t tried it yet, meditation could turn out to be the single most useful thing you ever do. Simple Habit will help you get into the habit of meditating for five minutes a day – a great start.
Try Buddhify to take you to the next level to help reduce stress, be present and cope with our busy lifestyles.
One of the reasons we fail to achieve our goals is that they aren’t specific enough. Taking up jogging, for example, is fairly vague, but this app gives a definite goal: to run 5km within a couple of months. All you have to do is follow the programme.
I’m always talking about the importance of sleep and this app will help you achieve it. The audio tracks will help you drop off.
As the app puts it: “Because a good night’s sleep means a calm, kind and focussed day. So for a better tomorrow …..”
iYOGA AND YOGA 101
Both good options to get your daily flow at a fraction of the price that many online streaming services charge.
Like everything else, a little each day is better than the occasional blast and this is a very convenient way of getting your daily dose.
If you’re a cyclist wanting to improve your climbing, strength, endurance and fitness, then this video from GCN’s official YouTube channel will surely help you.
Global Cycling Network’s Paul Ryman calls it the “Interval Explosion” workout. So tune into the video for a 30-minute high intensity spin class.
It’s more or less one of the ultimate workouts.
Are you up for the challenge?