Guest Post: Colin Allan – getting started with Marathon winter training
Colin Allan is a professional rugby-player-turned-PT and performance coach, with a specialist interest in hyper-tailored training and nutrition. Enertor have teamed up with Colin to bring you professional advice on all things fitness. In this post, Colin looks at starting your Marathon training during the cold winter months and staying motivated. Over to you Colin….
Training plan downloaded, running club joined, diary purchased and you’re all buddied up – awesome!
But we are still not quite there in terms of getting started. It has oft been said that, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing’ and first up… are a good pair of shoes.
SHOES – The three key factors in picking a shoe are your weight, what level of runner you are and how bio-mechanically efficient you are as this will impact on the amount of cushioning and how structured the shoe is which impacts on the weight of the shoe.
Your best bet is to head to someone who knows what they are doing… you’re going to be doing hundreds of miles in these shoes, don’t trust the pimply youth who looks like he’s never been outside. A shop staffed by runners who’ve chewed through a hundred pairs of shoes, who have the means to asses how you walk and run (gait analysis) and match that information to a good quality pair of shoes… these are the people to speak to.
Most importantly: try them out on their treadmill before leaving the shop. Remember too that a pair of trainers will wear out and will need replacing around every 400 to 500miles, you’ll know when as the shoes will feel lifeless and lack their original support.
Another consideration is insoles for added protection and motion control that can outlast your trainers and maintain continuity and comfort between shoe swaps. Enertor’s insoles are ideal not only in providing improved shock absorption but, and obviously I’m a little biased, but the evidence speaks for itself, vastly superior energy return performance. They’re worn by Usain Bolt, and elite athletes all over the world, so they’re doing something very right.
KIT – Winter training provides us with the enormous challenge of starting or maintaining our training in potentially unpleasant and testing conditions… cold, wet, dark. And yet, these same conditions can also provide us with enormous satisfaction – the satisfaction of doing something positive for ourselves knowing that the rest of the world is tucked up in bed or sat in front of the TV. And fortunately we no longer have to grind out our training in sweat-soaked cotton tees and a rain-drenched Peter Storm.
Invest in good kit, and believe me, it’s a worthwhile investment. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro, a semi-pro, weekend warrior or just starting, good kit will make your efforts more pleasurable, more efficient and less likely to result in some form of chaffing.
Look for quality breathable layers, shorts with liners to stop ‘irritation’, good quality technical socks with reinforced extra padding, gloves if it’s really cold, leggings, a waterproof and a beanie. Visibility is also key when running in the dark so wear a high-vis vest or make sure your kit includes some bright colours, reflective strips or even clip your bike light on somewhere.
WARM-UP AND DOWN – Before heading out make sure you warm up, it’s really really really important. Your muscles will be cold and, while might get away with it initially, if it’s a low intensity session or if you’re younger, eventually it’ll catch up with you. To succeed and enjoy this process it’s going to be the supporting behaviours that help you recover and keep you injury free that make the difference… and that means warming up properly.
When done properly your warm-up will increase focus and attention while also decreasing stress, anxiety and the fear of injury. These days there are myriad confusing terms of terms to describe what we may do… movement preparation, mobility, activation and dynamic stretching are just a few… but ultimately the objective is to prepare you to run and reduce the risk of injury.
Now the weather has turned chilly, the importance of increasing the blood flow to our arms and legs in particular has increased (in the summer months it is no less important but easier given our summer circulation). With all that in mind here is an outline of a warm up that will take just five minutes.
2-3mins walking and jogging followed by:
20 meters walking on your toes
20 meters walking on your heels
2 x10 single leg hops
10 leg swings on each leg
Now, you’ve got all the gear and you’re warmed up it’s time to start running.. but start easy, don’t over do it, as I wrote about in my last BLOG, 70% of injuries come from training errors and often this is sudden and large change in exertion.
Once your run is complete it’s just as important to warm down, taking the opportunity to aid recovery, maintain tissue quality and even improve your flexibility… good behaviours make for good runners. When I’ve finished a run I usually go for static stretches of 30-60 seconds x 2-3 per bodypart and concentrate on calves, hips and hamstrings.
Getting Started & Winter training 5 Take Home Tips
* Invest in a good pair of shoes – and the best (Enertor!) insoles you can afford.
* Replace the shoes every 400-500 miles (although Enertor’s insoles can be transferred and will last five times as long).
* Breathable fabrics & waterproof jacket, gloves, leggings and socks
* Warm-up specifically to reduce injury risk and improve performance
* Warm-down with static stretches of between 30-60 seconds post exercise
About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles
Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury, the unique design features support your foot throughout training. Enertor insoles are enhanced by D3O impact protection technology, which means they can provide more shock absorption than any other insole. Our expertise, combined with the patented D3O shock absorption technology, enables Enertor to deliver the most advanced injury prevention insoles on the market today.
Enertor insoles are available online HERE .
Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site
Customising the Warm up & Warm Down: Ret Larson, Ch. 8, P99-109: High Performance Training for Sports: David Joyce
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