We’re still settling you into a running regime, so there’s no big changes here, but with each week you should feel stronger and healthier, ready to battle through another weeks training.
BEFORE THE GO:
Assess your aches
Where you ache the most can give hints as to how you run, depending on how you stride and how your foot lands will affect where you ache. It's hardly surprising that about 15 percent of all running injuries strike the foot—with each step, our feet absorb a force several times our body weight.
Forefront strikers land on the front of their foot, meaning their calves are under constant tension. Running with too much reliance on the forefoot and toes can cause muscle strain due to the additional work placed on the lower leg.
If you are suffering from tight calves, try foam rolling to release tension and try to practice a neutral running stride on you next run.
As a heel striker, you’re running technique places more stress on the skeletal frame, which can lead to aching joints and in particular aching heels. To compensate for this running technique if it’s causing you issue, you could try investing in a running shoe designed for those who run with a heel strike, these will have extra support and protection around the heels.
If pain becomes significant, you can try to gradually re-adjust your running technique. Start by trying to land further forward on your foot on shorter distance runs.
Where the technique will be unfamiliar, it’s best to stick to shorter distances to avoid injury whilst your body readjusts. You could also try running in a barefoot running shoe, which will encourage you to run with more of a forefront strike naturally.
WEEK 2 PLAN
Run 4, Day 1
Your second round of intervals decreases your rest time from 2 minutes, to 1 minute 30, so for this week after spending your usual 3-5 minutes warming up you’re going to complete 10 flat-out sprints.
After completing a 5 minute warm up, start with your first interval, running as fast as you possibly can for 30 seconds.
This will be followed by 1 minute 30 seconds of recovery jogging. 1 down, 9 to go. This should take around 20 minutes.
Recovery: Cool down for at least 5 minutes. This should include slowing your pace down into a walk gradually and then stretching. Skipping stretching can lead to extra stiffness and soreness so make sure you get yours done.
Run 5, Day 3
A Tempo run is designed to keep you running the duration of your session at a challenging and constant pace, usually on your rate of perceived exertion scale, this will be a 7/10, with race pace being 9 or 10/10. T
he rate of perceived exertion scale, put simply, is you giving your level of effort a number on a scale of 1-10. 1 being with little to no effort, barely more than sleeping and 10 being flat out sprinting as though your life depended on it.
Cast your ego aside and be honest with yourself when scoring this number to get the best results.
Run 6, Day 5
For distance runs, your focus should be on running without stopping. Your first distance run was 5k, but this week we’re adding an extra kilometre and taking you up to 6k.
n a heel strike running, your skeletal frame (bones/cartilage) take most the force. In a fore/mid-foot strike your muscles absorb more of the force.
WEEK 2 TIPS
Remember to always run safely. This means remaining visible at all times, Sundried’s Ruinette tights feature reflective strip lining to the thighs to enhance visibility and a secure back pocket for valuables. We encourage you to wear high visibility clothing if you are running in low lighting conditions.
Listen to your body, now’s the time when you’re in prep to get your technique right and learn what works for you. Using the REP scale is a great way of judging how hard you're working if you don’t have a heart rate monitor and can help you keep focused on improving.
The first few weeks will always be the hardest as your body gets more used to running - and all this additional exercise - so keep at it.
Vicky Gardner, Personal Trainer and Writer at Sundried.