It’s important to minimize your risk of injury during your training. Better yet, to avoid injury! So, when doing race-specific training, keep the total distance covered shorter than the goal race, or run at your race pace in shorter segments with rest breaks (interval training). It’s impractical to wholly mimic a race—particularly longer distances—in training because it would require extended recovery. So to maximize the benefit of your training workouts while hopefully continuing to avoid injury, keep these rules in mind:
Don’t Increase weekly training mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.
Drink a protein shake with a banana at least 1 hour before training. Additionally, eat a protein + carbohydrate meal within 90 minutes after finishing your training.
Start every run with 10-15 minutes of walking and slow running, and do the same to cool down. Our running coach builds this into our workouts.
Don’t bike or run with headphones. Learn how to be with yourself and ditch your music. This was really hard for me when I first started training, especially when it came to running. But, now, I can’t even imagine wanting to put music on when I hit the road. I’d rather listen to the sounds of my environment and be lost in my own thoughts.
If you have a training plan, either one from a coach or one you downloaded from Training Peaks, Beginner Triathlete or some other source, follow it and don’t do more than it says to do on any given day. Training plans are designed to help you build the foundation for what your body will be able to call upon come race day. Doing more than the plan just because you feel like you can is a sure fire way to end up with a stress fracture in the head of your femur. Trust me, I know from experience!
Seek expert support and guidance. If you are new at this and don’t know how to set a realistic training plan that will keep you from having to visit an orthopedic surgeon, consider hiring a triathlon and/or running coach to help you develop a strategy. Then, make sure you listen to their advice and don’t train more than they tell you.
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