Returning to running after a brief layoff? A general rule of thumb is that it takes about two weeks of “retraining” to come back from every week in which you did not exercise. Go easy on yourself during this period. Don’t let your ego convince you that you should immediately be able to run as you did before. If you’ve been off the roads for only a week or two, start at about half the distance you were running before the injury. You should be able to build back to your former level in two to four weeks.
Less is more. Don’t do too much too soon. When it comes to staying healthy, under-doing it is better than over-doing it. Limit any increase in your mileage to 10 percent per week and limit the percentage of intense running to less than 20 percent of your total weekly mileage.
You should always be able to carry on a conversation when you are running; if you can’t, you are going too fast.
Be consistent—lack of consistency results in frustration with yourself, overtraining and injuries.
Let race performance determine your training speeds. Your training is most productive when you set the speed perfectly.
Do not avoid hills. Hill training is a good way to strengthen your ankle and tibialis anterior. Also bear in mind that the race course is never an all-flat route. So incoroperate hill runs to finish your race stronger!
Strength training. Running is not necessarily a strength-building activity. You will develop muscle tone and a certain amount of strength, but a good weight program done two to three times a week will help prevent injuries due to muscle weakness.
How do I improve my pace? An easy way to get you going and motivated is to run one km per week one minute faster than your normal pace. Over time your over-all pace should gradually improve.
Keep your head up while you run. This will allow a smoother air flow as there is not alteration to the air pathway. Hence, less energy is needed for breathing (which should be effortless). Keeping your head up and straight will also help keep the rest of your body in alignment, which will help prevent injuries. It will also allow you to run slightly faster.
Keep your toenails as short as possible. If your nails are too long, you can either get a progressively black toenail, or worse, an infection will set in underneath the nail.
prepared and written by Zac Leow