Hey there! Are you struggling to stay motivated to exercise during the colder months? I know I am. That's why setting goals and signing up for a marathon can be a great way to stay motivated and keep moving. And if you're looking for a great cause to run for, there are plenty of charity events out there to support.
But before you lace up your shoes and hit the pavement, it's always better to have a good training plan figured out. No matter how long you've been running, suitable training is essential to avoid injuries and enjoy your run!
With Australia's favourite 5k and 10k event, the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k/5k on the 23rd of July, this year's event promises to be bigger than ever. To help you prepare, we've reached out to some of Australia's top running coaches to get their tips for beginners and seasoned runners alike.
Trust me, as someone who has run many marathons over the years, having a little guidance can go a long way. Don't miss out on these valuable insights from some of Australia's leading coaches. Happy running!
We asked some of Australia’s best running coaches for their top tips on how to prepare for the big day.
Ben St Lawrence- dual Olympic runner and founder of RunCrew
As with all fitness gains, running is about stress, recovery and adaptation - so make sure you’re allowing enough recovery for your body to adapt and improve. If you’re just starting out, aiming to run every second to third day is more than enough for improvement, and you can combine this with low impact cross training and strength training for a good all-round program.
If you are keen to get started, but are not quite sure where to begin, consider signing up to an in-person or online running coach. Not only will they have a plan for you to follow, but especially if you are in person, you will also get the accountability and community element. I also have a generic training plan up on the SydneyHarbour10k website that you can download for free.
Aynslee Minnaar- one of Australia’s best runners
Consistency is important. On days when you really lack motivation, choose to show up and commit to a shorter run, at least. I guarantee you will be more likely to finish the training once you're out there.
Additionally, make your sessions fun. Doing training that you enjoy makes a massive difference in your performance. Whether it’s a specific interval session that you like or joining a group for training, or even sharing your training on social media.
Veronika Larisova, trail runner, nutritionist and exercise physiologist
Training: You should still be moving every day but ditch any too-taxing sessions, such as heavy weight lifting, HIIT training, long runs, hills and stair sprints or anything that would leave you sore and exhausted. Instead, do short light jogs, walks, core training, gluteal activations and mobility exercises.
Nutrition: If you are doing a long-distance race, such as a marathon or ultra, incorporate more healthy carbohydrates into your diet this week to replenish your muscle glycogen and run the race with a full tank. Instead of smashing refined carbs, sugary snack bars, lollies and other junk food, eat whole foods such as root vegetables, rice, quinoa, legumes, beans, plain yoghurt, kefir and even fresh bread if you like (no white bread or any bread that's long-lasting and full of preservatives). You will feel and perform better if you eat the right foods. You should eat about the same amount of calories but a higher percentage of carbohydrates. There's no need to calculate anything, just cut down on fats, up your carbs and eat an adequate amount of protein which is 1-1.5g per kg of body weight.
Contrary to some of the information out there, you should not be 'carb loading' the night before the race. Eating heavy-carb foods in the evening will affect your sleep and how you feel the next day. Have a light dinner consisting of veggies, fish, chicken, or a small piece of lean meat.
Make sure you taper off your training the week before. This means that you will reduce the volume of your training so you are not tired and sore come race day.
Ben Lucas, Director of Flow Athletic, trainer and running coach
Get ready for race day!
The night before a fun run, I pack anything I will need to bring, such as my race bib and water, and I have my clothes and shoes laid out ready to go.
I never wear something new for event day. Mid run is not a good time to wear in your new shoes, or to discover that your clothing chafes you. Wear clothing you are used to, and if you are someone who chafes, consider getting yourself a pair of Step One’s.
Get up early enough so you can have a light snack, coffee if you want it and sip on water all morning. You want to eat early enough so you don’t have an upset stomach when the event is on. Also, make sure you have enough time to do a warm up and some dynamic stretches.
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