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Running Tips #2

One of the most important runs of the week is the “long run”.  Although this is a relative term, you should aim to build up the mileage gradually until a couple of weeks before your next major race.  There is some debate as to whether or not you should train right up to the race distance in the weeks preceding the event, but I would say it depends on how frequently you are training. If you are getting in 4 or 5 good quality runs a week, with a mixture of long, tempo, fast and recovery runs then I would always recommend striving to run over race distance.  The exception to this would possibly be the marathon, simply due to the length of time it would take to recover from a 27 mile plus training run. If you are training for a 10k, long runs of up to 10 miles will be hugely beneficial.  If you are working towards a half marathon then anything up to 15 or 16 miles will stand you in good stead. If however you are only getting two or three runs a week in and your total weekly mileage is relatively low then there is definitely a case here for not reaching your race distance in training.  Even in this case though it would be worth trying to get as close to it as possible, just make sure you build up your long run mileage gradually. Regardless of how long your long run is, you are probably going to have to look to refuelling and rehydrating on the run at some point. Remaining properly hydrated is essential to optimum performance.  Follow these guidelines to limit dehydration on your long runs. Before:- Hydration prior to a training run is more important than rehydration during- Drink at least 500ml water a couple of hours before a run and another 150ml just before you run.- Try to avoid drinking excessive alcohol the night before a long run as this will dehydrate you and affect your performance. During:- Take small sips of water rather than large quantities at one time- Try training with a bottle designed for running, such as the Run Aid bottle available from Sweatshop.- Even though a 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration can lead to a 20% reduction in performance, this doesn’t mean you have to drink the required 800ml water per hour of training.  Modest dehydration of between 2 and 5% is normal for many runners and won’t lead to serious medical conditions.- If you do drink 800ml per hour during a run you are almost certainly drinking too much! After:- Rehydrating after your run is just as important – try and drink a litre and a half for every kilogram of bodyweight you lose during the run (simply weigh yourself before and after your run to work this out!).  - Aim to drink 500ml within 30 minutes of finishing your run and then continue drinking at regular intervals until you reach your target. There is much debate as to whether it is better to drink plain water or take on some kind of sports drink to help keep you hydrated. Sports drinks work in two ways: they can improve how quickly they rehydrate you and they can provide much needed carbohydrate energy.  Sports drinks come in three categories: Hypotonic:- Fewer particles per 100ml than your body’s fluids- Can be absorbed faster than plain water- Best for rehydrating during a long run- Try 1 part squash to 8 parts water, or look for hypotonic sports drinks Isotonic:- The same concentration as your body’s fluids- Absorbed as fast or slightly faster than water- A good balance between rehydrating and refuelling- Try 1 part squash to 4 parts water, or isotonic sports drinks such as Lucozade Sport. Hypertonic:- Higher concentration than your body’s fluids- Absorbed slower than plain water- Best used for post run recovery- Try neat orange juice (not squash!) If you are planning on drinking the sports drink on offer during a race, ensure you try it out before the big day; some people find they react badly to certain sports drinks when running and it’s better to have this happen when you’re on just a training run! Energy gelsYou might also like to try energy gels which are concentrated carbohydrate gels ideal for fast refuelling on the run.  You simply squeeze a small amount into your mouth and wash down with water.  Again, trial these out well in advance of the race!   Category: Club & Wellness
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   Maryborough Hotel and Spa, Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Cork, Ireland.
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