A reader of this blog emailed me a couple of days ago asking me how I am able to run so frequently and stay injury free. The following was my reply.
First, I’m blessed with good genes. I think my relatively narrow hips and frame and just the way my body is built helps me be a biomechanically sound runner.
Second, I’m patient in my build up. You know, everyone can run everyday. I’m sure you could run 1km everyday if you wanted to. But raise it to 10k and the problems start – for now. I’ve been running seriously since I was 17. Over the years I have slowly built up my mileage. So you can either start now by runnin say 5 times a week at a really manageable distance, then build up by increasing mileage of each individual run by 10% each week. So say you start next week. The following week increase for one run, the week after two runs, week after three runs.. etc. It just takes a little patience to get to your goal. Everyone, I believe, can be trained.
Third, be sensible and listen to your body. Stop if there’s pain. And value quality over quantity. I run on average four times a week in training for the ultramarathon. One long run, one hills session, one interval session, one mid-length easy run. Every session you do should have a purpose.
Fourth, build a strong core. The deep, core muscles are what holds your body together and provide the source of power for movements. Try to do a core exercise routine at least a couple of times a week. See runnersworld.com for videos and articles on this.
Fifth, wear the right gear. Ironically for me I do best with very low profile, lightly cushioned shoes. When I wear those typical chunky high tech running shoes, my legs and knees hurt. Find out what type of shoe suits your running style by going to a podiatrist or good shoe shop like running lab at novena square.
Phew. Hope that helps! Good luck.