With hundreds of people going to set the pace at the Rotary Fun Run at the Rocks Riverside Park this weekend, we asked an expert for his advice on the best way to prepare for a running event.
The Wesley Hospital's Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapist Tim Oostenbroek said the most important thing about running was to know your limits and avoid pushing too hard.
“Listen to your body. If you are in pain or losing your breath, slow down. It is okay if you do not reach your desired performance goal as long as you remain healthy and uninjured. There’s always another opportunity."
Fun runs were beneficial for everyone, not only for their health, but also their wellbeing, he said.
“Participating in a fun run can give you a training goal – without a goal you can lose focus, so having that goal is really important. There’s also a good social aspect about charity fun runs which makes you feel as though you’re contributing to the greater good.”
Check out Tim’s top tips below:
1. Wear appropriate footwear
Invest some time and care to research the footwear you will wear before the event. Generally you should update your shoes every six to nine months, depending on the quality of the shoe and the frequency and volume of your running. Shoes with good cushioning are important to help absorb the impact forces experienced when your foot comes into contact with the ground. It’s a good idea to get professional advice from a podiatrist of physiotherapist about which type of shoe is appropriate for you – remember, the best looking or most expensive shoe is not always the best fit.
2. Stretch and warm up
Often runners can make the mistake of either doing the wrong type of warm up, or choosing not to do one at all! In reality, not preparing for your run will increase your injury risk and will most likely diminish your performance. Try walking for 5-6 minutes followed by gently stretching the muscle groups you are about to use such as your hamstring, calf and quadriceps. Then try a short run for 3-5 minutes at a low intensity to complete your preparation. This will aid your physical preparation but also mentally focus you for the task ahead.
A fun-run is meant to be fun after all!
If you are going in a little under-prepared, listen to your body. If you feel muscle or joint pain developing it may be an indication of early fatigue which, if ignored, can lead to injury. Make sure to stop and stretch or walk for a few minutes to allow the body some recovery time.
Pictured: The Wesley Hospital Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapist Tim Oostenbroek assists patient Georgina Horky in doing a gluteal stretch.