The Importance of the Long Run

It’s that time in marathon training – the mileage of the long run is increasing, and runners seem to be divided like marmite. Some love and embrace the increasing distance, others see it as a chore to be ticked off each week. Which camp do you fall into? And do you really need to run long every week?

 

It actually doesn’t really matter what you’re training for, from 5k to marathon, if you’re a distance runner, you would most likely benefit from a regular long run. The long run is about getting you ready to perform – Robert Wallace, a 2.13 marathoner, says “They’re the mainstay of any training programme. You don’t get results immediately. It’s like saving pennies….  Over a year [the benefits] really accumulate.”

 

Why run long? 
Long runs improve running efficiency (teaching you to conserve energy and run as effortlessly as possible), and offer both psychological and physical benefits – cardiovascular improvements include increased mitochondria and capillaries, and recruitment of different muscle fibres. Long runs also strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments – all of these are beneficial for racing any distance, not just the marathon. But for the longer distances, it also provides a dress rehearsal for the race (breakfast, clothing, fuelling etc.), and a chance to build mental strength and confidence.

 

Run easy or run hard?
There are two main types of long run that you will come across.

Easy long runs – Hard long runs can be too taxing on a weekly basis. Running 60-90 mins slower than your marathon pace for a few hours reduces stress, makes the run more enjoyable and brings lots of aerobic endurance benefits. Running easy also gives you a chance to work on mental strategies such as dealing with boredom and building patience. It teaches you to make wise decisions and run more efficiently.

 

Long runs with pace segments – these are great for practicing race pace, improving your speed endurance and working on mental toughness but can really take it out of you so these shouldn’t be done every week. Varieties include progressive long runs, long runs containing intervals, long runs with a certain number of miles at marathon pace, or even a long run with a faster parkrun on the end!

 

The one type of run you don’t want to do is a full distance long run (over 14 miles) at marathon pace or faster. You may think this will build confidence and help you prepare, but actually you accumulate all the tiredness and fatigue of a paced long run, but without some of the key benefits. You will quickly find yourself over-trained and struggling to recover.

 

Do you need to do a long run every week? And how far?

Firstly, you shouldn’t do a long run every week. Once you get over a comfortable distance, often about 12-16 miles, you should include a drop-back week every 3-4 weeks where you drop your distance by 25-50% to give your body a chance to recover (remember, adaptations happen when you stress your body, but then allow it to recover). If you are particularly injury prone, you may want to consider running long every 10 days or every 2 weeks.

 

Distance depends on a number of factors, including your level of your experience and your goals. If you’re fairly new to a marathon for example you may benefit most from building up to one 20 miler, but my more experienced runners often do as many as six 20+ milers, going up to 23-24 miles (with the longer runs usually at an easy pace).

If you’re not marathon training, distance of the long run can be more flexible. Greg McMillan, well known running coach, suggests 90-120 minutes. Other coaches go by percentage of weekly mileage – where the long run doesn’t account for more than 25% of total mileage. Most coaches suggest including some pace in long runs for non-marathoners, e.g., a faster finish, depending on what distance you are doing.

 

How to get it right: 
1. Preparation is key. This includes fuelling well, before, during and after the run. Remember, anything over 90 minutes and you should be eating on the run.  According to Runners World columnist Joe Henderson “You need to keep your glycogen stores continuously high if you want to maintain training effectiveness”. i.e., you can run fasted, but you won’t get the same training benefits. Hydration is another one to consider – do you need water with you? Can you stash water along the route? Clothing (and Vaseline if you’re prone to chafing!) and safety also need some thought.
2. Don’t give headspace to negative thoughts. If you’re not enjoying your long runs, work out why. Bored? Find something you enjoy (new route, meet a friend half way, new playlist, audiobook or podcast etc. Sign up to a race or group run for added distraction.
3. Chunk it. Don’t think about the run as a whole thing…break it down and focus on one segment at a time, especially if you find the distance you are doing overwhelming. Consider having little rewards on route – walk break or jelly baby every mile, gels every few miles, ring a friend at half way etc. Try crossroads e.g. for 20 miles go 4 miles out and back, 3 miles out and back, 2 miles out and back and 1 mile out and back. This gives you a chance to focus on each segment as it happens rather than the whole distance.

 

There are downsides to running long. It is of course time consuming and running too long too often and you raise the risk of overtraining or injury. It’s also easy not to recover properly – you need to refuel and hydrate properly (regardless of appetite), rest and definitely no hard run for a couple of days after.

But, if you can, stay positive, embrace the long run and enjoy it. It’s a privilege to be able to complete these runs, whatever your pace. It puts you into a minority of the population and your achievements should be celebrated.

 

Do you love or hate the long run? How do you stay entertained on the run? What are your favourite routes, distances or types of long run? How do you prepare for your long runs? Please share any experiences or tips below!

 

Other useful resources:

MH Runners Club webinars on marathon training and nutritionhttps://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/webinars/

Runner’s World article giving a table of possible long run distances for non-marathoners:https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20794978/why-non-marathoners-still-need-long-runs/

My blogs on carb loadinghttps://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/fuelling-a-marathon-carb-loading-and-race-day-nutrition/

And how to recover from a marathonhttps://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/how-to-recover-from-a-marathon/

MH Runners Coaching Tip on Post Run / Race fuelling https://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/coaching-tip-post-run-and-race-fuelling/

 

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

Coaching Tip – Stretching!

Do you stretch at the end of a run or workout?

Our “what’s the first thing you do post run” theme on the Facebook daily thread recently was most revealing…only two of you mentioned stretching after you run! You’re not alone, stretching is often seen as optional, or done separately as a discrete workout rather than post run (yoga, Pilates, rest-day stretch etc)….but just a few spare minutes a day can make a big difference.

 

Why bother to stretch after a run or workout?

Running is a repetitive movement. It forces your muscles into set positions, creating tension and changing their length over time. Our modern lifestyles add to this – forcing the shortening of some muscles over extended periods of time… sitting at desks, driving etc. Stretching helps release the tension in the muscle and return it to its original length. It can reduce the risk of injury (evidence is a little mixed on this), increase mobility / range of motion, increase flexibility, and promote blood flow to the local area (therefore aiding recovery).

 

 

How to get started in less than a minute a day…

The benefits of a post-run stretch are generally well accepted, the problem is actually getting round to doing it – working out a routine and making it a habit. Here’s some ideas on how to make it practical and make it stick:

  1. Work out the main muscle groups you want to stretch, test out different stretches and stick to ones that are quick and give you maximum benefit. (I’ve focused on hamstrings, adductors, quads and hip flexors in this short video, but you may find your calves or glutes get tight too and may want specific stretches for them).
  2. Keep it really easy to do – the harder or longer you make the stretching session, at least to start with, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you did these four exercises and held the stretch for 15-20 seconds, you would be stretching for just over a minute.
  3. Habits are easier to stick to if you tie them to a trigger. Post run is perfect, get in a door, head straight to your space and do it. Stick a post it note up with the stretches you want to do so you don’t need to look them up.

 

 

Your challenge this week is to do a minimum of two of the four stretches in this video  after EVERY run this week (easy effort ones too!). Put a reminder somewhere so you don’t forget, and let us know how you get on. Share any alternative or favourite stretches you have below.

 

 Safety notes:

– If you already have a cool down / stretch routine, this is not designed to replace it. This is for runners who don’t currently do anything post run except check Strava / eat / jump into the shower (please note, feel free to check Strava / eat whilst doing these but the risk of slipping whilst trying to contort yourself in the shower is quite high…)

– Breathe! Don’t hold your breath whilst you stretch. Breathing is good.

– If it hurts stop! If the muscle is tight, ease off slightly and then repeat more gently, but if it actually causes pain, do not continue. You should be able to feel tension in the muscle that you can hold for 15-20s without pain.

 

– I am talking about static stretching here. Don’t do static stretching pre run (it elongates the muscle so increases risk of injury) and don’t bounce when you static stretch – it doesn’t change the stretch and increases risk of injury.

 

If you enjoy this, try some of these:

More stretches for runners: https://www.nhs.uk/…/exercise/how-to-stretch-after-a-run/ (this has quite a nice calf, ITB and glute stretch you could include in your routine)

More info about stretching post-run: https://www.health.harvard.edu/…/the-importance-of…

For more info on creating and sticking to new habits, try this podcast: https://drchatterjee.com/how-to-build-good-habits-and…/

 

 

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

 

Coaching Focus: Breathing

Following on from a recent Q&A, this week’s coaching focus is breathing. Firstly, to be clear, it *is* a good idea to breath whilst running… Not doing so can cause significant harm! But seriously, improving your breathing is seen as a possible way of increasing oxygen uptake and decreasing the risk of side stitches and cramps, as well as reducing stress before or during a hard run or race.

 

This week, why not think about your breathing whilst you run? Do you follow a particular breathing pattern? Have you tried different breathing techniques? Pick a run this week, focus on how you breathe, and maybe try one of the changes suggested below.

 

Baseline

Start your usual run. When you’re warmed up and a little way in, count how many steps it takes to inhale and exhale. You’re not looking for a particular number, this is just to give you a baseline of how you currently breathe. Then try one or more of the techniques below, or play with your breathing pattern in your own way, and see which feels more comfortable to you. You can also play with deep breathing drills to improve your oxygen intake before or after running, and relaxation breathing techniques to relax before a hard run or race.

  1. Nasal breathing: This is useful for checking you are running at a very easy effort. Oxygen intake is restricted so it’s ideal for stopping you running too hard. One to try on a very easy effort run.
  2. Match your breathing to your cadence: breathe in on each left foot strike and out on the right. Or breathe in on left foot strike and out on the next left foot strike. Which pattern feels better to you?
  3. Try a different breathing pattern. Alter your breathing so you breathe in for more foot strikes than you breathe out e.g. 3:2 – breathe in for three foot strikes and out for 2, or a 2:1 pattern.
  4. Try using breathing to reduce your heart rate whilst running easy. If you feel your heart rate rising, slow down. Then breath in slowly for a count of three steps and release. Repeat 2-3 times, and note your heart rate at the start and the end.

 

Please don’t take this too seriously and if you find that something doesn’t work for you try something else. The main thing with breathing while running is to find something that you feel works for you and that feels natural. Whilst these techniques can help some, for others, one of the worst things would be to have to think about breathing whilst running.

 

Have fun and enjoy this – and don’t forget to post below to let me know what you are planning to do and how you get on.

 

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

 

Coaching Tip: Post Run and Race Fuelling

This week’s coaching tip is about post-run or race fuelling. This is a really important process and something a lot of runners get wrong. All runs need some sort of post race fuel. For shorter, easier runs, this may just be your next meal e.g breakfast containing carbs, protein and fat if you’ve done a morning run. But for anything hard or over an hour, post run fuelling should be planned in advance to satisfy your body’s needs so that it can rebuild / repair and cravings don’t take over later!

 

Good recovery fuel should have a mixture of carbs and protein in a 3 or 4:1 ratio – that is 3-4g carbs for every gram of protein. It used to be accepted wisdom that the best window for refuelling was within 30 mins of the workout, and although this has been contested by recent research, it won’t do any harm to aim for that, and for women it’s thought to be more important to refuel sooner rather than later. If you are not planning to have a meal in that time, have a snack immediately after and aim to have your next meal within 2 hours post run.

 

Here’s just a few ideas to to get you started:

  • a formulated recovery shake or bar (check the nutrition to make sure it has the right ratio)
  • A protein shake with added carbs eg banana, dates, honey
  • Eggs on toast
  • Milk or a milky drink plus an egg sandwich or a peanut butter bagel (skimmed milk has slightly more carbs than full fat, check the nutritional info on plant milks)
  • Yoghurt, muesli, chopped banana and honey
  • Beans on toast

 

If you’re like me, eating always sounds easy, but the harder or longer your run, the more blood is diverted away from the stomach and the less hungry you’re likely to feel. This is a particular problem for some runners but if you learn to make refuelling a priority, you will recover faster and feel better. If it makes you feel slightly nauseous, take small bites of something you fancy and as blood returns to your stomach, your appetite should return too.

 

Don’t forget to hydrate as well – glycogen stores can’t be refilled without available water. An electrolyte drink such as High 5 zero is perfect for this.

 

This week, aim to plan recovery fuel for any run over an hour, or a harder session such as tempo or intervals, and share below what you plan to use to recover.

 

This really is an easy win that ALL athletes should take seriously! And don’t forget to ask any questions you have here or in the weekly “ask the coach” live sessions

 

Other resources on this that you may find useful include:

MH Runner’s recent webinar on Nutrition for Runners

My blog on recovering from a marathon: https://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/how-to-recover-from…/

 

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

 

Coaching tip – Cadence. Is higher better?

Most runners have heard of cadence (the number of steps you take in a minute), and will have an idea that 180 is what they should be aiming for. This originates from coach Jack Daniels’ research into elite runners, and has been popularised over time. But are we worrying unnecessarily if we don’t fit the perfect criteria?

 

Why focus on cadence?

Cadence is probably the easiest metric to measure and control, especially if you have a running watch, which is one reason why it gets so much attention. It’s thought that optimising cadence can not only speed us up (running speed is the product of cadence (stride frequency) and stride length. Increase your stride frequency (cadence) and/or your stride length and you run faster), but also can improve form and change landing to mid foot, which in turn decreases injury risk. A recent study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that slight increases in stride cadence led to significant reductions in loading on the knee and hip joints, which, they hypothesise, might help prevent some of the most prevalent running injuries.

 

However, the often quoted 180 spm was an average cadence, so at times, these elite runners will have been running at a faster or slower cadence, rather than a metronomic 180. Your cadence will (and should) vary over time depending on a number of factors – what pace are you running at? At marathon pace, your cadence should be slower than when racing a 5k. Cadence also varies with leg length, height and terrain – trickier terrain like rough trails results in a higher cadence as you will be more stable, for example.

 

And some runners are just outliers – they don’t fit the formula. Take the famous Jim Walmsley, who despite beautiful form, ran 12 seconds slower than the world record for 100k with an average cadence of 161! https://www.strava.com/activities/4670542009/overview. It’d take a brave coach to mess with that! Some sources also quote Kipchoge as running his record-shattering marathons at cadences that were almost always between 190 and 200 steps per minute (spm), well over the recommended 180 spm. Again, I’m not sure I’d be trying to changing his cadence to fit a formula.

 

So what does this mean for us?

We often get stuck into a habit, such as cadence, that our body is used to and has become efficient at, but may not be optimum, so this may be worth investigating if you want to try something new. If your cadence is lower than 180, speeding up foot turnover may speed you up – to a point. (Of course, it may actually be detrimental if it decreases your stride length or if your cadence is already high, so don’t just assume more is better). Whilst I’m certainly not encouraging you to aim for a “magic” number, it is worth experimenting and getting to know yourself better. Your your task this week, then is to

– Note your current cadence (either by counting foot fall for 30s and multiplying by 2, or by using your watch)

– Play with increasing your cadence on one of your easy runs. Does increasing your cadence speed you up? Make your run easier? Improve your form? If so, focus on practising it. If not, put it out of your mind. There may be easier wins.

 

How to increase your cadence:

There are a number of ways to increase cadence:

– Use high beat music

– Use a metronome app

– Swing your arms faster to move your feet faster (see resources below)

– Simply repeat “fast feet” to yourself over and over again whilst running, and observe what happens.

 

How do you feel? Do you speed up? Do you feel comfortable, or do your feet pitter patter (a sign you may have shortened your stride length too much?). Make a note of this self experiment and let us know how it goes. Have you worked on cadence before? Did it make a difference? Share your thoughts on this topic with us below.

 

Some useful resources:

Increasing cadence through arm movement: Form video 2 https://www.facebook.com/groups/mhrunnersclub/permalink/936237400507241/

Should I increase my cadence: Q&A session with Martin on 1st April, Question 1 https://www.facebook.com/groups/mhrunnersclub/permalink/923606095103705/

Great article on why we may be overthinking cadence:

https://www.outsideonline.com/…/stop-overthinking-your…

If you decide you want to increase cadence, McMillan website has a good workout to use to help you: https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/cadence/

 

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

Coaching Tip: Rest Days

This week’s coaching tip is on making the most of your rest days.
Rest or recovery days are important – you’ve probably heard the saying that training benefits don’t happen when you train, they happen in the downtime you take in between harder sessions. Recovering is essential to becoming a stronger runner, and provides a mental break as well.
How many rest or recovery days you take depends on many different factors and is much art as science (you knew there was a reason for getting a coach!). Some of these factors may include: your current mileage; your goals; your age; your history of injury; if you’re recovering from a race etc. But as a runner, you should take your recovery days as seriously as your running to avoid overtraining and potential injury. Here are some top tips:
1. Avoid strenuous exercise! Sounds obvious but the point of a recovery day is to make sure you don’t do anything that will contribute to muscle breakdown and therefore prevent full recovery (cross-training and strength work springs to mind here, but a lot of runners also use rest days for gardening or DIY, which can lead to poor muscle recovery). Limit yourself to gentle exercise that will facilitate your recovery such as walking, swimming, yoga, or a little stretching and foam rolling. Light, gentle movement may stop you feeling sluggish, but make sure you don’t overdo it – this is not an opportunity to top up your overall walking mileage!
2. Make the most of the time off – a lie in if you are a morning runner, or an early night for an evening runner will also boost recovery. Enjoy it and take a mental as well as physical break.
3. Feed your body well. Rest days are good opportunities to spend a little more time preparing nutritious food that will aid recovery. It’s useful time to refuel and replenish your glycogen stores too.
4. Whilst most rest days are scheduled, if you feel fatigued, don’t be afraid to take an extra one or replace a harder run with very easy effort. Some women also find they benefit from an extra rest day or two just before, or during their period. Workouts feel harder due to high hormone levels so this can help balance your training and body needs better.
Remember – feeling full of energy is not an excuse to skip a rest day! You rest so you feel energetic. Taking planned rest days on a regular basis will prevent the need for prolonged time out due to injury or burnout. Running should boost your energy, not leave you tired and fatigued all the time.
How often do you take a rest day?
Any top tips?
Let us know what you get up to and if it helps or hinders recovery!
If you want to find out more, this is a good read on the importance of rest days.

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

Coaching Tip: Balance

This week’s coaching tip is on balance. It’s something you probably already focus on if you are a member of the club if you do the Wednesday workouts. These workouts focus on single leg exercises, which of course will work on your balance too. When runners do strength work, they often neglect balance as many balance exercises don’t give obvious strength or aerobic benefits. BUT, they are really important, especially as we age and our balance deteriorates.
Why is balance important to runners?
Running is a series of thousands of alternate single leg hops, which rely on balance and coordination. According to a top physiotherapist, the top 3 most common running injuries that don’t relate to overuse, relate to balance: anterior knee pain, iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome and ankle sprains. They are connected to small movement deviations related to balance and control. A tiny amount of instability can be magnified over all those thousands of steps and lead to injury.
How to improve your balance:
Your first task is to assess how good your balance is at the moment. Do this by:
1. Try to balance on each leg for 30 seconds with your eyes open. Make sure you have good form for this: activate your glute on the grounded leg, keep your hips neutral by drawing in your belly button, bring your knee up to a 90 degree angle, keep your shoulders back and head facing forwards.
2. Now repeat with your eyes closed and see how long you can do it for.
Don’t be alarmed if one leg is worse than the other!
Once you’ve assessed your balance, you can now work on improving it.
This week, your challenge is to pick three balancing exercises that you are going to repeat on a regular basis (every second day will work well). I recommend the single leg arabesque, the split squat (also known as a static lunge) and a single leg hop and hold, but any three balancing exercises will do. You can find loads of variations in the Wednesday workout videos. Try to pick exercises that you don’t already find easy. You can see the hop and hold and arabesque demonstrated in workout video 26 in the MH Runner Club group.
On top of this, it really helps if you get into the routine of fitting balance work into your every day life, for example: stand on one leg and mobilise your raised ankle whilst brushing your teeth, or do single leg calf raises whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.
At the end of the week, repeat the balance test and let us know how you got on. And if you have any favourite balancing exercises, please share below.
Good luck and enjoy!

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

#MHrunners

Coaching tip: Running in the heat

Do you run, sweat, suffer and complain? Bask in the heat? Or cancel your run altogether?
The good news is that you body temperature can safely rise a little without much consequence according to experts, and humans have mechanisms like the evaporative cooling of sweat to help them stay safe. But there are precautions you should take when running in heat, especially if you haven’t yet acclimatised, like those listed below. Don’t forget, the further or harder you plan to run, the more diligent you need to be about staying cool.
  • Go out when its cooler – early morning is cooler than late at night, but wherever possible don’t go out in the middle of the day.
  • Adjust your pace – go by effort and don’t worry if you are as much as 30-60s slower per mile. By running slower you reduce the amount of heat your body produces as you run and you can then run for longer.
  • Shorten your run if needed – especially if its humid as humidity impedes the sweat process so you don’t cool as efficiently.
  • Don’t forget the sun protection – sun cream or block, a visor or sunglasses to protect your eyes, too.
  • Keep hydrated, and replace electrolytes – before and during your run, drink little and often, especially if you are a salty sweater (if your dog licks your legs after a run, that’s you!). If you don’t want to carry water when you run, plan a looped route and hide some in nearby bushes etc.
  • Plan your route carefully – Try and run as much in the shade as possible. Running in the sun will increase your core temperature, not only because it is hot, but its rays bounce back at you from surfaces. Trail running in wooded areas are great for this.
  • Vaseline is your friend! If you are going long and will sweat, make sure you put Vaseline or body glide on parts likely to chafe.
  • Dress appropriately – light, sweat wicking clothes, and wear a buff round your wrist to wipe your face down. This helps with the sweat wicking process, stops sweat and sun cream getting in your eyes and makes you feel a tad less disgusting if you run into a friend…. Wetting a buff and putting it round your neck and head may also help.
  • If it is a long hot spell, go out regularly to help your body adapt to the heat. This isn’t a quick process, but you will acclimatise over time.
  • Rehydrate after your run with water and electrolytes. Read the coaching tip on hydration to help you calculate your sweat rate and know that you are getting enough fluid back in.
As for cancelling your run, there’s rarely any need in the UK and you can run on most hot days with a little common sense. Although if you are looking for an excuse, the American College of Sports medicine advises running event cancellations at 27c (82F), and a 2010 US study was even more conservative, advising the cancellation of large marathons at 22c (72F). On the other hand, Badwater, the 153 mile ultramarathon in California’s Death Valley, that takes place in temperatures of up to 53c and will melt the soles of your running shoes, started on 19th July. Just be glad you’re not there!
Enjoy the summer, and don’t worry, we’ll soon be able to complain that its rainy, dark and cold when we run…
If you have any advice for your fellow runners out in the heat, please do share.

I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.

 

I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics.  This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information.  You can find more information and join here.

 

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Want to know more about running or personal training?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation.

Email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook Messenger

Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

MH Health and Fitness Online Community

www.facebook.com/mhhealthandfitness.co.uk

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