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How to do back-to-back races without killing the body



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Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

When it comes to the Walt Disney World Marathon in January, it will only be eight weeks after running the Philadelphia Marathon in November Many runners try to exploit half marathon or marathon fitness by sneaking another race into their training cycles. Michelle Cilenti, an orthopedic and sports board certified physical therapist at the Special Surgery Hospital in New York City, routinely tells runners to double-serve, especially in the fall and winter months.

But if you ̵

1; like me – want to avoid a trip to the PT, how do you prepare your body for the rigors of several demanding races at just a few weeks apart? Plan your entire training cycle, prioritize your goals for each race, strengthen your body over time, and most importantly: p ay pay particular attention to recovery. Here is how. (Also, look at these things.) All physiotherapists want runners to start working as soon as possible.)

Prioritize your goals.

How you handle each race is important. "What are your goals for race one and race two?" asks Cilenti, who is also a USATF certified treadmill.

While experienced runners can treat both events as a target effort, this is neither ideal nor recommended for new runners, says Cilenti. "If a runner runs only one or two marathons, it's probably better to choose one as a top priority," she says. Although Philadelphia will be my 10th marathon, I will still follow their advice and use Walt Disney World as a fun winning round. (Look at one of those bucket lists – worthy half marathons.)

Half marathons make the feat a bit more workable – make sure they're at least six to eight weeks apart, warns John Honerkamp, ​​founder and CEO of Run Kamp, a treadmill and counseling service. Even then, you will not see any pros like Shalane Flanagan or Desiree Linden (the super inspiring winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon) planning back-to-back races in a row.

The better option is the second half marathon of your "A" goal. "They can use race number one for training and race number two for excellence," says Honerkamp, ​​who has coached thousands of runners working with companies such as New Balance and New York Road Runners. "The first half marathon will not be that much for you, so if you have four to eight weeks left before the second race, you're fine."

But when it comes to marathons, the opposite is true. "I usually tell my runners that they're going to run the number one marathon and make marathon number two a fun tour of town or country," says Honerkamp, ​​who has twice tackled two doubles with this strategy first marathon for himself graduated and then went up and down athletes like the Olympic short-distance skater Apolo Ohno and the tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

If you mix distances, an ideal group of two is a half marathon caster, followed by a marathon three to six weeks later by Honerkamp. Treat the week after the half marathon as a rest before you start training again.

Time to get it right.

Runners who are eight weeks away from the end can actually train again between competitions, whereas shorter gaps between races should be considered as rest. Maintenance mode. (See: how long should I run after a race?) This is the shortest time you need to make progress, says Cilenti, with at least two weeks of recovery and rejuvenation and a training block in between. "It takes two weeks to get the profits from your last long run, so there's no point in running a long run the week before your marathon," says Cilenti. If you do not have the full eight weeks between races, neither Honerkamp nor Cilenti recommend performing challenging workouts in between. Instead, focus on mild to moderate efforts.

They could structure their weeks in limbo as follows: The first one to two weeks should rest and return to gentle runs in the second or third week, suggests Honerkamp. In the fourth week you should aim for a regular training load only with light training. Cope with some quality and longer runs in the fifth week – but only to a moderate cost, says Cilenti. Begin in the sixth week, until you drive down to your next race at the end of the eighth week in your taper.

If you have less than eight weeks between events, you'll keep all your recovery and taper days, but you'll need to reduce running training. If you feel like moving, but do not want to endanger your recovery, try turning or swimming: "I also have more runners doing more cross-training so they can hit their cardio without their legs beat, "says Honerkamp. 19659005] Plan ahead.

Ideally, plan both races as part of a larger training cycle. "You have to think about everything," says Cilenti.

If the race was not part of the plan again, you should think about why you want a repeat. If you drove in bad weather, caught a cold, or stopped early, you could try again, agreeing with Cilenti and Honerkamp. A typical example: Galen Rupp broke off the Boston-marathon of 2018 with its symptoms of hypothermia and was regrouped to win the Prague Marathon (with a personal best!) Three weeks later.

But if you were fit to blame, reconsider. "I would encourage the runners to find out why they had a terrible race," says Cilenti. "If it's a problem with your training, a few weeks will not change much, so perhaps the best idea is to do a new one so quickly." (You should also consider these things before you start with an injury.)

Honerkamp says he tries to dissuade his runners from improvising overtaking after a bad race. "This rarely works or ends well," he says. "It's so hard to get up mentally and physically for another marathon just a few weeks later."

And beginners, listen: If you've just finished your first half marathon or full marathon and are so excited You can not wait to do it again, read on.

Build your body.

Before tackling the half-marathons or marathons in a row, make sure your body is ready to overcome the distance with strength training. "Reinforcement is the number one thing most runners do," says Cilenti. "We'd like to see more resistance training – with weights in the gym, hip, core, and quads – when runners go for physical therapy, these are the key muscle groups that are very weak." One or two simple exercises for warming up or exercising in the gym can make a big difference, she says. If in doubt, contact a trainer who can help you put together a strength program for you.

Above all, make sure that you use the work in the months and, yes, years before the "Twofer" racing days. "If you want to do endurance races in a row, you should have a good training base and some experience with the distance you start at the beginning," says Cilenti. Notch a few solo half marathons or marathons before looking at multiples in a cycle. "You really should have a good running background before you start running, and you should have more experience for back racing."

Right recover.

Whatever you do, you should consider recovery as a top priority. "Recovery is the most important thing you can do," says Cilenti. "When you complete this training – a 16-week, 20-week program – your body will theoretically be trained to complete your second race a few weeks later." (Follow these instructions for marathon and half-marathon recreation.)

Do not overdo fitness. Anyway, in the few weeks you will not get any speed advantage, says Cilenti. Instead, focus on restoring your body to a well-balanced and rested state. Prioritize nutrition, hydration, foam rollers and sports massage so you can run your second race with as much energy and fuel as you did in the first race, says Cilenti. "All training goes out the window if you do not."

Any period shorter than four weeks between events should focus exclusively on recovery, says Honerkamp. "Much depends on how you feel," he adds. "Usually I do not give my runners a specific plan every week until I see how they deal with recovery."

To assess your progress, do a body check. If you fall down stairs, go down hills, or commute to work, Cilenti says you're not ready to move on. "After completing a marathon or half marathon, you'll feel run-down, it's normal to feel pain," says Cilenti. "If you still feel unwell after a week or two, you need more time." Think about seeing a doctor or physiotherapist before your next race.


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