Race for Life Training
What is the Race for Life?
Race for Life is a series of women-only non-competitive races held at numerous venues across the UK every year to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Women of all ages and fitness take part, often inspired by the struggles of their own families and friends in the fight against cancer. Whether you walk, run or jog the 5km course, you'll be united with thousands of other women doing their bit to raise funds for a great cause.
From a fitness point of view, entering any race provides great motivation for embarking on a running programme and getting fit. Race for Life provides the motivational impetus without the daunting distance and competitive element that marks many races.
What training should I do?
If you are reasonably fit, a 5 km jog shouldn't be too strenuous - especially with all the adrenaline that participating in a mass event brings!
However, if you do very little regular physical activity, here are some training tips to help you get fighting fit before the race:
- Start off doing run/walk/run over a short distance if you are unused to running, and build up the distance and amount of time you run for gradually.
- Protect your joints by getting suitable trainers that are cushioning and supportive enough for your running needs. A good running shop will be able to advise you.
- Make sure you have a very through post-running stretching routine. Running is a high-impact exercise and you may feel very stiff afterwards. A good stretching routine will help your muscles recover.
- After a run try 'active' recovery to help shift the waste products in the muscles that cause inflammation and pain. This involves doing gentle exercises that use the same muscles as running; good choices include going for a comfortable walk, swim or a gentle cycle.
- Structured core (abdominal) exercises will help you get the most from your running. Ask a fitness professional to create a specific core programme for running. It should include exercises that activate your butt muscles (important power muscles in running) and your deep core muscles (vital to protecting your pelvis and spine).
- Listen to your body. If you are feeling exhausted or pick up an injury, allow time to recover and recommence training at a slightly lower intensity.
Good luck and enjoy the race!