Preparing for a fun run – are you on track?

Preparing for a fun run – are you on track?

Preparing for a running event – are you on track?

Check out these tips for preparing for your running race.

With City to Surf done, the Lane Cove Fun Run coming up and Blackmore’s Marathon approaching fast, let’s check that you’re preparing yourself safely and effectively so to get the most out of your race and to avoid injury.

Preparing in the weeks prior:

  • Plan ahead – your training schedule should go for 9-12 weeks prior to your race, building you up gradually, then tapering off in the week or two before. Stick to the plan! Try not to miss any runs, and don’t add in extra runs just before.
  • Pacing – ensure that you are only gradually increasing the distance. A study from the Australian Institute of Sport In 2015 found that injuries were prevented most effectively by increasing the running distance by just 10% every fortnight.
  • Cross train – to ensure that all muscle groups are getting a workout and you’re not overdoing a select few, have a go at some other forms of exercise. For example, other forms of cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, walking and cycling and lower body strength training in the gym (squats, lunges, dead lifts) – us physios can certainly help you with this!

Two weeks before the event:

  • Hydration – stay well hydrated throughout your training plan, and particularly in the two weeks prior, helping your muscles to function at their best.
  • Diet – Eat a variety of foods that make you feel good and energized. Don’t let yourself get famished – your muscles needs energy and nutrients in order to adapt, grow and function optimally. If you are planning to consume energy gels during your race, make sure you’ve tried them beforehand.
  • Equipment/gear – make sure that you have used your gear, including your running shoes, socks and clothing many times before your event to avoid blisters/chafing etc.
  • Massage – to soften and release the tightness that may have developed in your muscles due to your training, a sports massage may be beneficial. However, don’t do this within 3 days prior to your avoid – you may lose power and/or feel sore. Similarly, avoid prolonged stretching within 3 days prior to the main run.

The day before and day of:

  • Location – know the route and familiarise yourself with the relevant maps, including first aid, toilet and water stations. Know exactly how you will get there and back.
  • Clothing and gear – lay out your clothes and gear the night before to save yourself from stressing on the morning of.
  • Sleep – have a good night’s rest the night before. At least 8 hours. Best to avoid alcohol the night before as this can dehydrate your muscles.
  • Eat breakfast 2 hours before – something that is high in carbohydrates, for example; wholegrain toast or porridge. Eat something you are familiar with so to avoid tummy upset during your race.
  • Enjoy yourself – have fun while you run. There’s no doubt that the atmosphere and all your fellow runners around you will help motivate you to get to the end.


An example of a training plan for a 10km fun run:

Week 1Run 2kmGymRun 2kmGymRun 2kmRest daySwim
Week 2Run 2kmGymRun 2kmGymRun 2kmRest dayCycle
Week 3Run 4kmGymRun 2kmGymRun 3kmRest daySwim
Week 4Run 4kmGymRun 2kmGymRun 3kmRest dayCycle
Week 5Run 6kmGymRun 3kmGymRun 4kmRest daySwim
Week 6Run 6kmGymRun 3kmGymRun 4kmRest dayCycle
Week 7Run 8kmGymRun 4kmGymRun 6kmRest daySwim
Week 8Run 8kmGymRun 4kmGymRun 6kmRest dayCycle
Week 9Run 10kmGymRun 4kmGymRun 6kmRest daySwim
Week 10Run 6kmGymRun 4kmGymRun 4kmSwimRACE DAY!


Please note that this is just an example of a training program and will not suit all levels of ability. Please speak to your physiotherapist before embarking on such a schedule.

If you are experiencing any aches or pains throughout your training schedule, or you’d like some advice on how best to approach your running plan, make an appointment with one of our physios by calling 94285772.