Staying Conditioned for Running Doesn't Stop

The following guest post is by Marcela De Vivo, a writer for Bellezza, a Miami spa. She is a yoga enthusiast and business owner whose writing covers several health and wellness topics. Not only does she practice yoga every morning to increase her flexibility and strength, but she also runs a few times each week to keep her endurance up to speed. Follow her on Facebook today!

Racing, especially marathons, is an intense experience that requires months if not years of strenuous training and conditioning; however, that conditioning doesn’t stop when you cross the finish line-- at least, not if you want to improve your time, become stronger or just stay in top form for the next race. The stress from the months of training and running your race can really take a toll on the human body, which is why you will need to modify your conditioning routine after a race.

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Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise

Racing puts a lot of stress on your body, especially on your knees and legs. Instead of hitting the track after completing a race to increase your speed, do low-impact aerobic exercises for a while to increase your strength and endurance without putting your knees and legs at risk.
  • Swimming laps is an ideal exercise for runners because you’ll be able to build lean muscle that will help you propel your body forward while increasing your endurance. Swimming is also easy on your joints, which are likely in need of a break after serious training for a race.

  • Aqua-jogging (literally jogging in the shallow end of a swimming pool) is also an ideal exercise for runners since the water will prevent your joints from absorbing the impact. The water will also create resistance, which, in turn, can help you build muscle while working on your running form.

  • Cycling is also a great change of pace for runners that need to stay in shape. Regular cycling can help develop the muscles in the legs that runners use, which can help reduce the risk of injury while improving your strength and speed.

Take Rest Days

You already know that rest days are essential when you’re training for a race, but they’re also important for normal training runs. How are you supposed to know when you need a rest? Most runners need a rest every 7 days of training. If you run every day of the week, change your routine and take at least one day off. Rest days help replenish glycogen that is stored in the muscles, while helping build strength and reduce your overall fatigue level, which will allow you to train harder. Don’t look at rest days as your body needing a break - look at them as you giving your body a break so you can train harder and more efficiently. After running a race, there’s nothing wrong with taking a day or two off before you get back to low-impact aerobic training.

Get Regular Massages

When you run regularly, your muscles will get sore if you’re pushing yourself to run farther or faster. Muscle soreness is just a fact of life for many runners. However, getting regular massages about once per week at a professional spa can really help relieve muscle soreness as well as help you relax on your weekly rest day while relieving some of the pain from training.

For many people, running is a way of life, and racing is only part of the goal. Training is just as important - but training too hard, too much or the wrong way can damage your body and make running impossible. Incorporate different conditioning exercises into your workout routine and make sure you take time to rest to keep your body healthy.


Gani Toharin said...

"Most runners need a rest every 7 days of training. If you run every day of the week, change your routine and take at least one day off." then we ran 6 days a week with one day of rest? Radar Lagu

Allen said...

Hi Gani, thanks for your comment. The question of how much rest to get is hard to answer, because we're all different. Marcela De Vivo, in writing her guest post, recommended one day of rest per week. For many runners, that is a good recommendation.

The idea is that we all need rest to avoid injury, because running actually destroys body cells, and its during rest that our cells are repaired. When I ran marathons, in my mid 40s, I only ran five days per week. I took a rest day before and after each long run. Now, that I'm older and slower, I only run two to three days per week. Other runners run seven days per week without injury. Six days of running per week is a good compromise and is appropriate for many of us.

Gani Toharin said...

okey. can mean it all depends on the age and each person. thanks for the reply. and keep the spirit you Allen :) Manfaat

Allen said...

You're right, Gani, it all depends on the age and other conditions of each person. When I was younger, in my 40s, it used to take me about the same time to recover that I was off. For example, if I was off a week, it would take me about a week to recover and get back to the condition I was in before I took time off from running. Now, it takes 3 or 4 weeks to recover. The bottom line of this discussion is that we read articles about running, and we consider the recommendations as general suggestions. We apply those suggestions,and depending on our age and body-makup, we modify the conditions to work with our body. As we do this, we listen to our body to find out if we are pushing too much or too little.

Back in 2005, when I was 70, I had 10 surgeries for skin cancers, over a 6-month period. I managed to run at least once per month, and I had no problems working up to my past condition. Now, it would be like starting over after a 6-month layoff.

Gani Toharin said...

so how far that have been taken during the life allen? Manfaat

Cavo said...

if running does not have an adverse effect on health? .. if running is the best choice in the exercise? .. thanks .

Allen said...

Hi Cavo,

The answer to the question, "Is running the best choice in exercise" depends on the individual. We each have to decide that question for ourselves. Obviously, if a person is injured due to running, that was not the best form of exercise. In fact, walking is less-dangerous to the person, in terms of injury. Also, as a person ages, the "best" form of exercise changes. I've enjoyed running, but as I age, I'm doing more walking than running, and I'm going shorter distances. I've had many years of injury-free running, because I take it easy in my training, and I don't push myself in competition with others. But, as I said above, each person has to discover the form of exercise that is best for him or her.

Allen said...

RE my comment above about skin cancers. All of my skin cancers have been Basal Cell cancers. If they were Melanona, I would be dead....

Tampan said...

halo Allen, of the many wounds that come from running that what is most often think? thank you

Allen said...

Hi Tampan,

I can't speak from experience, but I would guess that the knees, lower back, and legs are the most likely areas for injury. These areas receive injury from, I think, the pounding from running. During running, a force of 2 or 3 times ones body weight occurs. Probably a bit less from jogging or light running, and quite a bit less from walking. Unless a person really enjoys running, he or she is better off walking, swimming, cycling, or some other form of cross training. Enjoyment of a workout is key to being free of injuries. Enjoyment and listening to ones body for signs of over-training.

Many years ago, I was running for an hour during my lunch-time break. Not fast running as in training for a race, but pretty fast and running for enjoyment. I had a hernia surgery and couldn't run for about a month. I could walk, though, so I walked for an hour each day (5 times per week) during that month. Finally, my recovery from surgery was over, and I ran for the first time. At the end of a four-mile run, my knees were sore. That soreness didn't occur during my walking. This example illustrates the difference between running and walking and why I recommend walking unless one really enjoys running and is willing to do extra stretches to strengthen ones body. I rested for the two days of the weekend and was fine on Monday.