Get­ting Race-ready With Mark Wil­liams

The Head Coach of the Stan­dard Char­tered KL Marathon and brand am­bas­sador for Adi­das shares some se­crets

Expatriate Lifestyle - - Health, Fitness & Wellness - In­ter­view by Av­inash Sa­gran

Should run­ners join a train­ing group? Yes. Many peo­ple who get into run­ning will, at one time or an­other, ben­e­fit from join­ing a run­ning group - whether it is to help mo­ti­vate them, swap ad­vice and/or gain in­for­ma­tion and tips about race events, and have peo­ple to run with.

Do run­ners need to run 42km in train­ing? Not at all, I al­ways say that your long­est long run should be no more than two-and-a-half hours in du­ra­tion here in Malaysia. You lose too much fluid and your body should be able to store enough en­ergy (in the form of glyco­gen) for this amount of run­ning time.

Is run­ning bad for the knees? There are cer­tain body types that are not con­ducive to run­ning. Your long run should be no more than 30 per cent of your to­tal mileage for a week. There­fore, if you run 50km a week, then your long run should be 15km. This is be­cause a lot of novice run­ners get tired af­ter about 15-20km and their bod­ies tend to slump into an in­ef­fi­cient po­si­tion, which puts ex­tra pres­sure on the knees. I would ad­vise these peo­ple to shorten their long runs and use the time saved to strength their core and do hip sta­bil­i­sa­tion ex­er­cises.

What are three steps that run­ners can do to pre­vent in­jury? • Spend time get­ting the cor­rect run­ning shoes. • Never in­crease your mileage by more than 10 per cent per week. • Do at least two ses­sions per week on hip sta­bil­i­sa­tion and

core ex­er­cises and con­cen­trate on good form

What do run­ners do if they get a cramp? Cramps tend to be caused by a com­bi­na­tion of de­hy­dra­tion and an im­bal­ance of blood elec­trolytes such as cal­cium, sodium and potas­sium in the body. Get enough fluid in your body be­fore ex­er­cis­ing. Then while run­ning, make sure you drink about 50100ml every 15 min­utes dur­ing a run. How­ever, if you are re­ally prone to cramps, try ex­tra salt tablets in drinks that you take be­fore you run and maybe even potas­sium sup­ple­ments.

What should run­ners con­sume be­fore/af­ter a run? Any­thing from 500-750ml of wa­ter should be con­sumed be­fore any run in Malaysia. For any races over one hour, I would ad­vise tak­ing in 200 to 400 calo­ries of eas­ily di­gestible carbs, such as toast and jam. Af­ter a tough run, eat some­thing within 30 min­utes to sup­ply your mus­cles with fluid, carbs and some pro­tein. Cho­co­late milk is ideal right af­ter a hard ses­sion.

Are they any spe­cific tech­niques for pac­ing dur­ing a run? Ab­so­lutely! Most begin­ner run­ners find it im­pos­si­ble to pace them­selves and could prob­a­bly run a lot faster than their fin­ish­ing times show if they got their pac­ing cor­rect. You may use apps to track your ‘thresh­old pace’, which is the pace that you can run at where lac­tate does not ac­cu­mu­late sig­nif­i­cantly in the blood dur­ing the work­out, but rather stays at a con­stant level.

When do run­ners need to get new run­ning shoes? Here are the tell­tale signs: • The outer sole has worn through to the white mid­sole • The heel counter be­comes mo­bile and less sup­port­ive • Your toes wear through the toe-box, and the shoe up­per tears • One shoe sole be­comes asym­met­ri­cally worn com­pared to

the other • One or both shoes no longer stand up straight when placed

on a flat sur­face

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