Getting Race-ready With Mark Williams
The Head Coach of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon and brand ambassador for Adidas shares some secrets
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