Sun Run Coaching: How much should you train

This week's Coaching Advice for the upcoming Vancouver Sun Run.

Share Adjust Comment Print

How much should I be running? Am I overtraining? How do I know if I need to let my body rest? If these are the questions you ask yourself, it may be beneficial for you to consider a concept called “training load management” where training load can be defined as either the distance run or time spent running.

Often runners find themselves in a dilemma where they want to push themselves to achieve performance goals but also want to balance this with enough rest to allow their body to properly recover. In fact, there is a relationship between sudden increases in training load and the occurrence of injury. One of the most susceptible groups to progressing too quickly and sustaining a running related injury is the novice runner.

So what is optimal load? The idea is to give your body enough stimulation so that change can be created without exceeding your body’s capacity to manage this stimulus. When there is an optimal level of load that is applied to our body, we adapt to this and become stronger as a result.

The easiest way to manage this is by gradually increasing your distance or time spent running. A 2014 cohort study compared weekly running distances in novice runners and found that those progressing by greater than 30 per cent were at an increased risk of injury than those progressing by less than 10 per cent. It is recommended that, especially for novice runners, the distance be increased by maximum 10 per cent per week to allow your body to gradually adapt. When in doubt, running more frequently at smaller distances can be an effective way to prevent injury. My recommendation is to follow a training program, keep a logbook to track your runs, and listen to your body. Load safely out there.

Now in its 25th year, SportMedBC’s 13-Week InTraining Program has helped tens of thousands of runners and walkers reach their goal of completing the Vancouver Sun Run. With five programs to choose from and 50 clinic locations across the Lower Mainland and BC there is truly a program for everyone. Clinics start this week and registration will remain open until February 7th, 2020. Visit SportMedBC.com to learn more.

Comments