As winters approach, the heat is on in a very different genre of people, the runners. Almost all over India and some parts of the world as well are gearing up for the SCMM (Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon). Specially for Mumbaikars this race is their ultimate test and getting their Personal Best(PB) time is their only focus. So much so that they start shying from parties, start sleeping early, morning alarms are set for an hour earlier than work, so as to fit that morning run. All talks are concentrated on strenghthening core and improving timing.
I ofcourse, have decided after much contemplation to just run and enjoy the run, as worrying about cutting my timing by even 5 minutes means stressful weeks on end. But I am an abberation and let me not move your focus away from the race.
So today we have roped in the very renowned trainer, Praful from Striders to give us a few tips on what we should focus on and how to improve our timing, reduce injury etc;
Praful Uchil, Core Trainer
An extremely passionate and committed trainer, Praful has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry as a trainer for the marathon, athletics and general physical fitness.
In his training methodology, Praful provides dynamic exercise programs that are specifically designed to meet the needs of his clients – both individual and group clients.
While runners put focus on improving their running skills, Striders lay emphasis in working on the core. How important is building a strong core and how does it help in improving running skills?
Having a strong core sets a solid foundation for strength in the rest of the body. Because your arms and legs all stem from the core, the strength in your limbs are intimately tied to the strength in your torso.
Hence at a high level and a strong core can improve the running posture & speedIt improves your performance and reduces injuries. The stronger your core, the more solid you are as you hit the ground.
Core strength for distance runners is especially important. Towards the end of long runs or races, when you are extremely fatigued, your form begins to suffer. Poor form not only slows you down, it also opens you up to potential injuries. When your pelvis is not aligned properly while you run, you become prone to injury. You can get hamstring pulls, Achilles problems, and lower-back pain. For distance runners who are familiar with that lower back ache, building up core strength will help to maintain good posture, and reduce the pains that result from poor posture
2) With SCMM just a month away all runners are busy training. Any last minute advise to runners to avoid injuries during their run.
Stay well hydrated to avoid heat injury. Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue, which often results in injury. The lack of fluids can cause your body to literally shut down, especially when the weather is hot. Drink at regular intervals & do not wait till you are thirsty. You might not get a water station when you are really thirsty. Hence grab few sips during regular intervals. Have few sips of sports / energy drinks to replenish the nutrients your body is losing during the run.
Listen to your body. If you feel any chronic pain during the marathon, don’t try to ignore or exercise through it. Lessen your pace. Rest or apply first aid. If it persists, immediately inform the volunteers / general public on the route.
Warm-up and cool down. An appropriate warm-up can help prevent injury. Similarly, a cool down, with light stretches & maybe a 10 mins walk after completion of the run will help ease the muscles. Recovery is comprehensive and should include hydration and fuel to replenish fluid and muscle glycogen and repair muscle damage.
Finally, being mentally prepared is a big upside when you’re aiming to run a marathon and avoid injuries. With the right mindset, you can be more alert when it comes to situations that will cause injury.
Tell us more about new format that Striders have some up with?
Striders is now not only training in their fixed centres, but if you have a decent enough group size then they come to your building and train. The idea is to reach the homes and take the fitness bandwagon to as many people as possible.
Striders established in 2006 by Praful Uchil and Deepak Londhe, is a fitness-training group that trains running enthusiasts for fitness and for competition. Since their inception, they have expanded rapidly, mainly due to the enthusiasm for running shown by our clients and trainers alike. They have over 40 trainers, spread across 12 major cities and 24 locations in India, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Cochin.