The old adage of ‘you get out what you put in’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to running.  As a result, training for any running event including the iconic Sun Run requires a certain degree commitment and discipline.  That means getting clear on what you need to do to prepare yourself for the rigours of race day.

Another well-worn saying that is aptly applicable to training is ‘quality over quantity’.  Pumping out the training K’s may feel like the right thing to do, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to know that quality training trumps quantity every day of the week.  That means you can enjoy a far more rewarding race day while putting in less training hours in the lead up to the event.

To help make sure you line up on February 3rd Sun Run ready, the team at Run Theory have compiled their 4 top training tips to get you in the best running shape of your life;

Tip 1 : Set a realistic goal time

Clarity on the end goal can be a huge training motivator.  It gives you a reason to train and a focus point that you can assess your progress against.  That said, setting the right goal time isn’t always a trouble-free task.  It’s easy to over or under-estimate your running ability and a few degrees either way can have a dramatic impact on your motivation.  You could set an unrealistic goal time and you create an excuse to skip training, as no matter what you do you won’t succeed.  Or you could under-estimate your ability and you make it easy not to train to your potential as success will come from far less effort.

To help all Sun Runners set a realistic, yet challenging goal, Run Theory applies its athletic algorithm to each athlete to estimate their ‘Best Efforts’ over a variety of distances.  So whether you choose to run the 7K or the 10K, Run Theory can provide you with a clear goal and the motivation you need to succeed.

Tip 2 : Balance is best

There is a common misconception amongst runners that just putting in the time equals quality training.  This can mean heading out every other morning and running the same 10K loop at roughly the same pace.  As good as ticking off these runs might make you feel, the actual training benefit is limited. 

Luckily, this training imbalance is easy to overcome.  Simply integrate a wider variety of training types into your weekly program, like intervals, hills, tempo and recovery sessions and you’ll quickly notice the results.

To maximise your return on training investment, your program should also be personalised to your ability, adapt to changes in your fitness and fatigue and include a variety of training types that are sequenced in a way that increases their impact.

Following a program that incorporates these training principles will fast track your results and have you Sun Run ready in no time.

Tip 3 : Run at the right pace

One common mistake made by beginners and seasoned runners alike is running at speeds higher than their fitness really permits.

Running beyond your fitness without the proper training controls can increase your risk of injury, fatigue and mental burnout.  With 70% of runners experiencing an injury each year, it’s a risk that you should want to avoid at all costs.

In addition, training beyond your body’s capacity can actually be counter intuitive, slowing you down and hurting your overall race time.

To combat this, focus on training at the right pace.  This will vary depending on the type of training you are doing, for example, a recovery run should be completed at a slower pace than a threshold run.  Luckily, Run Theory makes it easy for you to train at the correct target pace by constantly crunching your training data and providing clear pace guides both before and during each training session.

Tip 4 : Avoid overtraining and injuries

Not every injury can be prevented but there are certainly many steps that can be taken to reduce your injury risk.

A great place to start is to ensure your training program is structured in a way that carefully increases your weekly training load.  Increasing your training load too fast can overload your muscles and heighten your chance of injury.

Your training program should also adapt to your changing levels of fitness and fatigue.  Thereby adjusting your weekly load to keep you within your training safe zone.  This ensures that no matter how your body adapts to the extra training stress it won’t be pushed too far.

Run Theory’s intelligent running and recovery coach constantly monitors your fitness & fatigue, adjusting your training load and optimising your recovery to make sure every moment spent training delivers the maximum race day benefit.

Follow these 4 simple tips and you’ll find your training more interesting, enjoyable and effective.

You can download Run Theory’s intelligent running and recovery coach on iOS and Android, or find out more at www.runtheory.com/sunrun.