5 Top Tips to Run More and Stay Healthy and Injury Free

This is the transcript of a YouTube vlog I released today. Please see the embeded video below. Thanks for reading and watching. Please subscribe for more.

I’ve got to say being outdoors on a winter’s day, in the forest with the snow and the crisp air. It’s just fantastic!

Kevin Draper here from SwimbikerunGB I’m a runner, triathlete and coah and I’ve been doing that for the last 17 years or so. And in today’s blog I’m going to show you how you can go from running short distances, maybe 5k or 10ks building your way up, increasing your volume of running, and increasing your intensity and, importantly, most importantly, staying injury free.

So over the last 17 years I’ve inceased my mileage, increased my training volume, from being able to race 5k and 10k races, to being comfortable doing a 50 mile race and last year, four 50 mile races around the south east of England. And I’m going to show you how you can improve your running and increase your running volume without getting injured – because that is the key.

I’ve been able to run 2500 miles a year for the last 5 years or so without getting any major overuse injury which is really been the thing that’s made the most difference to my progression in running. Staying healthy and injury free has been the key to me to be able to progress, improve, get faster and go longer, and to enjoy my running.

I really want you to be able to run and enjoy your running! To enjoy progressing your ability, progressing your distances and taking on new challenges without getting that runners curse of the overuse injury, that will bog you down and slow you up.

So today I’m going to show you how you can do that, I’m going to give you 5 top tips to improve your running distance, your running speed and to stay uninjured.

Ok without further ado let’s crack on with the 5 top tips to stay healthy while you’re increasing your running distance, running more, to get you running faster and further.

Number 1 is CONSISTENCY. I’ve found over the years that the best way to progress and to improve my running and stay healthy is just to stay consistent; to run the same amount of times, then to build that up very gradually, basically I’ve built up the point now where I’m running pretty much every day. Now for you that might not be appropriate but if you’re running three times a week then run three times a week! Try not to fall into the trap of doing the stop / start thing – running a lot and then giving up for a few weeks and then picking it up again. That is a surefire way to get yourself injured! So stay consistent. Now for you that might not be appropriate but if you’re running three times a week then run three times a week! Try not to fall into the trap of doing the stop / start thing – running a lot and then giving up for a few weeks and then picking it up again. That is a surefire way to get yourself injured! So stay consistent.

Now for you that might not be appropriate but if you’re running three times a week then run three times a week! Try not to fall into the trap of doing the stop / start thing – running a lot and then giving up for a few weeks and then picking it up again. That is a surefire way to get yourself injured! So stay consistent.

At the finish line of the Wendover Woods 50 mile race November 2018,
the 5th 50 mile run of the year!

Number 2 – RUN ON TRAILS. Run on surfaces like the surfaces I’m running on today, obviously when it’s snowy it is just perfect, it’s nice and soft underfoot it’s a little bit muddy underneath the snow. Forest trails are perfect for training on and not getting injured the more you can train on off road, soft surfaces the less likely you are to get injured. So run off road! Run cross country, run the trails, run the canal paths stay off the tarmac that’s going to make a huge difference to you staying injury-free, and staying healthy and progressing in your distances. Read on, I’ve got a little bonus tip for you at the end as well about something which I’ve found recently has really helped me to stay injury free and stay really healthy through this winter when everyone is going down with their bugs and colds.

Number 3 strength and conditioning, so many people hate to do their strength and conditioning sessions but we know that it’s so important, it’s a vital component of staying healthy just building that strength so that you can push on with your training so that you can increase your distances and not get injured. So find a good strength and conditioning programme that you can follow, something you can stick to and be consistent with, do it twice a week, maybe half an hour or twenty minutes that will help you to stay strong, stay injury free.

Number 4, CROSS TRAINING I’m a triathlete, I love to swim and cycle as well as running it’s a really good way of just mixing it up working different muscles, keeping yourself fit, building your aerobic fitness and your overall strength and conditioning without over doing it with your running. So try some form of cross training, try some cycling, try some swimming. Swimming is just brilliant way of building aerobic fitness without risking injury, it’s almost impossible to injure yourself swimming (famous last words!) but it is a really good way of building condition and strength and fitness without really risking or taking the huge risks that you do if you ramp up your mileage too quickly on your running. Find something that works for you and that helps you to keep fit and active and keep moving on the days that you are not running.

Number 5 is keep your training PROGRESSIVE, keep it building, gradually keep challenging your muscles, keep trying to do different things, you want to mix up your training routine. That means, still be consistent with the number of sessions that you do. But do some interval training, do some “threshold” work to improve your lactate threshold, do some hill work to make you stronger in your legs for running up hills, do some long, steady runs that gradually increasing in distance. Now the rule of thumb is don’t increase your training volume by more than 10% a week, so if you are doing a long run, keep your overall mileage increasing by a small amount, 5 or 10% each week and that will be the key to you progressing, running more but staying healthy and injury free.

So I said to you I’d give you a little bonus tip. One of the things I’ve found that ‘s really helped me through this winter to stay healthy, to not go down with all those colds everyone else is getting and coming down with, all the sneezes and sniffles, is by taking a cold shower once a day.

Now some of you may have heard of Wim Hof, he has this fantastic programme which I’ll put a link to in the notes below of how to boost your immune system and the one aspect of this that I’ve been really practicing and trying to develop over this winter has been the cold showers. And I’ve been increasing the amount of time I’ve been spending in the cold shower every day from 30 seconds or so to start off with, up to a minute and now up to consistently 5 or 6 minutes of cold showers and I’ve found that it’s just really boosted my energy levels, it’s boosted my immunity – I haven’t been sick at all this winter, while people around me have been going down like flies! I’ve stayed nice and healthy and I honestly think that those cold showers have been absolutely fantastic.

It’s a shock to the system when you start but you can increase it gradually, you gradually increase your exposure to cold water and if you’re a triathlete it has an added bonus that it helps you to get to acclimatised ready for that open water swimming when it starts in April or May in the UK. So your ready when you get back to it. So try the cold showers. I’m going to put a link to Wim Hof’s Cold Shower 20 day programme, give it a go, it’s absolutely fantastic, I’d recommend it wholeheartedly.

Good luck with your progression with your running, stay healthy and enjoy your running! Have a great day!

Please “like” and Subscribe. Let me know if you have any top tips for running and staying healthy in the comments below. If you’re starting from scratch you should check out my “Couch to 5k” programme called Zero to 5k.

Cheers for now!

Kev.

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