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Race Training: A Physical Therapist’s Guide for Runners

Race Training

When you start race training, pay attention to what your body is telling you. Your muscles need time to adapt to the stresses of running. Overly strenuous movement can lead to injury. Proper running form is also essential to injury prevention. If you train well, you’ll race well. 

FAQ: How do you train for a running race?

Easing into race training allows your body to adapt to the new routine. Physical therapists recommend slowly increasing running distance over time. Once you’ve established a base level of fitness, you can gradually increase your speed and pace. 

Three Essentials for Race Training

1. Form

Paying attention to how you run helps you make subtle corrections to your technique. Listen to how each heel strikes the ground. A balanced gait will sound the same on both sides. Where do your feet fall? Listen to how your body feels. Fatigue can compromise form, leading to injury.

2. Recovery 

Recuperation is an essential part of training. Incorporate recovery days into your training plan. However, recovery doesn’t mean taking a break. Cross-training, such as swimming or cycling, keeps you active while giving your muscles a chance to recoup. 

3. Care

Take care of your body. You can’t race if you’re injured. Always perform a dynamic warmup before running and stretch after running. Hydrate before, during, and after each session. Wear sunscreen and avoid the hottest part of the day. Pay attention to pain. There is a difference between soreness and injury. Seek medical advice if you have persistent, sharp pain that continues long after running. A physical therapist can evaluate your pain and develop a plan to treat the symptoms.  

COR Running Program

We can provide a personalized analysis to improve your running techniques and eliminate pain. Whether you’re an elite runner or you’re just starting, the COR Running Program can help you reach your race training goals safely and efficiently. Schedule an initial evaluation today. 

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