The race is a sport among the most practiced and all in all simple that exist; just a modest and not too technical clothing is enough to start tackling routes of all types and lengths. However, for those who intend to practice it regularly, it is important to apply some rules and principles that make the training effective and safe at any level, even competitive.
The general rules to be followed for the race are the following:
- equip yourself with a technical clothing with particular regard to running shoes which allow to adequately cushion the weight of the foot on the ground and contribute to the prevention of injuries such as heelitis, bursitis and plantar fasciitis. It is absolutely not recommended to run long distances with shoes that are too low or too high. Also obtain thermal and breathable clothes;
- use a technique as close as possible and close to the competitive one by following the advice we will show you in the next paragraph, in order to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries;
- eat properly both before and after training and stay hydrated during activity;
- as in all sports, use the head and “listen to your body” to manage fatigue, the ability to force, to improve and achieve the objectives set by training.
We asked the fitness instructors of Being in Shape to provide us with more specific and detailed information on running technique and training methods to improve performance, which we quote below.
The technique in the race
It is not uncommon to see improvised runners of all ages around; someone does it for the form, others to solve respiratory and sometimes circulatory problems, still others for fun or to prepare a competition.
However, many people use personalized techniques that are unfortunately often harmful to the joints and muscles.
To avoid having a completely wrong style of racing, there are some rules:
- use the forefoot: it is very easy to make the mistake of landing on the heels, unloading the weight of the body on them and causing potentially harmful kickbacks. The correct race involves using a lot of forefoot during the start and above all landing (metatarsal area). In this way you will have more thrust and the body will cushion the impact with the ground. To deepen this aspect we suggest you to watch this video of deepening on youtube .
- use also the arms and the rest of the body in order to support the effort of the legs; one of the most frequent errors is to remain “blocked” with the arms and the entire upper thoracic tract; these bodily segments must balance the movement of the legs to economize the stroke gesture and reduce fatigue; synchronize opposite arms and leg and “push” up with arms to tow the rest of the body.
Working on diaphragmatic breathing : There are two types of breathing: thoracic and diaphragmatic. The former is shorter, allows less air to enter the lungs and use less oxygen, the second is deeper and allows more air to enter the lungs, therefore certainly more suitable for running where it is essential to maintain an optimal balance between consumption of oxygen and carbon dioxide production, as we will see in the next paragraph
Aerobic running, a good way to burn fat
Running is undoubtedly one of the best ways to lose weight ; to do an aerobic work in fact allows to use fat metabolism for energetic purposes.
Aerobic work is mainly based on the use of oxygen to derive energy from the degradation of energy substrates inside the body. In order for energy to be derived predominantly from aerobic work, oxygen consumption must be balanced with the production of carbon dioxide. When this ratio increases in favor of the production of carbon dioxide, the process of accumulation of lactic acid begins, leading to the onset of fatigue and to a reduction in performance.
Resistance is the conditional motor ability that you need to train to improve performance in the race.
The methods of resistance training include both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, using both it is possible to improve the resistance to fatigue and raise the maximum threshold of tolerance to muscular stress.
To perform cross-country trails it is necessary to focus more on aerobic activity, while if you want to try competitions in speed it becomes very important to perform anaerobic exercises.
Anaerobic work can be distinguished between two further methods:
- anaerobic alactacid ; prepares the muscles to reach and exceed their maximum limit. These are exercises of great intensity concentrated in a very short time;
- anaerobic lactic acid ; group exercises with a slightly milder intensity that are aimed at the accumulation of lactic acid; these works aim to improve the resistance to the maximum effort and help to raise the limit of endurance of the musculature.
Preparing a competition requires a long training that involves both aerobic endurance, both power and speed; it must be planned and prepared in a specific way according to the type of travel that you intend to practice.