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John's Running Tips

Summer Training & Tips

If you are currently planning your training around a specific race, you are already practicing a seasonal approach to your training; the training term for this is periodization. Periodization structures your training program using a planned program composed of base training, strength training, speed training, racing and rest. This produces a successful performance without the risk of over-training and minimizes injury risk. This type of training doesn't mean you have to race, but by planning for peaks in performance you structure your program around the time you would like to be in top shape—like the summer when you might be seen wearing a bathing suit!

Dividing your training into units will allow you to structure a progressive increase in training incorporating rest phases to allow for regeneration and adaptation. Building your intensity or volume progressively includes some rehabilitation, consisting of a rest week or recovery period. A rest week is rehabilitation: it consists of lower intensity and volume training sessions. You train but at a modified speed and distance.

If you do race, give your body a chance to rest and recover following a peak performance. The distance you ran, the intensity at which you raced and the corresponding muscle soreness determine the amount of recovery you require.

If after the race you have no soreness, you can continue training, but do not race or do any speed training during the recovery period. If you have some mild muscle discomfort to the touch, reduce your training intensity and distance for seven days.

If walking is uncomfortable or you are unable to squat with ease, reduce your training for 14 days and do no racing or speed work. If you have pain and discomfort while walking, reduce your training for a full month and do no racing or speed work. Better to take a few days off than a few weeks or even months.

Recommended guidelines for racing are:

8Ks can be run weekly, 10Ks every two weeks, half marathons once per month and marathons three times per year. These guidelines will work if you train using a seasonal approach and remain injury free.

The key to increased performance is your body's ability to adapt to the rigours of training and racing.

    Some race recovery tips:
  • Keep moving. Park your car at the far end of the parking lot—a gentle walk will help you cool down.
  • Have some protein. For me a glass of chocolate milk works perfectly, or try one of the new recovery or breakfast drinks.
  • A glass of water will correct any dehydration, and a couple of pretzels will provide for any sodium chloride losses.
  • Shower after the run, but as soon as you can, run cold water on your legs. On a summer day stop in your yard and run cold water over your leg muscles. You will be amazed how it aids in your muscle recovery and perks up the legs.
  • In the evening you can have a warm Epsom salt bath. The Epsom salts help remove lactic acid, and the warm bath provides relaxation for the recovering muscles.
  • After the bath spend some time doing some gentle stretching. The stretching and relaxation techniques will assist in dealing with potential sleep twitches and contractions some runners suffer at night after vigorous running.
  • Take time to review your training, review your peak performance and plan for the next level of fitness.
  • Try a swim on the day after a long run or race. It is a great way to loosen up the legs.

Creating a Race?

Before creating a race, you must first login if you have a profile or set up a profile.

One you are logged in you will then be redirected to the Race Form afterwards.