Training tips for the PUFFING BILLY Great Train Race
Running against the train this year? Best you give some careful consideration to the most important piece of equipment (your shoes), and to the terrain tricks and tips for this year
Running is a high impact stressful activity. The factors we have to control these impact stresses are;
the surface/terrain you are (predominantly) running on
your foot movement & running technique
your shoe type
With regards to the shoe, one needs to pay particular care. The shoe structure is a major determinant in how your foot behaves once it contacts the ground. Some of us are efficient midfoot or forefoot runners, some of us land heavily on the heel, we are all different weights and varying levels of experience. It takes a thorough assessment of all these factors and more to determine the correct shoe for you.
I suggest you drop into active feet for a free assessment by one of the Podiatry staff, well before you race. A biomechanical assessment using video treadmill analysis is the only true method of assessing the function of a shoe for you. Make the most of a free service, and save yourself the time, trouble, energy and effort of getting injured, or getting it wrong.
In terms of hills, well GTR has plenty of those! Shoe fit is crucial. Downhill running will push the toes forward into the toe box, risking toe nail trauma, uphill running will test the heel fit…slipping will result in the foot working hard in the shoe, with blister risks also. A ‘heel lock’ with the lace pattern can assist here, ask us to show you before the race.
There are some simple tricks to running downhill fast, and how to be more efficient running uphill. A running COACH is best able to advise on these methods based on your current running form, so it is beyond this forum for me to detail too much. I always remind myself however, that gravity is a free resource, and is available for the beginners through to the elite so don’t run downhill with your brakes on hard. This of course requires practice in training and conditioning to the higher stresses of downhill running. In particular, the muscle soreness you have from running downhill will be much worse than any amount of uphill running. Underestimate this at your peril!
In terms of shoe type for this event, there is no requirement to go for a trail specific shoe, your road shoe will be adequate. Use a premium sock for racing, to ensure it doesn’t become abrasive if wet, and reduces friction (shear) stress. Trial in training first.
Finally, good luck for the event, prepare well, don’t start out too hard (like most do), tackle the uphills, drive the downhills, but most of all, enjoy. I will see you out there.
Visit http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/news-events/great-train-race/information-for-runners/ for all the race day information you’ll need!
Pictures sourced with permission from http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/