How to prepare for and recover from long runs
With the London Marathon coming up this weekend, many of us will be putting our bodies through a lot of strain. It is a wonderful and impressive feat. When we properly prepare to activate our physical body in this way, we can better perform on the day. And when we focus on our recovery afterwards, that performance makes us better and stronger.
We sat down with our Co-Founder, elite personal trainer, and three time marathon runner, Harry Jameson, to ask him for some tips and advice.
What are the most important parts of the body to warm up and cool down post-run?
The main injury areas we see in runners are on the hips and knees. It’s therefore important to look at the hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, ankles and the lumbar spine when warming up and cooling down. With those main focal points in mind, you can apply RAIN COAT, our CBD balm, on your legs to help with inflammation, but can also focus on further specific areas of worry too.
What injuries are you most likely to pick up while running and why are these caused?
The most common injury I see amongst runners is actually the overuse of injuries. The problem we see often with runners is a focus on running and running alone, and as such neglecting mobility and strength. A lack of muscle strength can lead to injuries that cause a lack of stability within the joints, including achilles tendinitis, hamstring injuries and hip and knee injuries.
What products can help with injuries?
“RAIN COAT is the perfect addition to your toolbox for helping to offset the chances of injuries and optimising performance. Unfortunately, no product can prevent injury and it’s a common misconception that this could ever be the case. It’s impossible to go through life without getting injured, so it’s important to have a solid routine in place to give you the best chance of reducing injury and promoting a high-performance level. My RAIN COAT is definitely a part of that routine, as is stretching properly, meditating and carving out time for breathing exercises, which I’ve found improves my sleep quality and is an effective way of reducing inflammation.”
What are your top three tips for training for running races or marathons?
Follow a training plan. That’s my no. 1 tip. A proper marathon plan should be 16 weeks and include strength work alongside building intervals and distances at a steady pace – never by more than 10 per cent per week, to avoid injury. For the last two - three weeks, avoid those really long runs. Store those in the bank for the big day.
Prioritise recovery. Develop your own recovery toolkit, inclusive of your CBD anti-inflammatory products, ice baths, massage gun, sports massages and stretching.
Fuel properly. Nutrition on the day will be the deciding factor as to whether you do well or not. Moderate your eating intervals rather than panic eating all at once. Slow and steady definitely wins the race.”
What other exercises support with running?
You should be doing full-body strength work at least twice a week to support your running.
How much does our lifestyle impact the outcome when running? A car can’t run without fuel, right?
It’s an excellent analogy - a client I work with used to drink a can of Coke daily on his way to every session and he drove a Ferrari. I asked him whether he’d put that coke into the engine of his Ferrari, to which he looked at me like I was mad. That’s when the penny dropped; just like cars, we are not designed to run on anything other than natural fuel. By this I mean, your lifestyle will affect your running hugely. A significant lifestyle factor for this is your sleep. When training for a long run, you’ll experience a need for an increased volume of sleep alongside your increased mileage. 100 per cent of your musculoskeletal growth and repair happens during the hours of sleep, so do not underestimate the importance of this.
Best wishes to the RAIN community running the marathon this weekend. We’re so proud of you and wish you a strong recovery.