By Alex Scott
A Perth company has created a program designed for training recreational runners to perform at their best and to prevent injuries.
Front Running Sport’s program is aimed at competitors in Perth’s annual HBF Run for a Reason.
Head Coach and Sports Scientist Ben Green launched it in 2009 out of concern over the injury risks of long distance runs on recreational competitors.
“There’s a high risk of injury with recreational runners in training, so we wanted to provide structure and education to their training,” he said.
According to Green, research shows that 50 per cent of injuries to recreational runners happen during training.
The program offers structure and education to recreational runners as they train and prepare for the event.
“People who cram and pick up [their] training load a few weeks out don’t allow the body to adapt are at high risk for injury,” Green said.
He also found that while some people do overestimate their ability to run, for those running 12 and 21 kilometres this generally isn’t the case.
“The personality of the people [who] train for 12 kilometre or a half marathon are usually internally motivated and look forward to reaching goals, even challenging goals, are willing to put the commitment in,” Green said.
Marc See is a physiotherapist, specialising in the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of running-related injuries. He agreed.
See said that most people have a higher capacity compared to their confidence.
“The problem is the time; most people want to do it [the half marathon] in under two hours or in 90 minutes,” See said.
“It’s important to focus on the distance rather than the time, if you walk ten minutes run one minute, but complete the distance, you still did it.”
According to See the most important aspect of training for a recreational runner is load management.
He feels people need to be educated to go slower in their running as they tend to run at a moderate to hard rate, regardless of the distance.
“The general rule for increasing is ten per cent, whether this is intensity or volume, so distance or speed, don’t do both,” See said.
“The goal is to adjust as few variables to prevent injury.”