As with all exercise, running carries a risk of injury. Speed running puts additional stress on your body and increases the risk of getting injured. Establishing a good running base before beginning speed training reduces the risk of injury. A running base can be built up over a series of week's, for me it is about 5. This running base helps to ensure that your muscles, joints and bones are in good training condition before you start the intensive work. Here are some tips for building your base.
- Only run as far as you feel comfortable with for the first two weeks, if you find yourself under pressure it is better to stop and walk for a while than to run with bad from and exhausted weak muscles.
- Successful base training is adding enough intensity to running to boost your fitness, but not so much that you get exhausted. Remember, this is about preventing injury!
- Increase your distance by not more than a kilometer a week, no matter how good you feel. Base training is about building strength, not about pushing yourself to your limits. That will come later.
- Stretch and eat after each run, we want muscles to repair as well as possible. Protein is good for repairing muscle and carbohydrates are good for muscle refueling.
- Strength training for the glutes, quads, calves, core and back are great during your base training, but think more along the lines of Pilates or a circuit class, not Olympic weight lifting.