December is often when we runners take a bit of time off from our normal running programme. After a busy year, it’s an opportunity to let the body rest and recover, and to recharge, reset and regroup ahead of the New Year. While many runs will still take place in this month of holidays and time off work, these are often at a slower pace, with more social time included, and more ‘looking at the scenery.’ That’s all great, but you can still get the most out of your training at this time of year and kick-start your body for the coming New Year.
So, in association with Novaturient Pilates, we bring you the four-week Start Your January Strong Challenge, aimed at working key muscle areas that are often overlooked when you are in the middle of a training block. This is not an intensive challenge, but rather an easy-to-follow one, to ensure that you stick with it through December, and start your upcoming season stronger than ever!
For just R100, you’ll get a four-week programme, brought to you in the form of easy-to-follow videos sent to you in weekly mailers, to guide you every step of the way. That’s just R25 a week, but it will really pay huge dividends when the January racing season kicks off!
Starting on the 11th of December and running until the 6th of January, this challenge is perfectly timed to take you through the Festive Season and bring you into the New Year strong and ready to go!
What is in Store?
Week One: What You Need to Do Before You Run
Three videos focusing on key movements and stretches that should be done before each run, from warming up and engaging your core correctly, to some mobility and stretching. All little things that you may not think were important, but if done right, make a huge difference to your running, and more importantly, help prevent injury.
Week Two: Improving Your Running Performance
Now that you have the basics locked in, we focus on key aspects to improve your overall performance! You will go through a focused warm-up, exercising your lower body, and to ensure you are strong where it counts, with key core activations to create strength where you need it. Then you will move onto a proper cool-down stretch session, so that your muscles recover optimally, and you are ready to start your next run strong.
Week Three: How to Avoid Injury
The biggest obstacle to any big training block is getting injured, so this week we will look at what is non-negotiable when warming up before a run, because going into a run cold, no matter how short, is often how injuries happen. Your core muscles can make or break your running – if not used properly, You are likely over-straining other muscles, and that often causes injury. So, we’ll look at how to strengthen your core properly, from your abdomen right up to your chest, to ensure you have a strong base to support your run. And lastly, this week we’ll look at increasing your mobility through stretching, loosening the key muscles so you don’t become a tight ball after a hard run, ultimately preparing you for the next run.
Week Four: Restoring Your Body
You expect a lot from your body. You expect it to drive you to your PB, and you expect it to run day after day, constantly delivering, but what do you do to restore it after each hard session? This week we’ll focus on a warm-up to help your body start the restoration process – it’s a full-body workout that helps the muscles, although you may not feel it at the time – and then the ultimate cool-down, with a stretch session that will leave you restored and ready to run again.