Training should be a mix of easy and hard workout sessions. In some training sessions you will go flat out, and you need to do this occasionally in order to build your anaerobic conditioning, but you also want to make sure you don’t over exert yourself too often.
Remember that when you are training, you should be aiming on working at no more than an average of 75 to 80% of your maximum capacity.
The idea is to build your conditioning without exhausting yourself so much that your body needs time to repair itself. Most running injuries occur due to over exertion or poor running style.
You’ll need an experienced running coach to help you with your running style, but over exertion is something you can easily manage yourself.
As a general rule of thumb you can monitor your level of exertion by keeping an eye on your heart rate. The easiest way to do this is with a heart rate monitor, but when you have used one of these for some time, you will get to know your body and you’ll be able to feel when it has reached the level of performance you are looking for.
How to work out your maximum heart
As we get older our heart rate slows down, so this is different for everyone. There is an easy formula, which is 220 minus your age. So if you are 20 years old, your maximum heart rate around 200 beats per minute. For me at 49 years of age, my maximum heart rate should be around 171 beats per minute.
So in training, I’m looking to do no more than 80% of that. This will help to ensure that I don’t overdo my training and that on the day of the event, I’ll have a little in reserve to be able to put in a better performance.
Update April 2013
My City2Surf Training Program is now an eBook
‘How to Break Your Fitness Slump and Comfortably Finish a Fun Run’
My full City2Surf training program is now available as an eBook from all leading online bookstores and contains a link to download the training schedule as an iCal file, so you can import it into your calendar.
Also, feel free to join my free Facebook training group the City2Surf 100 day Challenge.