Guest Post by:
Stephanie Davey, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

Good News!  The Cooper River Bridge Run is only six weeks away. So if you’ve started your training, the end is near. If you haven’t started, there is still time! The first thing, after deciding to sign up for the race, is to set a finishing goal. The goal will help you to focus your training to enhance performance and prevent injuries.

If this is your first race and you haven’t been running, your main goal should be finishing. Beginning with a walk/run program will help minimize your injuries and help keep you motivated. Aim to run four to five days per week. Your runs should last 30 to 60 minutes with your longest training run being around five miles. The ratio of walking to running depends on your level of fitness. A good place to start is 1 minute running:1 minute walking. As you progress, increase your running by a minute or two every few runs.runners on the beach

In addition to your training runs, you also need to incorporate cross training, strength training and rest days. Cross training should be a low impact activity such as cycling, swimming or training on an elliptical. Your cross training should last at least an hour. It will help increase your cardiovascular endurance without the additional wear and tear on your body. This will also keep your legs fresher and increase your performance on your runs. Strength training should be a balanced program that incorporates your upper and lower body and your core. Squats, lunges, calf raises, planks and push ups are good exercises to start with. Focus on higher repetitions and lower weight where you can maintain correct form. If you’ve previously done yoga or Pilates, feel free to continue. Both could be used as strength or cross training. Lastly, you should have at least one rest day. Rest days allow your body to heal from the wear of training. If you don’t give your body a chance to heal, you risk an injury. If you feel you need to do something on your rest day, try going for a walk or gently stretching.

Good luck and most importantly "Have Fun!"