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THE SELF-CARE HANDBOOK

TAKING A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH TO TRAINING, RATHER THAN END LESSLY PUSHING THROUGH NIGGLES AND ILLNESS , COULD BE THE WAY TO AN INJURY - FREE FUTURE , SAYS CLAIRE CHAMBERLAIN

SELF CARE

Training for a race requires focus and dedication. However, while this is great in principle, us runners can be a stubborn bunch. All too often, we become so determined to stick to our training schedules that we end up putting our health at risk. Be honest: how often have you pushed through that little niggle, just so you could tick off the next run on your training plan? You might be lucky and end up none the worse, but chances are the more you push through aches, pains and colds, the more likely you’ll be to end up injured and out of action for months. But what if you took a more holistic approach?

INTUITIVE TRAINING

I have learned from my mistakes. While training for a marathon eight years ago, I pushed through constant calf pain to ensure I didn’t miss any training runs, before ending up with a suspected muscle tear that, predictably, put me out of action for weeks.

This time round? I have made an effort to listen to my body while marathon training. When I started feeling run down, I consciously chose to take a week off running. My intuition told me that, without a break, I’d become unwell. Again, later in my plan, following a long weekend run, I chose to skip the next tempo session in favour of a gentle swim. No, I haven’t completed every run on my training plan, but I’ve come to realise that isn’t the end goal: the end goal is to get to the start line of your event feeling fit and healthy.

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About Women’s Running

Speed up with the June issue of Women’s Running magazine, on sale now! We’ll run you through some classic sessions to build your running pace, and show you 11 smart shortcuts to running better. No problem running fast but can’t make the mileage? We’ve got expert advice on building up your distance. We’ll also show you how to take to the trails with confidence, and how to look after your body so that you steer clear of injury and illness. Plus, we’ve got all the usual must-have kit for road and trail, inspirational stories, race reviews and much more.