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Don't Leave it too late

If you don't like running then playing restricted grade rugby may not be your best option.

It's a faster paced grade than the others. You don't need to be the fastest out there but you do need to be able to keep it up the whole game.

Here is some advice that hopefully anyone take and put into practice to get themselves ready for the season.

It's not personally tailored for any one person or group and its aim is to have you 'run fit' ready for the season.  You can do this before pre-season, as part of pre-season. Off season. But don't leave it till the first games. This advice also goes well with the nutrition advice. You may not need to be loosing weight but taking onboard some of the points will make for better end results.

Simple as

Pick a course where you can choose to do 2, 3, 4 or 5 km runs. A 1km lap is good or find a place 1km away.

Pick 6 days to run over the next 4 weeks. Any time of teh day is fine, what ever fits into your commitments.

On each day, before you start, decide what sort of run you are going to do. A fast 2km, a steady 5km or something in between. It's your decision but each week you must do at least one 2km and one 5km.

When you go out your aim is to be tired at the end. If you finish and your not 'tired' you need to think about stepping up the pace. If you go out too fast and just can't finish at that pace - excellent!  You can slow down as much as you like and finish your run, you just can not walk.

Don't worry about the time it takes you. That is not what is important, its the effort. Some days will be easy and some days an absolute struggle. The main thing is you set your target and go out there and do your best while always keeping in mind you want to be finishing tired.

What is going to happen?

Your body will react, it has a great desire to survive and if you keep stressing it, it will only react one way and that is by improving your muscles, blood flow, oxygen transfer and a bunch of other things to make this running thing easy. The key is to keep stressing it. If you take a few rest days because your mum thinks you deserve it, it will then stop adapting and return to adapting to processing pizza while watching TV.

We go for 4 weeks because change doesn't happen quickly. Four weeks is also a good end goal. Having an end in sight and getting there is really important mentally. Ideally, do this and the following week join the pre-season training for the season.

Other Advice

When you are 60 meters from the finish - Pick up the pace and finish yourself off.

When you finish walk 400 meters to cool down. Practice your breathing to recover and get your heart down. Take a deep breath in through the nose, hold it for two seconds and let it out then pant away normally. Repeat this every minute. This allows an extra volume of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide to transfer in and out of the blood via the lungs and will help you recover faster. Good technique for game time too.

Have a small high protein meal ready when you get back into the house.

If your run includes a hill, good! Make the effort to not slow your pace and get up.

Don't run with music. Its not an Aerobics class. Concentrate on your running, your breathing, your pace, the path ahead.

Concentrate on a good running style. Head up and still. Torso static. The arms swing forward and back in time with the legs and not across the body. The feet and toes are always landing and pointing forward.

If you can, get good running shoes. Your knees are worth it.