Training and Preparation for the Great South Run
Even though the Great South Run attracts a large number of novice runners, it's important to not underestimate the physical fitness required for such an event. As the event tends to take place around October, it is typical to start training around April time. Starting training early will allow you to train your body in stages without the danger of causing injury.
At the beginning of any run or physical training be sure to warm up correctly, stretch well and cool down afterwards. Whilst running it is recommended to start slowly, gathering speed gradually whilst increasing your speed and reaching optimum stride. If your budget allows it, you can seek the assistance of professional help from a running trainer to help keep you to your routine, and learn correct technique. Alternatively, find someone within your local area that is also entering the Great South Run. Training together will help you both develop good running style whilst perfecting individual breathing patterns.
Whilst training, be sure to maintain a good nutritional diet filled with a good variety of carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes. Be sure to keep well hydrated during training and throughout your regular day to day activities. It's important to prevent thirst rather than drinking because you feel thirsty. If you feel thirsty, it's probably because your body is feeling dehydrated.
If you do not feel well or fit enough before the event begins, it is advised that you do not participate in the event regardless of any charity funds you may have raised. If you begin to feel unwell during the race itself, seek the help of the medics immediately. You'll find many medical professionals dotted along the route of The Great South Run, courtesy of Hampshire Ambulance or St John's Ambulance.
Once you reach the finish line, be sure to keep moving beyond the finish line and bring yourself to a stop slowly - Stopping suddenly can cause shock injuries. Change out of your running attire into dry clothing, and drink plenty to replace lost fluids. Follow this up with a high carbohydrate meal, ideally within 2 hours of finishing. Your body will thank you for it!