Time to start training for the 10th Annual RCAF Run

News Article / March 13, 2018

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By Martin Zeilig

It’s not too soon to begin training for the 10th Annual RCAF Run, to be held on May 27, 2018, even if you're a novice runner, says Antoni Kieloch, a fitness and sport instructor with Personnel Support Programs (PSP) at 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba. Just make sure you have a proper plan for it.

The RCAF Run takes place every spring at 17 Wing. Registration is now open!

The run, which is open to the public, is a day of fun and exercise that raises money for a pair of causes, Support our Troops and Soldier On, which help Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families.

Participants can choose to compete in the half-marathon, 10-kilometre and 5-kilometre timed races. There's also a 3-kilometre family run and walk. The events are Athletics Canada-sanctioned road races alongside 17 Wing’s runway.

Running is often the first choice of new fitness enthusiasts because of the low start-up costs, the fact that you can do it just about anywhere and there are no long term dues or fees associated with running. Mr. Kieloch describes a beginner runner as someone who has either never run a competitive race or has done only one or two such races in the past, and probably “hasn't done serious training” for a race before. An intermediate runner is someone who runs on a regular basis and has run multiple races.

“Advanced runners are competitive at running, and have a large training history behind them,” he said. “They are competitive at the local level or higher, or actively trying to become competitive at those levels.”

He advises new runners to train on a consistent basis. For example, try running once or twice a week, he says. “Start slow, and build your tolerance over time, the volume of running you do. If you're training for the 5-kilometre race at this time of year, you should start running consistently (twice a week for no more than two kilometres in total). You need to figure out what your body can tolerate. Some might be able to run the total distance straight in one day. Others may need to do some interval work: walk and run.”

He emphasizes the importance of making progress in “a sustainable” way. “It depends on a person's fitness rather than on age. If you're training to perform well in a run, you should eat to fuel the performance with adequate protein and carbohydrates. It's also important to stay adequately hydrated for any type of training.”

All runners will benefit from resistance training, Mr. Kieloch maintains “Focus on your postural muscles (back side of your body),” he says. “When you're running, you're constantly moving forward, the sagittal plane. By working those muscles, it will help improve your posture and help bring balance to your body.”

He stresses the importance of developing “eccentric strength” in you lower extremities, especially your hamstring and related muscle groups (calf muscles)’ and being able to extend your joints under control. “If you're interested in running and don't know a lot about it, then reach out to those who do know a lot about it, and join a running group,” he says.

For all levels of runners, make sure you have a good “taper”-- two weeks before your competitive run only do 40 to 60 percent of the volume you were running previously, he adds. “It will allow adequate rest and recovery while still maintaining all the adaptations you made during training for the race.”

Martin Zeilig is a photojournalist with “The Voxair”, 17 Wing’s base newspaper.

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