So it is getting to that time of year again. The Gorey Night Run is upon us.  Although it may be being done in a completely different way, it is still being done for the same amazing cause, North Wexford Hospice. And this year, all charities need more support than ever, so it is important for as many as possible to participate and that we raise as much money as possible. As far as I know, it is not too late to enter. So check out Gorey Night Run Facebook page for the link to enter.
So, one of the biggest differences this year is the obvious. We will not be able to run with the usual large crowd, chances are none of us will be running/walking the same route and many of us will not be able to meet up with friends to do it. In fact, many of us will probably end up doing it on our own, due to different fitness levels in our household or support bubble. For some of us this may be a struggle and for some, attempting to run a 5k without a crowd and the energy that it feeds us can be quite daunting. So, in this there may be some tips to help you through this.

A big one is, plan your route out in advance. This may seem obvious, but I guarantee that there are people that may start running and stop when their watch/phone tells them they have 5km done. While this is fine, it may make it difficult as you have no endpoint in mind to aim for, which could make it harder to pace yourself, as well as not helping to keep you motivated. Planning a route can be done on some devices and apps as far as I know. If you have a local trail nearby you, the distance will be on the sign at the start or on and you can try do it there or you could simply walk out 5km first and then know where you are starting and finishing or how many laps you may need to do.

The next big thing is to make sure that you do some sort of warm up. For some people this may be running 1 or 2km or even more. For others it could be walking for about 10 minutes. Another great way is doing a dynamic warm up. This is a series of movements, that mimic the activity that you are about to participate in, to increase blood flow to the muscles, increase movement and maximize flexibility of the entire body. This is to prepare the body for the activity it is about to do. If you are unsure of what exactly you should be doing, simply put “dynamic warm up for running” into YouTube or Google and you will find something helpful.

Now for the actual running part. If you are planning on walking and running and are used to doing 5km, then you are fine. If you are not used to running/walking 5km, then pacing yourself is key. Start off slower than you think you need to go and stick to that pace. It will get harder as you go on. If you need to slow down, do so, but try avoiding stopping, as keeping moving will keep the blood flowing around the body, thus keeping you warm and keeping the body and muscles warmed up. Keep going at a pace you are comfortable at and you will get to the finish. The reason I say do not overdo it is, if you are not used to doing this distance, you may get injured if you do it too hard. A warmup can help with this, but again pacing yourself is key to avoiding injury.

So, what to do after the race? Well, a good warm down is a good place to start. This can be done by running or walking 1 or 2 km. A good stretch at the end will also help to relax the muscles (this is not done beforehand as you want to wake up the muscles as oppose to relax them). Other things you can do after this is, a good soak in the bath. Others may like to get an ice bath afterwards. All you need to do for this is put cold water in a bath and throw some ice into it. Not a lot is required. Personally, I would prefer a warm bath though. Another great thing to do is to sit on the couch and relax afterwards. If you are not used to running/walking 5km you will be surprised how tired you may be after. Plan very little to do after you have done it so you can relax.

If anyone has any worries of injuries or pain, Gorey Physical Therapy is open for Face-to-Face appointments as well as Online appointments. If you have any questions, just contact Lorraine @ 0872101281, email [email protected]