Run for the Kids is Melbourne’s most iconic fun run, which is held close to Easter each year. The event is a fundraiser for the Royal Children’s Hospital and is responsible for the single biggest contribution of donations to the Good Friday Appeal. A portion of the entry fee goes towards the charity and participants can also receive sponsorship from friends and family for their efforts. The 5km race is a family friendly course, encouraging participation from all ages and abilities. The focus isn’t on the running, but completing, so this race is more suitable for those who prefer to walk and jog. For those more serious runners, a 15km super course is offered, taking you through more of the city and across the Bolte bridge for some sweeping city views. With both a 15km and 5km running option, participants can choose whichever length suits and know they are contributing to a good cause regardless. Run for the kids offers a four-week training program on their website, championed by running legend Steve Monaghetti. For more details go to: www.runforthekids.com.au
Puffing Billy’s Great Train Race
Puffing Billy’s Great Train Race is a 13.5km running race in April each year, which challenges participants to race the iconic Puffing Billy steam train, through the stunning surrounds of the Dandenong ranges. The race is a fun family day where friends and family can ride the steam train and race you to the finish line! The event is a fundraiser with participation fees going towards the Puffing Billy Preservation Society. Competitors need to be experienced runners, fit enough to run the majority of the way, with a 10-week training plan offered on their website for those keen to get run-ready. A great way to spend a family day out with a focus on health and fitness. For more details go to: puffingbilly.com.au/en/events/gtr/
These and other similar events are a great opportunity to get healthy, participate in an event with friends and family, whilst raising money for a good cause – a win all round.
When preparing for a running race, it’s important to consider the training you’ll need to do get yourself ready and prepared enough so that you can enjoy the day. Both fun runs suggest training programs on their websites, which is a good idea when training for an event such as this. For anyone new to running, a structured program is good to follow, where you can start small and increase your fitness over a period of time. Even those who are experienced runners benefit from good preparation. Preparation can help to increase your fitness, enjoyment and confidence on the day of the race.
How to prepare and what to consider?
Running technique & gait assessment - get your technique right to prevent injury on the race day. Running and gait assessments are usually offered at physiotherapy clinics.
Footwear – ensure you have good quality running shoes and socks.
Tight muscles - consider ways to relax tight muscles, such as remedial massage and strengthening and stretching exercises from your local physio. The current, and researched, new mantra is, "strengthen to lengthen."
Follow a training plan – gradually build up your running program using a structured program. Sports Physiotherapists are ideally positioned to assist you with a running program.
Warming up and cooling down – this should be a key part of any exercise routine to prevent running injuries.
Identify your areas of weakness - running is a high impact sport. A muscle & joint assessment can identify any areas of weakness and potential for injury. Muscle & joint assessments are also offered at physiotherapy clinics.
Fluids – keep up your fluids leading up to the race and on the day.
Food – eat a range of fresh and healthy food to keep you well nourished, and consider snacks and glucose packets for race day.
Enjoy the day! A fun run is meant to be just that, take some time to enjoy the atmosphere and the money you are raising for charity.
Melbourne Sports Physio: Bulletproof Your Body Program
Melbourne Sports Physio has a team of experienced professionals who can help you to Bulletproof Your Body in the lead up to a running event. The Bulletproof Your Body screening program helps you to prepare for a race, while looking after your body and reduce your risk of injury.
The Bulletproof Your Body screening program includes a range of running physio treatments:
Assessment with a sports physio – muscle & joint assessment with tailored exercises to guide you through your training program
Podiatry/gait analysis – your running technique will be assessed, along with your running shoes. A podiatrist is trained in assessing your feet and can identify requirements for orthotics.
Remedial massage – a 30-minute massage is included to help to relax tight muscles after the race.