Dales' advice for Great Birmingham Runners
Getting, and keeping, the Wolves players fit and in peak condition is the key part of the role of Wolves’ Head of Sport Science and Conditioning Tony Daley.
And that is particularly important given the hectic schedule for all teams at the start of the season.
Daley has also taken time out to give a bit of advice to anyone considering taking part in this year’s Great Birmingham Run, taking place on Sunday, October 16th.
Wolves are hoping to include a team from the backroom staff in the event in the Second City, just as they did in the Birmingham 10k back in May.
FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL
I’m responsible for the athletic performance of Wolves’ first-team squad and Academy. It’s my job to ensure the players are healthy, fit and prepared to perform at their maximum. And that’s how everyone should approach a half marathon. Training is crucial – it’s where you will reap the most health benefits. Just like there’s far more to football than matchdays, the same applies to running events. Getting out in the fresh air and training, maybe two or three times a week, is a great thing to do.
REMEMBER, IT’S A HALF MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
People can get over-excited after signing up and do too much too soon. You shouldn’t try to run ten miles in your first training session! Little and often is the best way to start off. You should begin with small distances and build them up gradually. Your endurance will improve and you will become fitter – both physically and mentally. August is a great time to get running. The overcast conditions are perfect. Just get out there!
DON’T LET THE ‘TOXIC TEN’ MINUTES DEFEAT YOU
There is nothing worse than the first few training runs, especially the opening ten minutes. You’ll possibly feel completely out of shape and that you can’t do it. Everyone feels like this. But stick at it. After a few runs, you’ll feel yourself becoming fitter, stronger and more confident. You may even start enjoying it!
JUST GETTING ACROSS THE FINISH LINE DESERVES A GOLD MEDAL
There are some serious runners out there who will follow intense training programmes, but it’s not all about breaking records. Completing a half marathon is a great achievement in itself, be it running, jogging or walking round. If it’s your first one, don’t get preoccupied with finishing times. If you’ve run a half marathon before and want to record a personal best, don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Set a realistic target.
ANYONE CAN RUN A HALF MARATHON. YES, EVEN YOU!
With training, if you haven’t got a serious health issue you can complete a half marathon. If you have any concerns, go and see your doctor first. Otherwise, get out in the fresh air and try to achieve something special. The feeling you will get crossing the finish line will be something you’ll never forget.
YOU’LL LOOK AND FEEL MUCH BETTER
Running is good for improving your all-round fitness and losing weight. From the training, you’ll look and feel heathier and have an increased sense of vitality. Your body will also become stronger and more resilient to injuries and other health issues, like colds and flu. There are also huge mental benefits. Running helps produce the hormone that makes you feel better and counteracts stress. Yes, you may sometimes be tired after a training run, but you’ll feel great and more relaxed.
DON’T SCRIMP AND SAVE ON FOOTWEAR AND FUEL UP
Wearing the right trainers is critical. You don’t need to spend a fortune on what, say, Olympic runners are wearing. Conversely, you should not start training in some old trainers you doss around in. A decent pair of running shoes is a good investment and will help you avoid ankle and knee injuries and blisters.
It’s vital you take on fluids when running. If your body is dehydrated, you will suffer in training. Isotonic drinks help keep the body hydrated. If you’re working quite intensely, it’s important you take on some carbs.
RUN WITH A PURPOSE
You’ll feel more motivated to train if you’re doing it for a reason. It may be a personal ambition to complete a half marathon, a desire to get fitter and lose weight or to raise money for a worthwhile cause. Having that incentive will help get you out there training when you don’t feel like it.
RUN WITH WORK COLLEAGUES
If you don’t fancy running alone, getting an office team together and entering the Business Challenge is a great idea. It will also help build team spirit in the workplace. We’re entering a team ourselves. We’ve got some fit boys in the medical and sport science department who try to set the right example for the players. I would absolutely love to join them – but I can’t. Before I had my dodgy knees, I was one of those stupid players who loved pre-season and running. But after several serious knee problems, road running is no longer an option for me
BUT WHATEVER YOU DO…DON’T DO A GEOFF HORSFIELD!
I’ve heard former Albion and Birmingham striker Geoff ran the Great Birmingham 10k on May 1 without any training, having consumed several glasses of red wine the night before. That’s typical Geoff! But he’s the exception, not the rule. The fact his body remembers the Saturday-Tuesday grind from his footballing days probably helped him get through it. He’s also doing the half marathon so I hope he trains this time – otherwise he’ll be in bits! I believe some other former players that I know [Michael Johnson, Des Lyttle] are also running, and I’d like to wish them all the best. Great effort guys!
To join almost 12,000 people who have already signed up for the Great Birmingham Run, click here.
To join the Wolves sport science team in entering the Business Challenge, click here.
Anyone who ran this year’s Great Birmingham 10k is eligible for an exclusive £10 discount to take part in the half marathon on Sunday, October 16.