The Wings for Life World Run is such a different race to prepare for. With its moving finish line, the Catcher Car, there is no set distance to run and no set time to do it in. The competition is against yourself, against the Cather Car and against the tens of thousands of others across the globe running at exactly the same time.
We caught up with Sport Director Colin Jackson to get some insider tips on how best to run the race and adapt running style to its unique format.
What tips have you for tailoring running style to Wings for Life World Run?
Being chased creates all sorts of changes in your mindset. The most important thing is to have good pace judgement: Don’t go off too hard at the start and try to run at the same speed throughout the race, which you can do by focusing on your arms. Keep your arm carriage – how you swing them – low and loose. Stay as relaxed as you can, and it’ll help you hold a steady pace.
What can participants do to improve their running before the race on May 6?
To prepare for the race, I’d say the best thing to do is download our app (iOS / Android) and get used to racing against the Catcher Car. Pick a good course that you know and is compatible to your ability and start training. If you’re doing an App Run along your own track, you can train on exactly that course, so there will be no surprises on May 6.
Good solid all round general physical conditioning will help, too. Add in some core exercises before or after your run; by building muscle, they will help your body posture.
During your training sessions, get use to hydrating whilst running, as you maybe out longer than ever before!
Another thing is to make sure you have good equipment, shoes and clothes. They’re vital. We have some great Wings for Life World Run performance kit in our shop if you’re thinking of getting some new gear before the race – and when you buy Wings for Life World Run gear, the money goes directly to Wings for Life-supported spinal cord research projects.
How should they alter their running as the Catcher Car approaches?
As the Catcher Car approaches in the distance, you don’t break into an instant sprint; you can increase your pace by swinging your arms faster, which will help to lengthen your stride, meaning you’ll be covering more ground. You should only start sprinting when you can hear the Catcher Car is very close to you. Don’t look behind you! Keep your focus in front and run as hard as you can.