Three female runners use the Wings for Life World Run app to help with their training.
© Hans Herbig for Wings for Life World Run
Running

7 essential training tips for running the Wings for Life World Run

Sign up now and then find out here how you can best prepare for taking part in the unique global running race.
By Harry Davies and Alex Maxifahrer
4 min readPublished on
Wings for Life World Run is coming soon! Runners will again begin racing simultaneously in dozens of locations worldwide to raise awareness of spinal cord injury.
Amateurs will be rubbing shoulders with elite athletes as a Catcher Car – which will set off 30 minutes after the last runner crosses the start line – chases down and passes the runners, with the last male and female athletes to be caught by the cars crowned champions.
The overall winners of the Wings for Life World Run are the man and woman who've covered the most distance before being reeled in by the Catcher Car.
There are also thousands of people running their own race in their home towns against a virtual Catcher Car using the Wings for Life World Run phone app, either alone or by organising their own local event.
The app will send a digital Catcher Car after you've run your first half-hour. The app tracks you with GPS, picking up speed incrementally until it catches you up, helping you push yourself to the limit just like those at the 'real' meet-ups. Find out more here.
Firstly, have you signed up at WingsforLifeWorldRun.com yet? If not, do it now!
Secondly, have you planned your training? If not, here are seven pointers to help if you're just starting out with running or just need to fine-tune what you already know.
Kelly Whittaker’s the brains behind Wings for Life World Run’s tailor-made programmes for beginners and intermediate runners that you can find on the official website. Here she shares some advice with us...

1. Get a positive mindset… and some new shoes

Go to a running store and have an expert check you’ve got the right shoes for the job
"Training for the first time can be scary," says Kelly. "First and foremost, you need a positive mindset. Think of every run as a new adventure. Proper running gear for the climate and new sneakers/trainers are essential. Some of the most common running injuries happen because beginners wear incorrect or worn-out shoes. Go to a running store and have an expert check your stride to ensure you’ve got the right shoes for the job."

2. Run with a friend or use your favourite tunes to motivate you

Participants during the Wings for Life World Run App training shoot on October 19, 2017.

Train with a friend to make your runs fly by

© Hans Herbig for Wings for Life World Run

Good company’s a great distraction
"A friend always helps, especially when you're starting out," says Kelly. "It can be daunting to run miles outside alone, and good company’s a great distraction. But if you choose to go solo, make a motivational playlist."
How about the special Spotify playlist below to get you started?

3. Don't get injured trying any heroics

Building gradually will prevent injuries that could completely derail your training
"Don't try to be a hero! Start with short distances at a comfortable pace," advises Kelly. "Building gradually will prevent injuries that could completely derail your training. Also, make sure you warm up before runs with some dynamic stretches: high knees, jumping jacks and butt kicks are perfect.
Afterwards, recovery is key. Foam rollers can be a runner’s best friend. Stretching and proper hydration either side of a run will make sure you bounce back quickly for the next one."

4. Balance your training with your home/work life to see the benefits

Before long, you’ll realise the best runs are the tough ones
"Running is a test of mental and physical strength," Kelly explains. "Only you can push yourself to run further and run faster. Sticking to a training plan will not only improve your pace, the benefits will turn up in your normal life, helping you stay focused on everything from work, school and family. Running will make you feel great about yourself and running for a great cause will only make it better. Before long, you’ll realise the best runs are the tough ones. They’ll build the most strength in the end.

5. It's not just about what you eat… but also when

Don’t run within an hour of eating!
"Everybody's different. Experiment with different foods and mealtimes before your shorter runs until you find what works for you," says Kelly. If you run in the morning, get up early and eat a healthy breakfast that'll give you lots of fuel. If you go later in the day and eat a lot, you may feel the day’s meals weigh you down. No matter what, don’t run within an hour of eating!"

6. Remember your results will improve gradually, not immediately

Don't get frustrated if you don't see results right away
"You’ll feel the mental benefits before you notice the physical ones," Kelly suggests. "Running helps people sleep soundly, focus better and feel stronger and more energised. It can complement other exercises too. Combine your runs with strength training and cross-training and you’ll get even more out of them. And remember, don't get frustrated if you don't see results right away. Every run will bring you closer to them."

7. Use the goal calculator!

Wings for Life World Run have made it easier than ever to prepare. The goal calculator on WingsForLifeWorldRun.com will make sure you get exactly what you want from the run.
Good luck!
Ready for your 2020 challenge? Get active and reach your goals this year with Red Bull. Sign up to Wings for Life World Run here, or visit Red Bull New Year, New Challenge for more inspiration.

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Wings for Life World Run 2019

Get ready to join thousands worldwide for the fifth running of Wings for Life World Run in 2019!

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