Our wonderful Jo went along to the inaugural Australian Running Convention (ARC14 or AusRunCon) and has kindly shared her thoughts on the event with us. Thanks Jo!
Saturday 6th of September saw the launch of the Australian Running Convention in Melbourne. A day full of workshops, seminars, healthy food and expo stands full of running related merchandise and information. How could I possibly miss this? Obviously I couldn’t! I jumped on the tram and headed for the city.
ARC14 was held on the banks of Albert Park lake. Right beside the track where Albert Melbourne parkrun is run every Saturday. No better place to assemble runners right? I have to agree. It was a lovely sunny day and a fantastic venue. Armed with my show bag full of goodies, I headed inside.
The expo side of things was great. There were a range of different stalls and I think they covered all areas of running. She Science were there with their super range of bras and workout gear, The guys from Running Fit showed off their shoes and even handed out some awesome socks to fans. I saw some new brands and products, like Source hydration packs, Soleus watches and Life straws which make any water safe to drink! Amazing. There really was something for everyone.
My favourite part of the day was the workshops and seminars. I took a lot away from the sports physiotherapy seminar. Ross and Caleb, from Freedom sports medicine discussed footwear and injury prevention. I was very happy to hear that having at least 2 pairs of shoes is a good idea! It lets the foam inside your shoe recover from being compressed during a run when you wear a different pair the following day. This helps your shoes last longer. Great reason to go shopping right?! As far as injury prevention goes, we should all be focussing on strength (glutes and core), recovery (stretching, foam roller, spiky ball and rest), stress relief and sleep. Yoga is really good for body awareness and loosening hips and tight muscles and pilates is best for developing awareness and turning on your muscles properly.
I took part in two workshops. One was a yoga and injury prevention session. Sitting barefoot on the grass on a sunny Melbourne day was delightful. It’s very easy to feel how yoga can help runners, it definitely loosens and lengthens muscles. I felt very relaxed as well which would definitely help prevent injury. The other workshop was strength training for runners. The importance of strength has become very apparent to me through injury and I wish I had taken notice of it before I started running! I spent half an hour learning some simple exercises that can be done anywhere that can help support your running and then going through a workout that almost floored me! I mean burpees? Really?? Gosh they are hard! The idea of doing just 10 mins of strength training after each run makes it sound too easy. Some squats, push ups, sit ups and planks and you’re done. I’m going to give that a try.
Overall the day was great. All of the workshops, seminars and expo stalls tied in well and all supported each other’s message of healthy body and mind. There was fantastic healthy food available on site and great facilities. I will definitely be back next year and can’t wait to see it become a highlight on the conference circuit in coming years. I’m sure it’s going to only get bigger and better.