Running – one of my personal favourites being a marathoner trapped inside a triathlete’s body (you should see my legs) but it is the discipline that can contribute the most to injuries if not managed well. So here are some simple tips to make sure your running time is spent better.
Planning tip # 1 = Plan/vary your route: Over time we can become guilty of running the same loop/route/track week in and week out. This over time will become repetitive and wear down on your motivation levels. Be brave and explore – a change of scenery will refresh your running soul. Apps like mapmyrun will also help when in a foreign city or on holiday
Bonus tip: If training for a specific race – mirror that course in your key sessions – e.g. include hills or loops to try and replicate what you will be facing race day.
Planning tip # 2 = Know what you are trying to achieve: Before you lace up the runners – make sure you are clear of what the session is trying to do for your running e.g. is it a speed session, a tempo run or a recovery run. Be clear on what you are meant to do and how – will help you eliminate junk miles from your training
Bonus tip: Also pick the right route for that session – so if your session involves running at race pace for 1km repeats for example – try to find a flat route without traffic lights/obstacles that might require you to break out of you rhythm.
Execution tip #1 = Don’t forget form : One of my fav pieces of advice I have heard is “Dance like no one is watching” (mainly as I have the coordination and rhythm of “that” drunk uncle at a wedding) – but I recently created a new piece of advice for myself. It occurred to me as I was running along the coast and I found myself puffing out my chest, correcting my stride and lifting my head tall as I spotted some club mates running towards me …. why was I not running like this before? It had been a long day and I was going through the motions – stupid I know – so my new best advice to myself RUN LIKE EVERYONE IS WATCHING … Good form is important 😀 (dancing well less so)
Bonus tip: If you find yourself slowing for no reason – do a quick head to toe self “diagnostic” to get your form back e.g. is my head looking at the floor, am I slumped over whilst running, where is my foot landing … this should help your refocus and fix where your form is failing
Execution tip #2 = Mix it up: For your longer slow runs – vary the terrain somewhat – as by adding in some grass/cross country will help train the stabiliser leg muscles that typically get overlooked when simply pounding the cement/tarmac routes.
Bonus tip: Adding in some hills in your long run is the equivalent of sneaky speed work as you are building up power/muscles
Monitoring tip #1 = Monitor your miles/progress: Do keep a training log – be it in training peaks or even in an old note book. This will help you see progress in terms of improved times/distance covered and understand when runs are not going as planned – eg fatigue, too big a jump in weekly volume
Bonus tip: As part of the monitoring – keep a log of which runners you used and for which run – as this will help you note when you should replace those ones with greater than 500km in them.
So getting the most out of your running just requires a little more planning (route and session objectives), improved execution (watching form and mixing things up to challenge yourself/muscle groups) and monitoring your progress to know when to push on or pull back!
Enjoy and remember to run like everyone is watching!
Steven Moody has starred in the corporate rat race but found his greatest source of satisfaction came from his 15 years of endurance racing including numerous IRONMAN finishes and world championship qualifications
Realising this fact, Steven abandoned his cubicle and moved into full time coaching. Steven is now Ironman U, ITU and Training Peaks level 2 certified and in 2017, was awarded Triathlon Ireland Coach of the year.
Browse his pre-built training plans by clicking here or if you have triathlon queries you can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org