When it comes to improving as a runner, there are no shortcuts, says running coach Vlad Shatrov, founder of RunLab and Blackmores Sydney Running Festival expert. Solid, sensible training and an intelligent, long-term running approach will always give you a far better chance of boosting your performance than any other alternative plan.
As a runner and running coach, these are the five things that Vlad sees the most successful runners do. Make a cuppa, have a read and use these tips to help you get the most out of your next running session!
1. Set goals – It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself and continue to adjust them as you settle into your rhythm of training. Most of us are pretty aware of our abilities, but putting the goals on paper (or on a spreadsheet) will make it easier to stay committed.
2. Do functional strength training – Functional strength training, such as resistance exercises and body weight movements, can help you become stronger, more flexible and more agile in daily life. When it comes to running, this type of training can help you increase lean muscle mass and make sure you’re engaging the correct muscles when you run, so as to avoid injury.
3. Clean up your diet – Recreational runners often ‘run to eat‘. Those who are taking the next steps should be prepared to ‘eat to run‘. Make sure you include a good mix of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates in your diet, and keep sugary and fatty treats to a minimum. Also aim to match your daily fuel intake to the volume of training. To help support daily energy and to help fuel your body with essential nutrients, you may consider taking a multivitamin daily.
4. Take rest days seriously – Most runners are aware of what a hard day looks and feels like, but to truly take full advantage of your harder days, it’s advisable to allow your body at least two to three recovery days of relaxed running or cross-training after anything more intense. You’ll run more effectively and with fresher legs for your upcoming hard workouts and races.
5. If you’re serious, consider a coach – Plenty of runners take on new challenges without a coach, but a coach will often help to keep you accountable as well as give you guidance to meet your goals. Great coaches will work with you to give you a training plan that suits your needs and will assist you in staying off injury and burnout.
If you’re looking to set a new running goal, why not register for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 20 September 2020.
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