What are you missing? With a slow adaptable progression, strength workouts, drills, yoga, stretching and balanced diet we see athletes improving their performance every day. Everyone can run, but to run better, stronger and faster you must put all the ‘ingredients’ together. Missing a few essential basics will result in steps back. “Me personally, I really don’t like strength workouts, they are indoors, and the views aren’t inspiring! Oh, and I really don’t like stretching after a run because all I want to do is jump in the shower and grab some lunch!! But with fighting a few injuries here and there I know for a fact I don’t like to lose consistency in my training, as inconsistency is very damaging to my progression and my mental health.”
Please remember that all of this isn’t going to stop you from getting injured, but it will help you to recover from training faster, increase range of motion, alleviate tight muscles and promote better running economy and form. “Just this Monday I was running around the Lake, on flat stony path. I didn’t notice a stone under the autumn leaves, and I twisted my ankle. It was so painful! I was sure that this injury would put a stop to my training, but no, two days later my ankle had recovered, and I completed my 25k long run. I believe with all my hard input into strength training and stretching has made my body stronger and more resistant to injuries. Result!”
You don’t have to do strength workouts every day, less is more! Once or twice a week is plenty. You also don’t need to run hard every day. Your training should involve three types of runs; fast/hard (hill reps or tempo runs), long/moderate (endurance) and short/easy (recovery). Most athletes are running at the same speed/intensity on every run or too hard on the easy days and not hard enough for the harder session. This will lead to over training or a plateau, without any improvements. Sometimes this can also reduce in a reduction or loss in fitness when injuries or extended time off is needed to recover.
Training needs to be consistent, specific, and progressive, with adequate rest periods/days and backed up with consistent strength work and body maintenance (foam rolling and stretching). A lot of runners will slip into running the same distance, pace or route for their training and ultimately end up hitting a performance plateau or overtraining. Rest, stretching and strength work is often neglected along with varied training intensities. Your home from a busy day at work, shoes on and off you go; 5 or 10km, trying to beat your best time for your usual loop, that was tiring! Back home, quick shower, food and sofa. The next morning everything hurts, you think that you need a few days to rest. After a few days you go again, this time the next morning it hurts even more...a month later your back is aching, your calves are tight, your hamstrings have knots in them. How many ingredients are you missing from your running? Have you done dynamic stretching before your run? Have you run at correct intensity, have you stretched down after your run? Have you done your strength workout before you decided to increase your mileage or speed? A lot of runners will have neglected at least one of these key ingredients. Another misconception is that training intensities are complicated. Simple formula: Hard intercity run (you can’t speak) Moderate (you can say a sentence) Easy (you can speak easily)
This is just an abstract or simplified version of training intensities. If you are serious about your running and would like to get better at running, you would benefit of having a coach.
At High Peak Running we work with different types of runners. But the simple request from each of them is to get better at running. We start with a conversation over the phone to find out about past running history and future goals. Training intensities are calculated from 5 or 10k test times with threshold run Hear Rate and Pace values calculated from real data. We build a comprehensive, flexible and progressive plan around you, building towards your target races or fitness goals. A coach takes the guess work out of how hard to run on what day, when to take an easy week or rest day, what type of interval should I be running at what time of year, what does a taper look like and how long my long run needs to be to get ready for my ultra-marathon in the summer.
Getting a coach is a big step in your running journey whatever your level or ambition. A coach is there to offer support and guide you through training cycles, build you towards your goals and share knowledge that will ultimately increase your performance and enjoyment from running. The coach-athlete relationship involves the athlete and coach, it is not a one-way dictatorship, communication from both sides is incredibly important and will ensure consistent training continues week on week, month on month and year by year. A training plan has to be adaptable and flexible to fit in around our fast-paced ways of life and ever-changing world. As a coach you also put a lot of trust in your athletes that when they have the time to do so they will complete the training to the best of their ability and fit in the key ingredients to ensure they can keep training and following the plan. We will be writing further information on each important “ingredient’’ of successful training. Keep an eye on our blog. If you have any questions or would like High Peak Running to help you with your training, please get in touch.