1) Building Up Your Distance
Runners can make the mistake of only running near their race distance in the weeks leading up to race day. The body – joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle, have to adapt and get used to the distance volume and intensity of running. Runners often become injured in the few weeks before a big event because they have spiked there training loads and the stress is too much on the body, so something breaks down. Training loads should be gradually increased, no more than 10% each week to ensure injury risk is reduced.
2) Strength & Conditioning for speed
If you want to get fast and put in a PB then strength work is a must. The body must be strong for speed, running uses multiple joints and muscle, it’s a ‘whole body’ movement.
Strength training will reduce or remove any areas that are causing technique deficiencies. We see a lot of technique issues that are simply down to the runner not being strong enough. It you are strong, running economy will improve, i.e how much energy you use to run, because the body is having to compensate less due to increased strength. When you are in the latter stages of a race strength is key, if you are not strong then hips and knees drop and instead of running tall, the trunk collapses. Think about how elite runners move, everything seems effortless because they are very strong.
3) Focus on mental stamina
Every day, you have the opportunity to be your best! However, it takes mental stamina to be at the top of your game. Four weeks is an ideal length of time to build up and progress your mental stamina, ready for race day. Always start your sessions with a positive mental attitude, run with people who have a similar outlook and avoid training with “can’t do” style runners.
4) Nutrition – Take Gelatin Supplements (Silky Water)
Try taking 10 grams 1 hour before training with vitamin C. Timing is important as it can double collagen synthesis. It contains essential amino acids such as proline, lysine, hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, which help central nervous system recovery, sleep, and the big one connective / soft tissue / tendon quality and health.
Adding some short fast strides towards the end of your easy runs is a great way to inject some speed and get your legs moving fast. All it takes is 5 X 20 seconds bursts of speed at 3-5k pace and best of all it isn’t that taxing on your body.
6) Run tall
When the going gets tough it is easy to let your posture go, but this only makes the running harder as you adopt a less efficient style of running. So when the going gets tough tell yourself to run tall and correct your posture accordingly and instantly your running will feel easier.
Coach Hayley Payne – UK Athletics Coach and We Run Coach for Southampton.
Coach Lizzie Fluke – UKSCA Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach and We Run Coach for East London
Coach Michelle Coveney – UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness and We Run Coach for Swindon
For more information, please visit www.we-run.co.uk a nationwide run coaching network, offering 1-2-1 run coaching services and group sessions, as well as affiliations with a host of corporate running clubs and charities.