Simon's Top Running Tips - 29th September 2017
So, Phil gave out his top running tips a few weeks back, and that got me asking myself what three nuggets of wisdom I could offer to runners. Here's what I came up with:
1. Run more
Obviously, within reason. No jumping from running 20 miles per week to suddenly doing ultras every other day.
The truth is, runners love a variety of sessions - threshold runs, interval training, speed reps, hills reps, marathon-paced runs, half-marathon-paced runs and so on - and these are definitely necessary to reach peak performance, but the majority of your gains as a runner will come from simply adding more, mainly easy-paced, mileage. Make this a medium- and long-term goal and you will see improvements.
The number of rest days you take will be a personal thing, but make sure you're taking them. And occasionally take some extra.
I'd go as far as recommending 2-3 weeks complete rest from running every year (I'm yet to meet a runner who likes hearing this). Yes, of course you'll lose a little fitness during that time, but your body does wonderful things when it's given a chance to recover and you'll soon find yourself reaping the benefits of proper recuperation time. Bear in mind that most professional runners take a break at the end of their race season.
Not for everybody, I know. But I find with both myself and runners I coach that it is only during races when we can really push ourselves to our limit. Not only do such efforts provide a real stimulus to adapt and improve, but they also give us a really good indication of our fitness and can inform our training approach.