Most runners run too hard too often. And when I say too hard, I'm more often than not also including your 'on' gear in that category - a lot of runners have a "comfortable pace" that is too fast for optimal training load and endurance development. Add to that your elusive fast gear, and you're running too fast and/or hard way more regularly than you should.
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With the weekend right around the corner, I wanted to pass on my three tips for getting the most out of your weekend run. To preface the three tips, my weekend run/s is/are usually long runs with a focus on time-on-feet – but that’s not to say these tips don’t carry over to any run.
- Warm-up and Cool-down (WU and CD) // Nothing ground-breaking here, but how many of you get up on a Saturday morning and head down to your local parkrun, jump out of the car and belt out a quick 5km, before heading straight across the street for a coffee? More than a few of you I’m guessing. A WU/CD doesn’t need to be anything fancy – just 10-15mins of light jogging for a runner is usually enough to help the body make the switch from “running the body systems” to “running”. If you’re doing a long-run it’s even easier as the WU and CD can just be 15mins of gradually increasing pace until you reach your long run pace. For the record – static stretching IS NOT an adequate WU!
- Help your body recover // The weekend usually brings with it a little more time. Use it to your running advantage by making recovery a focus – spend some time with the foam roller, get a massage, cook some wholesome meals for the rest of the week. A weekend of active recovery doesn’t make up for a working week of crap, but it’s a step in the right direction. After your weekend run is also the perfect time to do a body checklist – how is your body feeling? what feels good? what hurts or is tired? Take note of this and consider it when planning for the week ahead.
- Enjoy it // This can mean whatever it needs to – run with friends, run somewhere new, take some time out mid-run to appreciate your surroundings. The weekend run is the time when I work out the stresses of the preceding week – it shouldn’t be stressful or a chore. Take some time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ as they say.
How do you get the most out of your running weekend?
See you out there – Juddy
OK, today I want you to listen to what I say NOT follow my example.
The following are 3 **KEY** components to a training cycle (heck, to your day-to-day life!) that should always be considered…yet are some of the first things that get cut when I become time poor (which I inevitably do):
SLEEP // I talk about this one all the time. Sleep is perhaps the single-most important part of your training. Period. There’s no point doing any form of training if you don’t give your body rest periods to beneficially adapt. And the most effective rest period? You guessed it - sleep.
DRILLS // I’m not talking about Bob The Builder DIY stuff, I’m talking about form specific running drills. I schedule these into all my training programs, usually to complete at the end of certain runs, yet I skip them regularly as time gets away from me. And no matter how often I tell myself I’d be better off cutting my run 10 minutes short to get the drills in…I don’t. (But I should).
NUTRITION // This is a component I am getting MUCH better at, yet there are still improvements to be made in making my nutrition part of a routine. A little like sleep, you are wasting training if you don’t back it up by putting the right things in your body. That doesn’t mean throwing back protein shakes and every vitamin going around (leave that to Cronulla and the Bombers) – it just means ensuring that you eat at the right times to complement your training, and that what you eat is as wholesome as possible.
And yes, before you ask, choc-peanut butter thickshakes are definitely wholesome (just don’t tell my Naturopath).
See you out there – Juddy