What a difference from last year, the Taylor&Emmet Dronfield 10K is only a few weeks away and this year we have no sign of snow (yet!). We have once again entered a team into this year’s event and they will be sharing their top tips to make this year’s event your best yet. This week, we look at keeping training on track by mixing things up a bit…
Do you pass the same dog walker on the same street corner every time you set off for a run? Perhaps it’s time to break the monotony and try something different?
If, like the majority of runners, you always set out on the same route, you may find it disheartening when your legs get heavy and you know you are still a long way from home.
Mental stamina is a major part of a successful run and distraction is a good way to get through those aches and pains. To keep things fresh, try a route you haven’t run before. It may sound like odd advice, but a change in location can provide the diversion you need.
An app like ‘mapmyrun’ is a great way to discover new routes nearby.
The word every runner dreads.
For the most part, hills are daunting, unpleasant and not the motivation you need on a cold winter night. However, they can be your training buddy. Use them to your advantage and try to keep things fresh.
Find a hill and sprint up it for 30 seconds, pick a landmark you have reached (such as a lamp post, tree etc.) and then slowly jog back to the bottom. Now sprint up the hill again for 30 seconds and try to reach the same point. Repeat six times.
Whilst it may not seem like you are covering much distance, you are pushing your tired legs harder each time you sprint up that hill. Come race day, it will pay off in those final kilometres.
Another way to vary your workouts is to vary your speed.
Running at the same pace can seem repetitive and cause you to feel as though you are going through the motions. HIIT (high intensity interval training) may well help liven things up.
If you train on a treadmill, increase your speed until you are at a fast jog or sprint. Maintain this for 30 seconds and then drop back to a slow jog for one minute. Repeat 10 times. To make things a little more difficult, try sprinting for longer or resting for shorter periods.
If you train outdoors, you can follow the same principle but use landmarks to judge when to change speed. The easiest way is to sprint between a set of lampposts then jog between the next two sets and so on.
Try something new
It may seem that in order to reach 10K you need to be out every week increasing your mileage, but that is not always the case.
As well as giving your body time to recover between runs, it’s a good idea to give your legs a week off. That doesn’t mean you have to go without training. Alternative exercises that use different muscles are a great way to build up your fitness levels. Try swimming, squash, cycling, etc.
Mike Robinson, web developer at Taylor&Emmet, said: “Last summer I had ACL surgery and whilst I want to get back to peak fitness, my knee sometimes won’t allow it. I try to swap running for swimming to give my knee a well-deserved break.”
If you are feeling any aches or discomfort, do not ignore them or try and push through the pain. What may appear to be a small niggle could turn into something much more serious.
Rest and recuperate
As important as it is to put in the miles, it is equally as important to let your body recover.
Spread your workouts through the week, allowing yourself at least one day of rest between runs.
If, at any point, you are struggling or your training isn’t going as planned, use your rest period to reflect on why you are doing it and what you hope to achieve.
Look out for next week’s blog, in which will we discuss your plan of attack for race day.