Monthly Archives: December 2017

Training for a Half Marathon – 5 Tips To Help When Training For a Half Marathon

If you’re on the verge of training for a half marathon, but aren’t too sure on the best way to prepare, then you’re going to need to learn how having the proper half marathon training schedule put in place is going to save you a lot of time, effort, and pain.

Below are five steps that are going to get you on the road to completing your first half marathon, and they’ll give you a grounding in the things that you’ll need to know to get the right half marathon training schedule put in place.

Step 1: What is your starting point?

Before getting down to action, you’re going to have to work out what your current level of fitness is, and what your current running level is, too. Knowing both of these things will help you decide what sort of training for a half marathon you’re going to need, which helps to set your training schedule.

If you have any doubts about whether you’re going to be fit enough to tackle a half marathon – or before you do any exercise in general – it’s going to be a good idea to talk to your doctor. Getting a physical check-up may dictate your training schedule before you even take your first steps, on the path to getting ready for the start of the race.

Step 2: The motivation

Before you even get started, you’re going to have to make sure that you can keep going through to the end of the training for a half marathon; a good gauge of whether that’s likely to happen is to first know what your motivation is.

Can you picture getting out of the front door, and running the number of miles that you have to, even if the weather is less than inviting? Do you tend to put things off when you aren’t really in the mood, and think that you’ll catch up some other time? If that sounds like you, then you’re probably lacking the right motivation to see things through.

Your training can get tough, so you need to have the right motivation to keep you going on your routine, no matter how much you might want to take a break for a day or two. Those short breaks can end up stretching to a lot longer than you’d expect.

Tell family and friends what you’re plans are, as having people who know what you want to achieve, can help to spur you on when you just want to stay at home and relax.

Step 3: Start training before beginning your schedule

Yes, that may sound a little odd, but you really should start the whole process off by doing low impact and aerobic exercises, long before you even take to the roads. This is all about endurance, and even though you may be doing your road running with a buddy who can help you out, you still want to make sure that you have the physical strength to complete each stage when training for a half marathon.

You should be starting your training schedule some months before the big race; but even before that happens, you should have done a couple of months of strength and stamina work.

Step 4: Dressing for the part

Even though this may not sound like part of a training schedule, it’s going to have a big influence on your running, and therefore your training. You’ll need lightweight, comfortable shoes, which are the right size. You’re going to wear tight fitting clothing, to reduce the chafing. You should be wearing the right sort of hat for the weather, which applies to all of the rest of your running clothes, too.

By wearing the right clothing, you can reduce the amount of injuries that you get, so it’s worthwhile looking at it as part of your half marathon training schedule.

Step 5: Shorter races and cross training

Although you’re on a half marathon training schedule, and think that because it’s a shorter distance, that running that distance constantly is a good idea, it may not be at the start of your training.

You have to run distances that you feel comfortable with, in the beginning, so tackling the half marathon distance will probably not be the way to get started. If you decide that you want to get some competitive practice in, then this is another good time to try a smaller distance. The shorter competitions will help you build up your techniques of running with other people, and it will help you to get used to having spectators cheering you on.

Cross training can help you to exercise the muscles that you’re going to be using, and you can do it on days when you wouldn’t have been out running. Also, training in other ways is going to help because it will be a change in your routine, and that can stop the whole process from getting to repetitive.

The five steps mentioned above should get you on the right track for that half marathon that you’re looking forward to completing; but they’re by no means a complete list of what you could be doing to give yourself an edge. Having the right half marathon training schedule is key, but there are other thing that you could be doing to get the most out of your efforts when training for a half marathon.

New Running Shoes Announced

Recognizing the continuing trend of runners seeking enhanced comfort and protection in their footwear, W.L. Gore & Associates, inventor of high performance fabric technology, has joined forces with leading running company Brooks Sports, Inc. to create a range of new running shoes engineered with the GORE-TEX brand for Fall 2011.

Acknowledging Brooks as an innovative industry leader in designing high-performance men’s and women’s running shoes, apparel, and accessories, Gore will supply its GORE-TEX brand and technology know-how to Brooks’ seasonal portfolio to enhance the comfort and protection performance of some of their most popular styles, the on- and off-road Adrenaline ASR and neutral Ghost, the third edition of which was awarded the distinction of “2010 International Editor’s Choice” earlier this month by leading running magazine Runner’s World.

“We look forward to a long and collaborative relationship with Brooks, playing off of each others’ strengths and best-in-class technologies to build Brooks footwear enhanced with the GORE-TEX brand,” said Matthew Schreiner, global product footwear specialist at Gore. “As runners look to enjoy both on- and off-road running, our mission is to enable the best running experience possible for runners of all styles and skill levels, no matter what ground conditions they encounter along the way.”

Both Brooks and Gore have a long history of innovating with the best technology to meet consumer needs. Brooks is responsible for several key advancements in performance running footwear including patent-pending Brooks DNA–the smart cushioning system that instantaneously adapts with each step to a runner’s unique biomechanics, pace, gait, and surface–and BioMoGo, the world’s first biodegradable running shoe midsole that biodegrades 50 times faster than conventional athletic shoe midsoles in an active, enclosed landfill. In Fall 2011, both of these technologies work alongside waterproof, highly breathable GORE-TEX liners featured in two debut styles from Brooks: the Adrenaline ASR GTX and the Ghost GTX.

“We always look for compelling ways to deliver on runners’ needs, and many of our customers have asked us for performance footwear that can keep their feet dry and comfortable in even the soggiest conditions,” said Andre Kriwet, director of global footwear management for Brooks. “That’s why we’re excited to bring GORE-TEX technology into two of our top-selling shoes. The durable membrane is waterproof from the outside yet allows perspiration vapor to escape from the inside for optimal performance on-the-go.”

The Adrenaline ASR GTX and Ghost GTX will both be available in men’s and women’s sizing on August 1, 2011, for a suggested retail price of $120. Giving runners more choices to meet their needs, Brooks will continue to offer the Adrenaline ASR and Ghost series without GORE-TEX.

Run & Walk Marathon Training Tips and Tricks

Getting ready for and executing the proper run walk marathon training is important if you plan to do well and finish the event completely without any issues. These kind of marathons are getting increasingly popular, simply because so many different people are able to do them. When you participate in a run walk marathon, you are able to take your time and pace yourself more so than a regular running marathon. Although the distance of these tend to be a little longer, the fact that you will be running as well as walking makes it a little easier on your body.

So how exactly do you train for this type of event? There are multiple ways to do it, and you will want to start out by coming up with a schedule of training sessions for each day in the week. This will set you up with a good way to prepare yourself for the race, so when the day finally comes, you will be able to come out on top and perform to the best of your ability. The training for this type of marathon involves switching off and on, doing speed-walking one day and running the next.

Even on days that you are running, you should still make sure to do intervals where you walk a little ways as well. While walking may seem like something relatively simple, you will still need to consider that the pace you go at will ultimately effect the outcome for you. Your pace should be steady and consistent, so as to avoid any type of over exhaustion. The last thing you want to happen is to hit a wall and get too tired to continue. This tends to happen to many athletes who do not work enough on pacing during the training period before the marathon itself.

Doing tempo runs means that you are working on your rhythm, which is essential the pace you keep for the entire marathon. The more you train under marathon conditions, the better your chances of doing well will be.

Your main goal in training is to simulate what it is going to be like in the race, so you will have no problems at all when you are actually performing in the marathon. Your endurance is going to need a lot of work throughout the weeks leading up to the event, so make sure that you are monitoring the distance you are going on each run.

You will always want to be one hundred percent sure that the distance of your runs or walks is equal to that of the distance you will be doing in the marathon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working your way up the training ladder, meaning that you can start slow and build your way up to doing 5-10 mile runs. This will help your body get used to what it will be going through on the day of the race. If there’s one thing you will want to avoid, it’s overworking yourself right before the race.

To keep from overworking yourself, you can pencil in rest days into your training schedule. This will help a great deal in making sure that you are in top condition to perform on the day of the marathon. It is a known fact that the body needs a resting period once it is put through such strenuous and physical activities as running, lifting weights, cycling, or even swimming. You can do any and all of these things during your training period, and they are excellent ideas for run walk marathon training. Having a diverse list of exercises you can do is the key to staying in shape for the event to come.

Marathon Training Program – From The Couch To The Finish Line

NOTE: Before starting any exercise program or sporting activity always consult your Physician, GP or Medical Practitioner.

Marathon

The marathon is a long-distance endurance foot race with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards) that is usually run as a road race. The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until the 20th century. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes.

Half Marathon

The half marathon as the name suggests is a long distance endurance foot race that is half the distance of a marathon at 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi). In recent years the half-marathon has been reported as the fastest growing type of race.

Marathon Training

The marathon season is soon upon us again and runners everywhere will be developing marathon-training programs aimed at making themselves ready for the race. The whole point of training is to prepare your body, to make sure it is used to the kind of demand that will be placed on it during the race, while ensuring it remains injury free.

The answer to running a successful marathon is ensuring you are prepared, this means not just following a training plan but also making sure the efficiency of your movement is the best possible. This will ensure, you don’t develop injuries, or at least, will help in preventing injuries while ensuring you achieve optimal race performance.

Marathon Training Plan

The ideal time frame to train for a marathon is 16 weeks before the Marathon

The best way to plan your running over that timeframe is to:

• Decide on your goal-pace and make sure by the 10th week you are running at it.

• Run 3 times per week

• Do a strength and flexibility training exercise e.g. yoga twice a week and/or core and strength training.

• Get on the bike – increasing time to keep up cardio but low impact once a week

• Have one complete rest day

• Gradually increase the number of miles you run, you should aim to be running 17 – 20 miles six weeks before the marathon

• Keep to two short runs during the week. Do long run on a Sunday morning.

• The long run should be tapered down to shorter runs during the four weeks before the marathon. At 2 weeks, it should only be short runs.

An Overall week should look something like this:

Monday – Stretches, Massage/TPT (Trigger Point Therapy)

Tuesday – Short Run

Wednesday – Strength & Flexibility Training

Thursday – Short Run

Friday – Strength & Flexibility

Saturday – Bike for 1 hour – low impact cardio training

Sunday – Long Run.

Dynamic Lower Limb Stretches – Warming Up for your Run

To ensure you prevent injury make sure you do dynamic lower limb stretches before running sessions, these will cover the hamstrings, calves and quads and ensure tension is released; the stretch should continue until movement feels free and there is no tension in the muscles.

• Pelvic Tilts – to loosen the hips

• Dynamic Hamstring Stretches

• Figure of Eight Stretch

• Walking Lunges

• High Step Lunges

Stretch Exercises – Warming Down after your Run

Doing stretch exercise to warm down after your exercise sessions helps alleviate tensions or soreness, and prevent injuries.

• Hamstring stretch

• Calf Stretch

• Backstretch

• Quad stretch

• Side stretch

What are Altered Biomechanics?

Altered biomechanics for the lower limb is when the pelvis, knee and ankle joints are not in proper alignment during movement. This is due to poor posture which leads to muscle tension, stiffness of the joints and power muscles. Poor posture, which often originates from long hours sitting at a desk, also leads to the core and bottom muscles becoming weak and de-conditioned. These muscles are the key muscles used in running. When they are not properly activated, other muscles like the back, hamstrings and calf muscles then over-compensate, due to this the key muscles are not working properly or efficiently and an injury is likely to occur.

What is a Biomechanical Assessment?

A biomechanical assessment is an evaluation of the alignment of the pelvis, lower limb and body position during movement. This evaluation includes checking muscle balance and the angular range of motion between the pelvis, the joints and the different segments of the foot and leg. Having a Biomechanical Assessment with a Physiotherapist at the beginning of your training will ensure that issues are identified and dealt with so you can enjoy a successful marathon.

Nutrition

Everything you eat is fuel to the body so eating healthy through training is very important. Meals need to be well balanced with the right amount of protein and carbohydrates. Also, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables will ensure your body is topped up with the right vitamins and minerals, especially needed to keep up the immune system.

The night before long runs, make it a habit to eat a higher proportion of carbohydrates. This also applies on the night before shorter runs. Always make sure to re-hydrate after a run to get fluid and nutrients immediately back in the body. Have a meal one hour later.

Eating well throughout prepares the body before a run and then assists in the body’s repairs, prevents injury and enhances overall performance.

Sleep / Rest

By now you should know your body and how many hours sleep you require. For some people it is 6 hours, and some people need minimum 8 hours. If you don’t know I will say a minimum of 8 hours applies. Plenty of rest is important for the body to repair itself and to prevent injury. So make sure you get it throughout your training.

My Review Of Running Twister Why Im No Longer A Couch Potato

Despite all of the documented benefits of exercise, Ive always been the type of person who didnt make time for fitness in my daily schedule. Going to the gym was out of the question — its expensive and takes too long to get there. The bright lights at the gym are annoying, too. Running on the treadmill at home is convenient, but after a while, its boring.

I knew that I had to try to shake things up somehow. If you have an office job like I do, you know that you cant keep your midsection toned if youre sitting all day in the same position. Even if you take the stairs instead of the elevator at work, its just not enough to shape and sculpt your body. I count calories, but exercise is the only way to boost your mood. I knew that it was time for a change, so I decided to give Running Twister a chance.

Because the price isnt exorbitant, this was just the kind of fitness machine that I was willing to try out. I didnt have one thousand dollars to throw at equipment, but I could afford this model. And because its compact enough to store, I didnt have to worry about it ruining the aesthetics and decor of my living room. It fits in the hallway closet.

Rather than making exercise a chore on my to-do list, I decided to make it something that I would do while enjoying TV. That way, I could fulfill my need for watching television while moving at the same time. I could ramp up my intensity during commercials because advertisements dont require my total focus the way that some spellbinding movies and shows do.

Running Twister helped me get off the couch because it makes working out more palatable. Its a lot of fun to twist around, and I could feel it working my abs. Sometimes Id bounce while using the resistance bands, but other times Id do more creative moves with the equipment.

I found that the exercises help sculpt and tone my arms, middle, and rear without straining my muscles and joints. Most workouts stress my knees, back, and neck, but Running Twister isnt jarring like springting or jumping is. It is advertised as a low-impact form of exercise, and it definitely is. You can bump up the intensity as you wish. I think its the right kind of equipment for anyone who has trouble finding the motivation and time to exercise.

How To Make Running For Weight Loss More Effective

As a fitness tool, running for weight loss can be an excellent strategy to implement with your journey of trimming down all the excess body weight that you dont desire.

When I perform my daily workout with my 2.5 year old daughter using a jogging stroller in the DC area, I have known joggers, runners, or whatever you want to call them who are not in the shape they should be for the effort and time I have observed they put in.

You might be curious how do I know that, if I am just watching them jogging by and dont know if they are satisfied or not with the results they accomplished?

Well, I have got to know some of them and exchanged some brief talks during stretching or when I my daughter waves and says hello to some. The other part of it, I can just give an educated guess as a personal trainer who for years was working with mostly women clients.

I have observed that women usually have an objective to have a decent looking body, like firm arms and legs and midsection that is fairly lean and we are not talking about 7% body leanness.

Or even maybe those committed runners would like to find out if there is another way to improve their body, just maybe!

So today I will teach you an effective tool that you can use for the rest of your life to aid you as a woman whom is interested to keep in shape the smart way. But dont get me wrong, you still will be working hard but not the hard and long grueling exercise you see all around you.

Weight Loss for Women with Running (the other kind!)

– When you jog or run, in some days do run faster than your regular pace.

Brief Explanation: Running with the same pace day in and day out will become less effective in terms of burning more calories and building muscle tissue which translates to a plateau or sticking point. Run fast 2 or 3 times per week.

– run uphill and repeat these bouts several time for 15 to 20 minutes

Brief Explanation: Performing short bouts of uphill running with a fair amount of speed will add resistance to your legs and lungs. Youll burn more calories and also tone your legs.

Attract Back The Ex-girlfriend – Ways To Make Her Come Running Back

Ahh. The ex girlfriend. When you think about her, you just cannot help yourself. You wonder about what you could do to attract her back to you and whether or not you would have a chance at winning her back. Most guys try and shake off this feeling not because they do not want to get her back, but because they end up thinking that it will NEVER happen.

Of course, that is pretty limited thinking and really, not at all what COULD happen. After all, there are some really big JERKS that are somehow able to get back with their ex girlfriend, so you should be more than deserving of a second chance with her, am I right?

Here are some ways that you can attract back the ex girlfriend and make her come RUNNING back to YOU:

1. Let her see what else is out there. Unless you treated her really badly in the relationship, then you should not feel that insecure about her seeing what other people are out there. She might just end up appreciating you a little more, especially when she runs into a couple of wannabe players that are only interested in her for one thing. Quite often, this can be enough to make a woman want to come back to her ex boyfriend.

2. Whatever you do, do not try to become her best friend. I know that it can sound like a GREAT idea, but trying to be really close friends with your ex girlfriend will only lead to more heartaches for you. You will have to hear about what guys are into her, and you will be around her a lot, but not be able to do the things that you want with her. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can win her back by being her friend.

3. Get used to what it is that attracts a woman and then use that to YOUR advantage with your ex girlfriend. Most guys are not all that tuned into what a woman wants, and because of this, they have a hard time pulling back their ex girlfriend. However, you can be the exception just by deepening your understanding of what a woman wants and what attracts her to a man. Then you can be the most desirable guy that your ex girlfriend knows. And who will she want to be with, then?

Should You Run For a Marathon Charity?

One of the many reasons for the growing popularity of the modern marathon is that they are more commonly being used as a means of raising money for charities and worthy causes. Whichever marathon charity you choose, it will have more meaning to you if you select one that is related to someone who you know or have known that has been affected in some way.

Many people do choose a particular marathon charity because they have a friend, relative or loved one who could or would have benefited in some way by the service that charity supports. Choosing a cause to run for this way this can have the following positive and motivational benefits: –

Making the decision to run for charity may the final kick start for many runners in making them take action by booking a place and starting their marathon training.

During your running preparation for the race, there will be some tough times. If you’ve selected a cause that is close to your heart, you will be able to draw inspiration and motivation from the fact you will be helping others and this will ensure that you don’t give up and keep going.

Running is essentially a lonely, solo sport and whilst many people choose to train with friends or a club, running for a marathon charity also allows you to feel part of a much bigger community.

Many marathons have restrictions on the number of places available to amateur runners and it is often a matter of luck if you will be accepted or not.

Charities are now allocated many places and by applying for a place offered by one of these charities, you are much more likely to gain a place. The terms of your acceptance will be governed by you raising a substantially large certain amount of money.

When you are running for a marathon charity you will have an extra responsibility and this will definitely help you through your down days and tough training sessions. Perhaps the most important aspect of this is that you will gain so much support and encouragement during and after the race that you’ll find it much easier to keep going.

If you are considering whether or not to run your first marathon, you need to learn and understand the basics. Training for a marathon is no longer simply a case of running mile after mile day after day. Modern marathon training techniques have transformed the way you need to approach your running, making it enjoyable, interesting, much quicker and with less risk of suffering from injuries or illness.

Running Shoes For People Who Over-pronate

Pronation occurs when your feet roll in as you step. There is a normal pronation amount of about 15% for a healthy gait but over-pronation is the result of your feel rolling inwards more than that. According to Runner’s World Magazine, “the foot rolls inward more than the ideal fifteen percent, which is called over-pronation. This means the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing the body, and shock isn’t absorbed as efficiently. At the end of the gait cycle, the front of the foot pushes off the ground using mainly the big toe and second toe, which then must do all the work.” It’s fairly common and can cause serious problems for your entire leg and up to the hip if not corrected. Luckily, finding the right shoe for you can help correct the situation. Here are 8 of the best out there that serve light to severe over-pronators.

1. Nike Lunarglide+ 3 – The lightweight Nike Lunarglide+ 3 has a breathable mesh upper and lightweight synthetic overlays from the toe box to the heel for increased support. This shoe is best for mild to moderate over-pronators and runs in the $100 range.

2. Asics GT-2160 – This running shoe has been built for the moderate over-pronator who needs a combination of stability and cushion. This shoe is packed with benefits – too many to list but one that stands out is the rearfoot and forefoot Gel?cushioning system helps absorb shock. Running for about $100, these running shoes come in a variety of color combinations to suit your style.

3. Nike Lunarfly+ 2 Shield – Here’s one for those of you that are mild over-pronators and need just a little bit of extra stability. The Nike Lunarfly+ 2 Shield offers the extra stability you need plus reflective elements, microfiber synthetic overlays and breathable mesh. This shoe is Nike+ ready, weighs only 10 ounces and will cost you around $90.

4. Mizuno Wave?Inspire 4 – If you are a moderate over-pronator, you may want to take a look at this pair of kicks. You’ve got AIRmesh, Dynamotion fit technology, lightly padded tongue, Mizuno Intercool and heel cushioning for ultimate shock absorption. Running in these is like a dream! They run around $90 and weigh 10 ounces.

5. Saucony Progrid Guide 4 – This running shoe is also for those that are mild over-pronators. Offering cushion and stability this is one to hit the streets in. Benefits include mesh for optimal ventilation, lightweight and targeted support as well as a hydrator collar that wicks moisture away. You can have these for around $100.

6. Nike Zoom Equalon+ 4 – For those who are moderate to severe over-pronators, this shoe may be for you! This shoe is loaded up when it comes to stability and includes strategically placed overlays to optimize fit and enhance stability where over-pronators need it most and a floating dynamic heel strap to help control rearfoot motion. It’s got a ton of cushion and weighs 10 ounces. This one will cost you about $135.

7. Asics Gel Kayano 17 – These babies create a custom fit as two layers of memory foam mold to your heel. Talk about a running shoe that is customized for you! You get reflective elements, a cushioned tongue, an antimicrobial sock liner and more. The minimal design lets this shoe designed for moderate over-pronators to focus on what’s important – cushion and stability for about $140 a pair.

8. Pearl Izumi Isoseek IV – This shoe is for the moderate over-pronator who loves to trail run. This shoe offers seam-free mesh for enhanced breathability, padded tongue and collar, graduated guidance midsole and a full rubber outsole for enhanced traction. Take to the toughest terrain in these 12 ounce shoes for $105 a pair.

Tips To Running Faster!

The great thing with running, unlike many other sports, is that it’s very simple to objectively measure progress. How are you progressing? Or have you got yourself into a rut? We may not all be destined to become elite runners, but most of us feel pretty psyched when we see even small improvements. The older I get the more I look to small improvements for my motivation.

The following check list may help you pinpoint areas of nutrition, training, motivation, injury prevention, or equipment to address that will help boost you to the next level.

1.Fuel right before runs – have a low fat meal or snack containing low glycemic index carbohydrates 1-3 hours before your run. I personally like oatmeal mixed with Cheerios before my morning run.

2.Core strengthening – Pilates, yoga or simply core strengthening weight workouts. Personalized programs help to strengthen core and major muscle groups important to running, as well as lengthen out tight areas. A more fluid moving, stronger, less injury prone body is the result.

3.Cross-train – even the worlds’ fastest female marathoner-Paula Radcliffe-does some of her sessions on a Nordic track (a machine which mimics cross-country skiing). Water running and cycling are also useful to maintain cardiovascular fitness without the constant impact and injury risk. I finally bought a bike a month ago and I love it!

4.Refine your running technique – Your podiatrist or physical therapist can help you with gait analysis. Improving technique can not only make you a better runner, but you may feel less soreness and reduced injuries.

5.Aim to be a healthy weight – a BMI (body mass index) of 20-25 gives us a rough indicator. Running becomes more difficult when we gain weight, conversely, becoming underweight may negatively affect performance and health. I can admit that I actually have gained weight and became faster!

6.Increase your stress gradually – the general rule of thumb is to increase your mileage no more than 10% weekly. This gives the body time to adapt to increased stress and improve while decreasing injury risks.

7.Wear appropriate shoes – that are comfortable and functional for your foot type; and above all learn to recognize when they are past their use-by-date to help avoid injury. Five hundred miles or 6 months are the expiration dates on running shoes!

8. Start runs hydrated – and carry sports drink or gels on runs that are longer than 60-90 mins. Losing even 2% of our body weight through sweat can affect performance. Providing carbohydrate and electrolytes during longer races, will also be a huge benefit to your final time. Weigh yourself before and after a run. Make sure you replace your fluids!

9. Run with a group – if you find it difficult to stay motivated, running with a group, or a running peep can give you a time and place to be consistent with your running.

10. Get in the zone – Load your mp3 with music that uplifts you. Buy run gear you feel great and comfortable in, or map out new run routes to stay inspired. Mix it up!

11. Find a great massage therapist – regular massage improves mobility and flexibility of the muscles, increases blood flow, and relaxes the muscle. All this means recovery from a hard session or race (normally 48-72 hrs) can be reduced by up to 50%! A good massage therapist can also pinpoint problem tight areas before they become injuries. I love mine although I scream when she hits my sore spots!

12. Learn to run faster – do 1-2 runs every week that challenge your pace. This may be an anaerobic threshold run where you hold a faster pace for eg 20mins during your normal run. Other options are hill fartlek sessions-where you run an undulating loop, pushing hard on the uphills-or interval sessions – where a shorter distance is run hard, with a few minutes of jogging between eg 5-6 x 1 mile or 6-8 x 800m.

13. Find a mentor or supporter – this may be someone you admire as a runner, or who makes you feel enthusiastic about your running goals. It may be your coach, partner, or another runner who you catch up with regularly to talk running and how it effects your life.

14. Set goals with training and racing and follow a program. Like anything in life, we are more likely to be successful with a clear vision and tactics.

15. Eat right after runs – consume a meal or snack containing 1-2g carbohydrate/kg of body weight and some protein immediately after runs longer than an hour. I personally drink an Ensure or protein shake as soon as i stop sweating! Glycogen (the muscles main energy source for running) is replaced much faster in this period immediately post training.

16. Utilize and learn to love ice-baths – or cool water soaks, especially after long or hard runs. The effect on recovery is amazing.

17. Race – there’s nothing like a race situation to push you to the next level, while also giving you a sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing how the legs find another gear to train at as well!

18. Learn to train easy – we are not invincible, and do not become great by running hard every day. In fact injury and chronic fatigue is the more likely outcome! Recovery runs or easy days are crucial to gain the benefits from our harder runs. Do a daily check…are you fatigued when you wake up? That’s a day to pull out your bike or run easier.

19. Enlist specialists – get professional advice when needed from qualified and respected Sports Podiatrists, Nutritionists, Physical Therapists, Sports Physicians, Chiropractors, Exercise Physiologists, Coaches, and even Sports Psychologists!

We are unique individuals, and one formula will not be right for everyone. It takes time to figure out what works best for us, but the important thing is that you learn from experience, and enjoy the process of becoming a better, stronger runner.