You want to get better at running, so you run right? Sounds like a simple formula…at first. As many regular runners and elite athletes will attest, there is much more to running than just running! If it was as simple as pulling on a pair of shoes and heading out the door then everyone would be Olympic athletes but very few of us are.
Most of the time (all things being equal in training) it is the little things that separate good from great, the 1%’ers. 1%’ers are the little additional things you can do to improve your running without actually running. Below are a few quick tips to get you on your way but there are many more.
- Have a Ice bath: Do this after hard training (speed sessions, long runs) with ideally a temperature between 6-8 deg for the most benefits. Go for a 15min duration or 2x 10min baths for maximum effect.
- Dedicated Stretching: Runners with busy lives are probably the worse at finding time to stretch, me included. A simple way to fit in some time is to dedicate 15-20min of time on the floor stretching at night. I find this is easy to do while watching the news (or Dora the explorer with my daughter)
- Morning activation: Get up a little earlier and spend 5min preforming some range of moment stretches to loosen the body up before you go and run or start the day. This will ensure you get off on the right foot.
- Post run nutrition: Enough cannot be said about the importance of refuelling your body within the “golden” 30min window post run. If you struggle to get home to eat or cant take solid foods after running then consider the use of a liquid shake. Something that has a 3:1 carb/protein mix is ideal. I use Endura Optimiser mixed with water.
- Strength training: A good strength training program should compliment your running and focus on activation of the entire running chain of muscles. A good program should also not leave you wasted on your running days either. Strength training can be as simple as various reps of body weight squats, lunges & box jumps etc at home. Its always best to seek advice from a strength and conditioning coach about what to do.
So these are just a few things that you can do to help improve you running. Get out there train hard but look after yourself.