Run your way to your best performance

Happy National Running day!
I'm sure you don't need a day to celebrate your joy for running but if you need a little motivation to get out the door today and move your body, this is a great day to start!

It doesn’t matter if it takes you 6 minutes or 16 minutes, a mile is still a mile.
No matter your fitness level, running is a great sport to challenge your mind and body. But even better, running does not require a gym membership, you can do it almost anywhere (and anytime) and it comes with a list of benefits including body composition changes, fitness gains, stress relief and self-confidence.

Because there is nothing better than putting all your hard work to the test on race day, it’s important that you arrive to the starting line hungry to race, uninjured and healthy in both body and mind.

Even with the endorphin-rush following a rush of blood flow as you move your body quickly, with one foot in front of the other, running does come with a few downfalls.

Running is rather hard on the body (weight bearing) and not every human body is designed to run. Running requires good flexibility and range of motion as well as exceptional cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength. Injuries due to overtraining, poor biomechanics and improper shoes or increasing mileage too quickly are very common in runners of all fitness levels.
So don't worry if running isn't your thing, you can always walk...and a mile walking is the same distance as a mile running. 

To set yourself up for a great race experience, consider the following tips to help you train smart for your upcoming running race.

3 tips to run your way to a best running performance

   1)  Build a strong body – As great as it feels to check-off an hour run off your to-do list, it’s important that you build a strong foundation before you increase speed and distance. Strength training is an important part of a balanced running routine for a weak body increases the risk for injury. It’s recommended to include 2-3 x 20-40 minute sessions of functional (ex. run-specific) strength training each week into your running routine. Be mindful that strength training should enhance your cardio routine. Be sure to not overdo it with your strength training (which can be performed at home without weights but instead with body weight) so that you do not compromise your energy or form during your run sessions. To give your body time to adapt to strength training as you build stronger muscles and more resilient tissues, give yourself a few weeks to focus solely on strength training before starting your running training plan. It’s recommend to strength train on cross-training/off-run days or if needed, after your short, interval runs. The most important areas to address for runners are the hips, glutes, lower back and core to ensure good pelvis strength.

       2)  Consistency is key – At the beginning of any running plan you will either feel amazing and the miles will tick away naturally OR you will struggle with recovery after runs. Because prior fitness and experience comes into play when training for a running race, the most important way to boost performance is to be consistent with your training. Remember that training improves endurance, speed and stamina but if you cannot properly adapt and recover from your training stress you may find yourself struggling to keep up with your training plan. Develop a training plan (or work with a coach) that allows you to adapt to training with the least amount of training stress.
       3)  It’s not just about the miles – If you want to run a strong race, you have to put in the work to run a strong race. But arriving to your starting line requires more than running x-miles a week for x-months. As you train for your upcoming event, remember that good sleep, a positive attitude, good stress management, attention to sport nutrition (ex. fueling before, during and after workouts), balanced daily nutrition, a healthy immune system, good flexibility, proper pacing and correct use of training gadgets (ex. GPS and HR device) will also help to take your training to the next level.

Happy Running!

Looking for a fun track workout?
Here is one I created for Triathlete Magazine, specifically for the athlete who struggles with pacing and always starts out too fast out of T2 or at the beginning of a race.

Long-speedy track workout