6 Key points to running Fitter, Faster, Stronger

With the Two Oceans Half and Ultra Marathon a little over 3 months away, running fever is in the air. What better way to get out and grab some fresh air whilst catching up with your friends and running partners.

But, like everything else in life, there is no quick fix to running fitter, faster and stronger and here are some key points to bear in mind before launching in to a running goal. These points are not only applicable to running and can be adopted in to any form of training you may be doing.

Have a Plan of Action

A well structured training plan will take in to account your current fitness levels, goals and lifestyle and reduce the risk of injury and overtraining. Volume and intensity should be increased incrementally and a recovery week (less volume) every 3-4 weeks is essential.

More is not always Better

The impact of running on the body is much less forgiving than many other disciplines. Pushing out high volumes all the time will lead to injury and fatigue. Injured bodies require rest and fatigued bodies get easily injured

Listen to your Body – Tired or Lazy or ill?

Are you genuinely fatigued from training overload or did you have a late night and one too many glasses of wine? Are you feeling sick and are your symptoms below your neck? Have you been sick and returning to training just that little bit too soon? Do you have a niggle, but can’t bear the thought of another day of no training – everybody else is training according to STRAVA. Listen to your body and do what’s right for you – when in doubt go without. That extra rest day can make the world of difference.

Nutrition is Queen & Sleep is King

Eating well to support your training load is critical. Replace packaged and processed foods with high quality stuff. Don’t waste your calories! Skipping meals immediately following big sessions, not eating for hours after a race, under-eating and then binge eating, and turning to packaged bars and drinks over fresh food IS NOT GOOD. Eating more is better, but also eating the right foods is important. Eating well fuels your body to be able to repair itself faster, and build muscle and overall strength says PRO triathlete Sarah Piampino

Lack of sleep can lead to a big drop in energy levels and a higher risk of injury. The quality of your training is  compromised as is your recovery and performance

Take your Easy days Easy

Holding back on your easy days will ensure better performance on hard days. Training hard every session will lead to over training and injury with no chance for the body to recover or adapt to training loads.

Mix it up

To stimulate different muscle groups and engage different energy systems, be sure to add variety in to your sessions. Hill repeats, intervals, tempo runs and running drills should all be incorporated in to your weekly run sessions. Your LSD (long slow distance) should be run at a conversational pace at a comfortable effort and in an aerobic zone.

The purpose of the LSD workouts is to develop the ability to better metabolize fat and spare glycogen as a long duration energy source (glycogen is the stored form of carbohydrate in the muscles and liver) suggests Adam Hodges, a US triathlon coach & masters runner.

Swimming & Cycling are also great ways to mix it up and introduce cross training allowing the running muscles to recover in between.

K8 Multisport Tribe & Coaching offers customised running & multisport programmes for all distances and levels of athletes. As an added bonus we also offer coached group run sessions on a Monday night and a Wednesday morning. Swim squad and group bike sessions are also on offer for those keen on cross training.

Email us for more info – britt@k8coaching.co.za