If you’ve been following me over the last couple of years then you will know that I am on a mission to help you change the way that you run, but what exactly do I mean by that?
I have always said that running is an incredibly simple activity – all you need is a pair of trainers (some may suggest you don’t even need that) and an open space. We have all ran at some point in our lives, even if it was only 20 metres for a bus, or on a cold, damp November morning many years ago during school cross-country. Whether we loved it or hated it, we have formed an opinion on running; an opinion that can often change depending on whether we categorise a particular session as ‘a good run’ or ‘a bad run’.
However, no matter how simple the activity is, running is indeed a skill and as with all skills, the more this is increased the more progress you make, and ultimately the more enjoyment you get from it. We tend to enjoy things that we feel we are okay at, or dare I say, good at. There’s not many things in life that we say we really love but actually we’re pretty rubbish at. Personally I have never been the biggest fan of swimming, well guess what….. I’m not very good at it.
As runners, of all levels, we want to improve. We want to run faster, run further, we want to look better, or live longer. We are driven to take our running ability forward, in whatever way that means to us, and the only way that we will improve is by stepping out of our comfort zone and by doing something that we have never done before.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – Albert Einstein (a long time ago)
So how do we ‘get good’ at running? We could just do the same thing week in, week out and hope that it happens? Yeah sure, we could do that. Just like we could improve the taste of a cake by leaving it in the oven. OR we could take a step back and look at all the ingredients we have in our mixing bowl. Is there something we’re missing? Did we add enough hill work? Maybe we missed out a vital dash of flexibility or that tablespoon of core strength? Or perhaps we just needed to throw in more rest to get the balance of ingredients bang on?
Most of us are stuck in one gear; doing the same sort of sessions at the same effort on the same day. It’s time to break this mould. I want to help you to understand the benefits of running at different intensities and more importantly, I want to show you how to use your heart rate to do it. I want to help you to learn how to prepare correctly for your long run rather than throwing the trainers on and flying out of the door. I want to help you realise the importance of sharpening your skills in areas other than just running, such as balance, co-ordination, post-run nutrition, race strategy, to name but a few.
Ultimately I am going to help you to get more out of your running, by changing the way that you run; and if successful, the only regret I may have is that I wished I’d have done it sooner.