How do you Run & Train, 5 Questions to see if you are an April Fool?

Gain the Edge Photo

What a beautiful start to April… warm sunshine, blossom and the birds tweeting. I love this time of year.

At the weekend I ran the beautiful Forest of Dean Half Marathon, pretty tough with all the hills yet exceptionally well organised! It got me thinking as I ran along about a few things, have a read and let me know what you think..

1. Do you Strength Train?

Without a doubt there is a benefit to strength training as a Runner, I believe. It helps to stabilise your core muscles, activate your gluteals, align your biomechanics and improve your gait. When you fatigue, it helps you to keep your body tall and strong. When you observe photos post race it is a welcome kick up the buttocks (literally and metaphorically) to get you training to improve your gait & strength. Combine Strength training with quality running training cycles (see you Top Tips in Runner’s World), that allow peaks for strength, speed, endurance and recovery. We coach a lot of our female athletes in line with their period monthly cycles too with great results.

2. Do you think about your Posture?

Many people do now strength train, but how is your posture day to day? How do you sit at your desk, stand and walk about… this is what you do for the majority of the day, so make sure you make it count. Stand really tall, breath deeply and engage the muscles that make a difference when you are running. I would really recommend making time for daily stretching, rolling & a monthly sports massage treatment too, keeping on top of niggles is the key to staying strong and well.

3. Do you fuel your body for performance or energy?

I believe there is a difference, yes, carb loading on white pasta and sugars will give you energy, but will it improve your performance, boost your immunity and strengthen your energy? Will it make you feel good, recover well and enhance your next race? Every athlete is different, but listening to how your body feels and feeding it accordingly will make a difference to your performance, now and in the future. I have played around with my nutrition over the last few months and it has definitely paid off with my performance and well being. I also supplement with Phil Richards & drink Organo Green Tea, every little helps!

4. Do you have clear goals & balance?

When I am coaching people they are often unsure of their main goals, or scared to commit to one incase it doesn’t happen. With that in mind, they then over train (or as recent studies suggest under recover), then reducing motivation, results and not having enough fun time. Get really clear on your goals, get really clear on WHY you want to achieve what you want to achieve, what will it do for you? What will you gain from achieving this? This is what makes the difference in motivation and focus. Then make sure you make time for at least 30mins of fun every day, listening to music, speaking to a non running friend, reading, comedy, it doesn’t matter but time away from your goal will enhance your motivation, increase awareness and enhance your performance. You can read more about goal setting in my column in Ultrafit or on my Running Bug Blog site.

5. Do you believe in yourself?

Oooo the million dollar question… but do you? So many people I train, myself included, at times doubt themselves and do comparison against others, or limitation with their boundary of what is possible for them. I really recommend that you let go of comparison, all it does is sabotage your performance. Instead choose to model excellence, choose to refine what you do, to become the very best version that you can be. Stretch your boundaries, imagine what would be possible if you just allowed yourself to focus on being your best, rather than the what if? Now I’m not saying ignore the what if, in fact embrace the what if, come up with a plan for if the what if happens… then let it go, file it away and turn your full attention into becoming your best. I dare you to try it in April. Yet remember, training your brain is like training your body, it takes time to increase your belief, so little and often begin, do it consistently and have courage to succeed… many more people I work with are actually scared of succeeding, rather than failing, they just don’t realise it…

So I would love to know what you think to the questions…. it doesn’t matter if you run, swim, bike, dance or just go to the gym, the questions work… take a moment to answer them and if you have more questions just let us know.

Look out for our Mental Strength Tips for the London & Brighton Marathon’s and do let us know what you next race is, we love to hear how you are getting on.

Wishing you a wonderful April, may you focus on what you want to achieve, and let go of any limitations in your way right now.

Energised Powers, Kim and the Team

ps. Join us for the Bristol 10km & Race for Life this Summer

Read what Head Coach Kim is up to here: