1. Consistency is Key. Your body is amazing at adapting to different stresses, however it can quickly lose conditioning if that specific stress isn’t continued. Being consistent in your running is pivotal when wanting to progress and therefore make it far easier to hit that PB.
2. Fuel Yourself Properly. You don’t see Daniel Ricciardo rolling into the pits and filling his Formula 1 Racing Car with Bleach. If you want to reach that elusive PB, you should be fueling yourself with quality carbohydrates, protein for muscle repair and dietary fats to assist with absorption of nutrients, cell growth and production of some specific hormones.
3. Strength in Hills. When you’re about to take off on an aeroplane, do you begin to feel a bit anxious? That’s the same reaction a lot of people get when they see hills on their program. If this is the case, then the focus needs to turn to the benefits you’ll receive from hitting those hills, whether it be in a long run or more structured like shorter or longer hill reps. Just like brushing your teeth twice a day strengthens your chompers, hitting the hills will strengthen your legs.
4. Don’t Forget Speed Work. There’s no doubt, running fast is fun. Feeling the wind blowing strongly through your hair as you accelerate your movement. Pumping your arms faster and letting your legs follow, whilst still holding good form. In order to run faster, you need to recruit more muscle fibres. Engaging these muscle fibres then allows you to use them at different times, like when running at a slower pace. Now you will be more efficient and so during race time, make it easier to snag that PB!
5. Incorporate a Weekly Long Run. For a distance runner, the long run is like the mortar between bricks, binding everything together and without it, you’re not going to be able to stand up as strong on race day. Not just purely for marathoners, the long run allows your body to build up an aerobic base, which not only will help come race day, but will allow you to push harder in your session days. Therefore assisting in running economy, making you quicker and giving you more confidence. These are also great ways to either catch up with some of your running buddies or even listen to a good podcast!
6. Vary your Running Locations. If you ate the same food, at the same place for the rest of your life, it would quickly lose its satisfaction. Just like that, it can be easy to lose motivation if you hit the same path for every run, so ensure you mix it up a bit. Put a bit of spice in your life by getting amongst some amazing bush trails, through fields or beach runs, like those around the Mornington Peninsula. Every kilometre will bring something new to view!
7. Don’t Run Everything Flat Out. In order to grow and allow your body time to adapt to different stresses, you need to incorporate rest and recovery. Going flat out day in, day out means you may stress your body too much, which can lead to injury, loss of form or leave you over trained.
8. Switch up your Surfaces. Hard surfaces give you a lot of force back, which can allow you to run quicker, however soft surfaces have the ability to reduce the risk of injury by putting less strain on the body. Soft surfaces can also assist in building strength, so be sure not to shy away from them.
9. Go Steady when Building Mileage. The more oxygen you can supply to your working muscles, the more energy you can produce and therefore the faster and longer you can run. This is where mileage becomes very important, as it can assist in your body producing more mitochondria-the main part of your cell that produces energy and make more capillaries-delivering more oxygen from your blood to your muscles. However, your body needs time to adapt, therefore slowly increasing your mileage will allow your body time to adapt to that stress, before then being able to go for more.
10. Enjoy the process. The end result, finishing a 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon, hitting a PB. These are all amazing things and can give you a massive sense of achievement. However, the process of achieving these feats should be enjoyed just as much as the final result itself. Along the journey you’ll meet remarkable people, see astounding things and learn valuable lessons. Ensure you don’t take these for granted and enjoy everything running has to offer.