01 TACKLE ANY NIGGLES NOW
Planning on doing more running? If you have anything bothering you now, it will only get worse as you increase your volume or distance. Nail those issues now. See a physiotherapist, running coach or gait-analysis specialist to find out what’s causing your aches and pains and, most importantly, how to deal with them. Biomechanical issues such as overpronating will only get worse when you run more.
02 FOCUS ON QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY
If you’re already running regularly, improvements are usually more likely to come from improving the quality of your training rather than the quantity. Hill sessions, track sessions, fartlek running (unplanned sessions where you vary speed and intensity) and interval training are all great ways of doing this.
03 BE CONSISTENT
Get into a habit of running regularly, but don’t think you have to run every day. You can increase running fitness on three good-quality runs per week – one of those runs can be a longer run while the other two can be shorter, more intense sessions, like a threshold run (where you run at a pace on the edge of discomfort for blocks of time) or interval sessions, where you have brief periods of running at a nine out of 10 intensity. Hill runs will also help to boost your fitness.
04 BE FLEXIBLE
If you increase your running volume or frequency and feel like you’re getting niggles, then drop one of your runs and replace it with a low-impact cardio session. The cross-trainer, rower, stationary bike, or a spin class are all good alternatives.
05 HIT THE TRACK
The running track offers a springy surface, it’s pancake-flat and, as a result, it gets your legs used to working faster. It can also be easier to time your runs as you complete laps and will enable you to monitor your progress more easily.
06 LIGHTEN UP
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