I get asked a lot of questions and see the same on social media about how to manage the whole ‘running’ thing from how to fit it all in and how to keep the body fit and well so I put a few thoughts online.
What does my average training week look like?
My average training week is pretty full on, I train 6 days a week, of which I make sure included is at least one session of each hill repeats, speed, strength and a long run. As I build up my mileage increases as I build towards an event this results in some days being double training sessions so both before and after work, but ALWAYS a rest day.
Advice for runners struggling to fit in the miles?
Have a real honest look at your time schedule, where are you wasting time on things like watching TV or sitting of social media (guilty!) and use that time to get out for a run. Look to combine ‘jobs’ with a run? Can you run to work, or get off the bus/train a few stops earlier and run? Need to pick something up at the shops, run there and back? Still short for time then get up half an hour or an hour earlier and head out for a few miles. I find the dark, cold mornings are a bit easier with a Lumie light to wake me up and having my clothes laid out ready to go. No excuses right?!?!
My favourite or best post-run recovery techniques?
I love a chocolate milk after a long run followed by a lovely soak in a warm bath, then getting my Supacore compression tights on with my feet up on the couch, including a 20 min foot/toe stretch with my yoga toes on. I have a strong love/hate relationship with my foam roller as well, though I am sure my sports masseuse would prefer I did it a LOT more regularly. A good yoga session the following day is always good to stretch out properly, especially hot yoga. I treat myself to a good sports massage after any big race or just when I feel my body needs it.
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Top tips on essential kit for trail running?
I don’t hit the trails without a few basics in my bag including a first aid kit with safety blanket, emergency food & water, head torch, WAA Ultra waterproof jacket, buff, EGlove gloves & extra layers to keep warm. On me will always be my Suunto watch to track my run and maps and a good pair of trail shoes that work for you.
(**Get 20% discount from WAA Ultra equipment by getting in touch with me directly for an individual code**)
My nutrition tips for runners?
I’m fuelling with good, healthy & nutritious meals before and after runs and I wouldn’t head out for a long run without some Active Root, a natural ginger sports drink which not only gives me enough energy to run and keep me hydrated but the natural reaction of ginger settles my stomach, something which I have struggled with in the past on long runs. I try to stick to real foods on the run to keep up the energy levels and shy away from gels unless it is towards the end of a race.
What motivates me out on the trails when the going gets tough?
My competitive streak! The fact that I’m either racing or training for a race motivates me and especially if it is a race and I know people are following my results, I’m even more keen to do well.
My advice to anyone who wants to take up running!
Keep it fun but have a focus, signing up to a race/s works for me but what drives you? Is it a PB over a distance, building up to be able to run a certain distance or time, completing a certain race/challenge, or just feeling fitter and stronger? Whatever motivates you, use it, focus on it and enjoy it.