New Year’s Resolution is not an easy challenge. Most people can sustain their New Year’s Resolutions for the first few months. For 2018, why not focus on your goals to become a better runner, stronger, more fit and healthy.
When your daily training becomes a chase towards a bigger goal, instead of just checking off your mileage or daily workout, every km, every step gets you closer to reaching your full potential (nothing to lose and everything to gain)! If you’ve signed up for some races, focusing on gaining strength, speed, and a healthier lifestyle will make a huge difference.
1. Increase your Speed:
If you want to get faster, and train 4-5 times/week all you need to do is include 1 or 2 sessions of hill repeats or speedwork/ week to get faster. You can even just add 4-6 100m strides at 80-90% effort at the end of a weekly run to increase your speed.
2. Work on Perseverance, Resilience and Determination:
Runners who are mentally strong will train even on days they don’t feel like it, compared to others who will find excuses. That is the same difference with ultra-runners who will cross the finish line even after they’ve “hit the wall”, compared to those who will DNF. If we don’t have any muscle, stomach issues or injuries, to finish an Ultra we need to add mental conditioning, consistent practice to get stronger mentally. When running a long distance, usually after 50K, the brain has to take over!
3. Get a Stronger Core:
If your core is weak, you use more energy to stabilize your body while running. That energy drain can slow you down, and make the training feel harder. A weak core can also force unnatural movement compensations, and cause some injuries. Adding 10-15 mins core sessions 3 times/week will help strengthen the core and improve the running form.
Include: -Opposite Arm and Leg Plank -Side Plank Reach Under -Slow-motion Mountain Climbers -V-Sits -Single Leg Bridge -Squats/ Lunges
4. Increase your Endurance:
Most runners have a tendency to train in one specific way. Our body as an entire spectrum of muscle fibres available; Fast-twitch, slow-twitch. Some runners like to run fast short-distance, others longer and slower distance. As a result, a certain type of muscle fiber remains untrained and passive. To increase our performance and endurance, we need to train both types; speedwork and long runs.
5. Train with Mindfulness:
To work on increasing the quality of our mindfulness, will help improve our performance during training and races. Focus on being in the present moment, free from distraction, this will allow to increase your body’s awareness, better posture and running technique. Post-run it can help with recovery and better sleep.
Pre-run, for one minute close your eyes and allow your body to settle. Think about why you’re running and what you want to accomplish.Ease into your run slowly, give your body time to adjust to the movement, feel the ground under your feet.
As you pick up the pace, keep a relaxed focus on your technique and how your body just knows how to run.When you get distracted, bring your attention back to your natural movement.After the run, pause for one minute of stillness, focus on recovery. Close your eyes, take deep breaths and allow your heart rate to settle.
Most people focus on weight loss as a New Year’s Resolution. Why not focus on changing your lifestyle and daily diet that can be healthy, balanced, sustainable for a lifetime. Include lots of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fat. Include foods that you enjoy, and that your body likes which is easier to process. Figure out how much nutrients your body requires according to your training schedule and intensity, so that you feel satiated, strong and energetic.
For 2018, focus on improving your fitness level, health, quality of life and happiness!
Happy New Year!
Train Hard, Eat Right, and Feel Great!