STRONG MIND & BODY
Finishing big takes mental and physical strength. Learn to tough it out with tips from New Balance athlete Kate Avery
You may be quick off the mark, but if you struggle to maintain your pace, you’re not alone; powering through ‘the wall’ requires physical and mental fortitude, which you need to work on in the gym to complement your outdoor mileage.
‘You have to learn what your body can do to push your limits, and that applies in the gym as much as on the track, says long-distance runner and New Balance athlete Kate Avery. Although strength training is far from your first priority, it will help you iron out any weaknesses.
Kate trains with weights to boost her stamina. Research shows adding strength-training sessions to your running improves oxygen usage, helping you run harder for longer. ‘I train to get the most out of myself,’ says Kate. ‘And as a long-distance runner, my competitors are pushing me every step of the way. Having a strong body helps me stay strong mentally.’
Kate knows that you are your toughest opponent, so a winning mindset is crucial. In addition to improving your body’s oxygen capacity and boosting your speed, hitting the weights is therapeutic. Need a quick boost of feel-good endorphins? Research in the journal Complementarytherapiesin Medicine found strength training is the fastest way to improve your self-esteem, taking you from underdog to competitor in the space of an hour.
For more on how to stay stronger for longer and win the mind game, visit runnersworld.co.uk/ toughestopponent.