106 Run­ning Up­grades Easy ways to get bet­ter

A cor­nu­copia of sim­ple tips, tricks and tweaks to im­prove and up­grade ev­ery as­pect of your run­ning life in 2017

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

1 Feel the burn

Can’t make the moun­tain train­ing camp this weekend? Train­ing in hot con­di­tions de­liv­ers sim­i­lar fit­ness gains to train­ing at al­ti­tude, ac­cord­ing to re­search from the Univer­sity of Coven­try, so grab some ex­tra lay­ers and run in your own mo­bile heat cham­ber.


It sounds coun­ter­in­tu­itive, but per­form­ing heavy leg-re­sis­tance work be­fore you run could im­prove your speed and stamina, ac­cord­ing to a Brazil­ian study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Strength and Con­di­tion­ing

Re­search. This ‘post-ac­ti­va­tion po­ten­ti­a­tion’ ef­fect de­liv­ered a six per cent per­for­mance boost for cy­clists in a post-weights 20km time trial.


Still not hot to squat? Here’s a health bonus… weight train­ing pro­motes uni­formly sized red blood cells, an in­di­ca­tor of low heart dis­ease risk, ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search at the Univer­sity of Mis­sis­sippi, US.

4 GET IT ‘ OM’

Time for flex­i­ble think­ing: A 10-week pro­gramme of twice-weekly yoga ses­sions de­liv­ered sig­nif­i­cant gains in flex­i­bil­ity and balance in a study re­ported in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Yoga.


Give your heart a help­ing hand­ful. A study re­ported in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal

Nutri­tion found eat­ing a 28g serv­ing of nuts five or more times a week sig­nif­i­cantly low­ered sev­eral in­flam­ma­tory biomark­ers linked to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.


Eat­ing a sin­gle Kiwi fruit ev­ery week raises ‘good’ HDL choles­terol, re­duc­ing your risk of heart at­tack-in­duc­ing blood clots, found re­search in Nutri­tion Jour­nal.


Sun­day March 26th: In­stead of skip­ping your run be­cause you lost an hour to clocks go­ing for­ward, set your alarm for some miles in the morn­ing, says Robert Oex­man, di­rec­tor of the Sleep to Live In­sti­tute in North Carolina, US. By run­ning when it’s light out, you trick your in­ter­nal clock into ac­cept­ing the new sched­ule.


Tryp­to­phan primes your small in­tes­tine to ab­sorb more mus­cle build­ing/re­pair­ing amino acids from your food, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers be­hind a study pub­lished in Amino

Acids. Nuts, seeds, cheese, lamb and pork are good sources of tryp­to­phan.


Another rea­son to eat your greens: they’re a great source of lutein, which trig­gers the re­lease of AMPK, dubbed the ‘marathon en­zyme’ be­cause it switches your mi­to­chon­dria – the pow­er­houses in your mus­cle cells – into fat-burn­ing mode. A study in

PLOS One con­firmed this en­hances stamina dur­ing en­durance ex­er­cise. Top lutein sources are: Kale, spinach, broc­coli, cress and Swiss chard.


The re­search also found that con­sum­ing fats at the same time can triple your body’s ab­sorp­tion of lutein, so think oily fish, av­o­cado or peanut butter.


The track is a great place for nail­ing speed­work

ses­sions, but re­search in the Jour­nal of Sports Medicine and Phys­i­cal

Fit­ness cau­tions that you may need to pay at­ten­tion to not just your split times, but the to­tal time you spend on the oval. The study of 5K run­ners found do­ing more than 25 per cent of train­ing on a tar­tan track sur­face was associated with plan­tar heel pain.


Want a ses­sion that’ll de­liver max­i­mum gains in min­i­mum time? Ian Bur­rell, who fin­ished 25th in the 2015 World Marathon Champs in Beijing despite work­ing full time as a lawyer, rec­om­mends this key work­out:

WHAT A fartlek ‘pyra­mid,’ with 1-minute jogs be­tween fast seg­ments.

WHY ‘ It adds a nice mix of speed and strength together to goose up the legs – it’s gru­elling,’ says Bur­rell.

WHEN Twice dur­ing a 12-16-week marathon train­ing cy­cle, in week 6 or 7 and once more in week 9 or 10.

HOW Start­ing at marathon pace, run seg­ments of 1,2,3,4 and 5 min­utes, then 4, 3, 2 and 1. Do the sec­ond 3-minute ef­fort at half-marathon pace and the sec­ond 2 and 1-min­utes at 10K pace. Then re­peat the en­tire pyra­mid.


An in-store tread­mill trot un­der the gaze of lightly amused shop staff is one thing; a full biome­chan­i­cal anal­y­sis is quite another and it’s some­thing that can re­veal the kind of in­for­ma­tion that could help you min­imise in­juries and be­come a more ef­fi­cient run­ner. At Run3d Clin­ics in Ox­ford and Lon­don (run3d.co.uk), five in­frared cam­eras record you run­ning from the side, front, back and above, cap­tur­ing 200 frames per sec­ond. The re­sult­ing data is com­pared with a huge biome­chan­i­cal data­base of un­in­jured run­ners to de­tect any de­vi­a­tions. ‘ This al­lows us to iden­tify the fac­tors caus­ing or likely to cause overuse in­juries,’ says clinic di­rec­tor Dr Jessica Bruce.


The key to your next great race or PB may be in your warm-up. A study in the Jour­nal of Strength and Con­di­tion­ing Re­search found well-trained dis­tance run­ners ran sig­nif­i­cantly fur­ther be­fore reach­ing ex­haus­tion fol­low­ing a

dy­namic stretch­ing ses­sion than they did af­ter no stretch­ing.

Make time for static stretch­ing in your life, too. It may not lower your in­jury risk but, ac­cord­ing to re­cent Ja­panese re­search, static stretch­ing can lower ar­te­rial stiff­ness and thus heart at­tack risk.


Your per­fect postrun re­hy­dra­tion op­tion may al­ready be chill­ing nicely in your fridge. Un­for­tu­nately it’s not the Sau­vi­gnon Blanc… a study in the Bri­tish Jour­nal

of Nutri­tion found milk was more ef­fec­tive at hy­drat­ing the body af­ter ex­er­cise than ei­ther wa­ter or a car­bo­hy­drate-elec­trolyte so­lu­tion.


In mod­ern-day run­ning maths, 26.2 is no longer enough for many run­ners, but can you re­ally train ad­e­quately for an ul­tra while hold­ing down a full-time job and spend­ing time with your fam­ily? Yes you can, es­pe­cially if you tar­get a ‘short’ ul­tra, says 14-time Western States 100-mile cham­pion and coach Ann Tra­son (tra­son­run­ning.com). ‘ For a 50K [31-mile] race, ap­ply the 10/10/10 rule from a marathon plan,’ says Tra­son. ‘ Lengthen your long runs by 10 per cent, slow long-run pace by 10 per cent and re­cover with 10 per cent more rest or cross-train­ing days. For a 50-miler, the for­mula is 20/20/20.’


For­get those ad­mon­ish­ments from ex­as­per­ated par­ents and teach­ers – fid­get­ing, it turns out, can be a very good thing, at least as far as your health is con­cerned. Those con­stant small move­ments keep your calo­rieburn tick­ing over dur­ing oth­er­wise seden­tary pe­ri­ods and can com­bat obe­sity and heart dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a Mayo Clinic Pro­ceed­ings re­view. They’re still an­noy­ing, though…


Scep­ti­cal as we are of slo­gans, it seems you might be able to take this one as read, rather than think it’s a load of bull. In a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Strength

and Con­di­tion­ing Re­search, run­ners who drank two cans (500ml) of Red Bull en­ergy drink one hour be­fore a 5K time trial im­proved their per­for­mance by an aver­age of 30 sec­onds com­pared with a place­boim­bib­ing group. There were no dif­fer­ences in rate of per­ceived ex­er­tion or heart rate. And no, there was no vodka in there…


Some carbs can ac­tu­ally help you peel off the pounds, which is mu­sic to our ears. Re­sis­tant starch is an undi­gestible fi­bre found in grains, beans and pota­toes (es­pe­cially cooked and cooled); it pro­motes weight loss by fill­ing you up, shut­ting down hunger hor­mones and foil­ing your body’s at­tempts to turn it into sugar. Un­like other carbs, which get turned into body fat when we eat them in ex­cess, re­sis­tant starch passes on through. What’s more, it may also re­duce can­cer risk and boost your im­mune sys­tem, says Dr Chris­tine Gerb­stadt, a nu­tri­tion­ist and spokes­woman for the Amer­i­can Di­etetic As­so­ci­a­tion.

32-37 Li­cence to grill Power up with these grilled cheese sarnie up­grades from nu­tri­tion­ist Matthew Kadey. For each recipe, grill the sand­wich un­til both sides are crispy and the cheese has soft­ened.

Stay fuller for longer with the fi­bre and plant pro­tein from black beans.

TOP 1 slice whole­grain bread with mashed black beans, sliced roasted red pep­per, grated smoked ched­dar cheese, thinly sliced av­o­cado and a sec­ond bread slice. An­tiox­i­dant-rich ap­ples and omega 3packed wal­nuts add crunch.

TOP 1 slice whole­grain bread with thinly sliced ap­ple, grated ched­dar cheese, chopped sage, chopped wal­nuts and a sec­ond bread slice. Nitrates from beet­root and omega fats in salmon may im­prove your mus­cle en­durance.

TOP 1 slice rye bread with smoked salmon, lemon juice, a smear of cream cheese, sliced roasted beet­root, dill and a sec­ond bread slice coated with cream cheese. Roasted chicken is high in pro­tein and figs give you bone-build­ing cal­cium.

SPREAD fig pre­serve on 1 slice whole­grain bread and top with chopped rose­mary, sliced roast chicken, baby spinach, fontina cheese and a sec­ond bread slice. The vi­ta­min C in toma­toes helps pro­tect run­ners from colds.

SPREAD basil pesto on 1 slice sour­dough bread and top with thinly sliced pro­sciutto ham, grated moz­zarella cheese, sliced tomato, rocket and a sec­ond bread slice. En­er­gise your runs with the iron in steak, and keep your gut healthy with the pro­bi­otics in kim­chi (see 87-91).

TOP 1 slice whole­grain bread with grated havarti cheese, thinly sliced cooked sir­loin steak, chopped kim­chi and a sec­ond bread slice.


Re­search on mice pub­lished in the FASEB Jour­nal found adding rutin to the ro­dents’ di­ets mim­icked the ef­fects of cold on brown fat and boosted me­tab­o­lism. You can get rutin from mul­ber­ries, (un­peeled) ap­ples, buck­wheat, el­der­flower tea, figs or a sup­ple­ment (£14.99 for 500mg, hol­lan­dand­bar­rett.com).


Asthma suf­fer­ers have another rea­son to soak up some ex­tra sun­shine vi­ta­min. A Cochrane Re­view of seven in­ter­na­tional stud­ies showed that a vi­ta­min D sup­ple­ment re­duced the in­ci­dence of se­vere at­tacks in sub­jects with mild to mod­er­ate asthma.


Turn up the heat on knee pain. In a study in The Jour­nal of Strength

and Con­di­tion­ing Re­search, pa­tients with chronic knee pain who ap­plied low-level con­tin­u­ous heat packs to sore knees six hours be­fore ex­er­cise en­joyed re­duced knee pain and in­creased knee strength.


So­cial me­dia can help your run­ning, but only if you avoid com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers, says coach Lora John­son (crazyrun­ning­girl.com), who in­stead rec­om­mends analysing what friends post. ‘ If some­one shares a favourite in­ter­val rou­tine, con­sider how it might boost your fit­ness,’ says John­son.


Su­per­siz­ing your lunch could down­size your belly. In a study re­ported in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion, sub­jects who ate their main meal at lunchtime ex­pe­ri­enced higher aver­age weight loss, greater re­duc­tion in BMI and im­proved in­sulin re­sis­tance com­pared with those get­ting the ma­jor­ity of their calo­ries at din­ner, despite both groups eat­ing the same to­tal num­ber of daily calo­ries.


How much oxy­gen your body can take in and use per minute, per kg of your body weight – aka your VO2 max – is a key mea­sure of aer­o­bic fit­ness; it’s rou­tinely mon­i­tored in elite athletes. But you don’t have to be an elite to get yours mea­sured in the lab and ben­e­fit from pre­ci­sion train­ing based on your re­sults. ‘ It doesn’t matter what level you are, the test is tai­lored to you as an in­di­vid­ual,’ says Vin­cent Chris­tan, head phys­i­ol­o­gist at the Nuffield Health Sports Per­for­mance Lab in Lon­don (nuffield­health. com). ‘ Your re­sults help to iden­tify your strengths and weak­nesses, from which an ef­fec­tive train­ing pro­gramme can be cre­ated.’

A Vo2-max test de­mands your all – sport sci­ence labs tra­di­tion­ally placed mat­tresses against the wall be­hind treadmills to cush­ion the blow for those fly­ing off the back. At Nuffield a har­ness sus­pended from the ceil­ing sweeps you off your feet if you lose con­trol. Your dig­nity may suf­fer a lit­tle.


If your post-run aroma is a source of con­cern, clean up your diet. In a study pub­lished in Evo­lu­tion

and Hu­man Be­hav­ior, women judged clean-eat­ing men (lots of fruit and veg) to have the most aro­matic sweat, us­ing ad­jec­tives such as ‘ flo­ral’, ‘ fruity’ and ‘sweet’ to de­scribe the scent. Oddly, eat­ing fat, meat, eggs and tofu also pro­duced pleas­ant-smelling per­spi­ra­tion. The bad news? Stinky sweat came from con­sum­ing carbs.


To boost long-term mo­ti­va­tion and gain max­i­mum en­joy­ment in your run­ning life, re­mem­ber that run­ning is about more than just re­sults, says Clint Wells, the top masters fin­isher at last April’s Bos­ton Marathon (he clocked 2:24:55). ‘ En­joy the buildup to a marathon. Join a group and make it so­cial,’ says Wells.


Some news on the de­bate over pas­sive v ac­tive rest in in­ter­val ses­sions: a study in the Jour­nal of Strength and

Con­di­tion­ing Re­search found that in a ses­sion con­sist­ing of 10 sets of 20m sprints, pas­sive re­cov­ery (walk­ing back to the start po­si­tion and stand­ing still un­til the next sprint) be­tween ef­forts led to sig­nif­i­cantly faster splits, lower per­ceived ex­er­tion, less blood-lac­tate ac­cu­mu­la­tion and lower post-work­out heart rate than ac­tive re­cov­ery ( jog­ging be­tween sprints). For short, sharp speed­work at least then, it seems to­tal rest is best.


Bad weather doesn’t have to put your train­ing on ice… if you wear the right kit. COLD Ash­mei Merino gloves, £ 30, ash­mei.com; Arc’teryx Trinio Beanie, £ 30, arc­teryx.com; Patag­o­nia Merino Air Hoody, £110, patag­o­nia.com RAIN Gore Run­ning Wear ONE Ac­tive Run Jacket, £230, wig­gle.co.uk; Run Thin An­kle Sock, £ 30, sealskinz.com SUN Oak­ley EV Zero Path Po­lar­ized, £170, uk.oak­ley.com; Rie­mann P20 SPF 20, £13.99 for 100ml, boots.com WIND Ash­mei Lite Jacket, £125, ash­mei.com; Gore Fu­sion Wind­stop­per Ac­tive Shell Pants £99.99, gore­ap­parel.co.uk


New re­search sug­gests it may be pos­si­ble stop the clock on age-re­lated mus­cle de­cline. The study, in Medicine

& Sci­ence In Sports & Ex­er­cise, put older men (aged 65-83) through a 12-week weight-train­ing pro­gramme of leg presses and leg ex­ten­sions; it found this in­creased their mus­cle fi­bre size and cap­il­lary net­works to a level match­ing that of younger men.


Take these steps from po­di­a­trist Dr Stephen Pribut to keep shin splints at bay: Limit run­ning on con­crete Don’t over­stride (aim for 160-190 steps per minute) Stretch your calves and your ham­strings postrun

66 Climb it, change

Run­ning up stairs is a great way to build strength and en­durance. The ply­o­met­ric mo­tion works the same mus­cles as lunges and squats, and tar­gets the glu­teus medius. A study in the Bri­tish Jour­nal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair climb­ing five days a week for eight weeks im­proved VO2 max by 17 per cent.

TRY THIS stair-run­ning ses­sion from Paul Romeo, who over­sees sta­dium-step work­outs as a coach for Koko Fit­club (kokofit­club.com). Af­ter a warm-up, run up a set of stairs five to 10 times at 80 per cent ef­fort. Walk down be­tween reps and rest at the bot­tom if you’re still out of breath.


We’re of­ten told that break­fast is good for our waist­lines, but a re­cent study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Academy of Nutri­tion and Di­etet­ics found over­all daily calo­rie in­take was very sim­i­lar for con­sis­tent break­fast eaters and con­sis­tent skip­pers. How­ever, the break­fasters had higher over­all diet qual­ity and greater in­take of whole­grains, fruit, fi­bre, cal­cium, potas­sium and fo­late.


US elite Meb Ke­flezighi ran in his fourth Olympics last year, aged 41, and his longevity is no fluke. He has made ad­just­ments to his train­ing over the years. Be­fore his 2014 Bos­ton Marathon win, for ex­am­ple, he switched from a seven-day train­ing cy­cle to a nine-day sched­ule to en­sure re­cov­ery be­tween hard work­outs.

The cy­cle in­volves three tar­get ses­sions – an in­ter­val work­out, tempo run, and long run – each fol­lowed by two days of re­cov­ery, says Scott Dou­glas, coau­thor (with Ke­flezighi) of

Meb for Mor­tals (Rodale). And if Meb doesn’t feel good af­ter two easy days, he’ll take another. ‘ The point isn’t that nine is bet­ter than seven,’ says Dou­glas. ‘ It’s that you should be flex­i­ble.’

This ap­proach isn’t ex­clu­sively for older run­ners: Ke­flezighi got the idea from Paula Rad­cliffe, who used an eight-day ‘ week’ in her hey­day.

Of course, seven-day cy­cles suit non-pro­fes­sion­als, so you could try think­ing in­stead in two-week cy­cles, aim­ing for five hard days in ev­ery 14.


Look­ing to shed lbs? Or­der the chips. In a study re­ported in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Nutri­tion, sub­jects rated a meal eaten with chips as more sat­is­fy­ing and fill­ing than one eaten with a side dish of ei­ther baked po­tato, mashed pota­toes, po­tato wedges or pasta – despite the over­all calo­rie con­tent of the meals be­ing iden­ti­cal. Which means adding chips may sub­tract calo­ries later in the day.


Tame the trail

To move from road run­ning to a trail race, Colorado-based trail-run­ning coach Ellen Miller rec­om­mends train­ing of­froad at least twice a week to help your body adapt to the un­even sur­faces. Miller also of­fers these point­ers on adapt­ing your tech­nique: Shorten your stride Lift your feet higher Pay at­ten­tion to the ground ahead Ex­pect to run slower than you do on the roads



Coach Jenny Had­field ( jen­ny­had­field.com) ad­vises on how best to nav­i­gate a crowded race and en­sure a fast, strong finish that leaves you with a smile on your face (or, at least, the ab­sence of a gri­mace):

GO WITH THE FLOW ‘ Try­ing to get ahead early by surg­ing and weav­ing around run­ners is a big – and com­mon – mis­take. It uses up tons of en­ergy, causes phys­i­cal and men­tal stress and drives up your heart rate. The more en­ergy you burn early, the worse you’ll fare in the fi­nal miles.’

THINK IN­SIDE THE BOX ‘ Most large races have start pens based on es­ti­mated finish time, so line up near the front of yours and to­wards the cen­tre of the road to give your­self room to nav­i­gate in ei­ther di­rec­tion. Mass starts are trick­ier, as it’s hard to know how close to the front you should be but, again, avoid the sides, where you might get boxed in.’

MIND THE GAP ‘ If you find your­self stuck be­hind run­ners go­ing slower than you’d like, ex­er­cise pa­tience and, when pos­si­ble, wait for a nat­u­ral open­ing. If one doesn’t ap­pear, tap one of the run­ners on the shoul­der and let him/her know you’ll be pass­ing. This min­imises en­ergy-sap­ping weav­ing and the risk that you’ll get tripped and fall.’

82-84Try a steak out!

Good news for those who like a rare (or medium) treat: the con­ju­gated linoleic acid (CLA) in red meat helps you strip fat while also main­tain­ing mus­cle mass, ac­cord­ing to re­search from the Univer­sity of Wis­con­son, US.

Add gar­lic and onions: they boost your ab­sorp­tion of the min­er­als in red meat, such as iron and zinc.


Most honey has mild an­tibi­otic qual­i­ties, but re­search shows this can be com­pro­mised by con­tact with saliva or blood. Manuka honey de­rives its an­tibac­te­rial ac­tiv­ity from a sub­stance called Methyl­gly­oxal (MGO), which re­tains its qual­i­ties in the body. Re­search at the Univer­sity of Waikato, New Zealand, found an MGO level of 300mg/kg is key for un­lock­ing the health ben­e­fits from Manuka. Try spe­cial­ist pro­ducer The True Honey Co. 300+ MGO Manuka honey, £ 37.99 for 250g, true­hon­eyco.co.uk

86 ... AND RE­LAX 87 - 91 PRO AC­TIVE

If you’re look­ing for the health boost of pro­bi­otics, skip the supps. Univer­sity of Copenhagen re­search found pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ments had no ef­fect on gut bac­te­ria. Nat­u­rally fer­mented foods have been shown to de­liver a pro­bi­otic punch that can im­prove your im­mune re­sponse, hor­mone reg­u­la­tion and pro­tein ab­sorp­tion. Ke­fir packs triple the ben­e­fi­cial pro­bi­otic hit of stan­dard

yo­ghurt. Greek yo­ghurt con­tains bac­te­ria that could cut your risk of colon can­cer, re­ported a study in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion. Kim­chi 100g daily boosts im­mune sys­tem ac­tiv­ity by 75 per cent, found re­search at Pu­san Na­tional Univer­sity, South Korea. Sauerkraut helps you ab­sorb mus­cle-re­pair­ing nu­tri­ents, re­ports re­search in the Jour­nal of Sci­ence. Kvass boosts di­ges­tion to speed re­cov­ery, ac­cord­ing to Univer­sity of Michi­gan re­search.


Fuel like a leg­end

OLD SCHOOL FUEL GRETE WAITZ’S PR-RACE STEAK On the eve of her first marathon, in 1978, Grete dined on steak, red wine and ice cream, ac­cord­ing to her hus­band, Jack. The next day she won her first of nine New York City marathons; a year later she be­came the first woman to run the marathon in un­der 2:30.

Sea­son a fil­let steak with salt and pep­per and cook over medium-high heat for 4 min­utes on each side. Plate up and cover loosely with foil for 5 min­utes. Serve with pota­toes or rice and an­tiox­i­dant-rich red wine.

NEW SCHOOL FUEL ELIUD KIP­CHOGE’S PRE-RACE UGALI Many of to­day’s top Kenyan athletes, such as Olympic Marathon cham­pion Eliud Kip­choge, fuel them­selves with a tra­di­tional meal of ugali (a corn­meal­based por­ridge) paired with eggs or meat, and greens.

Add 150g finely ground corn­meal to 355ml of boil­ing wa­ter. Stir un­til thick, so por­ridge holds its shape, adding up to 120ml more wa­ter, as needed, to moisten the corn­meal with­out mak­ing it soupy. To repli­cate a full Kenyan meal, serve hot with sautéed kale or col­lard greens and stewed mung beans.



If you find that you’re peck­ish be­tween your (in­vari­ably healthy) main meals, grab a hand­ful of al­monds, as re­search sug­gests the fi­bre in their skins may act as a

pre­bi­otic, which will en­hance the ef­fect of pro­bi­otics (see 87-91, left).

And that’s not the only rea­son to go this par­tic­u­lar type of nut: in a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Nutri­tion, sub­jects who ate 35g of al­monds per day over 12 weeks lost more to­tal fat and more vis­ceral adi­pose tis­sue (belly fat) than those on a diet with the same calo­ries but no al­monds. The al­mond eaters also dis­played a sig­nif­i­cant de­crease in di­as­tolic blood pres­sure.


You might think that run­ning coaches are just for elite athletes? ‘ Not so,’ says coach Ja­son Fitzger­ald (Strength­run­ning. com). ‘A coach, whether in-per­son or on­line, can help you reach goals faster and safer than us­ing a stock plan or wing­ing it by your­self.’

Com­mon­wealth Games marathon bronze medal­list and two-time Olympian Liz Yelling (yelling­per­for­mance.com) agrees. ‘A coach not only pro­vides struc­ture but can tai­lor the plan to­wards your goals, max­imis­ing train­ing pri­or­i­ties within your lifestyle and help­ing you bet­ter un­der­stand your per­sonal re­sponses to train­ing,’ she says. The best coach­ing re­la­tion­ships are two-way – you have some­one to lis­ten to you and get feed­back from – some­thing you won’t get from a train­ing jour­nal. You will also have some­one else to blame when you find your­self wasted af­ter a par­tic­u­larly bru­tal train­ing ses­sion.


A date with a run­ning buddy is good news for your train­ing and mo­ti­va­tion, but what will help you more, run­ning with some­one you have to work hard to keep up with, or some­one who can’t match your pace? It all de­pends, says coach Jamie Ad­cock. ‘On easy or re­cov­ery days, it’s best to run with some­one whose com­pany you en­joy, who runs at your com­fort­able pace or a bit slower,’ says Ad­cock. ‘ Try­ing to keep up with a faster run­ner dur­ing these runs would de­feat their pur­pose and leave you fa­tigued, and pos­si­bly in­jured. How­ever, when you’re do­ing speed work­outs or other hard ses­sions, your faster pal will keep you on pace to hit your tar­gets.’

100Jog your mem­ory

Train your brain to lock in in­for­ma­tion with a ju­di­ciously timed post-work work­out. Re­search pub­lished in the jour­nal Cur­rent Bi­ol­ogy found that head­ing out for a run four hours af­ter a learn­ing task in­creases ac­tiv­ity in the hip­pocam­pus – not a higher ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity for African wildlife, but a key area of the brain in­volved in mem­ory. 101 GO SUB-30 A fool­proof plan to get your Parkrun/5k time un­der the half-hour mark: ‘ If you’re not run­ning four to five miles three to four times a week, build up to that base,’ says ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist and run­ning coach Holly Jami­son. ‘ Then add weekly 400m re­peats, with a 10-minute jog­ging warm-up and cool-down, and two min­utes of rest be­tween each rep. Aim for 2:14 for 400m (9:00 min/mile pace) to build the speed you’ll need to aver­age 9:39 min/mile for a sub-30. Start with four reps, and add one or two each week to hit eight by the sec­ond-to-last week be­fore the 5K.’ 102 - 104 DITCH THE STITCH Three ways to beat one of the banes of our run­ning lives, courtesy of ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist and run­ning coach An­gela Bekkala: ‘ Slow down or stop and breathe slowly and deeply. Press the stitch and/or stretch your arms over­head.’ ‘ Ex­tend the arm on the same side as your stitch and bend to the op­po­site side.’ ‘ Run tall – slump­ing re­stricts the di­aphragm, the mus­cle be­neath your lungs that helps you breathe.’ 105 THE LONG AND SHORT

Got a marathon and a 5K in the diary? Weekly anaer­o­bic thresh­old (AT) runs will prep you for both, says Re­bekah Mayer, na­tional run train­ing man­ager for Life­time Run in the US. ‘ These work­outs train your body to sus­tain a hard pace as your mus­cles learn to quickly metabolise lac­tic acid – and your mind learns to man­age fa­tigue,’ says Mayer. ‘ The pace needs to be hard enough for con­ver­sa­tion [more than a few words at a time] to be dif­fi­cult. A 20-minute run at AT pace, with a five-minute jog be­fore and af­ter, is a solid 5K or marathon work­out.’ 106 CEL­E­BRATE RUN-WITHOUTTELLINGANYONE-ABOUT-IT DAY Give all your non-run­ner friends a break from the tyranny of shar­ing (be that face- to-face or on so­cial me­dia) on this hol­i­day for run­ners that, yes, we have just in­vented. Leave your smart­phone at home and just run – no self­ies, no hash­tags, no tweets. Pon­der life’s deep ques­tions, such as: if a run­ner goes for a run, and no one sees the data, did it still hap­pen? The an­swer is yes. You’ll know.


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