The Great Gump- Off
Two Brits follow in the many footsteps of Forrest Gump
Achange in training or racing habits can revitalise anyone’s running. Doing the same kinds of workout, training cycle after training cycle, can result in plateaus and, sometimes, injury – even if you’re adjusting those workouts as you get fitter. ‘Using the muscles in the same manner with every stride, every workout, can lead to problems,’ says Tim Tollefson, physiotherapist and physiologist, and also a former elite road marathoner who switched to off-road ultra running.
Variation can also increase motivation, which translates to better physical outcomes: you’ll bring more energy and effort to a workout you’re excited about. ‘Changing to a different distance, a different kind of running – those sorts of things refresh the brain,’ says sports psychologist Dr Sean Mccann. And shifting from roads to trails, as Tollefson did, is only one way to reap the benefits of a change-up.
Of course, if you can’t seem to get into a routine in the first place, your big change may simply mean committing to consistency. ‘Any one workout won’t make or break you,’ says elite-runner-turned-coach Malindi Elmore. ‘Getting out the door more days than not ultimately makes for good performances.’
On the following pages you’ll find three simple and effective ways to change your running life for the better – and maybe for good. Ultra runner Tim Tollefson on his way to a third-place finish at last year’s Ultra-trail du Mont- Blanc