The Great Gump- Off

Two Brits follow in the many foot­steps of For­rest Gump

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

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

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