Four secrets to preparing for your next running challenge!

It’s that time of year where conditions are perfect for strapping up the laces, getting out into the winter sunshine and striding it out. And what better way to create a sense of purpose to your running than signing up for a fun run, half or full marathon? However, I do come across many common mistakes that can be easily avoided with a little bit of planning. Here are my top four tips to guarantee your success.

Check your wheels

Don’t sacrifice function for fashion. Some shoes may look great, or offer the latest in running technology, but choosing shoes based purely on aesthetics will damage more than your bank balance. Everyone is different and it is important to remember to find what works best for you. Currently, there is a lot of talk about the benefits of barefoot running. Although it may be great for some people, for many others who don’t have sufficient function in their feet it is a sure way to get injured. Before you start your training get assessed and fitted by a specialist and trainers that work for you. And once you get your new set of wheels be sure take care of them properly as well.

Running is not a solo sport

Enlist the help of a friend, colleague or coach to help with your motivation and accountability to help get you across the line. A running group is the perfect option, there are many throughout the community and joining one will give you the inspiration and technical know-how. Also, a bit of friendly competition is a great way to channel your inner athlete and take your running prowess to new heights.

Train smarter

Training for your event doesn’t mean you have to run race distance every day. If you train like this not only will you burn out, get sick and injured, you may even be making yourself less fit. Research shows you can achieve a 28% improvement in fitness in as little as 16 minutes a week compared to 300 minutes. It all comes down to intensity. High-intensity interval running has been proven to be the best way to increase your fitness. To start with, your intervals might be a 20 second sprint followed by a two minute jog. This can be progressed to a 1:1 ratio of work/rest. You should aim for at least two sessions of around 20 minutes a week. If you feel you could go for longer it usually means you didn’t push hard enough in your sprint period or are having too much time for your break between intervals.

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Greg has made it his fight to bring professionalism back to exercise. With a university degree in Human Movement and working with elite level athletes, Greg’s knowledge and experience is leading the way. Greg is the founder of Better Being, Australia’s only team of university qualified personal trainers delivering health solutions that suit your busy corporate life. Today, Greg continues to support the health and wellbeing of corporate executives and celebrities. He also educates trainers and regularly contributes to national publications and TV shows including Men’s Health, Sky Business and The Morning Show. Greg was awarded the 2011 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year finalist and is a proud ambassador for lululemon athletica. He has also established a charity, Active Kids, which aims to overcome childhood obesity and physical inactivity in Australia. Greg’s passion is to create ways to inspire, educate and motivate people to build a happy and healthy life.