The latest GPS watches can give you an amazing amount of information – from current speed, distance and heart rate to altitude, VO2max and calories burnt – but are they really helping you run faster or train more effectively? Or would you be better of without one?
For many years we have been lead to believe that a dehydration level of more than 2% will negatively affect performance and therefore we should drink to limit dehydration to this level. This advice has even been given out by coaches and trainers for years and was the official recommendation of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007.
Where this 2% rule came from no-one is really sure as there is no research to show that this is the case when applied to athletes in actual races. In fact there is an abundance of research to show the opposite.
Many ultrarunners I know like to keep it simple; put shoes on, head out the door and run. There is nothing wrong with that approach but if you want to improve then the body has to have the right stimulus to force it to adapt and become stronger.
Elite athletes aim to leave no stone unturned in training. They do all they can to provide the body with the right stimulus and recovery to maximise their training. Whilst many of us don’t have the time to focus on training that some of the elites do most of us could improve in a number of ways with very little if any extra time involved.
I’ve listed below 27 ways you can improve your running that don’t need much if any extra time. See how many of these you can implement in your training program.
Blisters are a common problem for many marathon and ultramarathon runners. There are many ideas for how to prevent them, some of them old wives tales and some of them have a bit more credibility. But despite the use of every remedy known to mankind some of us still suffer blisters. Maybe our understanding of what causes them is incorrect and we need to try something different.
What is the difference between the elite runner and the back of pack runner? Is it fitness, training, genetics, mental or some other factor?
A few weeks ago I spent the weekend watching over 1000 runners compete in Australia’s biggest ultratrail event – The North Face 100 – held in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Apart from supporting the runners I coach who were competing and enjoying the atmosphere I was also looking for the differences between the faster and slower runners. I was keen to see if I could find any areas of improvement for the slower runners that didn’t involve any extra training time. Time is a factor for many athletes and whilst the elites tend to prioritise training above most other aspects of their lives the rest of us have other commitments that often restrict the amount of running we can do. Many of us are also limited by how much training our body can cope with before it breaks down. So is there a way to improve performance without any extra training time?