FOCUS ON: Running | 5 tips on improving your long distance running

If 2020 has been good for anything, it’s giving people a greater focus on exercise, albeit social distanced. And what’s easier than lacing up your running shoes and heading outdoors? For some, not easy at all. While there are many couch-to-5k programs out there, our in-house running expert, PT Anthony Collum, is the best in the biz when it comes to pounding the pavement – whether it’s your first 100m or a marathon.  After a junior career in high performance track and field, and rugby union, Anthony decided to follow his passions in the fitness industry while also undertaking university studies in the health and fitness field. He is currently finishing his final year of a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Technology Sydney majoring in Exercise Science.  Outside of the classroom and clinic, Anthony still pursues his love of track and field both as a competitor and coach. He has been on the UTS Elite Athlete Program as one of the program’s key sprinters since 2014 and has competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Beijing 2015 World Championship trials.  Ready to go far? Here are Anthony’s top 5 tips for nailing that mountain trail or marathon course.  

1. Work your way up to it

Regardless of your running ability, you would want to be completing, at a minimum, 14km of running a week leading into completing a race to simulate the volume of the event. This is to avoid tendon and stress related injuries. The way I would best put it is running the City 2 Surf without clocking up some kilometres is like entering the Tour De France and your only training is cycling down the road to the local shops.   

2. Do a speed test

Complete an anaerobic test to ascertain your optimal aerobic pace. A speed test – say an 800m or 1km time trial at 100% intensity – can help runners prescribe their optimal speed, heart rate and exertion so they do not burn out mid race.   

3. Learn technical drills

All runners also benefit from refining their running styles. Drills improve running economy and energy conservation, and have a strengthening effect on the key muscles involved.  

4. Get a run coach or physio

 Every natural running style has its own unique strengths and flaws, so seeking out a run coach, strength and conditioning coach or physio to assess and breakdown running gait can be a useful assessment for the prescription of tailor-made drills.  

5. Have a race-day routine

This includes your activities, diet and sleep the days leading into the race. To be best prepared physically and mentally for race day, the 48 hours beforehand should be as consistent as possible.  Want to feel that runner’s high? Contact us today to get you run fit.