If you could talk to a running coach or personal trainer for an hour about any topic what would it be? What do you need to improve your running/training?

Stephanieruns Fitness

January 20, 2019 Newsletter

How Can You Improve Your Training?

This week on twitter I asked the question 'if you had an hour with a running coach to talk about any topic what would it be?' I'm always curious what information and topics you're looking for help and guidance on. Which is one of the reasons I often ask for your questions and topic suggestions that you want me to cover on running and strength training. As a trainer and coach I love to be able to share knowledge and empower my athletes with their training. I believe that knowledge is power and the more you learn and apply to your training the more you'll grow as a runner and athlete.

Some of the topics you said you'd talk to a coach about were interval pacing and rest periods. Pre and post run stretching and warming up/cooling down. What are the best dynamic stretches for before/after a workout. Goal setting, and how to keep yourself challenged while keeping running fun. These are all great topics to be thinking about, and wanting to know more. For some of them you could certainly get a running book and read up on it, but there is something to be said about getting individualized feedback on your running. So where do you turn when you're 'stuck' on a specific running/training topic?

Let's talk about some of the ways you can get help with your running and training. Often at the start of a new year runners are looking for help and guidance. Here's some ways.

1) You could read running books. There are a lot of really fantastic running books out there. If you're looking at setting new goals or what direction to take your training a running book could really help re-energize your training. If you have a library card you can loan the books from the library. You might even be able to use your library card to read running magazines. Which makes reading a running book or two an incredibly affordable option.

2) You could join a running club. I really believe there are running clubs for all different types/paces of runners. However if you're in a small community or if you work shifts/odd hours this might not be a possibility for you. If it is a possibility for you I strongly encourage you to check out your local running clubs. They usually have a running coach on staff who can be invaluable to your training.

3) Attend running related talks or workshops. Some running stores will have speakers in to talk about different running topics. Race expos also usually have talks about different running topics. Take advantage of these free to low cost talks to gain information from experts that can benefit your training. There are also running and strength training workshops and conferences you can attend. While these might be a little more pricey if there's specific information you're looking to learn this can be a great option.

4) Sign up for a running clinic. Most running stores and even some coaches run running clinics. These clinics are usually designed to help you train for a specific distance/race and include in person training runs and a training plan. If you enjoy the push of having people with you while you train this can be a great option. It can also be a great option if you're training for a new distance or are looking for structure to reach a new personal best. Running clinics are an affordable way to get a training plan and coaching as well as in person training runs.

5) Get a coach. As you know I'm a big believer in individualized training plans. While there are lots of options out there to get help with your training working with a coach one on one can really elevate your training. You don't need to think about planning your workouts or ensuring you're on track to reach your goals. Your coach is managing that for you. My athletes love that they don't worry about their training plan. It makes workouts enjoyable to just show up and workout. One on one coaching is a great way to get help with your training. With the internet you don't even need to be in the same city as your coach.

There are other ways to get help with your training. The important thing to remember is that we have years to run. Running is like a career where it's not unreasonable to be running 30-40 years. As such we need to always be learning and improving, and that means ask for help when you need it. You'll be a stronger runner for it!

Weekly Challenge: Tempo Run

It's been a couple of weeks since I gave you a weekly workout challenge. I thought this week I'd challenge you to run a tempo run. I love the tempo run. It helps you with your running speed and helps you practice pacing. As you improve your tempo pace will change which shows your growth as a runner.

Your tempo pace is generally referred to as your 10k race pace or the pace you would run to race for an hour. The best way to get this pace is to look back on your 10k racing times. If you haven't raced a 10k or it'd been a while you can do a 10k run at race pace, meaning you go out for a 10k race and pretend you're running a race to get an idea of what pace would be right for you. The tempo run is a very valuable run to have in your training plan so it's worth figuring out your tempo pace.

So if you're not sure what your tempo pace should be your challenge this week is to run a 10k at your race pace to figure out your tempo pace.

If you know your tempo pace then your challenge this week is to run a 3-6 km run at your tempo pace. Make sure you do a dynamic warm up first and that you are warmed up enough before you start running at your tempo pace. The length of this tempo run depends on your experience with tempo runs and where you are in your training, but aim for between 3-6 kms. After you've finished your tempo pace slowly bring your pace down to a walk and stretch.

Please send me an e-mail or tweet @srunsfitness and let me know how this challenge goes!

What is a Running Mentor?

A running mentor can help you improve your running, but what is a mentor? A mentor is usually a more experienced runner who has run the distance you're training for before. I had the pleasure of being a mentor for a group of runners training for their first half and full marathon a couple of years ago. The role of the running mentor is different from a running coach. As a mentor you're not providing coaching to the people you are mentoring. You are however a sounding board for the good, the bad and the ugly. You are the person your mentee comes to after a bad run, or when something's not going well for advice. Your running mentor can point you in the right direction for help as well as be that person that is there to listen and support you.

Your running mentor is part cheerleader, part counselor, part educator and much more. Your mentor has been there before and can provide their story and examples of what worked and what didn't. Your mentor can check in with you and see how your training is going, or join you for one of your training runs.

If you're new to running or you're taking on a new goal/distance you should consider asking for a mentor. The mentor won't provide you a training plan or coaching, but the emotional support and experience you will gain can help take your training to a new level.

I would love to know if you have a running mentor or if you've ever considered asking a runner that inspires you to be your mentor. Let me know!

*****FLASH SALE***** This week only in my Training Peak's store I have my Strength & Speed 10k Running Base plan on sale for $33. This is a fantastic deal and will only be available at this price for this week.

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.