Keep your running on track

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to running, there are ways you can properly prepare before hitting the track, as well as methods for staying motivated. Here are Nick’s top five.

IDENTIFY WEAKNESSES

For the majority of people, it’s posture. The body forgets how to work properly from bad habits or from sitting at desks. Sometimes the glutes and hamstrings forget how to work. Remember that muscles can get really lazy.

PRACTICE AWARENESS

Ever been for a run before and heard crashing behind you? It was probably someone who doesn’t run well slapping the pavement. When you’re running the right way, you should hardly hear your feet touch the ground. By being light like that, you absorb energy, but a lot of people just plug the headphones in and go for it! Yoga and Pilates can be really good for practising awareness because they teach you how to tune into your body.

MIX IT UP

If you’re someone who’s quite a heavy heel striker, running on a soft surface is going to be better for you, but try mixing it up as well. Go on trail runs, road runs, sand runs – I get some people doing deep-water running as well. It really depends on your goals, your strengths and your weaknesses. However, the softer approach is usually always the better approach.

SET AND STICK TO GOALS

In order to get out the door, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve. I always get people to lock into a race or a fun run – something that keeps them accountable. I’ve had people who started training for a baby triathlon then, after a few years, decided to tackle an Ironman.

Training with friends or someone on the same page as you who’s going to ring you up if you cancel can also help. That’s why personal training works – you’ve made the appointment, you have to show up.

BUILD REAL CORE STRENGTH

People think core strength is doing crunches and other quite stationary, stagnate exercises, but since the body moves in such a complicated manner, they don’t always carry over to correcting performance issues. A plank can set a foundation for core strength, activating all the muscles around the torso and upper back. But when you go from a facedown position on your elbows and toes to standing up and running, your body is fighting gravity in a different way – and it needs to know how to withstand these forces. So rather than holding a plank for three minutes, do specific core exercises that resemble a similar posture to when you run.

Information provided in this article is not medical advice and you should consult with your healthcare practitioner. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.