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By Columnist Ron Byland – USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified Running Coach:shutterstock_55565920

I find a lot of people who approach me – looking to improve their running or training for a personal record (PR), whether their goal is to race in their first 5K or tenth marathon – don’t think about doing the ‘little things’. However, it’s the little things that ultimately adds up to big PR’s down the road.

Training for Results

Many runners do the same run and train over the same ground day in and day out and then when race day approaches, they find that they want to do something different. However, as Albert Einstien said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Using this analogy, a runner needs to mix-it-up to see results.

During training, a runner needs to incorporate a variety of running types into their plan to fully develop their entire muscular and cardiovascular system. These running types include tempo, interval, hill, and appropriately paced long runs. In my opinion, however, the most important piece of training is rest. Appropriate rest will allow for the body to recover, repair, and rebuild. When all of these pieces of training come together, a runner will become stronger and more efficient.

Other Important Considerations

  • Change it up. Change your workouts and don’t spend all of your time doing the same thing every day. Include cross-training in your weekly training sessions, regardless of whether they are considered sports specific or not.
  • Strength Training (not sports specific). I believe this is one of the best ways to improve your overall health, allowing you to reach your running goals. Only 1-2 times per week of high-intensity training is all you need.
  • Swimming/biking/spin classes/walking (sports specific – cardio development). Except for walking, all of these allow you to improve your cardio, without the stress of impact on your body.
  • Yoga (not sports specific). Can be utilized for physical benefits (improved core strength, stabilizer muscles, balance, etc.) as well as relaxation and recovery. Many find yoga is a great mental exercise as well.

Injury Treatment and Prevention

Some runners may, but most don’t, seek treatment or take the time to let an injury heal. Many will continue to “push through the pain” thinking it will get better over time. In my opinion, it is better to rest as soon as possible, then seek treatment, so that you become healthier and return as a stronger, more efficient runner. To ensure you perform at your best ability, regularly visit a kinesiologist, physical therapist, and massage therapist.

About Our Marathon News and Review Columnist

Ron Byland HeadShotRon Byland is the current coach of Kelly Brinkman, 2013 USATF-MN Female runner of the year. He has an extensive competitive racing background that spans over more than 30-years, and he has been coaching runners for over 25-years. Ron is USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified. He lives and works in Minneapolis, but also offers online training options for runners via his running club.

As the founder and coach of Minneapolis based Mile To Marathon Run Club, Ron Byland,  offers runners many coaching options, such as:

  • Customized Personal Training Program
  • Personal One on One Training Sessions
  • Virtual Training
  • Corporate Run Programs for 5 -500 runners
  • Couch To 5K Programs
  • Corporate Speaker

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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