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By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

15574421102_80c6660a5a_bPhoto credit: Longwood 5KM and 10KM – 5KM START via photopin (license)

Humans by nature are vulnerable creatures. We all have addictions and for many individuals, it can be training and exercise. This addiction can be to the endorphins that can come with a great workout, the pursuit for better aesthetics or just fighting the emotional battle that if you don’t train today, you will put on weight. Let me start by reassuring you that its okay to take a day off, even two.

As we age, running becomes one of the most common forms of exercise.  The interest in running, for many, is associated with its meditative ability, which can have a positive affect on your life.

Running is a real personal challenge that is immensely rewarding, especially when you run with greater consistency. I thoroughly enjoy running, but I am not built like most typical runners, and I have learned the hard way through trial, error and some pretty good injuries to find out what works, and what doesn’t to improve not only my running but also my client’s.

My focus is purely on recreational runners, helping beginners and intermediates understand the best process to improve their running ability in the fastest way possible.  There are a few key factors to think about to ensure you not only see results but maintain longevity in your running career, get results and minimise the risk of injury. These are as follows:

  1. Running History: If you have never actually run consistently in the past, you must take this into consideration before deciding to run a marathon. Results take time to achieve safely, so set goals with plenty of time, start small then grow bigger. Give yourself at least 12-months to prepare for a marathon if you are a beginner, target smaller running events as part of your program and gradually build up your aerobic base and confidence over time. Working your way up over time, gradually you will develop a passion for a particular distance range. Terrain will also play a part in your passion, track, road or trails. For me, half marathon distance trail running reigns supreme.
  1. Running Shoes: It is so important to ensure you have the right pair of running shoes for you, your foot type and your running style. Your shoes will affect your running economy and prevent injury. So get fitted correctly, find comfort and functionality, and choose your running shoes less on the beautiful colours and more on their capability for you. Ensure your shoes are specific to your terrain choice and have a couple of pairs you can rotate. Don’t underestimate the influence shoe choice has on your running. So throw out that old pair of “Joggers” and take yourself seriously.
  1. Learn How to BREATHE: Breathe correctly. Learn how to activate your abdominals, specifically your diaphragm, to improve your breathing ability and performance. Oxygen is your primary fuel source, especially over longer periods of time, which requires a reliable and consistent breathing ability. Learn proper breathing skills and get it right from the start.
  1. STRATEGY: Start easy. Humans by nature are predictable creatures, so when we start running, we all initially want to run fast. However, when you start out running, it’s important to worry less about speed, and more about distance. Which ultimately means slow down, and go easy from the onset. Start small and build up, interval training at this time is ideal for beginners; where you run for a short period, then walk. Over time you can then gradually reduce the number of walking sets you do so that you can run non-stop. Then you can begin to lengthen the duration of your running.
  1. Have Fun: Most of all enjoy your running. It’s a fantastic discipline that can be harder than we think but give it the respect it deserves, listen to your body and be smart. I promise it will be something you will love forever. If you aren’t enjoying running, slow down, it’s not always a race!

Train Smarter, not harder for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. 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 other qualified health providers 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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