Running Strides?

Running Strides cardiffThe term “strides” or "pickups" often comes up in running and triathlon training plans. We use strides with our WhittleFit coached athletes, however, occasionally runners aren’t exactly sure what they are, when to use them and why. 

Well, the term “strides” refers to a faster section of running, often before a race or a planned faster paced training session. The strides are relaxed, easy sprints, at approximately 70 to 80% of your all out max effort for anywhere between 40n and 100m. In fact, the actual speed or distance is not that important, the goal is to run in a smooth controlled manner, with good form. 

The purpose of strides before a race or a faster paced training session is to get the body used to what is about to happen to it (i.e. run fast!) and to encourage the athlete to run with a smooth economical style; this is significantly more beneficial than warming up in a slow, steady manner, which only encourages a runner to run slow and steady. 

Strides should be smooth and quick, your head should be held high and not looking directly at the ground, you should feel very little tension in your neck and shoulders, your feet should feel light and fast as they quickly contact the ground. This fluency of motion should transfer seamlessly across to your “normal” running style, which will enhance your running economy and speed. 

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The myth of the taper

The Ironman triathlon season is upon us and that means lots of swim, bike and run training, checking in with your triathlon coach, watching your nutrition and, hopefully, staying injury free. As the race itself approaches you have to think about your taper. Taper? What’s all that about? 

Mastering the taper for a long distance event is like the Holy Grail of triathlon, get it right and you’ll be flying, get it wrong.......and it’ll be a long, long day! I alluded to some of the mystery surrounding rest and recovery and losing fitness in a previous post, however this post is more about my thoughts on the mysteries of the taper.

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Treforest 10K

Yesterday Mark took part in the Treforest 10K, it's a brand new local running race held in Pontypridd. The race director announced the race as "gently undulating" for the first 5K or so, which I understand to be a slight understatement! It was described by most of the racers as "hilly"!

Mark was using this race as a training race and a hard training session in the run up to his 'A' race of the season (an off-road triathlon in Holland as part of the GB team) and unofficially have him coming home in 10th position. A good result on a surprisingly tough course! 

Head Coach Mark provides one-to-one running, cycling and triathlon coaching and online training plans, so if you're in Cardiff, Penarth, Barry, Cowbridge or further afield in the Vale of Glamorgan and are contemplating getting a coach to guide you through your 2013 season contact Mark or visit the coaching pages here on the WhittleFit website for more details on the running, cycling and triathlon coaching services that Mark provides. 

Are you losing your fitness?

Losing triathlon fitness

What are triathletes and runners like? They dread losing fitness. "I don’t want to lose my fitness" is perhaps one of the most commonly uttered statements by triathletes and runners to their coach, friends and family. I have no actual data to support this, but given the number of times I have heard it (and expressed it myself!) I am reasonably confident that it must be true.

I think these endurance athletes have a dreaded fear that between the time they close their eyes at night and awake in the morning they have lost inordinate amounts of fitness. A day off from training is a triathletes nightmare – they believe they can feel the fitness being sucked out of their bodies!

The meaning of fitness varies from person to person. Are you fit because you can ride a 100 miles? Are you fit when you race to your potential? Are you fit because you can achieve most of your workouts or goals? No matter what your definition of fitness is, it does not disappear as quickly as the sunburn from your last race - FACT!

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Running Coaching Testimonial - Victoria, Cardiff

Here's a really cool testimonial we got recently from one of our running coached clients that we thought we should share with you.Running Coaching Cardiff Testimonial

I had been running for a while when Mark and I had a chat about if he could help me achieve my goals. I was sure he could and we started working together about 6 months ago. I haven't looked back since, I've dropped 11 minutes off my half marathon PB, 23 minutes off my marathon time and even taken 2 minutes off my 5k. For me the best thing about working with Mark is how much more I'm enjoying my running. The training isn't boring, it can be tweaked to fit in with your life and Mark constantly monitors how well you're doing and adjusts the plan accordingly. It's also taken away all the stress of training for a big event. I don't have to worry about if I'm doing enough or too much, I trust the boss and the results speak for themselves. Victoria, Cardiff

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