JANUARY IS THE time of the year when many of you start to get going again, whether it’s focusing on New Year’s resolutions and goals or simply getting back into the routine after Christmas.
For a lot of us these goals tend to be focused around health, wellness and fitness.
Over the last few weeks, the large number of people who have taken up running has been very noticeable and I am a big fan of people bringing their fitness regimes outside the gym floor.
Running will build and strengthen your aerobic base, burn plenty of calories and overall it’s just a good way to get outside, get some fresh air and clear the head.
A lot of us in January use running as a step to loose some weight while others get out with one eye on certain events during the year ahead, like 10k runs and the Dublin Marathon.
If you are someone who is running, whether you’re experienced or a novice, you might take these tips into consideration for the year ahead.
Assess your mobility, then go work on those tight areas
I have worked with a number of runners down through the years, and the one thing I have noticed is how easy it is to pick up silly niggles and injuries along way.
Of course, you are always vulnerable to injury whatever training plan you follow but you really shouldn’t be picking up anything too serious once you look after your body the right way.
People who run a lot really need to assess their mobility and then go work on areas that are tight and inactive. Mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry focus on this — but it’s just as important as anything else.
Here are my top five mobility drills.
Do plenty of activation work
This is very similar to mobility work. A lot of people who run should really be doing lots of glute work in and around their running session.
We spend so much time in the seated position which in turn forces our glutes to become a lot weaker and inactive. My best advice is to bring in this 10-minute glute activation drill below before your running session.
I buy my mini bands in D8 fitness and the mini loop band works best for the drill below.
Do plenty of core work
As is this case in the glutes, a lot of people are quite weak when it comes to their core strength.
One of the main reasons people are suffering from lower back pain today is due to inactive glutes paired up with a weak core, which in turns forces your back to do a lot more of the work required — this results in a few issues down the line.
My top tip here is to have at least one core routine paired in with your running plan.
This doesn’t have to be a 10-minute routine of sit ups. I would advise something a little smarter like a 10-minute routine consisting of planks, holds and variations of twists and rotations.
Do some strength work
Strength training is something I encourage almost everybody to have in their gym programme. No matter what age, level or gender you are, having some sort of emphasis on strength work is only positive for you.
If you do find yourself running at least twice per week then I would recommend doing at least one strength session per week. Drills like barbell squats, goblet squats, lunges, step ups and deadlifts are all great exercises that will keep your body strong during those runs.
Bring in some variety into your running
Keep changing it up.
If you are someone who is running at least three times per week and perhaps training for an event in 2018 then change up the stimulus of your run.
My best advice is don’t just stick to the same track, time, distance and intensity. Keep it varied and bring in sessions where you are doing some long, slow distances but then the next session increase the intensity by cutting the distance and increasing your speed or totally changing it up by bringing in some interval running like hill sprints or timed sprints.
I would like to finish my first article of 2018 by wishing you a healthy and fit year ahead and I am looking forward to helping you along the way with lots of tips and advice.
You can also see some of his previous articles here.
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