Home » 15 Golden Nuggets to Transform Your Endurance PerformanceEndurance Performance

15 Golden Nuggets to Transform Your Endurance PerformanceEndurance Performance

by Steve Macklin
  1. Consistency

Without doubt the number one road to improved performances as a distance runner is to aim for consistency with your training for long periods of time. Athletes must do everything in their power to stay healthy, injury free and consistent in their training for as long duration as is possible. This is when the magic happens.

  1. Variety

It is critical for all endurance runners of all levels to have plenty of variety in their training. Variety is key for many reasons including creating added stimuli to your training aiding progression, helping prevent injury and keep an enjoyment factor to your training. Running on a variety of different surfaces is important so use track, road, grass and trails where possible and do not do all your running on the one surface.

  1. Goals

All athletes should set goals for themselves, this is your roadmap and sets out where you are trying to get to. It also creates added motivation and makes it easier to get out the door and train when you do not feel like it.

  1. Planning

Following the setting of your goals for the year, it is imperative you lay out a plan to achieve them and get you there in the best possible shape. Planning your daily and weekly training is key along with planning your racing schedule.

  1. Testing & Monitoring

Athletes should use various monitoring techniques to gauge their training progress along the way. Utilising test races, time trials, lab tests, blood monitoring, heart rate data etc can all aid in your progress towards your goals. Use a training diary and record everything so you can look back and reflect on things following a key race or a full season.

  1. Coaching

Find a coach that you trust in, believe in what they sell you, form a close relationship with them based on honesty and open communication and then you have a platform that will help you achieve things you never thought possible.

  1. Recovery

Sleep and nutrition are the two most underrated performance enhancers available to all athletes. Use these wisely and reap the rewards in your training and racing. Athletes use the various techniques available to help improve their sleep quality and perhaps sit with a dietician around daily nutrition.

  1. Patience

The bottom line is that endurance training can be monotonous at times, you don’t always see quick results, you must deal with setbacks etc so patience in the process delivers time and time again. Be prepared to be in it for the long run and take is slowly, this is when the big performances come.

  1. Lifestyle Balance

Running is just one part of an athlete’s life and a balance must be struck with school/college/work/family life. Athletes must be organised and have a daily and weekly routine and plan their training around their own lifestyle. Becoming overly obsessive with your training and racing doesn’t help in the long run and having downtime to relax and spend with family & friends is important.

  1. Basics

Too many athletes seek to go after the advanced training methods before in fact nailing the basics. Master the basic fundamental training areas, recovery methods etc first before you try advancing your training. The basics when done well on a consistent basis lead to great results.

  1. Strength & Conditioning

All athletes should have a form of strength & conditioning in their training, this is critical for many reasons. A solid S&C programme tailored to the individual can help improve your structural foundations allowing you to either run more volume or increase intensity, its helps increase running economy, it helps prevent injuries, improves your posture & running mechanics and it improves your strength & power.

  1. Hills

Having different forms of hill training in your training will improve your race performance and also help strengthen your legs while also improving running mechanics. Use these 3 types:

  • Short Power Hills (8-12 seconds Max Effort with 2-3 minutes walk recovery between reps)
  • Anaerobic Hills (30-60 secs done fast with walk back recovery)
  • Aerobic Hills (1-3 minutes with jog back down slow recovery)
  1. Group Dynamic

Running can be a lonely sport at times and the power of a group environment can give an athlete added motivation and push them to better quality training. The group can motivate each other and drive each other forward if the right culture exits within it.

  1. Mechanics of Running

As a runner we want to run in the most efficient manner possible to limit wasted energy and also to prevent injuries. Spend time working on your run mechanics to help you run more fluent and relaxed through run drills, S&C programme, hill running and strides/short sprints on flat & on steep hills. This combination will help you run more effortlessly.

  1. Enjoyment

The bottom line is that anything in life you enjoy doing you will more than likely be successful in. Learn to enjoy your training and racing and not become a slave to your training programme or year plan. Adapt and make changes where necessary and don’t feel guilty about missed days. Running gives a person many physical and mental benefits and can be a most enjoyable sport. Enjoy it more and see your performances improve.

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Performance specialist who has 24 years of experience in Development & High Performance sport

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