Yesterday I had an hour’s coaching session with one of the run leaders from my running group Resolution Runners.
The run leader is running the London Marathon in 2018 and is raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Part of her fund raising efforts are to offer an hour’s coaching to those who donate £20, so that’s what I did.
The session started with a simple task of running in a square, at various paces, while my running form was observed. Straight away I was given something to think about as it seems that I hold my arms and shoulders in a more tense position than is ideal. That’s the first thing I’ll be trying to work on over my next few runs. It’s important to me that I try to maintain the best, most efficient form I can as my running challenges will definitely benefit from that.
The next step was to test my agility. Mostly this was a series of tasks designed to make me fall over. The easiest way? Stand on one leg, then close your eyes. I suggest doing it on a soft surface to make your landing easier! It’s such a simple thing to do, but it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds. I’ll be incorporating more balance practice into my non-running training, as the overall improvement it will make to agility and stability will again help with keeping my form efficient.
My main running goals are to increase my speed over short distances (5k and 10k), so next we headed out to do some speed work. There’s a great pedestrian/cycle section on a local road that is long and flat, and very well lit at night. Being well lit it means there are plenty of lamp posts, and as any runner will tell you they are perfect for speed work giving you good visual markers for the fast efforts. I haven’t done any speed work in a long time, so it was nice to pick up the pace. I am not sure my legs agreed with that assessment, as they certainly knew they’d been called into action. But I suppose that’s why it’s called training as we train our body to better withstand the rigours of running.
Once we’d finished on that stretch we ended the session by running back along a well used Resolution Runners route, bringing the total distance to around 5k. On the route back Elly explained about lactic acid build up, your body’s threshold for the build up, and why exactly runners train to improve the threshold. This was fascinating to me, because I love to know the science behind why we train a certain way.
A very enjoyable and worthwhile coaching session and all in service of an excellent cause. If you get chance I definitely recommend trying some personal coaching. It’s very easy to get stuck doing the same things and to find your training stagnating. I’ve now got a few more things to work on and introduce into my training and I can’t wait to get going.