THE CURSE OF COPYING: WHY MIMICKING ELITES ISN’T YOUR BEST BET

THE CURSE OF COPYING: WHY MIMICKING ELITES ISN’T YOUR BEST BET

We live in a world where we are overloaded with information about the training of those around us – apps like Strava and social media have made sharing one’s training such a widespread phenomenon. And this makes it so easy to see what someone else has done and think “that’s cool, I’ll try that!”. So why can’t we do this? Why shouldn’t I just find the training log of a professional athlete and try to do what they’re doing? The thing is, the best runners in the world have also gotten to that point over many years (or even decades) of work, and have very gradually calloused their bodies to handle the stress of their training load. There’s no way that your average runner can jump into a 100 mile or more training week from nowhere, and expect their body to handle this. Our bones, muscles and tendons need months and years of training to grow stronger until they reach the point...
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THE MYTH OF THE WEEKLY  TRAINING CYCLE

THE MYTH OF THE WEEKLY TRAINING CYCLE

The Sunday long run. Track Tuesday.  These are probably things you’ve seen or done countless times as a runner.  It’s a pretty common sight in training plans – certain days of the week are allocated to a specific type of workout, and this cycle is repeated every 7 days. But why? What is it that made us decide that 7 days is the ideal length of time to go through a cycle, and to then repeat this again and again (with slightly changes from week to week of course).  It’s one of those things that many of us have probably never even questioned. The only real answer is convenience; perhaps weekends are the only time when you’re able to fit in a 90min or longer run. Or maybe you enjoy slotting into a group that runs hills every Thursday.  For many, these reasons are perfectly valid and it makes the most sense for their training.   BUT – if you’re really looking to...
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TRAIN, DON’T STRAIN

TRAIN, DON’T STRAIN

TRAIN, DON'T STRAIN I first discovered running’s biggest paradox the year after graduating high school. As a fully committed track runner aspiring to make a name for myself on the national circuit, I’d come to terms with what came with the job – early mornings, tough training and living the training life as per Steve Prefontaine quotes. To say that I worked hard was an understatement. Eventually though, my hard training was not helping me elevate my game; instead, I was simply going through the motions and my form really stagnated. I started doubting whether my training was even hard enough when I compared what I was doing with the documented training logs of the likes of Seb Coe. I concluded that, in order to rise above my performance plateau, I would need to work even harder. I was always taught that running was a metaphor for life – you get out what you put in. At the time I understood this...
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THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING Yeah, you read that right. You’ve probably read a hundred pieces on positive thinking and its benefits, particularly in terms of racing and training. And I’m not here to bash that at all. I’m certainly an advocate of positive self-talk, self-belief, visualization and all of the other useful and semi-useful techniques out there. But this piece is taking an alternative school of thought; the way in which we can use our negative thoughts to our advantage (whether it be in running or any other form of performance). There’s an ancient philosophy called Stoicism, and a part of this philosophy is the ability to accept a situation for what it is - and to use this acceptance as a means to control our fear of pain and/or failure. It acknowledges that the world is highly unpredictable and reminds us that we need to be in control of that which we can control – our responses to these events. But how...
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LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

LESSONS FROM A TRIP TO KENYA

A few years ago one of our coaches, Jonathan, experienced one of his most memorable journeys yet. Here are a few of his thoughts from the experience and some lessons that he took away from it all: In June of 2015, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Iten, Kenya on a running camp where I got to train with, learn from and watch some of the best middle and long-distance athletes in the world. I also got the opportunity to sit down and chat over tea with their coaches. It really was an absolutely incredible experience and I’d recommend it to any passionate runner – regardless of your ability. This post is about the main things I learned/observed about the “Kenyan Way” in my time there. Not all of these things are recommended for your everyday runner; but it’s fascinating to gain a bit of insight into how the best runners in the world live and train – and...
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