The ABC’s to training smarter
Published 25th Feb 2019
A guide to ensuring your program is on track with Equinox personal trainer and Olympic Marathon Runner, Jane Vongyorachoti.
Training is a process of applying stress to our bodies for them to adapt and come back stronger. The key is understanding how much stress is required, and then giving your body time to adapt. This means ensuring we are putting the right amount of stress on the body and giving time to rest and recover. Below are some Equinox training tips for optimal Adaptation:
• Know your target pace during training runs. This can be measured through a percentage effort, heart rate or speed. You should not be running every run at race pace.
• Speed training is great for stressing your muscle energy systems and building lactic threshold, however, these sessions produce greater stress on the body so doing too many of these a week can be detrimental to performance. Always have a recovery day following a speed session.
• Monitor your body and adapt your training – if you are finding that you are feeling lethargic or have prolonged muscle soreness after trainings this might be signs of over-training. Be sure to rest and fully recover before the next session.
Maintaining lifestyle and training balance is key for an enjoyable programme that you are realistically going to stick to. Planning for balance is essential for turning up on race day with a smile.
While your training program probably includes different types of runs across your week, we all know that life can get in the way of that fartlek or hill training session. In these instances, it is essential to be able to adapt and get your plan back on track.
If life tends to get in the way of your week, simply look to get 3 quality runs in a week: One speed/strength run; One tempo/fartlek run; and a Long Run. In between these workouts, look to add strength training or other cross training options (Check out the Equinox group fitness classes for cross training inspiration). But don’t forget your rest! Rest days are when you make your gains!
If you are looking for running variety that fits in with your lifestyle, consider running to and from work – saving that long run for the weekend. Alternatively, check out the Equinox Precision Running class which uses precisely timed intervals to redefine your running zone in a group setting.
The best way to ensure you have done the miles and are on track is to consistently stick to your training programme. The body loves a routine so identify the times that best suit you for running and try getting into the rhythm of running at the same times each week.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session. As early as you can, modify the training plan and get back on track. Keep moving forward and find your rhythm for the last few weeks of your program.
Check your progress against these ABC’s and ensure you are training smart for the LLHM. For more training inspiration, don’t forget to check out the LLHM social channel and our exercise videos from Equinox.
Setting your running goals
Published 4th Feb 2019
What are you hoping to get out of running the London Landmarks Half Marathon in 2019? Having a clear intention and clear goals helps for motivation and has been shown to increase the likelihood of peak performance on race day. With that in mind Equinox personal trainer, certified USATF and UK Athletics coach and Olympic Marathon runner Jane Vongvorachoti, shares her goal setting advice to help you prepare for the London Landmarks Half Marathon.
I hope you are all as excited as I am about the London Landmarks Half Marathon! You've got your spot, now let's start your plan by setting your race goal. Setting a clear goal has been shown to increase motivation and ultimately result in better performance on the day. There are three types of goals: outcome goals, process goals, and attitudinal goals – all are helpful in getting you in the right headspace to train and succeed in the LLHM.
What do you want to achieve at the London Landmarks Half Marathon? Is it a time goal? Do you want to just finish? Do you want to finish in the top 100 runners? Are you running for your health? Or to raise awareness and funds for a cause? Sometimes it can be a mix of a few. Be clear and write these goals down, this way you can know what your aim is and work backwards in planning how to achieve your target.
As you are starting to train, you need to look at the process through which you will achieve your goal. What is your strategy or plan to get there? These “Process Goals” are more focused on how you train and what you are trying to do in your workouts. Are you looking to improve your speed? Are you looking to improve your strength? Are you working on your aerobic capacity?
Understanding this helps to then segment your training and break your weeks up. Process goals need to be measurable and provide feedback on the way the training is progressing. The best way to get this feedback is to test yourself, perhaps using a 5km or 10km tempo run for speed. Timing your run every 3 weeks or so will allow you to test to see your improvement. Once you have tested, adjust your running programme accordingly.
Attitudinal Goals relate to how you feel, your effort, how dedicated and focused you are. While abstract, these goals have been shown to have a strong impact on performance. Self-talk and visualisation are valuable here in putting yourself in the right mindset to run.
With so many great charities involved in the LLHM this can be a great source of inspiration for attitudinal goals - remember why you've entered the event. Are you running for a cause that’s close to your heart? That might be a source of inspiration.
Always look for the positives from each training run to ensure you maintain a positive attitude. Even poor training runs can be great sources of information and fuel to visualise what you would do in different workout or race scenarios.
Setting goals and being realistic about them is crucial for success. Now that you have set some goals, my biggest tip is to buy a notebook. The notebook is to record your goals and workouts. It is also a place to write how you felt before, during and after a workout. Use it to reflect and improve or laugh about a training moment in a year's time. As humans, we learn best from experience, but we often forget what we have done and experiences we have gone through unless we record it. I use a notebook to reflect on my past training programme and feel more confident about a workout that is coming up because I can look back and see that I’ve faced worse and still achieved my goals.
Record your experience for the London Landmarks Half Marathon, because it is not the destination, but the journey that you will remember! Feel free to share that journey at #LLHM and check out some of our awesome content including Equinox training tips on Facebook and other areas of the LLHM website.