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  • Writer's pictureAlexa

The three pillars of training progress

I get lots of questions about the latest running shoes, carbon plated ones, nutritional supplements, kit, accessories and extras and which make the biggest benefits to our training progress and fitness improvements. I always start my answer with the following; you'll always get far bigger improvements with getting the basics right. Once you've done that you can think about all these other nice-to-haves that might give marginal gains.

What are the basics? I often describe them as the three pillars of training!

Your training planning

Planning your training well to get the most out of yourself is key. I can help here but here are a few key points;

  • planning training to include rest days and recovery/download weeks

  • planning a well thought through race calendar

  • including strength training

  • planning the training weeks, blocks and cycles around your goals

  • running your easy and long runs slowly enough!

Rest and recovery

You don't get fitter and stronger when you train, you get fitter and stronger when you give the body time to recover from and adapt to the training. It does this when you sleep and when you rest. Rest days and recovery/download weeks are part of this. As it making sure you get the right amount of good quality sleep for you. Inactive mentally calming down time also puts the body in the physical recovery state to adapt from training. Doing "nothing" is very beneficial for the brain and body and continues to great adaptations from training and faster progress towards your goals!

What you eat

Your body uses what you eat to fuel your runs - ensuring you get the most out of them. It also re builds, repairs and adapts to training using your food as the ingredients too. A balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein and fats in the right amounts at the right time really helps training progress. Good levels of all vitamins and minerals ensure good performance and better recovery too.

So if you want to improve your running take a good, honest look at where you are in these three areas. And if you need any help getting any of them in better shape just drop me a line!

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