Kim Ingleby Mon, Mar 5 2012 Likes0 0 Comments Facebook Twitter Observations & Simple Thoughts to Improve your Running "Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself." - Winfrey I hope you all had a great weekend, whatever the weather! In Bristol there was a range from beautiful sunshine to torrential rain, hail stones to winds. The photo above is taken from our Big Saturday Bootcamp’s which are always really popular. Today’s Blog is really a reflection from the Bootcamp and from the Gwent Cross Country League Later that day. Just observations from things I heard, saw and was asked by other people as a Coach and a fellow participant! I thought they could be useful, as I think they are common things that come up, let me know what you think….there is not logical list today, just a collection of thoughts. 1. Accepting Praise and Being Proud of YOU All too often I will praise my clients for doing well, or someone in a race will say, ‘You ran really well today’ and the common response I hear is, ‘Well I did okay and then there is always a BUT! I would like to challenge you to just say, ‘Yes, Thank you!’ And then if there are things you would like to work on, write them down, choose 2 and start to work on them. Be proactive and Proud of You. 2. Know you have done Your Very BEST Many people I observe compare themselves to others, often saying, ‘They look stronger, faster, leaner, lighter than me….’. Firstly maybe they do, and secondly it doesn’t really matter as long as you are doing the very best you can do on the day. You will never know someone else’s circumstances, what they have done that day already, what their goal is for the race or sessions and how they are feeling. So focus on your goals, work towards doing your best and have a positive mantra in your head to keep you on track. With my Elite athlete’s, ‘Calm, Strong & Confident’ Always Works. 3. Fuel your Body Correctly Many people I train often appear for a training sessions, either not having enough time for breakfast or trying to lose weight so avoiding having too many carbs. And then at some point during the session they run out of energy, feel really low and then demoralised. Our bodies are really clever yet they work very much on how much food you feed them on a daily basis. So if you have not got enough quality carbohydrates available you will not gain the benefit from the session or perform at your best during the race. Keep it simple, I believe your body needs the very best nutrients to perform at it’s best. So feed yourself good quality proteins, complex carbs, vitamins, minerals and essential fats little and often, plus drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day. You can get more complicated and fine tune things, but to start with get the basics consistent and quality excellent. Be aware of how you feel when you eat certain foods, how much energy they give you & what you mood is like. Keeping a food diary can be really useful, and if you are still low in energy you can give to a Sports Nutritionist to advice. To find out more see The Running Bug’s Food and Weight Loss section. 4. Get the Right KitAs I am running around I see many people with really old trainers and sports bra’s. To avoid injury and allow yourself to perform at your best make sure you update your trainers regularly, depending on the show type and support you require every 400-650 miles is recommended, or every 6-12 months depending on how many times a week you run. If you forget write in the tongue of the trainer the date your started running in them. If you find a shoe that suits you, buy a few pairs – its more important your feet are running in the right shoes than the colour (promise although of course the colour is important for some!). Sports Bra’s are so important ladies, as the ligaments that support the breast tissue stretches as you run, so make sure you are supported, and update your bra’s every 6 – 12months depending on how many times you run in them. Shock Absorber have a great video where you can put in your bust size and see just how much damage you could be doing without the correct support, and they have offered readers £5 of their Bra’s if you order directly, you just need to quote the code: KimEP! To find the right kit for you check out The Running Bug’s Gear section. 5, Cool Down Properly Make sure after a hard session you cool down properly to avoid injury and gain the most from the session. All too often you will see people just stopping dead, from running at a fast pace and then going home to just sit! It is vital that you take time to cool your body and muscles down, and then have a gentle stretch. Then later, or the following day put aside 20mins where you stretch and use a foam roller on all the tight spots, add in a little core work too if you have time. All is invaluable at enhancing performance, improving recovery and reducing the risk of injury. Trigger Point Therapy offer great Foam Rollers & specific massage balls/rollers for tight areas! Click here to see our Foam Rollers: Essential Runners’ Guide. And Remember whatever your reason for running is, remember to enjoy it, whatever the weather and whoever you are with, you are out there doing it and you should be Proud of YOU and Smile whilst you do it… Let me know what you think and any other observations you have had…. For any advice or questions on our specific tips just comment below, I am more than happy to help. Until next week…. Happy Running! My Twitter is kimingleby a few of you have asked – join me for daily tips! What have you observed about yourself or other runners? How has this helped you to improve your running? Let us know in the comments below.