Time to bust out that January determination...
It’s this time of year when people become serious about exercise. They sign up for gym memberships, go crazy with the credit card while online shopping for new trainers and vow to swap chocolate for cardio.
And for some people – some brave people – there is even the temptation to sign up for marathons.
It can be a pretty daunting task to take on, which is why we’re lucky to have some advice, straight from the mouths of Adidas, Advent Running, and fitness blogger and personal trainer AJ Odudu, who definitely know what they’re talking about when they impart fitness wisdom onto us mere mortals.
The power trio have teamed up to create bespoke workout videos to help train our bodies in the key areas essential to running, focusing on the following four areas – endurance, stability, flexibility and strength.
As the dates for events like the London Marathon and the Great North Run loom closer, it’s important to remember that preparing for a run isn’t just about pounding the pavements and clocking up the hours on the treadmill.
In fact, training your body in the key areas – endurance, stability, flexibility and strength – is just as important.
‘Running is a high-impact activity and the first few weeks of a training plan can be tough on the mind and body,’ says Claudia Schroegel, co-founder of Advent Running.
‘These exercises have been developed to provide aspiring runners with a challenging run-specific set of circuits that target the four key areas that often need developing: endurance, flexibility, strength and stability.
‘This 360 degree approach to pre-race training is designed to bullet proof runners from injury and ease them back into a programme of more intense exercise.
‘Three repetitions of each circuit combined with one or two easy runs per week is ideal and will provide solid foundations for a year of training miles and PBs,’ she adds.
But why is each area so important? Let’s take a look…
Week 1: Endurance
‘Endurance is at the heart of long-distance running,’ explains James Poole, co-founder of Advent Running. ‘Getting to the finish line depends on having the cardiovascular fitness to produce a sustained effort throughout the run.’
Week 2: Flexibility
‘While often overlooked by runners, good flexibility is key to running well with a long flowing stride and high cadence,’ says James. ‘A few exercises each week which promote flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and calves can have a hugely beneficial effect on a runner’s form.’
Week 3: Stability
‘A strong core is essential to maintain good running form during training and racing,’ says James. ‘Good posture opens up the chest for breathing, engages the glutes – the biggest muscles in the body – and encourages a light and flowing running style.’
Week 4: Strength
‘Running is a high-impact, load-bearing activity and can be quite tough on the body,’ explains James. ‘Including a regular strength and conditioning session into a runner’s weekly activity can improve muscular strength and limit the chances of injury.’
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And while practice makes perfect, motivation is also an incredibly important factor in making sure your marathon happens – and some cool workout gear can definitely make the difference between staying in between your cosy sheets or getting up for an early morning jog.
The first three videos by Adidas, Advent Running, and AJ Odudu are available on Facebook now, with the fourth one coming soon.
Why not peruse through the Adidas SS16 Women’s Training gallery above to see what fitness gear is coming to a workout near you?