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Six tips from a professional running coach to help test your limits
Want to be at the top of your running game? Take this advice from a professional running coach.


Running is hard. It's rewarding and soaked in endorphins, but it's still hard. In fact, if you're finding it easier and easier, it might be time to take your running to the next level. It's time to get serious.

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to run further? Or faster? Every runner has their own goals. But the most serious runners realise they need to spend time improving every aspect of their run, from endurance and pacing to psychology.

A lot of people who decide to get serious about running hire a personal trainer. A good coach can help you develop a training program that fits your exact lifestyle and goals. Most importantly, they can also motivate you to push through your psychological barriers and reach the next level.

We asked Michael Arend, an accomplished ultra-runner, a running coach, and a GORE RUNNING WEAR® athlete, to pass on his advice.

1. Find the right coach

In running, as in life, it's almost impossible to stay objective about yourself. Running is a state of mind and the right coach will be able to see the blind spots you can't and help you improve in those areas. Many people will be familiar with a personal trainer at the gym, but you should take time to find a dedicated running coach who can work with you to achieve your running goals. This can be daunting but you can find a good running coach by asking at your local gym, joining a running club or looking for private coaching services online.

 

2. Train harder, rest more

The age of social media has led to runners comparing weekly mileage with each other, when really they should be focusing on hard workouts that send the body a message to improve. Hard workouts like these require proper rest days to allow your body to recover. So while it can be tempting to compare yourself to others, don't. Focus on yourself.

3. Change up your training

If you decide to get a coach, it may be for a short while. But any good coach will tell you that to keep improving, the body needs new stimuli. The surest way to stagnate is to do the same workout all year round. So it's worth checking in with your trainer every few months or so to keep your routine fresh.

 

4. Keep it simple

When people get really serious about running or cycling, they tend to start over-analysing everything, focusing on complicated things and losing sight of the fundamentals. But the important things haven't changed. Train hard, eat well, sleep enough. This will get you further than a complicated suspension workout, an expensive supplement, or an over-reliance on technology to analyse your workout.

5. Use lightweight gear

 While running isn't an equipment-intensive sport, runners need more in their “kits” than just a good pair of shoes. One of the things people forget is that the less weight you carry during a training session, the better you can perform. This is especially important in changing weather conditions. Jackets that are engineered with GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY™ technology [LINK TO SHAKEDRY TECHNOLOGY PAGE ON WEBSITE] is extremely lightweight but will protect you from the rain and the wind. It's fast drying, allowing you to run without the distraction of being too wet or too sweaty or too cold.

 

6. Mind over matter

The biggest difference between serious runners and hobbyists is mindset. Some people put off training in bad weather, or ease up in winter. But weather is a state of mind. The most important thing is to choose a goal and commit to it. The right kit can help. You need apparel that protects you from the discomfort of rain and cold, and allows you to sweat through a 5K tempo run or a 50K paced run. Because there's no right answer to the question of "how much mileage per week is enough". What's important is to tear down your barriers and change the answer to that question every week.

Take things to the next level

The person you’re competing against is almost always yourself. Every runner is different; everyone is at a different stage. But the thing that unites us is our desire to push ourselves harder, to test our limits. Don't over train, but do ask yourself if your routine is becoming stagnant. Then ask yourself what you're going to do about it. It's time to get serious - choosing the right kit, finding the right coach, developing the right routine, will help you take your run to the next level.

 

Have you received any professional running advice or want to share your own? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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