The other day I was flicking through February’s edition of Runners World UK edition and came across the article ‘106 running life hacks’. The article is billed as a list of simple tips, tricks and tweaks to improve and upgrade your running life in 2017. The article is full of brilliant ideas but by the 85th (Vitamin Bee – eat Manuka Honey as it has mild antibiotic qualities) I was beginning to doubt if I could implement a fifth of them let alone all of them. So I decided that I would pick five good ones and look to implement them over the next few months and see how I got on.
Hack one: Get it ‘om’ (RW #4)
The tip: A ten-week programme of twice weekly yoga sessions delivered significant gains in flexibility
My plan: I have Ryan Giggs’ Yoga DVD so I am going to implement twice-weekly yoga at home. That way I can fit it around the arrival of my new baby.
Hack two: Stretch your endurance (RW #18)
The tip: A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found well-trained distance runners ran significantly further before reaching exhaustion following a dynamic stretching session than they did after no stretching.
My plan: I’m going to do a full dynamic warm up before every single run.
Hack three: Pull the udder one (RW #20)
The tip: A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found milk was more effective at hydrating the body after exercise that either water or carbohydrate-electrolyte solution.
My plan: The fridge is full of milk at the moment, it is the only thing my pregnant wife drinks, so I am going to have pint of milk after every run.
Hack four: For your shins (RW #65)
The tip: To help avoid shin splints podiatrist Dr Stephen Pribut recommends limiting the amount of running you do on concrete, not overstriding (aim for 160-190 step per minute) and stretching you calves and hamstrings post run.
My plan: As I used to suffer from shin splints when I was younger I am going to incorporate all of these into my training. Especially making sure I stretch my calves and hamstrings properly post run.
Hack five: Hills without spills (RW #78)
The tip: Swap out a hills session for a spin class. According to running coach and spinning instructor Kourtney Thomas ‘pedalling against high resistance will help you power up hills when you run, and the faster the cadence of cycling will improve your turnover’.
My plan: I am going to add a spin class to my training schedule moving forward. I enjoy spin classes so adding these in won’t be a problem.
Hopefully incorporating these hacks in to my training will help improve my running. Only time will tell but I am willing to give anything a go to help me improve.