9. Respect Your Warm Ups & Cool Downs!

My warm ups & cool downs consist of fitness walking & easy running. If I am doing some type of interval work I will do 7.5 – 10 min fitness walking, 5 min conversational paced running, then an additional 5 min at a more moderate pace building up into the actual workout. Subsequently, I do 5 min of fitness walking to cool down. Warm Ups & Cool downs are meant to be slower, or in speed work – pace is gradually increased; however, they are NOT the workout, so stop treating them like they are!

10. Keep A Log Of Your Training

Best way to assess your training load is to keep track of it!! You could do the old school way of writing things down, but I prefer doing as little writing as possible to cut down on time. I have a Garmin watch which syncs automatically to my Training Peaks account, which keeps track of all my workouts. You really have no excuse of keeping track when it’s all done for you wirelessly.

Or you could always get a coach too, to help you keep track of your training! ;-)

11. Don’t Neglect Your Drills, Stability & Strength Workouts 

Running is a unilateral movement, so one key thing I have my athletes work on, is being able to balance on one leg at a time. Keep in mind when balancing, DO NOT grip with your toes, you want to keep them splayed out, so you are not relying on the grip to keep you stable.

Another thing to master is having adequate toe dexterity. The big toe is the center of your universe with running, and helps to produce a more stable foot! Here is a video demonstrating how to gain adequate toe dexterity. Try it out!

Start out with the fundamentals first, and build on them.

Here are a few example of some of the drills I do in my weekly routine: 

  1. Slow Marching (Barefoot to start) Hands interlaced behind Head
    • 3 X 15 yard passes
  2. Slow Marching with Running Specific Arms
    • 3 X 15 yard passes
  3. Single Leg Balance on Yoga block or box with Abduction
    • 3 X 10 – 15 reps each side
  4. Lateral Toe Taps
    • 3 X 10 Each Side
  5. Toe Off To Step Up
    • 3 X 10 Each Side

12. Assess Your Shoes and Make Sure They Fit Like A Glove 

I’ll keep this one simple with a video from my running guru Chris Johnson. It shows how to properly assess your shoes before you buy them.

13. Get Help If Your In Serious Pain 

Training is going to leave you sore at times, but if you are in pain and it persists longer than 72 hours, I highly suggest getting things checked out by a doctor, or PT. Catching potential injuries sooner than later will only help you. If you continue to train on them, you could just make whatever is going on worse. Alternatively, you could have odd aches and pains, that aren’t an injury, and just your body adapting to your training. I have 72 – 96 hour rule of thumb, if things aren’t getting better, then I go in to see someone just to make sure. That certain someone is Dr. Johnny King Marino!

If you are injured, learn from your mistakes, and come back slowly. You don’t want to end up in the same seat again!

Hope this helped everyone! Just remember when we falter, it is just another place to learn and grow! 

Happy Training! 

*****Natalie Johnston is USATF & RRCA certified runner coach & Certified Personal Trainer serving areas PA, NYC, & NJ.*****