Is a personal trainer only good for elite athletes?

Are personal trainers only good for elite athletes? Or can they benefit those who enjoy doing 10km or 20km runs as well? And what about someone who wants to run, rather than walk, the 5km fun run or Parkrun? Maybe you are asking, “Why should I pay somebody to tell me how to run when I can do it for free?” Or maybe you are on the fence about it, unsure what you’ll get out of the experience, and whether it’s worth the money.

Here are 5 instances when hiring a personal trainer can be a good choice to get the most out of the sport:

1. You are new to running
If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, a personal trainer will tailor a workout specific to your needs, goals, fitness level and physical condition. You will be taught proper form and techniques to maximise your strength, flexibility and fitness.

personal-trainer

2. You need motivation and accountability
If you are like me, you will run until you feel uncomfortable and then stop altogether. Motivation is often difficult to maintain when you run on your own and it is all too easy to skip training or fall off the wagon completely. There is nothing like regular sessions with a personal trainer to create accountability.

3. You are training for an event
A personal trainer can show you new training techniques specific to an event you’re aiming for (such as, a marathon). Training skills, when incorporated into your program, can improve not only your strength and endurance, but your agility and mental focus as well. A trainer can also help you create a schedule that allows you to get the most out of your body while allowing it to heal and recover. When my knee began to act up, my trainer had me cut back on running intervals and ride an exercise bike on some days.

4. You want to break through training plateaus
If you are in pretty decent shape but stuck in the same routine, a trainer can advise ways to change or tweak your workouts to make them more efficient and effective. A good trainer will make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress. This will push your fitness level forward much more quickly than working out on your own.

5. You want to avoid injury
A personal trainer will provide feedback about your limits and strengths. I tend to ignore the signals my body provides and either push through pain or give up too soon. A trainer will know how to push you beyond your comfort zone, and when to stop before pain and injury sets in.

So there you have it! Whatever your fitness level or running goals, there are sound reasons and huge benefits to using a personal trainer. This may be just what you need to raise the bar, get that medal, or run that marathon and, with discipline and determination, even get that gold and be elite!

Tips on running a PB

We have had our runners running some incredible PBs over the last few weeks. Whether the PB was a better time or a first race, a goal is a goal! Attaining your goals takes hard work and a lot of dedication! Here are some techniques you can do on your own that you can do to get your PB. These things have their place, but they are best done as a team/group, and with someone, who knows your potential, to either push you or rein you in.

Incorporate hills in your training

Running up hills is a great way to develop race pace. Those that incorporate hills in their training have better overall muscle strength and are able to teach their bodies to run more economically.

 

Incorporate interval training into your programme

Interval training refers to when you vary the speed and intensity of your running in certain training sessions. Doing this type of training teaches your body how to adapt to sudden bursts of speed when you need it to – like on the home stretch of a race! Interval training puts the fun into your training. You could, for example, run 120 seconds at full speed, followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging. Or, you can run 4x1km at full pace, with two-minute easy jogs between each kilometre.

Strengthen your core

Your core is the platform for all your running success – the stronger it is, the faster you will run. Runners who have strengthen their core perform better, are more aware of their running posture and body positioning when running.

Planking is a great all-round core strengthening exercise. Do it once a day for 30 seconds.

Get enough sleep

We all know that we need sleep, but it is even more important to get a good night’s rest while you are training. Sleeping gives your body a chance to rest, recover and build muscle and energy reserve.

On the eve of your race, aim to get at least seven hours of sleep the night before your race.

Eat right

No matter how much you train, if you don’t eat the right foods it’s going to get harder and harder to set better times. Good nutrition is key to the success of any runner, and you need to make sure you eat the right foods and avoid the wrong ones. Think of your body like a car – you need to put the right fuel in it for it to run efficiently. Leaving the nutrition debates aside, your body needs more protein and carbohydrates than normal while you are training. Incorporate foods high in protein and eat healthy carbs (lots of vegetables and fruit). You want to avoid foods high in sugar.

Relax!

Relaxed runners run more efficiently and expend less energy, which lead to faster times. When you are tense and tight while running, you use a lot of energy that could be used in your legs. During your training routines, focus on keeping your shoulders, hands and neck nice and relaxed. Once you learn to do that without even thinking about it, your race day form will be much more efficient.

Warm up

At the start of a race, you have to be that person that you have sniggered at in the past…the over zealous warm upper-er. Warming up allows the blood flow to get to your muscles, and allows them to run harder quicker. Warming up is beneficial in getting your PB.

Smash the last 400-500m

Around 400m from the end of the race, when you are tired and exhausted and feel like you cannot go on anymore, take a deep breath and run as hard as you can until you pass the finish line. Tell your mind that your legs can collapse at the end, you can vomit at the end…just keep pushing. You won’t regret it!

 

If you are looking to incorporate any, or all of these things, contact us. We will get you get your PB.