Transitioning from a Good Runner to an Elite Runner
Article by Sean Williams
Tips on transition from good runner to elite runner
Huge life changes will need to occur. Not only will your athletic talent have to be fully developed through an increased training load. This increased load itself will slowly mould and develop your character. After a long period of time it will strengthen your character. It will takes years – not weeks or months. You will have to prioritize what is most important to you, with running needing to be number 1. Life will have to be simplified into training, racing, eating and recovering with everything else (hopefully nothing too time or energy consuming) having to fit around those activities.
Key elements of preparing for an upcoming race
Follow a smart training plan with a balance of long runs, recovery runs, threshold runs, fartlek, hills, intervals, technique work and pure speed training. Most important though is you practice running at race pace. If you expect a tactical race (particularly relevant for track runners) then practice your pace changes and work on your lap splits. Study your opponents’ tactics, strengths and weaknesses in previous races.
Common mistakes runners make
A) Starting training runs too quickly. It is best to just ‘granny shuffle’ the first 1-2km of any run, running 2-3 minutes per km slower than your 10km race pace. Most injuries originate from an insufficient warm-up over those first few km.
B) Not allowing your body enough time to adapt to and recuperate from a hard training block. Whether your training block is over a couple of days or several weeks, you must allow a recovery period. This will allow your strained, fatigued body to repair and recharge your mind and spirit. You will then bounce back even stronger in the next block and eventually for races.
Sean also runs training groups in Sydney. To find out more, check out his website.