Six tricks that pro runners know very well

The champions, the fastest, the strongest runners are normally regarded as extraterrestrials. It is normal to consider them as such since they can achieve performance unthinkable for amateurs. Yet these are not just natural gifts.

In short, there is talent but any talent must be nurtured to fortify, improve and reach its full potential. It is true: the most or the fastest people in the world are physically brought to be but it is also true that if you analyze how they train you can learn a lot. Starting with the most important one: it is not about reaching their levels (which is impossible) but about improving one’s own, developing one’s potential to the fullest.

And the good news is that the techniques they use are available to everyone. We can all apply them, albeit at different speeds but in equal ways.
So if you want to train like a pro and develop your full potential, try to do as they do.

1. Reps

As tedious, tiring, and even obnoxious as they may be, until now there has been no easier and less tiring way to increase not only the speed one is able to express but more importantly the endurance.

Quite simply, intervals or reps are a particular type of exercise that involves increasing speed along certain distances for several times. Their purpose is to accustom the heart to higher regimes and exertion, causing it to accelerate and decelerate.

From another point of view, if you never do intervals, your heart gets used to a certain kind of endurance: the kind that allows you to do your workouts without exhausting yourself. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. The fact is that as soon as you try to increase your speed, not being used to it, your heart goes into distress and the perception of fatigue increases until it becomes intolerable. Forcing you to stop. In short, the trick to sustain higher speeds is to get used to them.

Don’t know how to make them? No problem: here we explain it to you in full.

2. Consistency

Running is a sport that requires a lot of dedication, effort and application. If we were to simplify, let’s imagine that it takes at least 100 hours of training to achieve the desired result (such as: running a marathon in 3 hours), the distribution of relative loads should be as constant and even as possible. In other words: you cannot expect to get the result by applying very intensely and for a long time a few times, but you have to spread the load over a long period of time.

Simplifying even more: you would not get any results by doing 7/8 workouts of 12 hours each to total the required 100 hours, but rather, you would just exhaust yourself. That is, assuming we can pull it off.

So what? Continuity and consistency are the best foundations on which to build speed and stamina. The body must get used to progressively higher and higher exertions, and it cannot achieve this by concentrating extremely intense training loads in a short time.

3. Recovery

Runners, you know, are obsessed with mileage. Doing long workouts and “bringing home” so much ground is a source of pride and a demonstration of strength. Yet this attitude often carries with it a great lack: that of recovery. In fact, people forget that recovery is not the sport of the lazy and that resting is for rebuilding muscle fibers and preparing for the next workout.

Without doing this properly (which, along with nutrition, is one of the three points on which good preparation rests) you cannot cope with the toughest sessions to the best of your ability but rather will lead you to experience them with more fatigue and worse results.

4. Muscle strength

Runners do just that: they run. The gym is something else, attended by people who have nothing to do with running.

Wrong. This was true once upon a time, but today anyone knows that strengthening muscles-especially those most involved in running but also the entire rest of the body and especially the core-is necessary to limit injuries and to aspire to better performance.

In fact, a well-prepared muscle handles exertion better and is much less prone to injury, much of which happens because of fiber weakness.

5. Planning the competitions

Good training is also mental. We have said it and we always repeat it. The mind, after all, plays a central role in the practice of running and especially in endurance and ability to last under stress.

Motivation is the main fuel of the mind: it gives it a goal and the will to pursue it.
Thinking about (and signing up for!) a race provides a clear goal that is reasonably close in time and allows you to structure a training program that you commit to.

If you have decided that you need to give yourself a very manageable, realistic, and strong motivation to train consistently, the idea of entering a race is a great cue, and a worthwhile commitment to make.

6. Running technique

Watching the strongest and fittest runners on the planet run is a treat for the eyes: their athletic gestures have an elegance to which it is difficult to remain numb. Sometimes they seem to dance rather than run. It could be said that their movements have little to do with aesthetics, but rather with efficiency. In short, their technique is inspired by the most extreme running economy: the least effort with the greatest result.

Efficient athletic action is economical by necessity: nothing must be wasted because energy-every energy-must be expended to endure and go fast.

In short, the best way to achieve good running efficiency is to take care of the running setting, the number of steps per minute, the stance and many other factors. This focus, in addition to improving endurance and speed and saving valuable energy, also has another positive side: it minimizes potential injuries.

As you’ve seen, pro runners’ approach to running doesn’t neglect any aspect of preparation-from technique to how often to train to the importance of recovery. In the end it is a cycle, consisting of training, nutrition and recovery. Each of these elements feeds the next, and is fed by the previous.

If one is missing, the others suffer. If you pay attention to all three, it is likely that you are on a path to which many aspire: that of the best version of yourself.

(Inspired by Every PRO RUNNER Does These 6 Things)


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