From the August 2012 issue of Runner’s World
Upgrade your running with RW's dossier of secrets from the athletes at the London Games
Make your training work for you
“When I was working full-time, I would run to and from work while listening to podcasts. This was a good way to combine my commute, training and entertainment while also freeing me up in the evenings.”
– Ben St Lawrence, AUS, 10,000m
Get pumped up
“Find a method to get your adrenaline pumping before a race. I talk to myself to help get pumped up for an explosive start.”
– Sally Pearson, AUS, 100m hurdles
Eat yourself happy
“Hydrating and fuelling are really important in training for the marathon. It’s important to practise this during training so that when it comes to the race you are used to taking in fluids and kilojoules. Being dehydrated and not adequately fuelled is going to greatly impact on your performance. I take a carbohydrate drink every five kilometres and a gel every 10. This helps to prevent against hitting the wall.”
– Kim Smith, NZ, marathon
Ask the experts
“Stress fractures are the body's way of telling you that you are doing too much. I visit my chiropractor nearly every week, especially when I have a large block of training to get through. Regular treatment has helped me stay injury free during the past couple of years.”
– Michael Shelley, AUS, marathon
Train for specifics
"Leading into big competition periods I usually train at altitude and include some more specific training sessions like hill reps and track workouts that are relevant to my upcoming races."
– Craig Mottram, AUS, 5000m
Repeat a mantra
"I have a lot of different words that I say to myself. One is 'fighter'. I think that, and all of a sudden things come into focus. Even if I don't speed up, in my mind I calm down. I use my workouts to practise responding to these one-word cues."
– Kara Goucher, USA, marathon
Pool your resources
"Aqua running is a fantastic way to keep fit when you're injured. I tore a muscle a couple of months before the Athens Olympics, but I aqua jogged like crazy and although I only returned to the track three weeks before the Games, I ended up getting my best Olympic result [fifth in the 5000m]. It means you can do a hard cardio session every day without worrying about the impact on your body. Keep your recoveries shorter than you would in an interval session on land to keep the intensity up. Try 10 x 2–3 minutes with 30 seconds recovery, or two or three sets of 10 x 45 seconds with 15 seconds recovery, and a minute between sets."
– Jo Pavey, GB, 5000m
Escape the grind
"It can get monotonous to do the same schedule every week, so I train in two-week cycles. I'll hit important workouts, such as long tempo runs, every two weeks. It gives my body a chance to adapt to the work I'm doing, so it's easier to notice improvement."
– Ryan Hall, USA, marathon
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