Five tips for the aspiring runner

Lightning quick Liam Adams offers a word of advice to aspiring runners.

Australian runner and exercise scientist Liam Adams has some serious sporting goals on the horizon. With his first marathon event scheduled later this year, Liam is gearing up to run a fast debut time and challenge for the win. Securing spots on the Australian team for the Olympic, Commonweath and World Championship events are long term goals that this determined, focused and driven athlete has firmly in sight.

Ambassador for Adidas’ ‘adiRunner’ program, that provides sponsorship, advice and mentoring to the next generation of competitive runners, Liam has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with up and coming athletes. Having studied a Bachelor of Exercise and Human Movement at Victoria University, Liam draws on his practical and theoretical skills to offer his top five tips to the aspiring runner.

1. The principle of individual difference

Because we are all unique individuals, we will all have a slightly different response to an exercise program. Well-designed exercise programs should be based on individualised differences and responses to exercise. Some of these differences have to do with body size and shape, genetics, past experience, chronic conditions, gender, and health and injury history.

2. Recovery

Recovery is as important as the session. You have to make sure you get enough rest along the way through rest days and easy runs that are built into the training plan for a reason. There is a huge amount of literature on different theories of recovery methods such as the different water therapies, massage, types of stretching, different hydration recovery method, nutrition recovery method, supplements and vitamins, relaxation techniques, compression garments. Do a little research about the latest recovery methods and trial the method in your training and racing. Different methods suit different people so it is best to work out what gives you the best results.

3. Using science to train smart

Use science and technology to gauge what your ideal training zones are and work out what times you should actually be doing for certain training sessions or runs. Get tests done such as VO2 max and blood lactic tests and use the information gained to work out the different heart rate zones or the times you should be training towards. If you can train to your ideal times/zones than you will get the most out of your training and run your best when it comes to racing.

4. Periodisation

Understand your training sessions and know why you are doing specific sessions for that period of the year/season. You can’t race at your best or peak for the whole year, so you need to get the general phases correct and build up to the business part of the season. It is vital that you get your base training phase in at the start of your training phases. It’s the building block that allows you to build your intensity/quality as your season matures. Make sure you are honest with yourself in your training as in not training too hard, not training too slow and doing the right amount of mileage for that phase. Use races to help build towards your peak and if necessary use races as a training session.

5. Monitor

Keep a detailed training diary where you can analyse training loads by qualitative & quantitative data of certain aspects of the training week or block of training. Monitor the training loads and your responses to training ultimately by performance but also by recovery. Monitor your performance by results in racing, time trials or key sessions and how you feel doing them. Monitor your recovery by soreness, flexibility, amount of sleep you are getting per night and the quality of sleep, scores you get in recovery stress questionnaires, monitoring resting heart rate or heart rates during certain types of runs or sessions, blood tests and do other physiological tests to help analyse your health or recovery. By monitoring your recovery you can reduce training, when necessary, according to training responses, which could ultimately prevent you pushing too far and becoming sick, injured or flat.

Liam is an ambassador for the adidas ‘adiRunner’ program. For more information visit parkrun.com.au

 

Recommended reading - Managing chronic conditions with diet

Experts

Diabetes shopping tips

How to be savvy in the supermarket and make healthy choices.

Read more
In Brief

Mediterranean diet for diabetes prevention

Filling up on healthy fats favoured in the Mediterranean may help reduce your risk of diabetes.

Read more
In Brief

Top nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables

A new study ranks the top “powerhouse” fruits and veggies, according to their nutrient density score

Read more
Experts

One diet to rule them all

A scientific review paper has sought to answer the question of what is 'the' best diet for health.

Read more
Experts

A diet to fight arthritis

Feeling creaky? Learn how an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Read more
Experts

Low FODMAP diet for irritable bowel syndrome

Dr Sue Shepherd explains the origins of the low FODMAP diet.

Read more
Experts

The Paleo diet: pros and cons

Nutrition expert Professor Tim Crowe untangles the fact, fad and fantasy of the popular Paleo diet

Read more
Experts

Diet for type 2 diabetes

How to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes

Read more
Experts

5 reasons not to cut grains from your diet

Fibre-rich whole grains are vital to a balanced diet. Accredited Dietitan Tim Cassettari explains

Read more
Experts

Lower your blood pressure with the DASH diet

Here's what you need to know about the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet

Read more
Experts

The brain-boosting diet

Nourish your brain for better focus, memory and mood with these delicious and nutritious foods.

Read more
Experts

Super-foods!

Your mum was right, eat your greens!

Read more
Experts

Cutting your cancer risk

A diet rich in unprocessed grains and meats, fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of cancer.

Read more
Lifestyle

Bad fad diets

A look at some of the worst fad diets that somehow managed to gain a global following.

Read more
Experts

The truth about gluten

We asked dietician Larina Robinson who can really benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Read more
Experts

Cutting back on caffeine

Giving up caffeine for FebFast? Here’s some expert advice for letting go of your daily brew.

Read more
Lifestyle

8 benefits of cutting back on sugar

From weight loss to healthy skin, there are plenty of reasons to reduce your sugar intake.

Read more
Lifestyle

9 super-easy healthy food swaps

Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as making a few small changes each day.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.