Jon Albon’s Top 5 Tips for Improving Your Running
It's that time of year when we're all getting outside a whole lot more and for a lot of the team here at HQ in particular that has meant getting out those running shoes and hitting the trails here in North Devon. With the running and OCR event season in full swing, we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to ask for some advice on improving our running technique - who better to ask than our own ambassador Mr Jonathan Albon.
Being 4 x OCR World Champion and winner of both the 2017 Skyrunning and Extreme Skyrunning World Series' we figured he would be the man to ask for some top tips - check out our video from when we caught up with Jon recently.
1. Vary everything about your training... distance, time, terrain and most importantly, speed.
If you go out and do the same run, in the same place, at the same speed your progression is going to be painfully slow, that’s if you progress at all! By changing things up and varying the runs you do, you will stimulate and challenge your body and mind into improving far quicker. You will also become a more all-round runner who can cope with a variety of distances and types of race.
2. Push the limits of what you think is crazy. Chances are, your body can take it, and it’s only your mind that’s holding you back.
To really stimulate improvement, you have to be consistent with your training by making it part of your lifestyle, as well as pushing the boundaries of what you think you can do. At some point someone at work will tell you that you are crazy….as long as you are not going too far and getting injured it’s good to be a little crazy!
3. Concentrate on recovery as much as training - this starts from the moment you stop your watch.
So much focus is put on training but that’s only 50% of the equation. If you can’t recover from training and racing you won’t improve and you will likely get injured. Simple things are the key to effective recovery - things like getting enough sleep and replenishing the calories that you’re burning. A vital part of recovery for me to protect muscles and avoid injury is making sure you stay warm as soon as you stop exercising - my dryrobe is always perfect for this.
4. See every run or race as a stepping stone, you can always keep progressing and do better.
Setting goals is a good thing but can also be dangerous for your long-term development. You may have been aiming towards that marathon for months but once it is over don’t stop. That may have been a big goal in your mind but you are on a bigger journey to becoming fitter, faster and better overall. Concentrate on recovery and then get back to training. Don’t lose sight of your long term goals by congratulating yourself too much and sitting back after completing a smaller goal.
5. Have fun! The more fun training is the more you will do it and the better you will get.
If training isn’t fun you just aren’t doing it right. Find ways to make training interesting and enjoyable, mix things up, run with friends, explore different routes - then it will seem like less of a chore and more of a reward.