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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Apr-17 > SPRING FORWARD

SPRING FORWARD

An arsenal of new science, coaching tricks and energising tips designed to boost your running performance for the season ahead

Lighter nights, warmer days, intermittent downpours, yep spring is here and with this particular new season comes new goals and – thanks to our round-up of science and soothsayers – some new thinking on how to raise your running game.

“Spring time means being able to get outside for longer, more enjoyable runs, starting new goals, shedding any winter excess and taking your running to another level,” says Rory Coleman, ultrarunner, coach and author of A Rebel & A Runner. “Runners of all standards should take advantage of the longer days to do longer runs – doing so will strengthen muscles and tendons and build stamina.”

1. RESISTANCE IS FERTILE

Adding resistance training to your running routine – using your bodyweight or dumbbells – can improve running strength and economy, according to studies published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. “For novice runners especially, strength and conditioning is important to prevent injury and address weaknesses while also offloading muscles that get worked hard when running: quads, hamstrings, calves,” says Steve Mellor, specialist trainer with Freedom2Train. In the recent study athletes given drills including pull-ups, squats, bench presses and deadlifts scored higher in tests of peak speed and running economy than runners who shunned strength training. The trick is to do the weights before the run. A follow-up study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found doing them the other way round had a negative impact.

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About Men's Running

I’ve put that question to runners of all abilities – some professional, some amateur, all keen – and their answers are varied and unique. For some, self-improvement is their motivation, whether to lose weight, overcome health issues – both physical and mental – or to simply be fitter. For others running is key to their social life, a community brought together by a common interest, and the friendships made within it. For those who have the talent and determination to compete at the highest level, it has become their livelihood. Then there are runners who do it just for fun, they always have, and they always will. I’m a recent convert, I managed to avoid running for most of my adult life. Maybe my attitude was formed in school where I showed zero aptitude. That didn’t change in my 20s when exercise was way down my list of priorities. As I got older I started to focus more on my fitness but, still, running never figured. But now, if I’m honest, I feel slightly foolish for leaving it so long, as I can see how a few weekly runs would have improved virtually every aspect of my life in some way. Plus I’d be a hell of lot faster than I am at the moment. I’m now one of those annoying born-again runners, the type forever extolling the virtues of “lacing up my trainers and getting out there.” I’m in good company though, as having bought this magazine I’m guessing you’re pretty enthusiastic too. I look forward to bringing you the best magazine dedicated to our shared passion in the months to come.
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