A lot of runners spend the winter following a training plan that focuses on a spring or summer event. It's an excellent way to keep you motivated through the cold and wet months! But, once you've achieved your goal, it's easy to back-off, and lose the fitness that you'd worked so hard to achieve.
One option, is to just sign-up for another race; but if you've already nailed your goal, even that can sometimes feel a bit empty. Our Run Marketing Manager's ideas are perfect if you want a race-free way to sustain your fitness...
Commit to a regular run
Your training plan would have given you a regular routine. It's so easy to let this slip, so we suggest that you book a regular run in your schedule and commit to it; as you would an appointment. If motivation is a struggle, then new kit always gives a boost! Or why not team up with a friend for a bit of moral support?
Alternatively, we're massive supporters of parkrun. You sign-up for free; then turn up at 9am on a Saturday; run a 5 km route, and get timed. Take a look at their website to find your nearest event. It is a great way to start your weekend; meet new people, and run for time without entering a race.
Run Marketing Manager: "Heading out with a chum gives you a chance to catch up and spur each other on. Plus thanks to Wiggle, your running friend can earn you money! If you refer them via our refer-a-friend reward scheme, you get a voucher to spend on some treats as well. Your new kit will then add to your running motivation and creates a virtuous circle!"
Keep testing yourself
A break after a tough training block is essential; both physically and mentally. But if you don't want to lose fitness, then you need to get back onto the fitness wagon after a few weeks, max.
Make sure that you keep in some challenging runs, which push you just below your race threshold. So, if you're a 5 km runner looking to sustain your PB, include sessions with intervals at race pace.
Check that you're still on track, by using a watch to test your speed and distance - a basic GPS watch will do the job. Our range caters for all budgets, and if you also want to look at heart rate, our watches have varying levels of tech.
Run Marketing Manager: "If you're going to integrate intervals into your training, then I love the TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch; it has the easiest timer I've used so far, and for the price it's a brilliant buy!"
Fuel yourself with #goodstuff
Make sure that you fuel yourself with the right foods, at the right time. A well-nourished body is energised, and ready to take whatever you can throw at it! It needn't be complicated: stay away from fad diets, create a pre and post-training nutrition strategy, and keep a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats across the rest of the day.
Run Marketing Manager: "I tend to use malt loaf and ripe bananas for a pre-run energy boost; then chocolate milk is good afterwards. If I'm using specialist sports nutrition, then I'll opt for half an energy bar before (I love Clif Bars and the High5 Protein Snack Bars - but they are quite dense, hence only having half). Post-run, I'll opt for some Science in Sport REGO Protein Powder, plus the rest of the bar; an alternative, if I'm tight for space in my bag, are the new Science in Sport Whey20 Recovery Gels."
Work on your flexibility
We can't emphasise enough how important it is to stretch your body; we spend our days sat hunched at our desks, yet we still expect our muscles to be able to move in every direction when we exercise. It's a recipe for injury!
Stretching your muscles will ensure that you can move with full range of motion; so that your muscles can work most effectively, giving you a better chance of sustaining your running performance.
Run Marketing Manager: "Along with lots of other runners, I've got a dodgy knee; so I've had to really work on the strength of the surrounding muscles. I make single-leg squats and single-leg balances key features in my training to strengthen my quads, ankles and their surrounding muscles."