Sometimes improving your performance is the hardest part of your training. You make the effort week-in week-out to go running but those times aren’t moving as quickly as you would like and you really want to make that target time, whether it be a 5k, 10k, a half marathon or the full marathon.
Former professional runner and Odlo ambassador Ingalena Heuck knows what it takes to perform at the highest level and has some tips to help you increase your performance.
“To increase your performance it’s really important to have a good and complete diet. You need protein for your muscles and you need your carbohydrates to really be able to do your racing or your training to the best of your ability. Focus on your nutrition and you will really see and, just as importantly, feel how you can improve your running performance.”
“It’s really important to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries and be better prepared for your sessions. You should warm up with a normal run or some movement preparation exercises. You cool down to be able to do the next session in a better way. Also, you should do some fascia training and core training to prepare your body for running.”
“Your immune system is under stress during running and you can protect your immune system with the right clothing. I think it’s also important to feel good, perhaps even sexy. If you feel good you run better, so it’s very important.”
“Variation in training is the key to improving your performance in the most efficient way. You need to do some interval training, some longer and shorter runs, some slower and faster runs. If you incorporate variation into your training you will really improve your performance quickly.”
“If you don’t focus on your thoughts you lose your performance. Especially during a race, you should really focus on you, on your performance and on your own race plan. Mental preparation is really key to ensuring 100% performance during a race.”
“The weather is never a reason, only an excuse. I think there are almost no weather conditions that should keep you away from running. If the weather is really so bad there is still the gym - there’s no reason to quit any running session.”
“I think it’s a combination of mental and physical preparation. You will hopefully feel good during running and training but there will be days where you don’t feel 100%, that’s when you need to hear and feel your body. That’s the best combination.”
“Usually I don’t like to go to the gym because for me running in the nature is way more important and way more enjoyable. So if I have the right clothing I don’t have to go to the gym. But for some people the gym can also work and can be somewhere where you can do your exercises. I think it’s important everyone finds their own way, sticks to it and stays fit and healthy."