What to do when you hit a parkrun rut...

What to do when you hit a parkrun rut...

It’s probably not a very politically correct thing to say, but yes sometimes you can fall out of love with parkrun.  Having done over 150 parkruns, I can very safely say that the vast majority have been hugely enjoyable experiences and I would not trade my Saturday morning jaunt around the lake for much else.  I have dressed up, ran with no shoes, come first, come last, plateaued, PB’ed, paced people, raced people and most things between!  However, like many parkrunners, there have been times when my motivation has dipped and you sometimes just fall out of love with it for a while.  Now, I am not a doctor but I am going to diagnose this as 'hitting a parkrun rut.'

So when this awful ‘rut' strikes, what can you do?!?  

Shin Splints: What are they and how to treat them?

Shin Splints: What are they and how to treat them?

Ask most runners about injuries and at some point they will talk about shin splints. For many beginner runners in particular, this injury is the one that stops them running and stops them from gaining that all important consistency. As a coach I have seen this injury crop up a few times, so I decided to ask our resident physio, Sally Maple from Port Melbourne Physio and Pilates to give me some expert advice on shin splints, what they are, why they occur and how we can treat them. 

So what are shin splints?

What would you ask an athlete you admire?

What would you ask an athlete you admire?

I’ve often wondered if I was stuck in an elevator with an athlete that I really admired, what would I ask them? 

Recreational athletes are often fascinated by the habits and lives of elites and professional athletes.  How many hours do they train?  Do they do strength training?  Who are their idols?  What do they eat?  Do they drink alcohol?

It’s not very often you get the opportunity to chat to these people and ask these types of questions, so when Vanessa Murray, a former-professional Ironman triathlete from New Zealand agreed to sit down and chat with me over a juicy burger in Albert Park, I was really excited to try and de-mystify a few things...

How to overcome “I’m not a runner” syndrome. 

How to overcome “I’m not a runner” syndrome. 

As a running coach, I hear the words, "I’m not a runner” more often than you might think.  In fact, it is one of the most common phrases that I hear amongst people getting back into their running or getting started on their running journey for the first time.

As far as I’m concerned, if you run, you are a runner.  Whether you are fast or slow, whether you run one minute, once around the block, or one hundred kilometre ultra marathons, you are still a runner.

How to know if you are really running ‘easy.'

How to know if you are really running ‘easy.'

The runners I coach are more likely to see the words ‘easy,' 'medium' and ‘hard’ in their training plans than to see specific paces.  These are the three main efforts or intensities that I use in my coaching, as well as 'Race Effort'.   Of course there is a place for more paces, efforts and measurements, but in a world where we are inundated with so much information and so many metrics (that we don’t understand!), I prefer to keep things simple.

How to stay on top of your marathon training even when you travel for work

How to stay on top of your marathon training even when you travel for work

Meet Scott (aka Dr. Scott). Scott ran the Gold Coast Marathon with guidance and coaching from GoRun. Running one marathon is impressive.  At the time of writing, Scott had run 7 marathons, which is really impressive.  Running his fastest of all seven, by 73 seconds is super impressive, but none of this comes even close to Scott’s real story….

Don't Panic! How to Start Your Melbourne Marathon training on the right foot

Don't Panic! How to Start Your Melbourne Marathon training on the right foot

The Melbourne Marathon Festival is now not far away! Many runners are in the midst of their training for one of Australia’s biggest and most prestigious marathon events.  The finish line at the MCG awaits but first the real work of training has to be done.  The few months of running, recovery and planning will be challenging, but there are a few fundamentals that each of us need to stick to, no matter what pace or distance goals are.

Here are five of my top pieces of advice to surviving and flourishing over the next few months before your victory lap around the G’:

How to test if you really need a coach...

How to test if you really need a coach...

I was contacted recently by a woman looking to improve her 5km parkrun time.  She was weighing up whether a coach and a training plan would work for her and wanted to hear more about what was involved.  

As we chatted on the phone, we asked each other questions and it became apparent that she would benefit from more accountability, more structure and from someone taking the guess work out of her training, so we decided to begin working together on her goal.  I have had similar conversations, where it quickly becomes apparent that my coaching would not suit the other person.  From my experience, certain types of people respond well to coaching and training plans.  Others, not so much.  That is absolutely fine.  I have plenty of close friends who would never dream of getting a running coach.  For others, with the help of a coach, they have improved beyond what they thought possible and are getting the personal best times that they were after. Running, training and exercise is highly individual.

So what can I honestly advise people who are asking themselves,"Do I need a coach?”  

Older Doesn't Mean Slower!

Older Doesn't Mean Slower!

We love to share the stories behind our awesome runners, and this one is a treat. This is Trev, who is the first runner that Coach Chris ever coached, and his dad!  

Trev is now a spritely 65 years old and has run for recreation and fitness for over 30 years, completing 6 marathons (all of them under 4hrs 15 mins), over 20 half marathons, plus many other shorter races road and trail races.  Over a 14 week period, he was coached and prepared for the Great North Run half marathon, which takes place in his home town of Newcastle (UK) in mid September every year.

Run / Walking Busselton Marathon... and loving it!

Run / Walking Busselton Marathon... and loving it!

Sydney Marathon (Marathon 13) was a really tough experience, both on the day and in the week after.  I felt like I had lost fitness, re-injured an old achilles problem and gotten very glum in the process of it all.  Not ideal.  

 

Fast forward 3 weeks and the 17 marathons fun bus was heading over to Western Australia.  This was my first ever trip to W.A and I was travelling there to run Busselton Marathon on Sunday 8 October.  Whilst I still had the nagging achilles issue that was stopping me from running, I was grateful to be feeling way more positive in the lead up to this one.  I was worried about my ability to complete the run, but positive nevertheless.  I was particularly worried when I discovered the day before that I hadn’t actually signed up to the run at all!  OOPS!!  I am starting to believe that there is such a thing as 'runners brain’…. its a thing….

Now I know what 11 laps of The Tan feels like...

Now I know what 11 laps of The Tan feels like...

Last weekend was awesome...

Marathon 12 was back on home turf, running 11 laps around the Tan Track in Melbourne, following some time away for Alice Springs Marathon the previous weekend.  I was really pleased with what I had done in Alice Springs and my aim for this marathon was simply to improve on that time of 3:22, only 7 days later.  I enjoy the challenge of backing up marathons one week after another and it gives the second run a bit more purpose.  I seem to get that little bit more determined to not be slower or fade at all.  It’s like a giant 'negative split' I suppose.  

On race morning, I had woken up early to the sound of torrential rain and howling wind at about 5 am.  Bugger.  The thought crossed my mind to just drop the run, eat lots, drink wine and simply reschedule, but the thought of then trying to fit another marathon into the remaining 4 months of the year, persuaded me to get my arse out of bed and get cracking on some coffee and breakfast.

ALICE SPRINGS: MARATHON 11 (The one with the NO GPS WATCH experiment…)

ALICE SPRINGS: MARATHON 11 (The one with the NO GPS WATCH experiment…)

Well its been a while since I wrote last, but marathon 11 is now done and dusted!  I’m at the airport in Alice Springs, the sun is shining and I am on my way home, back to Melbourne.  I am growing to like this place.  This is my second trip here in a couple of months and I am starting to learn my way around, meet new people, see new things and feel a little more comfortable.

 

The last marathon I ran was Cairns Marathon on 9th July, so this was the longest break so far within the 17 marathons journey.  I definitely needed it after nursing myself through 3 marathons in 3 weeks back in June / July.  

From Fun Run to Trail Running World Championships: Kellie Emmerson

In Episode 2 of 'The Go Run Show’, I the had the pleasure of chatting to world class ultra / trail Runner, Kellie Emmerson. Here is a runner that does things for the pure love of the sport. She is a coach, brand ambassador on top of being a world class runner and seems to love the role that she can play in helping people to run better.

I chatted to her about her first fun run, her recent trip to the Trail Running World Championships in Portugal where she represented Australia, her diet, training, coaching and pieces of advice that has received in her career so far. I also discover a great motto that she tends to live by and that she (like me!) is a bit of a foodie with a liking for all things chocolate!

I really hope you enjoy this discussion and that you feel like me by the end, that we are very lucky to be part of a community of runners with supportive and engaging people like Kellie as part of it.

ENJOY!

Guest post: Being nervous is normal

How do you deal with the final nervous days before your big run??!  With this guest post on Running Fit Box blog I want to help you work through and answer some of the normal questions that you will have to face in the days leading up to your next running event.  Questions like "should I be carb-loading," "have I done enough training" and more!

Head over to the awesome Running Fit Box website to check out my guest post on this issue.

Enjoy!!

Guest Post: 'How to Translate Running Chat - 9 phrases you need to know'

Even as a running coach, I get frustrated with 'running chat’ at times. As runners, we seem to have developed our own language, which nobody outside of running knows about.  This guest post on the Tri Chicks website is designed to help you translate some of the main phrases that you may hear from other runners.  Head over to the awesome Tri Chicks website and check out my guest post on this issue.  

Happy learning!