Written by Andy DuBois - http://www.mile27.com.au

Many ultrarunners I know like to keep it simple; put shoes on, head out the door and run. There is nothing wrong with that approach but if you want to improve then the body has to have the right stimulus to force it to adapt and become stronger.

Elite athletes aim to leave no stone unturned in training. They do all they can to provide the body with the right stimulus and recovery to maximise their training. Whilst many of us don’t have the time to focus on training that some of the elites do most of us could improve in a number of ways with very little if any extra time involved.

I’ve listed below 27 ways you can improve your running that don’t need much if any extra time. See how many of these you can implement in your training program.

1. Know when to run hard and when to ease up. Many runners run their easy sessions too hard and that means their hard sessions aren’t hard enough.

2. Spend more time working on your weaknesses – whether its speed, uphills, downhills, stairs, trails – whatever it is spend more time doing it rather than avoiding it.

3. Build up the elevation of your training runs so it matches that of the race you are training for. If there is 400m per 10k in the race then that’s what you should aim for in training. Even it the only way you can do that is to run up and down the same hill for hours.

4. Stop static stretching – its a waste of time.

5. Introduce dynamic stretching and do it daily instead of just when you are injured.

6. Add a running specific strength training program to your weekly routine. Thirty minutes twice a week can make a big difference.

7. Focus on running during every hard run. Dwelling on work problems during a hard run isn’t going to help your running.

8. Practise staying positive in every run no matter how bad you feel.

9. Smile when the going gets tough, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

10. Step outside your comfort zone and choose some races that will show up your weaknesses.

11. Make getting 7-8 hours sleep a priority.

12. Stop eating processed food and increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

13. Include walking in your training – you do it in a race so practise it in training. It’s a big component of ultra running so why not train it.

14. Next time you buy shoes try several different brands on, not just your favourites and see if there is a shoe better suited to you.

15. Stop doing the same runs you always do and try a different route.

16. Run with people a fraction faster than you for your hard runs and slower than you for your easy runs.

17. Seek professional advice and get a personally designed running program.

18. Listen to your body and be prepared to have a day off or two when it needs it.

19. Don’t try and run through an injury.

20. If you have a persistent injury seek professional advice sooner rather than later.

21. Do the least enjoyable sessions more often, you’ll probably benefit more from them.

22. Practise your race day nutrition plan in your long run.

23. Do some regular meditation to develop the ability of the mind to stay focused.

24. Decrease your alcohol intake.

25. Don’t be afraid to every now and then push yourself so hard in an interval session that you can’t finish the session at the specified pace.

26. Running on technical trails is a skill so practice it often until it’s a skill that you have some level of competence at.


27. Don’t be worried about taking a few days off if you are feeling run down. We improve through recovery and if you aren’t recovering then all you are doing is breaking down.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

The Importance of Down Time

The Importance of Down Time

Written by Chris Ellyatt for the URC I’m sure that we have all seen a thousand articles on how important rest is to any athlete’s schedule. Indeed, it has often been...

Read more

Top tips to make you a better mountain r…

Top tips to make you a better mountain runner

Running in the mountains is hard. I’m certainly not going to say it’s harder than other running, but it needs to be treated differently. Many experienced runners get a sharp...

Read more

Marathon Des Sables - The Final Countdow…

Written by Andy Mouncey for RunUltra It is just weeks now till the glorious 1300+ will be heading off to Morocco to get their feet nice and hot on the sand...

Read more

How to run 100 miles in a day*

How to run 100 miles in a day*

Written by Dave Stuart - http://76thmile.blogspot.co.uk Or how to run a race and not get lapped by the sun  Things that are essential to do in the 6 months before you race -...

Read more

A New Year & A New You: A ‘Don’t Do’…

Written by Andy Mouncey - http://www.bigandscaryrunning.com Many people gear up to start a new year full of good intentions. Add some reality with these top five tips so you can avoid...

Read more

You Gotta Have A Plan – Dontcha?

Written by Andy Mouncey - http://www.bigandscaryrunning.com At least, that’s what all the lead characters in the great movies/TV thrillers have. In fact, they go further than that because they give at...

Read more

Recovering from injury: Q&A with And…

Written by Andy Mouncey for http://www.runultra.co.uk Andy Mouncey had thirty years of sport under his belt – thirteen of which were in ultra trail running. Then, disaster struck and he got...

Read more

The importance of fat metabolism in ultr…

Written by Mark Woolley - http://markstevenwoolley.blogspot.com.es Never has a topic, not just in ultramarathon running but in the nutritional world in general been subjected to a generalised pseudoscientific analysis as that...

Read more

One piece of advice before you run 100 m…

One piece of advice before you run 100 miles

Written by James Adams - http://www.runningandstuff.com If I had one bit of advice for this kind of thing, based on doing it a few times and failing sometimes; it would be...

Read more

Does dehydration impair endurance perfor…

Does dehydration impair endurance performance?

Written by Andy DuBois - http://www.mile27.com.au Feb 18 2014 For many years we have been lead to believe that a dehydration level of more than 2% will negatively affect performance and...

Read more

27 Ways To Improve Your (Ultra) Running

Written by Andy DuBois - http://www.mile27.com.au Many ultrarunners I know like to keep it simple; put shoes on, head out the door and run. There is nothing wrong with that approach...

Read more

Winter Trail Running Tips – part 1

Winter Trail Running Tips – part 1

Written by Nick Jenkins - http://nearlyshoeless.com I love winter running, Its the only time of the year that I can actually justify wearing tights in public, in the daytime.  Early starts...

Read more

Uphill Running

Uphill Running

Written by Nick Jenkins - http://nearlyshoeless.com Uphill Running – The best technique is the one that you already do. It’s been close to 4 years now that I’ve lived in the Ariège...

Read more

Mary Wilkinson’s Top Tips For Uphill Run…

Mary Wilkinson’s Top Tips For Uphill Running

Written by Mary Wilkinson - http://team.inov-8.com Mary Wilkinson putting her uphill running tips to the test in last year’s World Mountain Running Championship trial race Mary has represented Great Britain ten times...

Read more

Tom Addison’s Top-10 Tips For Faster Dow…

Written by Tom Addison - http://team.inov-8.com There’s no greater buzz in running than nailing a downhill. It’s you versus the terrain. To win that battle feels amazing! Being able to descend with...

Read more

6 things to do in the week before an ult…

Written by Justin Bateman - http://www.justinbatemanrunning.com If you're reading this I'm going to assume you've already signed up and trained for an ultramarathon. As such, I'm going to leave out any reference to...

Read more

Heel Strike – all you need to know

Heel Strike – all you need to know

Written by Andy DuBois - http://www.mile27.com.au There is a lot of discussion in the media and running circles about running technique, and specifically heel strike vs forefoot and the pros...

Read more

The long run – how long is long enough?

The long run – how long is long enough?

Written by Andy DuBois - http://www.mile27.com.au The long run is obviously the most important training session of the week for an ultra runner but how long should it be? I was initially...

Read more

Share This

Follow Us