23 Jul 2012
- Train for a race you’ve never done before. Go for something completely different, such as a trail race, mountain-running event, ultra-marathon, track race or beach run. Many runners have only ever raced on the road and haven't tapped into their adventurous side and raced with nature. You can't beat eyeballs-out efforts charging down a mountainside, ducking and weaving on a technical single-track in a rainforest – or barrelling along the hard sand by the water's edge on a beach with a howling southerly at your back.
- Sign up for a run-training camp and learn new training techniques from experts. The camps are usually held in beautiful environments away from the city, with plenty of fresh air. It’s a tremendous way to live, train and socialise with other runners and will help take your fitness and speed to another level.
- Swap one or two runs a week with some cross-training, such as deep-water running, swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. It will help to prevent injuries from overtraining and is a smart way to increase fitness with what are usually non-weight-bearing methods.
- Get a running mate. Sharing a workout with a buddy improves your tolerance of pain and boosts feel-good endorphins that can keep you going for longer.
- Tune in. Music is running’s “legal high” according to a Brunei University study, which found that runners who listened to their favourite tunes while out training, reduced their perception of effort by 10 percent.
- Train anywhere in the world
Tired of staring at the sweaty arse of the guy in front of you every time you hit the treadmill? A new iPhone app called Fun Run Trainer is making cardio sessions a lot more interesting by allowing you to run anywhere in the world. Using Google Earth's satellite video map, the program places a cursor representing you on a famous route (say London's Abbey Road, the Champs-Elysees in Paris or Sydney’s Bondi Beach) and tracks your progress as you beat feet on your treadmill. The app even lets you know to adjust the incline on your treadmill to mirror the changes on the course you're running. But what's even cooler than the app's ability to improve a casual jog is the way it can help serious runners train. Want to get ready for the New York Marathon at home? Fun Run Trainer offers the complete courses of 200 international races so you can perform a trial run without ever leaving your garage. The basic version of Fun Run Trainer is free to download, but if you want more involved features (such as the marathon courses) you'll have to shell out a few extra bucks.