Personal trainer and fitness fanatic Steve Mellor from Freedom to Train shares his top running tips

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1. Change your technique

When you run it’s important to make sure you work the full stride length, cut out the long and slow runs where your stride length is short and the running is boring. Get out and do some intervals, anything from combining Tabata’s four minute protocol into your run ( check out other GTG posts for info ), 30 second sprints, to three to five minute intervals. Whatever it is, run fast and try work on kicking your heel up to your bum on every stride as you drive your knee up!

2. Technique, take two!

Make sure you maximise the upper body effort when running fast, as your legs start to fatigue you need to focus on swinging your arms as fast as you can. These are the motors for your legs and will keep you running fast even as you get tired. Top tip – swing your arms ‘cheek to cheek’, this means touch your bum cheek and face cheek to maximise the drive from the arms.

3. Fasted training

A great way to maximise fat burning is to train fasted, that means training first thing in the morning before your first meal. As long as you are sure to rehydrate after your sleep, fasted training has been shown to elicit great fat burning gains and on a molecular level it enhances your muscle cells’ ability to produce energy. One caveat would be if you are doing a very hard/fast session, you might want some carbs pre-workout to fuel you throughout! Give it a go and see if it works for you.

4. A fast fat-burner

One thing that has been shown to maximise fat burning is caffeine.The key with caffeine is that it mobilises stored fat so that you can burn as much as possible while training. Remember that caffeine levels peak 60 minutes after consuming it, so time that espresso wisely to get the full effect!

5. Use your time wisely

Workout to work – It’s light in the mornings so get your exercise in early. Why do it in the morning? It ramps up your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more calories during your day, even when you’re just sitting at your desk. It also has an energising effect, increasing blood flow and oxygen uptake in the body leading to that alert feeling we get after exercise.

6. Footwear is crucial

Check your trainers. If you’ve spent the majority of the winter months pounding the treadmill, chances are you need some new ones. Research suggests you should change your trainers every six months or 300-500 miles.

7. Look good, feel good

Have a wardrobe spring clean. We’re far more likely to get outside and exercise if we have things we actually want to put on that make us look and feel good while keeping us cool/warm enough depending on the weather.

  • Lululemon and Lucas Hugh are definitely two brands that we feel will make a big impact this year and are very popular with our clients
  • Nike is also a classic for a great look when you’re out running.

8. Intensity, the secret weapon for success

To speed up your progress, it’s important to work hard when you do workout. Good indicators that you’re working hard enough include:

  • You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation during this time
  • If you’re not sweating then you need to work harder
  • You should feel as though you’re working at an effort level of around 8/10