Amongst the parkrun family there are numerous international athletes, Olympians and experienced coaches.
Each week we invite one of them to share their top tips and advice on training and improving your running, whether you’re looking to complete the course without stopping, break 45 minutes, go sub-20 for the first time, or just bag that new PB.
This week it’s the turn of Tom Craggs!
Tom Craggs is an England National Team coach and regional coaching lead for England Athletics, as well as being UK coach for some of the UK’s biggest sports brands.
Tom also coaches Great Britain elite athletes such as Louise Damen, as well as those just starting out on their running journeys – plus juniors too! Tom is also a talented runner himself, with a parkrun PB of 17:06.
Hi Tom! It can be hard to fit in running and training around a work, family and social life – what’s your best tip for finding a work-life balance?
For so many of us life throws more and more obstacles in the way as you move through the day, getting out early in the mornings to bank training before working or the family day starts can sometimes be the best decision.
Also be honest about the time you have to train. Consistency is the key and loads can be achieved from 3-4 runs a week, much better than 6 runs one week, and then nothing the next. It’s about finding a routine and pattern that is sustainable and most importantly enjoyable!
It can also help if your passion for running is shared by colleagues and family, so check out junior parkrun and get the kids involved!
What is your top tip to new parkrunners on how to improve their running?
What would be your advice to parkrunners who are thinking about going beyond parkrun and training for 10ks and half marathons?
Many parkrunners find that after weeks and months of PBs and improvements, their running can start plateau. What would you suggest to mix things up?
The body is a very adaptable machine, it plateaus easily because we adapt to routine. Remember we have to stress the body and recover from that stress if we want to progress, rather than repeating the same things.
So, in order to progress you need to either change the training, or recover more effectively. Change up your routine and add some of the quality sessions suggested above!
And finally, for those people who want an insight into the training of an elite athlete, what’s your favourite training session and why?
There are so many great sessions for getting fitter to for parkruns and 10ks, and any coach will tell you there is no magic session – the key is looking at your own strengths and areas for development and working specifically on these.
But if I had to pick a session though, I’d suggest a mixed session on the flat and hills:
You can follow Tom on Twitter.
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