Keeping running interesting is a challenge. Few guys understand this better than Ben St Lawrence, Australia’s 5 000m and 10 000m national champion, who in a heavy week will cover more ground than the length of the South African coast line. A St Lawrence tactic for keeping things fresh is changing his running venue, from his usual spot in the city to the mountains for instance. “I’ll hit the trails in the mountains – that’s rough ground and tough hills,” he says. He breaks things up with interval work, adjusting speeds and the duration of rest periods from session to session.
“Running is repetitive,” he says, “but there are so many different places you can run and so many different sessions you can do. It feels like you’re doing something different, even though you’re still putting one foot in front of the other.”
Olympian Courtney Atkinson, a three time winner of the Noosa Triathlon, is another who knows the restorative value of a new setting. While he likes routine, he’s not the Rain Man. “I get bored riding on the roads, so for me, it’s a nice change to ride indoors on a stationary bike,” he says.
He’ll take his swimming training from the pool to the ocean to the lake, and his running from the road to the track to the beach. “My golden rule is that if you’re feeling bored and fatigued, it might not be that you’re overtraining, it’s probably just that you need a change.”
Atkinson suggests that if you’re a morning runner, try some night sessions: “You’ll feel like you’re moving quicker.” It’s pouring out there? Even better. “Once you get through the first two minutes of getting soaked to the skin, there’s no better feeling.”
Picture courtesy Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool