Returning to running after injury is undoubtedly tricky. By telling you that you can run again, the physio has opened up that great Pandora’s box of opportunities again, only this time it comes with a slight caveat. Of course, you want to crack on and hit those numbers but are well aware of the risks that come with doing too much too soon. So how do you get back on track?
Well, I’m not 100 percent convinced quite yet but some of the best advice that I’ve received is strip it back and start at the beginning again. Just trying to pick up from where you left off (e.g. running a marathon weekly) will cause more harm than good). So take a different approach, hit the gym and focus on training for a speedy 5K. And as luck would have it, this plan coincided with the kick-off of adidas Runners. A weekly running session on a Friday and Monday, led by some of the best in the business.
Not just another running group
While there are some social aspects to adidas Runners, you work together during the warm up, can chat on the way to the chosen destination and support each other, the main part of the session is focused on making you a better runner. As we all know, the only way to make changes is through hard work. And boy oh boy, Claudia and James, the dynamic duo and founders of Advent Running, who lead the Friday session push you to the edge.
Their four-week cycle consists of…wait for it…a dash of Kenyan hills – basically sprinting up and down hills, Fartlek – otherwise known as “run fast”, tempo running or speed up and slow down between certain points to help you manage your speed, a cruise session – this was a particularly tough session of 800m sprint intervals at an effort of 8 out 10 (just try it and you’ll see what I mean), and this Friday’s recovery run followed by Pilates (at first I thought this was a joke after three weeks of heart-rate raising, almost tear-inducing sessions).
Yep, you don’t get to take it easy with adidas Runners.
But that is part of the joy. This is a proper training which will help in the long run. The four-week cycle of three tough sessions followed by a recovery session has been specifically chosen to aid those all-important adaptations, allowing the body to build strength and recover. It’s a tried and tested method by many an athlete.
Yes, the Friday session may start at 7am (and you arrive a little bleary eyed and not the best of moods. Fast-forward to an hour later and you’re smiling, buzzing with energy and high-fiving everyone. That’s the adidas Runners effect.
Try to arrive 15 minutes early (never gonna happen for me I’m afraid), and you’ll get to test the Ultra Boost. You can’t miss the starting point as there’s an adidas Runners trailer where you can dump your bags before a briefing from James at 7am on the dot. The van then comes and meets the group wherever we end up after an hour of torture with coffee brewed by Workshop coffee and snacks. What more could you want eh?
It’s one of the best ways to kick-start the day and will leave you feeling sweaty, exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time.
Learning to run again
As for me, well, it’s great to free my legs with the help of Claudia and James and adidas Runners. I was hesitant at first. After all, almost six months of not running has taken its toll on my confidence. After one session, however, I felt good, strong even, and ready to face my next goals, which really is the beauty of adidas Runners.
Whether you simply love running or are training towards a race, you’re guaranteed to get stronger, feel fitter and meet a bunch of great people with adidas Runners.
Join me if you can on a Friday or sign up to their Monday evening sessions.
Go to adidas Runners www.adidas.co.uk/adidasrunners to find out more.
If you’re not UK-based, there are also clubs around Europe so it’s worth having a gander. Unfortunately, adidas Runners is only in London at the moment but who knows about the future.