Nine expert running tips from Mo Farah (and his coach)

9 tips from an Olympic champion

FARAH,MO-19-London2012

Mo Farah
(Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m gold medallist)

Should you carry water?
“Drink immediately before or after a 5K or 10K run, but not during it. Running with a bottle puts more pressure on whatever side of your body it’s weighing down, and running well is all about balance.”

Energy boost
“Chocolate – usually dark chocolate – is good for an energy boost. There are all manner of sports snacks that pretend to do wonderful things, but I mostly like to stick to the basics.”

Keeping motivated
“When you’re competing, keep reminding yourself how much work has led to that moment. The training you’ve done means you deserve to perform well. That gives a huge confidence boost.”

Keep your muscles warm
“The morning before a race, I always have to wear my leggings to warm up my muscles. It’s weird, but if I don’t wear leggings in the morning, then I can’t compete in the afternoon. It’s a psychological thing. My coach once said: ‘It’s hot, it’s 80 degrees, take the leggings off!’ But I couldn’t.”
Salazar_Eugene_08

Alberto Salazar
(Mo Farah’s coach)

Recovery days
“The day after a tough workout, the most you want to do is jog lightly or do some form of cross-training like cycling. You need a recovery day after a hard day.
No exceptions.”

Increase mileage gradually
“Do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 per cent every month. No matter how good you feel, be very gradual. You won’t know you’re overdoing it until it’s too late.”

Stay off road
“Pavement damages joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. The more you can run on grass, woodchips or dirt, the better off you are. My athletes run 90 percent of their workouts on soft surfaces.”

Strengthen your whole body
“Good runners condition their whole bodies. The arms drive the legs. Keep your upper body and core toned with a lot of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and back raises. Stay away from machine weights and stick to Pilates, climbing, and dynamic flexibility work like yoga.”

Posture
“Every motion your body makes should propel you directly forward. If your arms are crossing or you are over-striding, you’re losing force. Your posture should be straight, and your striding foot should land directly underneath you.”

David Castle

Written by David Castle | 306 articles | View profile

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