Any who know me well, will know that I am an advocate of Long Slow Distance running to build a strong aerobic base from which to spring…!

I naturally liked to run my miles at an easy pace, and at 17 years old I was already investigating the value of big mileage, running up to 70 miles a week, fitting it all in around my A levels; which meant I only saw the light of day at weekends…

It worked for me…

I became very good at running and discovered a way of training that built me up rather than broke me down… Within the miles I also ran a lot of tempo type training in the form of varying lengths of intervals with short recovery and some sustained runs over 5 miles…

There are many ways to the top and there will be a way that works for you…

But a firm base physiologically can help create a steadiness within the next steps to performing consistently and to the best of your ability.

As I was finding my way down my own running road, I devoured any texts on the sport I could find; it was Doctor Ernst Van Aaken who wrote what I wanted to hear…!

That aerobic development is the key to success, that the way to ensure this is to run a good amount of total miles each day, that it is okay to make your easy days very easy, to eat light and weigh light, and that even the tempo and speed training doesn’t need to be too intense… He did also suggest short sprints to sharpen nearer races…

In essence I read ‘myself’, I read a confirmation of what naturally worked for me; his methods resonated within my being…

Really and truly we do have all the answers within us…

If it truly resonates we will know; but we must be aware of being lead away from our own truth by ‘conventional wisdom’ or even the ‘latest method’…

Choose your coach wisely.

The best coaches are those that lead us to the threshold of our own understanding, both of our body and our mind and our emotional make up… The best coaches teach us to know ourselves, to listen to and hear our body wisdom and so to be in a position to do it for ourselves…

We will recognise what speaks to us in what we read, or how we respond to coaching. The more we are taught to listen to our own body, the more a practice will speak to us.

For instance there are some people deal better with clearing lactic from their body than others…

And some for whom less mileage works well…

As I said there are many ways to the top and there is a way that will suit you…

By using monitoring systems such as iSportsAnalysis it is possible to truly see how your body is responding; really see what is working.

The iSportsAnalysis GPS devices can be used to teach you to coach yourself… The coach’s role then really does become one of helping to interpret, helping lead you to your own expression…

But for me, training with an emphasis on the LSD (Long Slow Distance) has always felt the healthiest way, and any physiological testing I have done has supported my own inner knowing…

As I mentioned at the beginning, this doesn’t mean no fast running… Interval training of course has its place, but it does run the danger of ‘over dose’ whereas this cannot happen in the same way with easier running, so in my experience short recovery intervals work the best, with only small doses of very fast running…

And to build a base for any sport, this is best done by following the natural laws of the body… So running long and easy, or practising any aerobic discipline at an easy level, making sure the body is balanced, strong and flexible, eating natural food, drinking lots of water…

All this makes sense…

Then from this basis, building can happen… From this basis the body is in tune, it is working well… You are then in a position to start to create the music, fine tune, open more possibilities, improve, progress and perform on the stage of your choice…

In my own running journey, I have created the space to spend more time investigating how to run fast again… It is fun; and the essential ingredients are the same as they have always been…

Build a strong base, keep consistent, keep balanced and strong and supple…

Have fun…

The only difference for me now, is that I am doing it barefoot – I have a whole new life opening up…

About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor

About the Author: Julia Chi Taylor

Contributor

Julia is an ex international distance runner.
In the late 70’s all through the 80’s and into the early 90’s she competed regularly for England and GB at distances from 5k to Marathon. Some of her best performances include winning the 1985 Dublin Marathon and finishing 7th woman (3rd British woman) in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31 where she was selected to run in the Commonwealth Games.

She still competes now as a master over 55, regularly winning her age group in races around the world. She’s was also part of the winning team for the national master X country championships in March this year, 2016. Julia has coached and mentored others to achieve their dreams in sport and life for the past forty years!

Read about her barefoot adventures: www.SolesJourney.com
Watch Julia chart her barefoot journey all over the world: www.SolesJourneyTV.com

Julia’s Books:
Girlfriend For A Year
Running To Learn
Running Sussed

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