A day in the life of a long distance runner

Alex Nathan



‘The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it’

-Kalpana Chawla

The above quote is one I come back to quite often. As a competitive athlete, I believe the way we conduct our daily routine is imperative to

not only our performance, but also in our happiness and fulfillment in life. Having a daily routine which works towards achieving your goals, whatever they may be is a key aspect in your life. As a competitive long distance runner and supervisor of a gym, a day in my life is quite literally racing from one place to the next trying to fit in everything.  After training and work, I prioritize my free time to recovery, nutrition and social life. One day I hope to concentrate more on my running career, but at the moment, getting the running/work/life balance is key for both ensuring I perform at my maximum capability while still enjoying the social aspects of life.

Today is Friday, which means a double day of coaching and a double day of training. The alarm goes off at 6.45am. Everything is prepared for the day ahead from the night before. Bags packed (3 to be precise) with two sets of training gear, my coaching notes and a change of attire for post session. With my first training session of the day at 10am, ensuring I have enough fuel pre and post workout is a priority. After my morning session, coffee and overnight oats are on the cards to fuel my 60minute run. As today is an easy run, I work off my heart rate to ensure the intensity is at the required level. Post run is some strides to work on my speed and technique. Some GoNutrition BCAAS and hydration post run before heading home.

As a long distance runner, recovery is a huge aspect of my training that cannot be overlooked. Running high mileage every week can take its toll, so any chance I have during my day, I devote to recovery strategies. This can be as simple as getting in a power nap, getting off my feet or heading to the pool for a recovery session. Nutrition is also a vital component in aiding with recovery after sessions and ensuring I have quality nutrition pre and post workout. As I have another coaching session and gym session later on, its nap time after a big meal.

Friday gym sessions involve less loading and focus more on mobility, specific running exercises to improve single leg stability and core stability. The session takes roughly 40-50 minutes.

Working on my hip mobility is important as a runner, as the nature of our sport calls for repetitive movements in a fixed position. I ensure I work on my core strength, as I believe having a strong core enables me to be a stronger, more competitive runner and is key in maintaining your technique and form in the final part of a race. Finishing the session with some stability exercises rounds out a very productive and successful day of training.

With two key sessions still left to round out my week (Saturday session and Sunday long run) again my nutrition and recovery come into play. After grabbing a shower, it’s down for dinner and time to chill after a long day. I love to wind down in the evening time. After a day of coaching and training, I find it can take a while for my mind and body to relax before getting myself prepared for the following day.

As I settle into bed, recovery protocols completed, I set the alarm for the following morning, to rise to a new day. With every new day presents a new opportunity, to better myself as a person, an athlete, going forwards with drive, enthusiasm and positive energy to whatever may come my way.

Tagged: Training

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