The days are getting longer, the evenings are brighter, the weather’s milder … spring might just be our favourite season to run.
Whether you’re building up the mileage to train for autumn races, getting your fitness back on track after lockdown, or making the most of the longer days to get out there and explore, US distance runner Allie Kieffer has some top tips for running strong in the spring months.
Elite runner Allie, who has placed fifth and seventh in the New York City marathon, is also a running coach, nutritionist and positive body image activist.
Her actionable tips will help you run smart through spring, into summer and beyond.
Allie Kieffer’s top 5 tips for spring running
Dress in layers
The weather in spring can be unpredictable, cold one day and hot another, so be prepared for anything. Wear thin layers that you can add or remove as you run to ensure you’re dry and comfortable, whatever the weather throws at you.
2. Spring is for speed sessions
If you took a break this winter, COVID killed your motivation, or you just want to run your best marathon this fall, let speed be your friend this spring!
My favourite intro to speed is with a fartlek session. Fartlek is Swedish for speed play and means varying the speeds and mixing things up on a run.
If you haven’t done speed in a long time, ease into it by making the recovery moderately-paced. As you get more comfortable, slow down on the recovery and pick up the speed!
3. Don’t get carried away
Don’t get carried away with the better weather and do too much too soon – that way injury lies.
Increase your mileage gradually – a general rule of thumb is to only increase your volume by 10% a week.
4. Work on an Injury prevention routine
Take a day or two a week to work on exercises that will strengthen your body and reduce your risk of injury.
It’s easy to drop the strength exercises as you increase volume, but it’s better to run less and strengthen more to set yourself up for a healthy summer and fall!
NURVV tip: If you’re looking for targeted strength sessions, the NURVV Run app recommends drills and exercises based on your individual running form.
As the weather heats up electrolytes and water become especially important. Even slight dehydration can have a negative impact on your running performance, making everything feel much tougher, so make sure you’re sipping water regularly and replacing electrolytes on hotter days.