Get better at running with these top running tips from Captain Tom Evans.
GET A STRONG CORE
Having a strong core will help you maintain your posture when running, especially on technical terrain and steep climbs. The better your posture, the more efficient you are going to be. Core work doesn’t have to be done in the gym, with loads of equipment and weights. You can do simple exercises at home. My favourite core exercises are leg raises, plank, crunches and v-sits.
STRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES
Having strong ankles will mean your body is well supported. In mountain running there may be some gnarly trails that require good stability. Moving across rock fields is never easy, but with strong ankles you will be able to move with more confidence. Imagine you have a pen on the end of your big toe and write out the alphabet. You can do this anytime, watching telly or waiting for the bus.
It can be easy to forget why you are doing something. My races are normally around 12 hours: that is a lot of time for your mind to wander. If you set yourself goals, then you can remind yourself of why you are doing a certain race and what you want to achieve. I always set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). This helps me to stay focused when racing.
During a mountain race, it is likely that your heart rate is going to go through the roof on some of the climbs. Don’t worry, this is absolutely normal. One way we can try to replicate this is by doing intervals. My favourite session is 6 x 1 mile with 90 seconds jog recovery in between each rep. This gets your heart rate up quickly and then you have a short time to recover.
STAY INJURY FREE
Having consistent training is one of the keys to success. Injuries are pretty common in the running world, however there are things that you can do to minimise the risk. Make sure that you do a thorough warm up and then cool down with stretches.
WEAR THE RIGHT TRAINERS
Trainers are not designed to last forever. An average pair is supposed to last approximately 400 miles. I am averaging 110 miles per week at the moment, so I am having to get new trainers every month. We spend so long standing up, if you look after your feet, they will look after you.
Name: Tom Evans
Regiment: The Welsh Guards
Biog: Captain Evans went to Sandhurst straight from school. He joined The Welsh Guards in December 2012. In 2015 he was posted to Kenya, where he became passionate about running. He has since finished third in the Marathon des Sables – his first ever competitive running race – and has been selected to join the British team for the 2018 world trail running championships.
If you want to boost your fitness, Parkrun organises free, timed 5k runs every Saturday all over the UK. Go to www.parkrun.org.uk
photo: Getty Images