hit your running goals in six weeks
As the days get shorter, why not let your runs get longer? Our resident running expert, Laura Hill, shares her tips to skedaddle out of bed and smash the km’s.
The leaves on the trees are changing colour, the mornings are darker and the days are cooler. The end of summer can feel like a sad time of year, but there’s something about the cool, crisp air that can breathe some new life into your fitness routine.
Autumn is a great time to review and renew your health and fitness goals. After a busy summer, our social activities narrow, schedules settle, holidays wind down, schools reopen, and life takes a more predictable rhythm. This quieting is the ideal time to set year-end health and fitness goals or to try something new.
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Whether it’s starting a wellness journey through yoga or Pilates, building strength at the gym or setting a running goal like your first 5K, there are some great, free digital tools to help you set positive intentions and maintain motivation to fuel your autumn movement.
For the past six weeks, I’ve been road-testing a couple of these tools to help keep me moving through the later stages of pregnancy. The aim of my enablement journey wasn’t to hit a new running personal best, instead it was to enter my third trimester on the right footing – by embracing my changing body and physical abilities; and prioritising my mental and physical health.
With expert advice and tips from Nike Head Run Coach Lydia O’Donnell, my program was curated to help me achieve these goals and featured a mixture of audio-guided running and yoga sessions, alongside endurance, strength and mobility workouts, from both the Nike Training Club (NTC) and Nike Run Club (NRC) apps.
The great thing is that you don’t need an in-person coach to tap into the benefits of these digital tools. Both apps have hundreds of workouts to choose from and are designed for people of all fitness abilities. From personal experience, here’s how they can help you achieve your fitness aspirations.
Train your way
Energise your routine with Nike’s growing library of workouts led by world-class Nike Master Trainers. With NTC, you get access to over 190 free workouts across strength, endurance, yoga and mobility targeting your abs, arms, shoulders, glutes and legs. Sessions range from 15–45 minutes and are designed to help you see and feel results.
Flexible training plans tailored to you
The NTC app helps you start training with a personal plan that guides you – while adjusting to your progress, schedule and other activities. There are four excellent 4-6-week training plans to choose from that focus on different goals such as getting fit, building endurance, improving muscle tone or building strength. Whether you have access to a full gym or are training at home, there’s a routine that fits you and your schedule so that you can reach your goals.
Whatever your goal, via the NRC app your Nike running coach has a plan for you. One that starts with your goals and fitness level, and adapts as you progress. There’s workouts for everyone including ‘first run’, ‘first speed run’, ‘long runs’ and even a half marathon guided plan.
Never run alone
Audio Guided Runs (AGR’s) give you a voice inside your head that believes you can do it, then shows you how. They bring focus to your mind and body and encourage you to keep running when you feel like stopping.
Track your progress and celebrate your achievements
The running app gives you all the detail you need – pace, location, distance, elevation, heart rate and kilometre splits – so you can keep an eye on your progress and achieve your goals. Stay motivated when things get difficult by earning badges and trophies for reaching workout milestones like total workouts completed, workout frequency, weekly and monthly streaks.
Running can and should be a mind and body experience and the mindful running workouts aim to do just that. Nike has teamed up with Headspace to offer several meditation runs that strike the balance of a conversation and some performance-enhancing music. These mindful AGR runs help you focus on eliminating distractions and being mentally connected to your physical movement. Ultimately, it’s all about tuning in to your body.