By Amit Mehta

Norrie Williamson’s Running Workshop

A running workshop by the celebrated Comrades coach and ultra-marathoner Norrie Williamson in Mumbai – the Unived Sports team wasn’t going to miss this for the world! Organized by the wonderful folks at the HEAL Institute and, this workshop was an opportunity for a select group of runners to interact with the legend himself, and to check out some cutting edge products in scientific training, sports nutrition and running gear.

Renowned sports scientist and HEAL’s founder and CEO, Shayamal Vallbhjee kick-started the workshop with his talk on the lessons we can learn from the super runners. Shayamal gave invaluable insights from his personal interactions with the Kenyan elites. This was followed by preventive cardiologist, Dr. Aashish Contractor’s session on training safely, and avoiding the temptation to over-train. “Running does not make one immune from a sedentary lifestyle and disease. It is important to train safely, and to listen to your body when it gives you warning signs”, was one of the most important takeaways of the evening from Dr. Contractor.

The enthusiastic participants then had the chance to interact with the various stalls present at the workshop. Runners lined up for information on the RRUNN system and taste some samples. Our team was on hand to explain the benefits of the RRUNN system of 3 – Pre, During and Post- at various stages of an endurance activity. Boy, do we love an informed crowd! The seasoned runners looked at the ingredients of RRUNN diligently, and asked several intelligent questions on how the RRUNN system could benefit their training and performance.

Once everyone had loaded up on some goodies and coffee, it was time for the most awaited session of the evening. Norrie’s lively presence and sense of humor (and his delightful Scottish accent), instantly got the crowd going. It was an hour long interactive session where Norrie answered the audience’s questions and demonstrated exercises for improving running form and core strength.

Post the session, Norrie was happy to take pictures with all the attendees and answer their questions. We must admit, we were all star-struck when Norrie visited the RRUNN stall, but we hope we managed to hide it well! Norrie had a long chat on scientific sports nutrition and RRUNN’s formulation with Unived’s founder and CEO, Amit and Ameya, our GM-Technology. Norrie was particularly impressed at the availability of natural, vegan, and gluten-free sports drinks that were made in India.

Now, for those runners who couldn’t make it to the workshop, we have distilled his session into 10 commandments for runners – from the legend himself!

1) Keep it Consistent. Don’t run a long run in a week, without running for the next 4 days. Your body has get accustomed to running for longer distances, and for longer times. The more consistent you are, the faster your body learns to recover.

2) Have one full day in a week to recover. Only a balance between effort and recovery will lead to progress. Let your body, and your mind recover.

3) 3 sessions are important for every runner. The long slow run, faster interval sessions and hill sessions The Long Slow Run trains your body to use fat as a primary energy source, and to spare precious carbohydrate stores. Faster interval sessions and hill sessions with repeats build capacity.

4) PACE! PACE! PACE! At the correct pace, doing less will give you more benefits than doing more at the wrong pace. The distance is not the barrier, the pace is. Get your pacing correct for success”

5) Have a goal in mind. The goal should be specific, not vague. A proper goal has a date and a time. Don’t say your goal is a personal best. Be specific – What do you want the timing of your personal best to be? A goal is fuelled by desire. Don’t train for a reward. The training *is* the reward! The reward is in the joy of running better than the last time, every time you run.

6) The best performances are not accidents. They are planned. Everything matters – Paying attention to your nutrition, getting adequate recovery time, and varying your running sessions.

7) Conserve your best for the first third. Don’t go out all guns blazing at the very start. Your resources are precious. Keep an even pace till you get to the last stretch, then fire on all cylinders  like the wind for the last third of the run.

8) Strengthen your core. No matter how seasoned a runner you are, you still need to do core strength exercises. A lot of running comes from your core – so, keep it strong.

9) There is no such thing as a running injury. Injuries come from what we are doing outside of running. Train efficiently when you run and cross-train to keep your muscles damage free.

10) Our bodies are capable of so much more. Don’t let your mind hold you back. If you believe it, you can do it. Visualize greatness to achieve it.

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