Regional Class Runner, All World Triathlete, lululemon Ambassador Michael Meliniotis has competed in almost 100 lifetime races, including 10 marathons and two Ironmans. It’s safe to say this guy understands running. Michael is a lifelong athlete with a strong passion for running and he lives his life by his personal motto: “Maximize your potential.”
For those of us who are not highly competitive or training nonstop, the idea of maximizing our potential can seem daunting. Where do we start? Michael has provided us with a list of tips for doing just that:
1. Run with a purpose
Ask yourself: why are you running? What is driving you internally? Whether you’re training for a race or for fitness, set some goals and have a plan. Keep your purpose close to heart as you face any challenges and opportunities.
2. Set your vision
Create a vision for running that evokes passion. Maybe you envision finishing a training run or a race with a smile or without walking a single step, maybe it’s to place in your age group, maybe it’s to honor your resilience after a life event—make it exciting.
3. Have a strategy
A goal is great, but how will you execute without a plan? Put a training plan together for every month to chart your way to success. Use external resources if you do not have a team to train with.
4. Practice your nutrition
Fluids, electrolytes, calories. Get curious about sports nutrition and determine what works best for you. How often should you drink water? Why is it important to take recovery calories soon after a run?
5. Warm up
When you first start running your heart rate elevates to a higher level as you warm up. Don’t call it quits after 10 minutes if you feel out of breath. Slow it down and have patience. Your heart rate will settle in after about 8-12 minutes and you will find that groove. Warm up before all races, including marathons!
6. Train at different paces and efforts
Do speed work weekly by running at different effort levels. I advocate exploring five paces, from easy to out-of-breath, and everything in between. Tune into your breathing to find these different gears—you have them!
7. Wear the right gear
What you wear matters! Not only to get you excited, but you should find gear that manages heat, humidity, and the winter chill. Do what it takes to avoid chafing. It takes experimenting to find what works best in different conditions. How many pair of running shoes are you training with? Keep multiple pair active—I often see old running shoes cause injuries that can be easily avoided.
8. Prevent injury
It’s one thing to stretch and manage aches and pains, but you should also get knowledgeable about the common injuries out there and how to stay ahead of them. Outsmart them! Have a Physical Therapist on-call should you need one, and treat yourself to a sports massage regularly.
Michael is a lululemon Ambassador with the Lululemon store on East 66th Street in Manhattan. To connect with him in person, contact the store.