Doing The Little Things
After winning a silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, New Zealand’s Nick Willis was asked what he changed in his training to become one of the best milers in the world. “The main difference in 2008 was being more consistent with the little things. We call them the five percenters because they are the areas that only help you in the last five percent of your training … Starting in January, I did [core, strides, drills, and strength work] each week through to the Olympic Games in August. This I feel is what helped get me to the new level I achieved in 2008 compared to past seasons. The mobility, strength and speed these sessions gave my muscles allowed me to be much more consistent throughout the year.”
You don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from what Wills describes as the “five percenters”. Beyond helping to improve your performance, doing the little things will help keep you injury-free and consistent in your training, which is a struggle for most runners.