Tips for those who like to Run
In a previous instagram post we discussed tips for running a 10k race. Although the tips mentioned in this blog article can be applied to those who want to run any distance and not necessarily while racing either, it will build and elaborate on that post. Running is an immensely popular activity and is only growing in popularity, whether for sport or simply to clear the head at the end of the day. A lot of the time however, people can be prone to just setting off without much thought given to what they are really achieving with each individual run. As such, it may be interesting to note that there are several different types of runs and accumulating some experience in each can vastly improve your overall running performance.
Realistic & Consistent: Firstly it is still important to remain realistic. Have a rough idea of your ability and set realistic expectations about not only what you want to achieve but also what you can, given a certain timeframe. Once you have that done set about increasing it gradually over time by running more often. Progressively increase your running tolerance and endurance by increasing the mileage you are putting up each week. Set a goal of what you’d like to achieve each week and raise it as you feel you are handling each week more easily. Consistency is key!
Long runs: This may seem over simplified, but think of it in relation to your goal distance. Ideally while running your goal distance you’ll manage to run at a decent exertion rate, especially if you have decided to time yourself and record your runs. However, incorporating a long run in your routine can help build endurance and stamina. This would be a run that is longer than your goal distance but ran at a slower pace, such that you can speak comfortably throughout. It will take you longer to finish, but will be less exertion on you.
Pace & Speed runs: Training for speed is essential if getting faster and improving your goal distance times is your aim but its also necessary to improve your overall running performance. There are several different ways of incorporating a bit of speed into your routine. Tempo runs involve running at a pace that you can maintain for at least 20 mins and should be quick and challenging. The perfect tempo run sits between our aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Essentially running at a pace that the body can just about clear the lactate without tipping into anaerobic build up in the muscles. These are great for Endurance! Another way to improve speed is shorter interval runs. An example of these may be 400-800m runs ran quite quickly with rest periods in between a certain amount of repeat runs. Fartlek runs are a type of unstructured interval run where there are bursts of speed while running. All of these are great ways of inducing some speed into your overall running performance.
Inclines & Acceleration: A great method of improving your acceleration and power is to try hill running. The thought of running up and down hills can be daunting to some initially and that’s why it’s good to have built a good base endurance level first before trying too many repetitions of these. Once you have that base endurance level try running up a hill or incline at a steady but quick pace and then lightly jogging or walking back down to recover. This type of incline training will have good carryover to your overall performance on the flat as well! The important thing to remember is to keep the effort and running form consistent throughout, if your form is deteriorating then slow the pace.
Running form: Having good running form will help with the efficiency of your running. This typically means striking the ground with your mid-foot under your hip, your upper body upright and comfortable consistent arm swings around the 90′ mark. However, you want to strike a balance between striving to practice good form and being relatively relaxed while running. If concentrating too much on your form while running is hindering the run this may then work against you and at that point it may be better to run comfortably and with more relaxed form for you. What you can then do outside of actually running to improve your form are drills like A-skips, B-skips, bounding, high knees and bum kicks. Try them after your warm up for carryover into your running form.
Variety is the spice of life: Above are varieties of runs you can do. Another great way to achieve variety and help out your running as well is to include strength training with weights or resistance bands, or plyometric exercises like jumping squats, jumping lunges and box jumps. You can also try and implement some active recovery days by trying a different sport like cycling or swimming. This is known as cross training. All of these will have a great effect on your running by either improving your power, speed or endurance.
So, there you have a few different ways to maybe look at going for your run in a bit more detail. Not all runs are the same and hopefully by implementing some of the information shared in this blog you may be able to note some improvements in your own running. Above all, remember that the best way to keep running enjoyable is to adequately warm up, get enough Zzz’s at night and wear good quality footwear designed for the job.
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