TOP TEN TIPS TO RUN FASTER IN 2019
- GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO ASSIMILATE THE TRAINING
To absorb your training, it is advisable to take adequate rest which will also help prevent over-use injuries which can set your fitness back weeks, if not months. Sandwich strong workouts between easy and rest days.
- DO INTERVALS
Short and long intervals are fundamental to developing aerobic power. The increased demand for oxygen during these runs improves heart:lung efficiency and the rate of oxygen conversion to the muscles.
No training programme is complete without hills. They strengthen legs, improve technique and are always an excellent workout for the lungs. For middle-distance runners, try running reps downhill as well.
- CHANGE PACE
The introduction of fartlek training in the 1940s was revolutionary in the development of endurance training. Experiment with the duration of all sorts of hard efforts and easy recoveries. Best done off road with forest paths ideal for this type of training.
- GO EASY ON THE LSD
Long, slow runs are the foundation of any training programme but should be done at a moderate pace. Run them too fast and you will have nothing left for the race. These runs will improve your body’s ability to utilize carbohydrates and fats for energy. Start with an hour easy and build up depending on the race distance you are targeting.
- IT’S ALL IN THE TECHNIQUE
You may have the best engine in the world but this will be wasted unless you have an efficient running technique. This will improve with training but you may have to get someone experienced to give you some tips on how to improve your running style.
- GO TO THE GYM
Sometimes more training effect can be achieved with an hour in the gym rather than pounding the roads. Improved strength directly influences the performance of the runner and makes them more resistant to injury. It also helps you recover quicker from hard sessions. Core strength is vitally important for all runners.
- PICK UP YOUR CADENCE
One of the common failings for runners is too slow a frequency of stride. Besides slowing you down, it also means that you tire quicker. Aim for 180 foot strikes per minute but anything over 160 is acceptable. Get into the habit of counting your strides when out running – just count one leg for 30 seconds and multiply by four.
It is impossible to exaggerate the positive effect that sleep has on training and performance. Everyone is different but all runners should be getting at least eight hours per night. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will not reap the full rewards of your training.
PLAN YOUR YEAR
No matter what your level you need a plan. No-one can train with intensity 52 weeks a year indefinitely. Target you’re your races sensibly throughout the year and build in periods of recovery. These can take the form of active rest where maybe you just go out for an easy run 2-3 times a week or try another sport. Preferably not one where you are going to get injured.