So, you’ve been consistently running ( noticed that I said you, because I’ve been slacking in the consistency department), and now it's time to take your goals to another level. First things first, you must decide on a comfortable race distance, before Dopey my comfortable race distance was 13.1, but lately my training has declined some and my new distance is 6.2 (10K), of course I can still run a half marathon but my time and pace aren’t what I would desire them to be, so I decided to focus on a shorter distance. Now that you’ve set a realistic and comfortable race distance, there are a few things that runners can do on and off of the pavement to increase their speed and reach that new race PR.
Interval runs are not foreign to runners but sometimes we forget the basics which causes a decline in our pace and endurance. Interval runs can be done on any surface, a track, a trail, a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, and even the dreaded stair stepper. Any exercise equipment that allows you to participate in hard burst of efforts ( 8-10 on a scale of 10) followed by an easy recovery period ( 2 or 3 on a scale of 10). Although interval runs will not get easier they will make you stronger and faster, and there is an added bonus “weight loss”.
You’ve tried interval running and you just don’t feel or see the results you're looking for, or you just need to add something else to your routine. May I suggest hills, hills, and more hills. My running group which meets on Tuesday/Thursday recently added hill repeats to the schedule on Thursday. Hill repetition runs develop running-specific strength (stronger legs) and high-intensity fatigue resistance. Although hill repetition can be performed on a treadmill or other cardio machines, the best method in my opinion is an actual hill with a moderate incline that's long enough to run up for the prescribed time (30 seconds or more) at a time.
Now, let's have a little fun and bring back a technique that we used in PE class or just outside with friends, “Jump Ropes.” As children we jumped rope just to pass the time or to see who could jump the longest, not realizing that jumping rope would help you increase your speed. With this training technique you could work on your PR and spend a little time with the children by challenging them to a jumping contest, not only will you get faster but you could actually become the cool parent.
Alright, you have three new techniques or maybe just reminders of ways to increase your speed and set that new PR, I certainly plan to go and pick up a jump rope or two so that I can start jumping and beat my boys in a jump rope contest. I would love to hear which technique you plan to incorporate into your training in the comment section below or on my IG page @ontherunwithkrista. Happy running and I hope to see you on the pavement.