I’ve had plenty of questions lately about how clients want to improve their running performance, but haven’t found the best way. Well, there are a few ways you can help improve your performance on a run, lowering your times and increasing your distances through building your stamina.
Yes, they’re the worst, but they’re also the best! Hill sprints increase your strength immensely, which is a huge part of running. If you’re not strong enough to continue the pace you want, you won’t be able to reach your goal, so hill sprints will give your body the aerobic workout you want, as well as using your leg muscles to full capacity, strengthening them to be able to withstand longer distances.
Fartlek training is the type of training that is used to help increase your aerobic capacity. When you are fartlek training, this breaks up the pace of your run, for example, run at a normal pace from zero to 5 minutes and at the 5 minute mark lift your intensity to a sprint level for a minute, then slowly come back down to a comfortable jog.
Continue this for the duration of your run. This will help train your body by putting some more stress on it, training it to handle higher speeds and longer distances.
Just like a car, your body will run the best on the right type of fuel. Don’t expect your body to react well after eating takeout then heading out for a run.
A couple of hours before a run, give your body some nutritious food that’s easily digestible, such as a chicken wrap, fish or greek yoghurt with some muesli. This will enable your body to have the sustained energy it needs to give you the best performance possible.
Improve your stride rate
This one will take a bit more time, but be hugely beneficial. The optimum stride rate is around 180 per minute (90 per foot). If yours is significantly lower, it means you’re more than likely running in an upward motion, thus using energy that you could be using elsewhere!
Practicing is key in this, so running to a song at 180bpm or taking the time on your run to count how many strides you have on one foot will help you to improve your technique, saving energy and enabling your performance to increase.