How can you mix it up this spring and improve your running? I’m trying to decide between one, or several, of these 5 suggestions from active.com.
1. Run more.
The article explains, “The more you run, the more efficiently you run, and the more efficiently you run, the faster you race. Set a short-term goal to become a higher-mileage runner…[but] Take your time, increasing your mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.” This is the time to add mileage while it’s cool because in the summer, it’ll be more challenging.
2. Get serious about cross-training.
This was a good reminder to get back into the spin/cycling classes I’ve neglected over the past month! “By incorporating cross-training into your routine, you can get the same stimulus for cardiovascular development that you would get from logging more miles, but without the additional beating that would come with it.”
3. Start training by heart rate.
I paused during a run this week and checked my pulse for 6 seconds, then multiplied by 10 and my heart rate was 190. That’s a little too high for my age! When I read this in the article, I realized I need to slow myself down, especially on hills or in the heat. “Research has shown that runners perform best when they do 80 percent of their training at low intensity, 10 percent at moderate intensity, and 10 percent a high intensity. The average runner actually does about 45 percent of his or her training at low intensity, 50 percent at moderate intensity, and 5 percent at high intensity. The average runner, in other words, needs to be held back in training…” Determine your target heart rate here.
4. Speed up.
Adding sprints and tempo runs into your routine is also a great way to improve your running. “Each week, do roughly 10 percent of your training at the equivalent of your 10K race pace and faster. So, for example, if you normally run 30 miles per week, be sure that three of those miles are fast.”
5. Get serious about recovery.
Recovery is essential for better and improved running. So be sure to use recovery drinks, fuel supplements, ice baths, massages, foam rollers and other techniques to keep your muscles ready to perform.