Thank you to ALL my readers who took the time to read and comment with such kind and encouraging words on my debbie downer post yesterday. I appreciate you all so much!! I have the best readers. I may not be the biggest, most popular blog but I def have the highest quality friends. And for that I am truly grateful. I’m still feeling slightly puny so it’s another total rest day for me here.
Okay. Okay so for the fun part! Friday Five. How long has it been?!
Today’s topic is “5 running tips”.
5 Running Tips on Picking Up the Speed!
Over the course of this year I’ve smashed some of my personal records like my marathon time went from 4:24:47, 4:04:24, and finally down to 3:46:18 and 10k from a 56:58 to 44:12 (what we like to call the glorious PR) and I’d like to share what’s worked for me. Especially as we are fixing to hit fall racing season!! (Hello cooler temps and all things pumpkin spice). This is my face reaction about both fall racing and pumpkin spice flavor everything:
Okay, so here we go..
1.) Strength train. Just do it. It can be as short and simple as a few sets once a week. That’s about all I do currently. Now, if you’re training for a shorter race than the marathon then you may want to aim for 2-3x a week. There are certain exercises that will help the runner more specifically like:
- Bulgarian split squats -hips & glutes!
- Abductor/adductor gym machines or exercises like, fire hydrant. Hips & all those inner thigh muscles that are overlooked and underused. These are your supportive muscles that will prevent knee injury if strengthened.
- Wide grip pulley & front pulley machines to strengthen your upper back and shoulders for a strong arm swing.
- Flys, military press, push-ups.
These are just a few. I have a WHOLE goody bag of exercises that will help improve your strength and running form. I greatly attribute my now strong finishing kick to strength training.
2.) Cross-train. Running will make you a better running, states the principle of specificity. True. However, if you’re prone to injury you very well won’t be faster if injured! XT is a great way to build cardio fitness while giving your joints a break. I’m a big fan of the elliptical. Just make sure you set the intensity up a bit. It can be tempting to simply swing along easy. But if you choose a “hill setting” level 20 you better believe your booty will be cruising hard! Plus, shaking things up with XT will help keep your brain and legs fresh.
3.) Add some speed work. Depending on your race distance you’ll need anywhere from 100m to 3200m repeats, ladders, and tempo runs. There’s the famous Yasso 800s for the marathoners. But for me personally I began to see results in practicing longer tempo runs (10+ miles) when marathon training.
4.) Easy run days need to TRULY be easy. You know you can run fast so don’t be tempted to run fast here. The point of the recovery run is to simply get your blood flowing through your legs to aid in oxygen recovery, flushing out toxins! I’ve noticed by running my easier runs much slower than I used to I am now able to smash the longer and harder runs.
5.) Rest. Your body will need the repair time. If you neglect this imperative concept you’ll be putting yourself even further behind. By pushing through when you need rest you may end up breaking down muscle too far. We grow muscle by breaking it down and then allowing to rebuild with rest, stretching, and maybe even foam rolling.
Bonus: Buy new shoes. Yup. They make you faster. 😉 I chose Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4. Found them at Sports Spot here in Brevard and can not rave about these enough. If you’ve tried the Prophecy 3, this ‘upgrade’ will knock your socks off! It’s like running on clouds.
Now onto the weekend my friends! I’m resting up today in hopes that I can get through a workday Saturday and a medium-long run Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to take a quick visit at the other fabulous bloggers. 😉