How To Run Faster and Longer.

It’s getting to that time of year when everyone’s brushing the dust of the trainers, and taking to the beach or parks for a run. Running is a brilliant way of improving fitness, aiding weight loss and a great excuse to get off the sofa and out of the house, but everyone always wants to know one thing  “how do I run for longer without stopping?”.

 

Why you stop running?

This comes down to what is know as “the point of muscular fatigue”. This is when you are no longer able to maintain steady and constant muscle contractions, and once this kicks in, the legs start burning, heart rate increase, breathing rate quickens and you eventually stop! When this happens depends on factors like fitness level, speed, incline, energy levels, distance and hydration. Improving  this isn’t just as simple as running until you feel sick! There are techniques to help you run faster for longer!!!

 

Make the most of your arms!

Running isn’t just about your legs, generating power through your arms is key to going for longer. Bend the elbows at 90 degrees and really focus on driving forwards and backwards with your hands. Moving the hands will help generate power with the upper body and core, and give you more power in the legs!

 

Sprint interval training.

These sessions won’t be as long as your normal running session, but will be packed with more intensity! Short hard runs mixed with periods of very slow jogging for rest. For new runners this can be done with 200 meters of sprinting with 45 seconds of slow running for recovery, and then repeat until the end of your set distance. As you get better and feel more confident, begin to increase the sprint distance in 100 meter increments, or keep the intervals the same and increase the overall distance depending on your goals!

 

In the gym!

Building muscle strength in the gym can help when running. Extra leg strength and power means your stride becomes longer! This doesn’t mean you have to stick 200kg on the squat bar and have legs like a bodybuilder. Things as simple as box jumps, lunges and light squats for a few sets of 20 reps, a couple of times a week can add as much as 21% more endurance when running!

 

Getting your longer runs right.

Its good to have a longer run once a week, this will normally be 75-85% of your competitive distance. So if your training for a 10km run, training at 8km will be perfect. For marathon runners your long run would be 17 miles. These runs go hand in hand with intensity though. Going to easy too easy won’t give you the goals you’re after, and going too fast you will burn out before the end. Going at 80% of your fastest pace will get the best results, and still leave you something in the tank for a sprint finish to overtake your friends. 😉

 

Food and Drink.

An hours run on a warm day, you can lose over a liter of sweat! Being dehydrated will affect performance and cause fatigue to kick in sooner! So make sure you have plenty to drink before, after and even during! Your body uses energy from food to keep your muscles going, so remember to eat before and after your run.  It can be tempting to go running on an empty stomach when trying to lose weight, but if you run out of energy you’l have to stop sooner, and if you stop sooner you wont be burning as much fat as if you were still running! Eating properly after training will help recovery, and the sooner and better you recover,the quicker you’l be out running again! Read more on sports nutriton.

 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Stretching after training reduces the risk of injury and keeps your body supple. Flexible legs means a longer stride and that means going further! Make sure you listen to your body, its not hard for those little aches and pains to get worse. When you do have them, take a break and take it easy. These are normally a sign of going too hard too soon, so remember to ease into your training and slowly progress over time. If your injured, you can’t run! Fact! Read more…on recovery from exercise.

 

So just remember no matter what level your at with the right training and recovery you can improve! So whether training for a 5km fun run or the next London marathon, you’re all runners!!!

 

Optimal recovery from exercise

Following any type of  training, top of the list for the following 36-48 hours is recovery.  Here we will look at what happens during the recovery cycle and offer some simple ways to speed up recovery.

Recovery really is the crucial phase after all the hard work and sweat in order to accomplish two main things.  These are the body adapting the the training (becoming fitter/stronger) and allowing the body to be repaired before the next workout.  This will be specific to the type of training we have done as well as the all important intensity.

It goes without saying they quicker we can recover, the more often we can workout, the fitter we become!

Now, the fun bit – ways to improve recovery from exercise.

Eating beforehand

Yes, this sound silly, but the nutrients available to the body before and even during exercise are important.  Starting training on an empty tank leaves more refuelling for later.  Levels of essential nutrients such as protein in the body will help start the recovery process earlier.

Rest

The key to recovery is good rest, particular sleep.  Top athletes are know to sleep up to 12 hours a day in order to improve recovery.  A decent 8 hours will always be better than 6.  A daytime short nap is a great pastime!

Post exercise nutrition

This is a whole new article in itself.  What we eat in the 20 minutes following training drops straight in, and the rest of the day is key as well.  Protein and carbohydrates are of particular interest in the following 2 hours.

Active recovery

A light form of exercise such as walking will increase bloodflow and nutrients to the damaged areas, improving recovery more than just lying on the sofa!  No excuses there.

Simon Lesser works as a Personal Trainer at BourneFit Personal Training Studio in Bournemouth.  For more info visit us at www.bourne-fit.co.uk.

Choosing exercise to suit you

For many, exercise can be hard work.  Both finding the time to do it in the first place and of course the activity itself.  Something worth considering is whether you are choosing the rights types of exercise for you.  Here we will explain more.

 

Step 1: Find something that suits your time

An 2 hour round trip to the gym when you have a busy schedule is near on impossible so find something that works for you.  Many of us are strapped for time, but at some point you have to prioritize training into your schedule.  We sometimes look at recommending 45 minute blaster sessions which can easily be done before work or on a lunch break.   

Step 2: The right types of exercise

This may sound obvious but it’s worth looking at closely.  First of all your goals will dictate what types of exercise you choose.  If you need specific muscle groups or specific fitness then the right types of training need to be applied.

The other aspect is your personality.  Get bored easily?..mix your activities and routine.  Prefer to be outdoors?..try running cross country, water sports or other outdoor activities.

Conclusion

Fitting training into our life is essential to results, so it has to be something that works for us.  The type of exercise we do will also be key to consistency as well as results.