Your routine could look like this: go to sleep around 11 pm, shower in the morning, drink your coffee and run your distance same speed as usual. That kind of routine is good for good night’s sleep, but it doesn’t raise much of our form or shorten the time required to run that distance.
Results from several separated types of research showed how different types and styles of running benefit different abilities. Short intervals increase maximal oxygen input, while longer running increases the volume of blood that the heart can pump in one beat.
So leave your usual routine and boost your speed by combining these four key segments:
- running on the very edge of the aerobic threshold
- speed endurance
- relaxed long run
Did you know, even marathon runners can significantly increase lung capacity with 100 meters sprint? In fact, Tom Kloos, Bay Area running club coach, says that avoiding the mixture of different running styles is the biggest mistake that he noticed at runners. “The biggest improvement I noticed happens while applying sprints in training. Fast running improves the way you move, biomechanics and economy of resources that body use. That way you will run easier with the pace you want”.
Here I will reveal scientifically proven benefits of each running type and the best way how to implant them in your routine
- WHAT IS IT? It is 30 minutes sprint that benefits toward higher mobility and raising conditions faster.
- HOW IT IS DONE? Warm-up by running for 1,5km following this advice: every 15 seconds rising heel to gluteus, rise kneels and sprint in place. Make 3 sets. To prepare muscles for sprint start with 30 seconds mountain climber, after which you will do 20 bench steps. Repeat once more.
Now you are ready! Sprint for 30, 40, 50 than 60 meters from a high start. After each sprint slowly walk back to start.
Next, run 3 times for 120 meters, with speed a bit less from the maximum. Slowly run back to start. After you have finished this phase, run 700 to 800 meters gradually slowing pace down from medium toward the light.
Sprinting activates a larger group of muscle tissues than slow long runs and learns body the right posture – tightens arms, keeps head and chest up and focuses knees-up front. If you understand how all this carries you, you will easily notice bad posture while running a longer distance. Learn to run faster with less effort; it’s a win-win situation.
Now, the bad side can be that your joints are suffering: with each step you are putting on them even up to 700% of your body weight.
Running on The Edge of Aerobic Threshold
- WHAT IS IT? 30 to 60 minutes run which holds you on the very edge of the aerobic threshold. It means not crossing that line where your harder breathing will make you run slower. So the maximum pace which you can hold for 30 to 60 minutes without taking a break. This way you increase aerobic capacity and spend more calories because of running a higher pace longer time, without a break.
- HOW IT IS DONE? So run on the edge of aerobic threshold 6 to 10 kilometers. When this becomes easier, run 30 minutes longer (if you are under 10 kilometers). If you run more than 10 kilometers, than run for one hour more. After that increase your pace.
How to determine your aerobic threshold? It must feel like: “it is hard but doable”. Maybe you will need some time to recognize that feeling. The main rule is to go a bit slower than you would run for 10 kilometers. Add 40 seconds to time you would need to run 1 kilometer in 5-kilometer race.
If it feels you will stumble in time of crises, run with a friend. It is more fun when you have company and support each other. If you can still talk with your friend while running, but bearly, that could be the perfect pace! That is how it should be!
- WHAT IS IT? Fast running 200 to 1600 meters. The physically most demanding and mentally most challenging way of running. The reward for enduring these 45 minutes of invested suffer will be stronger hearth and larger endurance. Longer intervals increasing heartbeats and density of mitochondrion.
- HOW IT IS DONE? Warm-up by running 1,5 kilometers with low intensity. Then, do the same as in sprints: every 15 seconds rising heel to gluteus, rise kneels and sprint in place. Do 80 meters acceleration. Increase speed gradually until you run fast, but still relaxed (so, NOT full sprint).
Intervals: 8 x 500 meters with 100 meters easy regenerative walk. Pace should be as fast as possible but still enabling you to finish all intervals. The regenerative walk should last at the same time as 500 meters run. In the end, to relax muscles, slowly run 1,5 to 3 kilometers.
Long intervals are good for the heart muscle. This kind of HIIT is increasing maximum oxygen input, the capability of effective changing hearth beats (from normal to fast and back to normal) and density of capillaries in muscles.
All these changes result in better body oxygen transport so you can train harder and longer. Enhance calorie consumption continues even after training. In other words, workouts are so intensive that you continue to spend calories even after stopwatch count down to zero.
But, don’t overreact! 4 or 5-speed endurance workouts are maximum that will give benefits. Everything above that will result in pulling form down!
Suggestions are to include this system in your workout eight weeks before the race.
Relaxed Long Run
- WHAT IS IT? Slow and same speed run. This workout spends the most fats and increases endurance. BUT – it can be unpleasant for joints if you have a poor form or weak legs.
- HOW IT IS DONE? Run for an hour or longer with a pace that enables you to have a conversation without a problem. If you start to breathe heavier, walk slower till breathing comes to normal. After that keep running.
Low-intensity running is still a gold standard when we talk about endurance. Actually, a lot of top athletes compose their workout 70-10-20: 70% relaxed long run, 10% running on edge of aerobic threshold and 20% pure sprint. This brings to balance hard workouts for fast results with easier workouts for recovery and continuous improvement.
Whether you are running competitive and preparing for the incoming race or just run for your pleasure and health, we can agree on benefits: rising our bar to run better, longer and faster. It’s not odd that many coaches are implanting this system into their training.
How often to use these workouts?
- BETTER SHAPE – two-week cycle with one of each workout every second week. On other days do strength training. If you can run three times per week, add two relaxed long runs.
- BETTER RESULTS ON 10 KM RACES, OR MARATHONS – two-week cycle with all four workouts every second week. If you can run 6 times per cycle, added workout sort accordingly as race day close up: 6 months before race add long-distance run and interchange run on edge of the aerobic threshold with speed endurance. 3 months before the race: add run on edge of aerobic threshold and interchange long-distance run with speed endurance. 2 months before the race: add sprints and interchange run on edge of the aerobic threshold with relaxed long runs.
- LOSE WEIGHTS – Both plans are equally good for losing weight.
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As always, looking forward to bringing you more information in the future.