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6 tips to improve your running time
Are you a fitness enthusiast? Do you need to improve your running time?
There has been a surge in the numbers of fitness enthusiasts taking up road races/half and full marathons in recent days.
Hardly a month passes without a city run in Nairobi and other towns across Kenya.
Like any other endeavor in life, PROGRESS/IMPROVEMENT/WINNING… motivates and keeps igniting the embers into real fires thus pushing us to race more and more against Time, PBs, Goals, etc.
So HOW does one improve on their target goals or scale up the personal timing bests?
1. Planned Progression
Depending on the level of fitness that you are at the beginning, start slowly and increase your time and mileage gradually weekly.
The recommended percentage increase is 5% to 10% per year! Too much and too soon of an increase in volume and intensity is a recipe for burnout or injury.
2. Improve Your Aerobic Capacity
Your training plan should have days that you do steady runs below race pace [60%-75%], this goes a long way in improving your aerobic capacity and mileage, it also comes in handy later as you start incorporating speed work into your weekly plan.
This could take the form of long runs or tempo runs.
Good aerobic capacity comes in handy by giving you a solid base to carry out those high-intensity speed sessions, you recover quickly hence able to do more reps!
Truth is, to improve your target goal and eventually your personal best time requires you to run FASTER!
3. Improve Your Speed
Plan to have speed sessions in-between your weekly plan to also work and improve your anaerobic capacities, this will be ideally sessions that will have you working at 80% to 95% intensities
e.g. Fartlek’s- run hard for 30 secs then trot or brisk walk for 1 minute, repeat for sets [depending on your current abilities] alternatively and as a means for beating monotony [VARIETY] you can also incorporate Interval runs at the stadium.
4. Improve Your Strength and Conditioning
The daily pounding of the trails and roads puts lots of stress on your structural system and by extension, your joints, etc. The fix here requires you to maintain good lean muscle which goes a long way in helping the body and its various parts move efficiently and injury-free….
Squats, Lunges, Push-ups, Planks, etc. are all great exercises to help you in this endeavor.
Not able to access a gym? No problem, you can start with Body weight, Light medicine balls, Light sandbags, Light car tires…
The most underrated part of the puzzle! Plan for recovery days in your week so that the body regenerates and the benefits of your training plan can be realized [Adaptation].
Recovery need not be total rest days only, rather may take the form of mobility/flexibility sessions, massage, contrast baths, etc.
Also, strive to get 7-8 hours of sleep to further help in your recovery.
6. Note to Self
You are competing with yourself, so be sure to match your training plan to your ABILITY!