Becoming a Better Runner

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I am by no means an elite or even a great runner. I am literally your average runner. But this means I have room to improve and get better. Now, when I say elite or great I am saying my pace is no where near 7 min/mile. Hell, my pace is not even in the 8 min range! My easy pace is anywhere from 9’48-10 min/mile. My race pace is somewhere around 9’30 min/mile.

I am actually proud of this. When I first started running I remember completing my first long run of 6 miles and my average pace was 14 min/mile. Holy good lord I have come a long way!

One thing I have learned on my journey is that to get better and faster you have you work harder then just running at one pace.

So how do you get better? Cross training (and I mean work those hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, core) speed work, hill intervals and long runs, oh and how can I forget, rest and stretching!!!

What kind of speed work can you do?

Example:

Warm up: easy paced run for 1 mile

Workout: 5 x 400m sprints (the amount can vary depending upon your conditioning level)

Recovery between sets: 400m jog at any pace

Cool Down: 1 mile run at an easy pace

Have to run on a treadmill? 400m= 0.23miles so you can do this all indoors!

 

Hill Intervals:

My favorite literally entails sprinting up a hill and slow jog back down focusing on eccentric control (I pay close attention to my form and core being engaged)

On a treadmill you can sprint at an incline of 5-7% for 30seconds-1 min. And go back down to 0% incline and jog lightly for recovery. To work on eccentric control you can put the treadmill on a slight incline (anywhere from 2.5-4%) and turn around! Make sure to hold on to the railings, I have almost fallen a few times (but thats also because I am spastic)

 

Cross Training:

3×10 single leg glute bridges

superset: 30 clamshells each side with theraband around knees

3×10 deadlifts

superset: 30 hip abduction raises on each side

3×10 goblet squats

superset: 30 second plank

3×10 front squats

superset: 30 second side planks each side

3×10 glute kickbacks

superset: 30 second flutter kicks

 

Long Run:

Make sure you are able to run at a comfortable pace and be able to talk and hold a conversation if you were running with someone

**Be sure to stretch afterwards

 

Rest Day:

HYDRATE!!! Flush out lactic acid and keep your muscles nourished with lean proteins, carbs and healthy fats!

These are just a few examples of each and hopefully if you were in need of a different workout this can help!

 

Happy Running! Xx

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14 comments

  1. I love the range of your workouts, it’s just too easy to throw on the shoes and pound the pavement in the same way each time. Note to self: Vary the workout!

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      • How much do you slow down from your usual pace so I have an idea of how much to decrease by? I have fallen down on a treadmill while running in the correct orientation before. LOL

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      • oh same lol. I am such a klutz. A lot actually, normally I run between a speed of 6.0-6.4 and since my coordination is not all that great I usually do more of a speed work backwards. I have the speed set to around 3-3.5 depending. I actually fatigue pretty quickly doing this also since my muscles are not used to such eccentric control. I normally do this to “burn out” after I finish my run.

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  2. We all run, because we want to improve ourselves somehow, right! Many of us use those time goals as a motivator. I would recommend new runners, or those running less than 45 miles a week to increase base mileage first and speed work does increase our risk for injury. Hills are some of my favorites, along with steady state runs and lactic thresholds. I have spent the last 6 months building my base mileage and look forward to more interval sessions. I am glad you mentioned the importance of rest and recovery. Good post.

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  3. It’s so cool to hear someone say they went from 14 minute miles to 9 and 10 minute miles. I have several heart issues and just started jogging a couple months ago, so it takes me much longer to finish a mile. It’s discouraging sometimes. But one day I would love to get down to 9 or 10 minutes per mile!

    Liked by 1 person

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