It may still be chilly outside, but it’s been wonderful to see the sun shining again, and now that the clocks have changed and it’s officially spring, many people will be preparing to get involved in run-season, in some shape or form.
Sunday, May 13, sees the Sunderland 10k and Half Marathon start and finish in Keel Square, Sunday, June 3, marks Race For Life in Herrington Country Park, and there are many other runs of varying distances that you can get involved in, in and around the city.
Even if you’ve never taken part in a run event before, signing yourself up to one is a great way to motivate yourself to become more active and healthy.
So with run-season on the horizon, this week I’m putting on my personal trainer hat and sharing some solid advice on how best to train to improve your running, whether you’re a lover of running or a total beginner.
While clocking up the miles is important, especially if you’re training for a half marathon or marathon, there are several other tactics that should be employed in order to become a better runner.
If you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness and work on improving your time, then it’s time to mix up the tempo of your runs.
You should train using a combination of steady state and interval runs.
Steady state runs involve running at a medium intensity speed and maintaining it for the duration of your session.
For example, performing one session a week where you are running for 30 minutes at a speed that allows you to converse with a friend as you go.
Interval runs can have set intervals, for example 30 seconds sprint and 30 seconds walk, or they can employ the Fartlek training approach of varied speeds, interval lengths and inclines.
To support your run-based sessions, you should also include some sports specific conditioning as part of your weekly routine.
This session should focus on exercises and movements that mimic the action of running, such as lunges.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of over training when you’re working up to an event, but it is vital that you allow your body time to recover.
Be sure to have at least one rest day per week and also consider including an active rest day, where you take part in a pilates or yoga session to improve flexibility and core strength.
There will be times when you jump on the treadmill or head out to pound the pavements and you just aren’t feeling it.
Your legs may feel heavy or you just can’t get into your stride, and that can be your body’s way of telling you that you need to re-consider your regime.
Perhaps you need an extra rest day, or to switch more of your focus to conditioning as opposed to too many run based session.
Be sure to listen to your body, and respond accordingly.
Whether you’re taking your first steps into running or are a seasoned runner, creating a blend of all of the elements mentioned will take you strides closer to your goal.
Here’s to more people being active in Sunderland.