04 Nov Three Ways To Run Faster Without Running More
Sounds great, but let me explain before any conclusions are jumped to…
Before my Coach License gets revoked for spreading vicious rumours!
To get faster, you don’t HAVE to just run. You can do a wide variety of other things.
These things are often overlooked, you see us, runners are very performance minded.
Even when we deny running fast as a goal of ours. Deep down there is a desire to have improvement. If there wasn’t we wouldn’t do it.
I started running for fun (still do). I enjoyed it, but there was always a small part of me that looked up the field and thought, if I trained a bit harder, I could catch this guy..!
But simply running more isn’t the best strategy for all runners, especially those a bit more injury prone, or as we start to age and the bodies recovery rate slows down.
Yes, the elite runners may run 120+ miles per week, but asking Mr or Mrs average to hit a similar distance will result in injury. These top runners have been building up to these figures for many many years. Often running from a very young age.
So what can we do to improve our running WITHOUT running more!? Here are 3 ways:
1. Cross Training – And I don’t mean that weird machine in the corner of the gym, although, you could well use it…
Cross training for the runners I work with includes any cardio which ISN’T running. So the above machine is absolutely fine. Cycling, swimming, rowing… There is a long list of things you can do. They can be used as an easy recovery session, or equally you can hit some tough intervals on them too. They will raise your heart rate and train you to become mentally stronger too.
They also work perfectly as a recovery session, the number of runners I speak to who have done an event on Sunday and then try to complete a tough run on the Monday to then be laid up sore/injured by Tuesday… Why not stick a bike ride or a swim in on Monday and aim to be recovered to have a good session on Tuesday..?
2. Strength Training – This is a great method and one that has proven results to help improve performances in runners. Different studies quote a variety of benefits from improved performances in the latter stages of a 10km race as a result of reduced fatigue. Improved running economy/efficiency, improved VO2 Max scores and time trial performance (over varying distances).
From my coaching perspective, I have been using strength sessions with many of my runners since RunCamp started back in 2013 with great feedback. Runners quoting that they feel stronger, more stable when running, being able to hold a faster pace at a lower heart rate and being able to maintain good running form for a longer period of time.
All of the strength work we teach in our Technique Course (AKA Level One) require Zero equipment (places disappearing quickly on these…!).
It’s all bodyweight exercises, focused on making the body stronger and more efficient.
Its only in our Strength Course (AKA Level Two) that we introduce weights into the mixture, once our runners are strong and stable enough.
3. Mobility – Or Stretching…
Plenty of runners know we should be stretching, but there is a lack of knowledge about why. Many do it to prevent injuries, some do it to prevent their muscles from hurting the day afterwards. Both very valid reasons.
I’d add a third in there. The right stretches can actually improve your running speed.
A prime example is the Hip Flexor group of muscles. Traditionally a tight region for a vast majority of runners. Those who have desk jobs, spend a lot of time driving, even cycling a lot, will suffer with tightness in this region (unless they already do a lot of stretching to help).
Check out Stretch Number 5 in this video:
A progression on this stretch is to hold your rear foot on a bench (or against a wall) to increase the stretch (it can be quite painful the first few times you have a go at this one..!)
So there you go, three things you can implement in your weekly plan to improve running… Without running!
Any questions at all, just email firstname.lastname@example.org I am more than happy to help, if you haven’t already, why not book for a Free Coaching Call where I can answer any questions you have over the phone.
P.S. January Technique Sessions (Level One) on a Tuesday night are 75% full and Friday mornings have 6 places remaining.
Grab your spot >>here<<
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!