Hello running pals! Did you take advantage of the beautiful weather and get a nice long run in this weekend? For my Marathon training, I logged 23 miles for week 1, including a Saturday morning 10-miler (and connected with a new running pal, Dr. Shirley!).
I’ve never been a super fast runner, and with my large frame & extra pounds, I wonder what my ultimate speed ceiling is??? Over the Summer, most of my runs were solo, which meant nobody was pushing to maintain speed as the miles increased, and subsequently, my speed has slightly regressed. So, for this week’s #RunWithRadio1045Johnny blog, we're exploring techniques to improve running speed and pass ‘em along to you too.
SPEED WORKOUTS/INTERVAL TRAINING
Interval training is the best option to increase speed. Alternating your run speed between very fast and slowing down to recover will help you build stamina and endurance, while also improving the efficiency of mitochondria (an organelle found in cells that allows your muscles to use oxygen to create energy, which may help you burn fatter quicker than a steady pace workout). If you want to try Interval training, here are some plans (via Active). You can also use an App, such as Runkeeper. For me personally, I’ve found interval training challenging to execute on my own, so your best bet is to run with a group experienced with interval training/speed workouts.
OTHER OPTIONS BEYOND INTERVAL TRAINING
Due to my schedule, I’m unable to do Interval training with my regular running group, so I’ve combed the Internet to look for other speed improvement options, and here are some of the options for you to consider.
RUN WITH STRETCH ARMSTRONG
Get into a good stretching routine, especially one which works your hip flexors. This will improve your flexibility and yield better (& faster) strides
JUST BREATHE ...PROPERLY
Breathe, using both your nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to yield the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try breathing from your diaphragm, not a contraceptive and not the chest…your belly!
KING OF THE HILL WORKOUTS
Running on an incline will help you improve muscle strength in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, and all of these muscles needed to improve your run speed!
STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE
Doing a 15 minute ab workout a few times each week can strengthen your core and help enhance your running economy yielding more energy to increase your speed
DROP SOME WEIGHT
Research has indicated that dropping some pounds of fat (not muscle) can help you speed you up. I’ve read that you can run 2.4 seconds faster per mile for every pound you lose.
Dorsi-what? Apparently arching your toes toward your shins means less of your foot hits the ground and leads to a quicker stride
RUN WITH JOE! DRINK SOME COFFEE
Finally, something I can do easily! Caffeine may increase athletic performance even in lower doses though there is limited research on this performance enhancing drug! (I generally do look for energy gels which include caffeine)
In addition to these ideas, I reached out to my running pals on Twitter and here are some of their suggestions!
That's all we have for you this week. Happy running and thanks for reading! Hit me on Twitter (@Radio1045Johnny) with any feedback or additional ideas for posts. I try to update the blog every Sunday morning. Have some great runs this week, ok?