Don't Just Run; Mix It Up
Sticking to a rigid running regime is one of the traps that many runners fall into. If you want to see huge gains in your performance, you got to cross-train. A few alternative exercises you can consider are:
Pool running Ensure that your form is correct. There must be a high pace of running, and a straight back is to be maintained at all times. Do not overextend your legs. Most of all, the golden rule is to pool run in the deep end; touching the floor with your feet is a no-go
Cycling Both road biking and mountain biking are good variations. It is vital to keep your cadence above 90 rotations per minute
Swimming Do learn the proper techniques. Accomplish faster and longer workouts for greater training
The first benefit of these exercises is their capacity to strengthen the muscle groups that normally don't get worked during running. Cycling and swimming work very different muscles and increase your overall athletic ability.
Secondly, by trying alternative exercises, it helps to keep your training regime fresh. Mentally, you will have a higher motivation to train harder.
Thirdly, pool running and cycling are closer to mimicking the motion of running. This level of specificity ensures that your alternate exercises contribute greatly to improving your running endurance and stamina.
Cross train; run regularly; and eat a runner's diet - simple yet neglected tips top runners integrate into their lives.
Upping your VO2max Game
In this article, we looked at why Kenyans are stars of long-distance running. Now let's talk about how you can up your VO2max level.
VO2max measures the maximum rate that an athlete's body can consume oxygen when performing a specific activity, adjusted for body weight. A high VO2max is crucial because it is closely correlated with high endurance and stamina in running. From research findings, VO2max accounts for approximately 70 percent of the variation in race performances among individual runners. It is easy to see that VO2max is a large determinant of your running performance.
An excellent way to introduce VO2max training into your regime is with sprint-jog intervals. For example, you can start off with 30/30 and 60/60 intervals. Developed by French exercise physiologist Veronique Billat, these workouts aim to improve fitness effectively and are a reasonable challenge for runners of a modest fitness level.
Start with 30/30 intervals. Warm up with 10 minutes of easy jogging, then run for 30 seconds at the fastest pace you could accomplish. After which, slow to an easy jog for 30 seconds. Continue alternating these 30-second segments for at least 12 repetitions and as many as 20 repetitions of each.
For a greater challenge, increase the number of 30/30 intervals you complete each time you do this work-out. Once you feel that you have mastered the 30/30 intervals, switch to 60/60 intervals. Begin with at least 6 of these and work your way up to 10.
Having a good diet is vital in ensuring your muscles grow and are well-fuelled. For example, if you have done a fair bit of intense sprinting, you should include more protein in developing your muscles to last longer and run faster. If you are training for a marathon or ultra-marathon, it is essential that you consume more calories and carbs than you do in the recovery weeks after a race.
A runners diet is usually high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, unsaturated fats and low-fat dairy. Avoid processed foods as they come with additional sodium, sugar and fat that do not offer maximum nutrition to working muscles. If you are more inclined towards endurance running, renowned running coach Hal Higdon comments that eating more carbohydrates is necessary to fuel muscle growth and endurance. In fact, you should aim to ingest an amount of carbohydrates that surpasses the average recommendation of 50 percent of daily calories.
To consistently improve your stamina and endurance in running is a game of patience and discipline.
Nobody likes to be stuck at a plateau or to suck in running. So do some cross-training. Start your VO2max regime. Commit to an optimal diet. In essence, try new things, and always stick to those things that bring results.
And you will be on your way to becoming a better runner than you are today.
Do you like what you read?
Tell us below or through our contact form. We love to hear from you.
Also, have you registered as a member on LIV3LY yet?
Don’t know what’re the benefits? Fret not. Find out here.