Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that energizes, releases endorphins (happy brain chemicals), and reduces stress. With these training components, you can start your path to running!
- Run at a pace of your choice for a set number of miles. A good way to recover from a hard workout or to simply get a run in for the day.
- Long, slow runs build cardiovascular and muscular endurance. A great way to ease into long runs is the Run-Walk method. Walk before you get tired to allow your muscles to recover faster, thus increasing the capacity they have for further running. Taking walk breaks gives you control over your fatigue and allows you to ease into running, gradually conditioning your body for the demands. It also reduces the chance of injury and next-day soreness.
Pace (Tempo) Run
- Run 1-3 miles at your goal race pace, including walk breaks where you would take them during a race. This is like a trial run for race day – a dress rehearsal.
- Hill workouts strengthen your legs, improve running form, and improve hill efficiency. Due to the incline and faster turnover between strides, your legs work harder which builds strength, especially in lower legs. This also increases your stride length and stride rate, improving your running form. Hill efficiency is improved through practice: running with a relaxed stride, gradually accelerating as you go up the hill, not overextending the legs, staying light on your feet, maintaining an average stride length and rate while running downhill, and coasting down the hill. Common hill workouts are hilly runs or hill repeats. Hill repeats are essentially strides (see drills below) while going up and over a hill.
- Improve your running form by training your body to run more efficiently. You’re pushing your body to fatigue, which causes your body to find ways of continuing without exerting excess energy. Common speed training workouts are intervals (ladder, pyramid, etc.), Fartleks, or repeats (1-mile, 800-meter, etc.).
- Easy energizing exercises that improve form and running mechanics. These can help improve speed and running efficiency and are typically performed at the end of a workout.
- Cadence Drill
- Jog for 1 minute and then time yourself for 30 seconds. During these 30 seconds, count how many times your left foot touches the ground. Walk around for a couple minutes and then repeat, trying to increase the count by 1-3 touches. Repeat this 3-7 more times. You’ll find that your feet are lighter on the ground, you stay lower, and your foot movement is more efficient.
- Start by jogging slowly. Every 15 steps, pick up the pace. Increase to your regular running pace, then to your race pace, then to your sprint. Now coast and slow down to a jog using only your momentum for as many steps as possible.
- Cadence Drill