If you follow both me and Dave on facebook or twitter you will know we have both been doing a lot of running. We are both training for different events, 10ks, duathlons and half marathons (just dave for the half) so I thought we’d share some of our training sessions with you to help you add some variety to your training (variety is the spice of life) and hopefully improve your performance.
Some of these sessions are just plain cruel but who said results were easy? My favourite evil session has to be ‘hill repeats’. I used to hate hills with a passion and they would completely psyche me out in races so I had to do something about this weakness and hill repeats are the answer. Basically you find a hill, a moderately steep hill that would take longer than a couple of minutes to get to the top. Starting at the bottom of the hill, run up the hill as fast as you can for a set time, jog back down the hill and go again until you can’t go anymore. 8 – 10 repeats should do it! Progressively increase distance, time and gradient to strengthen your legs and bum and improve your power up those hills on race day.
My least favourite session has to be ‘pick ups’. This session is about increasing speed when the body is starting to fatigue. Pick ups start half way through your run and continue to the end of your run. At the halfway point you pick up your speed for the next km or mile by 10seconds, at the next km/ m you pick up your speed again by another 10seconds and so on until you reach the end of your run. Ideally middle distance runs are the best distance for this session, this will improve race pace and promote a negative split race.
The final session I’m going to talk about is intervals. Dave has been doing one interval session a week to improve his speed and is reaping the benefits already. Intervals can be done over time or distance and follow a high intensity interval (sprinting) with an active recovery interval (slow jog) pattern. The added benefit of this training session is its a great fat burner as well as a fitness booster.
Spice up your running and give these sessions a go.
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Try these exercises to help tone that troublesome butt
Last sunday the sun was shining as me and my girls ran race for life. We all did brilliantly, the girls all knocked time off their previous years results and some also achieved personal bests, so a massive well done girls.
For me the event was to run for a good cause whilst encouraging some of my class members to take part. The course was set in Tatton park and when I arrived I couldn’t believe how many ladies were ready to take part. There was such an array of ages, sizes and fitness levels all buzzing ready to go. After the big warm up we were all split into our groups of runners, joggers and walkers and filed into the starting area ready to go. The route was mostly on grass through the park with a few muddy areas and a couple of hills. Every kilometre was signposted and the marshals were full of encouragement and cheer. It was such a fun race to do with no pressure to get a good time, although the competitive side of me did creep in!
This is definitely an event that everyone should do at least once, its fun, lighthearted and for a great cause.
This is the time of year we have an increase in achilles and calf problems, every year without fail we have this increase and this year has been no different.
There’s 2 main reasons for this and both men and women are affected, although women more so. The 1st reason is as the weather gets nicer people like to take their workout outdoors and usually turn to running to exercise outside. Don’t get me wrong, this is great but a lot of people suddenly start running outside when they have never done so before. They think to themselves I can run 5km on the treadmill so I can do it outside. Running outside is so much more different to running on the treadmill that comfy springy base vanishes and is replaced by hard concrete, the belt dragging you along keeping pace, gone! The gentle gradient of which you have control replaced by big hills, big descents or uneven ground, all counts to how different running outside is and how the strain is changed on the body. I’m not trying to put you off, far from it, I love running outside, I’m just trying to make you aware. If you are taking your running outside build up your distance gradually to allow your body to adjust to the changes underfoot. Too far too soon results in Achilles problems, leading to calf problems, knee problems, hip pain and lower back issues but it so easy to prevent with gradual increase and good trainers.
The other reason we see more Achilles problems in our injury clinics over summer is footwear. As the weather becomes nicer people abandon supportive shoes for flip flops and sandals with little or no arch support. An unsupported arch can result in the arch collapsing putting strain on the Achilles as the foot rolls in (pronates). Excessive strain on the Achilles results in inflammation and pain. Again I’m not trying to put you off wearing flip flops or sandals but if you are suffering with pain consider alternating between flat shoes and supportive shoes, or try some arch strengthening exercises. Lay a sock on the floor and try to scrunch the sock up with your toes, then try to flatten the sock back out again.
Have fun in the sun!