STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Imagine watching your favorite show over and over for days. After a few weeks, the entertainment value would go down and you would start to dread what was once a great show. Many of us do that with our running.
Most runners log almost all runs with the same general distance and intensity, typically around 60% to 70% of their maximum effort.
Doing the same workout day in and day out is a recipe for boredom and plateau. This applies to all aspects of training, and it is the kind of mistake that is holding you from reaching your full potential.
You need variety. As a runner, you should vary your exercise routine for two reasons: to avoid the boredom of completing the same session over and over, and to prevent or postpone hitting a plateau in running performance.
Whether you’re training for a marathon (Steamboat Marathon, Half, and 10K are three months away) or just looking to improve your running game since spring is on the horizon, now is a good time to revise your running program to include that The following:
• • Recovery runs: Short sessions at an easy pace that follow a high intensity session. Needed if you run more than three times a week. Sessions of about 20 to 40 minutes; The pace is 90 to 120 seconds per mile slower than the current 5 km pace.
• • Running time: Sustained sessions at a controlled but challenging pace for 45 minutes or longer. These runs raise your lactate threshold so you can keep a faster pace for longer. The pace is comfortably hard and about 30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5 km pace.
• • Interval runs: Great for working on speed. Interval runs increase your endurance, the mobility of the boots and the walking speed. About 90% to 98% of the maximum effort in the interval.
• • Mountain runs: Repeated short or long bursts of intense exertion up a hill. Build strength and strength, improve pain tolerance, and build proper form. The pace will be hard to keep up; Focus on taking short steps and staying in good shape.
• • Fartlek runs: Combines fast running intervals with little to moderate effort. The intervals vary in distance, duration and speed. Pick a landmark, walk there as hard as you can, then relax (walk or jog) to the next landmark. See your next goal and repeat. Repeat for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
• • Long runs: Exactly what it sounds like; sustained running effort at an easy and steady pace. Develops endurance, improves shape, increases lung strength and prepares your body for any distance. Do not increase your long term length, distance, or both by more than 10 to 15% per week. Perform long runs at a speed of about a minute slower than the race pace, or about 90 to 120 seconds per mile slower than the current 10 km speed, with heart rate between 65% and 75% of maximum.
• • Strength training: Including two to three sessions of 20 to 30 minutes of strength training per week can help maintain muscle mass, reduce injuries, increase pace time, improve endurance, and reduce fatigue. Exercise programs that include bodyweight exercises, functional training, and plyometrics are best for improved running performance.
• • Restoration: Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat good food, stretch, lather, and do yoga. Recovery, like exercise, looks different for everyone, but it is an important part of your performance. It is the consequence of doing everything that makes the difference.
Your running program should be designed to keep you occupied, improve and minimize injuries, and get you in the best shape of your life. What are you waiting for? Take action now and get out there.
Holly Harris is the Fitness Director at Old Town Hot Springs and has been a health and wellness specialist, personal trainer, massage therapist, and medical esthetician for over 20 years.