Training Tips to Increase Speed and Endurance
We’ve all heard that friend say “I hate running! I’m just not meant to run.” or “Running is the last thing I want to do!”. You may even feel the same way sometimes. What they don’t realize is that running does not have to be that difficult. They are just not doing it right. You can practice efficient running to increase speed and endurance. Not only will you get better faster, but you’ll do it while putting in fewer miles and less room for injury.
Focus on HOW you run, not how FAR you run:
Most people training for a long race think you need to start immediately running 13 miles right away. Others believe it’s only about the distance, and they don’t need speed training. Both are incorrect. You need a varied dose of speed training, endurance running and time to build up to your goal distance.
Get in 2 Speed and 1 Endurance Run per Week
An example training program for a Half-Marathon for a beginner would be:
2x week: Speed Workouts (alternate fartlek and track workouts)
1x week: Endurance. Run a set mile amount at a comfortable pace to start. Over time, you’ll get faster as you build miles. Start with 3 miles and grow 10-20% each week. Take a step back every few weeks or so to make sure you’re not overworking yourself.
Supplement these workouts with recovery runs (easy runs where you start slow and build up speed). Add cross training, which could be yoga, cycling, swimming, etc.
If you maintain a program like this, you’ll be crushing your goal times before you know it!
You NEED to give yourself enough time to recover. Do not run if you are feeling sore, sluggish or sick. Focus on resting and recovering, and get ready to get back out there once you’re feeling better. If you push yourself too hard, you’ll risk injury and being out of commission for even longer.
Don’t Increase Miles too Quick
It’s easy to get excited about a new training program and being ale to work up to 13 or even 26 mile runs, but be patient. A lot of people go too hard too fast and burn out. Don’t be like them. Build up slow over time, taking time off where needed. It is easy to burn out and you need to listen to your body to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Skipping a workout is not the end of the world. Take that day, focus on your goals, and get ready to get back out for the next scheduled workout.
Fuel Your Body with the Right Things
Eating right is the best way to supplement your new training program. If you eat garbage, you’re going to run like garbage. Focus most of your nutrition to fats, then protein, then carbs. You may need more carbs on certain days, that is ok. Just be sure carbs are coming from the right places, like potatoes, leafy greens and rice. Diets like Paleo, Ketogenic, and the Bulletproof diets, are great options for building muscle and burning fat. But, you may need morecarbohydratess than they suggest. You’ll need to listen to your body and experiment to find what works best for you.
Add Weight Training
Weight training is key to building strong muscles and burning fat, all while reducing the strain of distance running on your body. Strength training is a great cross training workout. Stronger muscles will take you farther in your runs. It might be a surprise to runners that strength training, even your arms, will make you a better runner. If you can, get a personal trainer to show you some exercises for runners. After a few sessions, you’ll be able to continue on your own. Be sure the routine incorporates full body workouts.