Doing different types of sessions really helps to improve fitness and technique. Personally, I know I’d rather just go out and do a steady 10K, because I know that for myself, that won’t be too tricky.
Sprints however, aren’t as natural to me. I know that I have a good level of fitness, but speed is definitely something I would like to work on. I’m only 20 but it always seems to take me a while to pick up speed. So, incorporating sprint sessions into my training ought to help. Today’s session (a sprints session) included:
Gentle jog warm up, high knees, back kicks & stretches, 25m sprints at 50% effort, 60% effort, 70 and then 80 % effort.
We then did circuits including jump squats, lunges, plank, high plank, press ups and burpees. We alternated with these and went continuously for 10 minutes. Even though you can really feel the burn, I love doing circuit exercises. You can really feel it working your core and a strong core is essential for strength and power. The lunges and squats in particular work your legs… and you’ll never guess what – strong legs are pretty handy when it comes to running!
Especially because I enjoy these types of exercises, I really should do more. However, and you’ll probably agree, it’s quite hard to motivate yourself to do these kind of exercises by yourself. When alone, it’s far too easy to do a plank for 30 seconds and then think “that’ll do.”
I strongly advise joining a running / fitness club. The atmosphere of having others around you and having a coach tell you what’s what is a fabulous way to push yourself. And that’s what you want. You want to push yourself. It’s the push that will result in gradual, but very noticeable improvements.
My Dad, who is a great inspiration of mine, says: “Running never gets any easier, you just get faster.”
I completely agree. Through training you’re bound to get quicker, but if you continue to push yourself, it will always be difficult. Finding it difficult is a good thing as it will mean you’re always improving.
After the circuits we did 45 seconds at 70%, immediately turned around for a 15 second jog and then 30 seconds at 80% and we had to try and get back to where we started! This was a difficult task, but like I say, difficulty, in the long run is a GOOD thing. We did this four times and then had a well deserved cool down.
After a work out, I always stretch off well and then do a gentle jog for about 5 minutes. I absolutely swear by the final slow jog – every time I do it, I’m never stiff the next day! Even if you’re super tired, it’s worth it.
All the best,