Every passionate athlete knows that no matter how great you are at your sport, there is always room for improvement. There are always physical or even mental aspects which we have to continue working on so that we never stop growing. This is the reason why the pros never stop training. Their coaches always have routine running workouts ready for them, which challenges them and pushes them to work harder.
Our bodies are programmed in a way that it cannot improve if we follow the same fitness routine, regardless of our dedication. The body gets habituated, and the routine becomes too mundane to serve any purpose. Improvement will occur only when the bar is frequently being raised, and the body’s strengths are challenged.
Also read: Running in Summer: How to Beat the Heat
It’s not any different for runners as well. You need to work on yourself a little differently every time to rewire your brain. Performing the same old routine daily will not produce results, and quite frankly, it is boring. So, if your goal is to increase speed and agility, these types of running workouts or fitness routines can result in being the stepping stones to improvement.
Be sure to know your level of experience before you start on any routine. Do not jump into a high-intensity workout right away if you are a beginner.
So, put on your track pants, pick up your water bottle and get going with our tips for running workouts.
Refresh your Routine: Top 4 Running Workouts
1. 18-Minute Speed Routine
Former professional runner and longtime NYC-based running coach John Honerkamp suggests a fun, quick-paced workout for runners, regardless of whether you’re a pro or a beginner.
This is a time-based ladder running workout, lasting a total of 18 minutes .
This means that each running workouts interval increases by 1 minute until the longest interval, which is the top of the ‘ladder’. After this the runner runs intervals which continue to decreases by 1 minute; the runner first climbs and then descends the ladder.
Although, more advanced runners may conveniently opt to work out for longer, simply by increasing 1 minute of the intervals, both ways.
Why the 18-Minute Routine Running Workouts Works?
It aims at running shorter distances (than usual) at a pace faster than you would race in. Thus, you run faster for shorter distances with a recovery period to give you a break and resume.
This kind of routine works on building your form . Since it’s carried out in intervals, it also helps in increasing your overall endurance.
2. Curves and Straights Running Workouts
You begin with a 5-minute walk to warm up. After that, you will run straight stretches and walk the curves of the track. Repeat this twice. One tip is to find a spot to leave yourself a bottle of water, to drink after each loop. While running, you need to get into a comfortable rhythm.
The aim is to maintain this steady pace, instead of sprinting .
You may begin to pick up the pace as your fitness gets better and better.
An advantage of this routine is you can even run this on the road; so a lack of track access won’t hinder anything. Just make use of different landmarks to mark your intervals – like a pole or a street lamp or a tree. So you might run up to a landmark and then walk to catch your breath. Then run to another landmark and so on.
Repeat this 2-3 times.
How does this Running Workout help?
It coordinates your mind and body. This routine helps your brain adapt to picking up the pace for shorter duration with recovery periods to make it a lot more achievable.
It gives you enough time to recuperate for the next set, and thus, all the hard work seems more doable. With every break you take to recover, you will manage to regenerate enough energy to finish the next set in this type of running workouts.
3. High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to increase your speed and one of the most intensive running workouts specifically for advanced runners. Interval runs are short and fast paced which are followed by a recovery time of about the same time.
The runner begins with a warm-up followed by a 2-minute run at a hard effort. After that, 2-3 minutes of easy jogging or even a walk to get your breath back.
Begin with two 100-meter runs , where you run 40 meters at top speed , with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or jogging in between.
Following that, build it to 6 x 150 meters hard, where you run 80 meters at top speed, with 3 to 4 minutes jogging or walking break.
Over time, increase the number of repeats to 10; lengthen the reps to 300 meters (which means running almost the entire distance at top speed), or reduce the rest interval to one minute.
Why is Interval Running Workouts the Best?
The Low-volume, high-intensity approach of HIIT helps to pick up your fitness and speed. It strengthens your cardiovascular system and helps it circulate more oxygen-rich blood in your body.
It improves mind-body co-ordination, which means the muscles and the nervous system are well-coordinated. Thus, this makes your stride very efficient.
4. Sprint, Sprint and Sprint More!
Most of the professional sprinters have sworn by this: Practice makes perfect. The more you sprint, the ability of your muscles to work, according to your needs to sprint, will be more efficient. If you’re worried about your endurance, then you will be glad to know that running will increase your overall endurance.
This is because sprinting enables you to strengthen the muscles and patterns that you tend to use while running (especially distance running). Thus, you will be more likely to be faster and stronger because long distances will become easier.
The simplest and most efficient sprinting workouts that you can opt for are as follows:
Just go to a nearby hill.
If you don’t know any, Google it!
You are most likely to find a hill or a reservoir nearby. Look around, be quick-witted and work the best you can with the available resources.
If you think an area is steep enough to get you panting, don’t let it go.
Do 6 to 20 sprints depending on whether you’re making just sprints or not and the steepness, of course.
What does it do?
It helps because by working against constant resistance, you’re working against gravity. This helps you to instill the forward lean as well as an excellent form of sprinting.
It activates all your muscles, making you less prone to injuries . It enables the entire body and strengthens all of the running muscles.
This consists of a 30m sprint with a running start of 10m . The aim is to build 80% effort while making the 10m sprint and maintaining 80% effort in the 30m sprint. The usual maximum being 150m, this can be done for any distance.
Make sure to take a 2-4 minute rest in between sprints. As soon as your form breaks, you stop . These types of sprints aim at maximum speed and correct way.
Also, do you know The Correct Running Technique
It is wise to build your way up instead of hosting. The main focus should be improving your speed, which will result, mostly, from raising your level of activity and working on the aesthetics and correct use of muscles.
May your might stride be as fast as Flash!