Hit Your Top Speed

Hav­ing good stamina will get you a long way – but it won’t get you there any faster. To slash your run times this year, you need to start train­ing for power. Fol­low our cheat sheet to ac­cel­er­ate your progress be­fore the week is out

Men's Health (Australia) - - Fitness -

RUN­NING ISN’T JUST an en­durance sport. Sure, an el­e­ment of stamina and for­ti­tude will stand you in good stead, but there’s a lot more to it than that. “Too many peo­ple be­lieve that car­dio is the only train­ing they need to do to beat their time,” says Court­ney Fearon, a Nike coach and in­struc­tor at the gym BXR. “But if you fo­cus on get­ting stronger and de­vel­op­ing power, the dis­tance will quickly feel eas­ier.”

This is par­tic­u­larly true for a 10K – the most pop­u­lar race dis­tance and the smartest marker of your abil­ity. Ex­celling at this dis­tance will both sharpen your ac­cel­er­a­tion over shorter races and prime your lungs and mus­cles for harder runs. That pre­par­ing for it won’t take up all your free time (as with marathon train­ing) is just a bonus.

As a start­ing point, Fearon rec­om­mends build­ing your hip drive with weighted full­body ex­er­cises such as squat presses and dead­lifts. “Th­ese should be a sta­ple of any train­ing pro­gram, but they are es­pe­cially im­por­tant for run­ners,” he says. Bulk won’t hold you back, so opt for heav­ier weights and per­form sets of four to six reps.

For some, how­ever, the big­gest wall to smash through is the one in their minds. You won’t go faster if you don’t be­lieve your body is ca­pa­ble of it. “When I used to sprint pro­fes­sion­ally, I did a lot of down­hill sprints,” says Fearon. “With grav­ity sup­port­ing you, you’re not ex­ert­ing much force – so your foot turnover is higher. It forms a cru­cial body-mind con­nec­tion, trick­ing your body into think­ing you can run at that in­ten­sity and move that quickly.” Let’s see what a lit­tle self-be­lief can do.


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