QI want a parkrun PB. Help! Jack Tay­lor, Har­ro­gate

Trail Running (UK) - - Training -

Parkrun podi­ums A aren’t easy to top – these free, lo­cal events have at­tracted a cult fol­low­ing and some pretty speedy run­ners. With this five-point-plan from Sally, though, you’ll be up to speed on the best tips for run­ning faster:

MIX IT UP Hav­ing a va­ri­ety of speeds and train­ing ses­sions is key to get­ting faster – and will keep things fresh and in­ter­est­ing. Hill reps are one of the quick­est routes to in­creased fit­ness and faster parkrun times, along with in­ter­vals of speed­work on the flat, run at near race pace. A typ­i­cal ses­sion might in­clude both, for ex­am­ple 6 x (2 min on, 1 min off) on the flat, fol­lowed by 6 x (1 min on, 1 min off) up a hill. Longer, ‘easy’ runs should also fea­ture in your weekly mileage, to give your legs the en­durance they’ll need to main­tain your fastest pace over 5k.

TA­PER TIME Give your legs a break two to three days be­fore your parkrun. You’ll have done all the hard work by then and noth­ing you do at that stage will make you faster.

COM­PETE You can’t beat rac­ing with some­one else to make you run faster. Seek out some­one of the same pace and re­ally push it to be first across the fin­ish line.

EAT WELL Time your pre-parkrun fu­elling so you’re eat­ing light foods through the day and hav­ing a light, pro­tein-rich meal (maybe a bagel with some peanut but­ter and a piece of fruit) around two to three hours be­fore the start. Avoid carb-load­ing, which re­search sug­gests is only ben­e­fi­cial for en­durance events of around 90 min­utes or more. Keep hy­drated and take small bites of en­ergy bars in the run-up to the race if you’re still hun­gry.

REST UP Re­cov­ery is vi­tal. Give your legs a post­parkrun rest be­fore hit­ting the train­ing again – re­peated hard ses­sions with in­suf­fi­cient rest won’t lead to speed gains and are more likely to slow you down through mus­cle fa­tigue.

Beat the rush to the parkrun podium!

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