With the Olympics inspiring lots of us I thought it would be a great time to talk about getting your own PB. If you’re running the Parkrun religiously every weekend and want to go a bit faster – try these three simply steps.

The three Key areas are:
1. Speed
2. Strength
3. Endurance

Speed
In terms of running – speed can be defined as the ability to move along the ground as rapidly as possible. Simply moving your legs faster will contribute to an increase in speed, this can be achieved by doing the ‘fast feet’ running drill.
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Sprint interval training has been found to improve muscle function which increases speed. If you’re not doing any speed work at the moment here’s an easy way to introduce it to your training programme. At the end of an easy short run do 6 x 10 second sprints* with a 30 second recovery between each sprint, followed by a 5 minute jog to cool down. (*you may need a coach to show you the correct sprinting technique)

Strength
Strength training is defined as working against a resistance, the stronger you get the greater the force you can apply. In terms of running, leg and core strength is important as it will help with muscle balance and correct any weaknesses.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the gym or doing body weight workouts at home, it all helps and will increase your running economy. This means you’ll be able to run faster and be able to maintain it for longer. There are massive benefits from doing resistance training, it not only makes you a stronger runner, but also reduces your risk of injury.

Here’s a simple yet effective workout for you to try at home:
The lunge matrix

When lunging keep your upper body upright and concentrate on your knee position, make sure it doesn’t drop in.

Endurance
One simple thing to do is increase the amount of miles you run, but you have to be very careful not to overdo it and get injured. There are other ways to boost your endurance such as; swimming, cycling, and walking. You can also make the most out of the training sessions you’re doing, by making them specific VO2max booster sessions.

VO2max is a measure of how much oxygen your body can consume, the higher the intake the better, as this means you can run faster for longer.

Here’s a great session to incorporate into your training plan:

  • 15 minute warm-up (including some running drills & strides)
  • 10 x 1 minute tempo pace* – 1 minute active recovery (slow jog between reps)
  • 10 minute cool-down

*aim for the pace you could run 1 mile flat out in.

It’s important to gradually integrate the speed, strength, and endurance into your training programme, so you don’t overload your body. If there’s anything you’re unsure about get professional advice from a running or strength & rehabilitation therapist/coach.

For more information & advice please visit my website www.jb-sportstherapy.co.uk

Joe Brocklehurst
Sports Therapist BSc[/restrict]