Strategies for running

Fitness expert Dan Newman-Beinart on how to transform your running routine

Want to enjoy running but don’t yet?

Want to accelerate the physique or fitness benefits of running?

This is something we often hear. We have some advice for this to make it more interesting, to make it more effective and also enable you to build ability in a positive gradual way.

Strategy 1. For those who don’t run yet – use run building so as to gradually build your ability and enjoyment with running. You may progress quickly or gradually according to what’s best for you.

Too much too soon is a common fail-factor in trying to build a run habit. Start by running only as far as your body is comfortable with. Just gradually increase. Discomforts like burning lungs, aching shins, knees and ’stitch’ can all be minimised or avoided as you simply enjoy gradually building your run up. After a few weeks the worst discomforts associated with beginning will be long gone and you can just enjoy pressing the distances on bit by bit. This avoids injury and enables you to enjoy building it up. Once you have a 5k in you, you can then work on your frequency and consistency.

You may start by running 300 yards before you stop and next time you can do 400 before your first stop. Equally you may have a short lap in a park that you need 3 stops to make it around at first, then next week maybe you can get that down to 2 stops, then push the 2nd stop to a bit later on in the lap, then bring it down to just one stop…..eventually adding laps.

Strategy 2: Make it more interesting and more effective:

Have different run types of days. This will make it both more interesting AND more effective.

For simple speed/distance runs there are different types of pace or distance, mix these into your week.

Timing your best run time over a regular route is good for you. Then you can exceed it on energetic days. You could set yourself a rule that you take a second or two off your personal best , at least every 2 weeks – then you can take it easy sometimes and try to beat  your best performance other times. Performance improvements will follow and physique results will follow that.

Mix your week up with these 4 run types

Run Type 1: Steady speed and moderate distance – simple.
Run Type 2: Fast pace or long distance – performance based.

Then there is the ‘shape’ and breaking up the run into something that you might find more engaging and gets your run performance up. These more broken up shapes include much more ‘acceleration and velocity’ where there is great pay off for physique and performance.

Run Type 3: Break up moderate running with shuttle runs and exercises. Do short laps of steady pace, moderate running. Then stop for some abs push/pull exercises interspaced with short shuttle runs ( 80% max speed sprints over 50 metres).
Run type 4: Sprints ( 80-100% max efforts over 60-100metres), warm up carefully, sprints are safest from a rolling start — begin your sprint at slow pace and pick a point on your ’track’ to hit max speed by around 10-15 metres in – this upwards curve on speed will save a lot of hamstring injuries. You can still combine these with other workouts between sets of sprints.

To avoid injury – Maximal efforts and especially repeat maximal efforts should be complemented by good warm up and other parts of your week should be helping your mobility and function with elements such as stretching and foam rolling

Listen to your body and use rest in between hard efforts  – sprinting is very intense. Use rest and as fatigue builds up do not force your body beyond its fatigue point.

Dan Newman Personal Training Ltd
Personal Training SW19