There are a mix of things in gyms, outside and also general lifestyle changes you can make for improvements.
- Use the Skillrun. This isn’t replacing your running outside; you are using this as a tool to improve your running outside. There are a few simple functions you can use.
Firstly, interval training. Short bursts of speed at about 85% effort followed by recovery- for example a 20/40 work:rest ratio for, 20-25 repetitions. The ‘Swiftpad’ is a really easy way to switch speeds and incline in a matter of seconds. This will get your body used to running at higher speeds, increase your cardio strength, and your stamina. You can also try this on a steep incline – but you will need a longer recovery, around 3Xs more than the effort period. Running on a treadmill will also help improve your cadence as you are running at a set speed.
Secondly the Skillrun offers Parachute and Sled functions. These functions are both accessible through the ‘Bootcamp’ button, and replicate the feeling of using these tools outside. The parachute and sled both add resistance to your run, which will help increase your power and speed. Think explosive power! The parachute function is used with the attachment. We have one of these hanging by the offices in the gym and there are more available. You will select your parachute size dependant of the amount of resistance you want. The faster you run, the more resistance you feel on the belt. With the Sled, you will select the weight you want to push (more weight, more resistance). However, with this function, the faster you run, the less resistance you will feel. You can also use the sled one legged for a more intense session!
- You can also try ‘Fartlek’ or speed play running outside of the gym, and find that steep hill you usually avoid and sprint up it!
- Fat burning, increasing lean muscle tone and strength. Interval running will burn fat, additionally, as will incorporating skipping into your work out. Skipping also helps with speed, agility and cardio strength.
- Resistance/weight training, and some exercises focused on your core. Plyometric exercises will be beneficial as they are about speed, as well as core stability, EG mountain climbers, jumping onto the plyo boxes, and burpees (everyone’s favourite).
Lifestyle changes to consider
- Think about eating wholegrains, less sugar, more fruit and vegetables. Drinking a black coffee before a run can improve your performance because of the caffeine boost.
- Getting enough sleep is also important, not only will this help to improve your concentration, energy levels and stamina, but the time you are asleep is when your body repairs itself.
- Do a short warm up before you run, 5minutes will do, including butt kicks, high knees and some dynamic (moving) stretches such as lunges and squat jumps.
- There are some factors to think about when you are running, keep looking forwards and in front of you. Think about your posture, straight back, shoulders level and not slouching; maintain an upright stance. Your arms should be moving backwards and forwards to help propel you forward, keep a rhythm, which can also help to improve your bodies energy consumption.
- Breathe deeply when you run, keep your bodies oxygen levels up – you will need this for energy. Try taking your deepest inhale and exhale to refresh your lungs intermittently throughout your run. You will get more air by breathing through your mouth, but don’t run along gasping like a goldfish.
- Lastly, stretching at the end of a run will reduce the muscle tightness caused by running and resistance training. The main muscles that will get tight are the calves and hamstrings so make sure you focus on these muscles but do stretch all of the body’s muscles for no less than 30sec each. This will also help strengthen your muscles, all the while keeping them supple. Why not try one of our stretch classes or yoga?
The coaches in the gym can help you put together a routine on the Skillrun and there are also regular Skillrun classes – intervals, endurance and bootcamps. Book on one of them today, or speak to a member of the fitness team for more information.