Fitness Friday - Making Myself A Better Runner!

With being in quarantine I haven't had access to ergs. This means, like most of us, I have resorted to running.

And I hate running!!

But that doesn't mean I just gave up on running. I took this time as a chance to try and improve.

When I started running on the first week of quarantine I started with a 1-mile steady run. And when I say steady I mean it. It took 11 minutes and was my slowest mile ever.

This is the point I realised I needed to work on my running.

So how does someone that hates running improve?

I set my self a simple target.

Complete 2 running workouts a week. one of which should have a mile or longer of running in one chunk. The other should have shorter faster runs.

This format achieved three things.

The first being that it built up my endurance for longer distances. A lot of the workouts that I did with a long run had a buy-in and buy out of 1 mile. This gave me a chance to challenge my pace a little on the first run and move faster on the mile. The buy out gives me a chance to challenge how fast I would move while very fatigued. This combination is great for CrossFitters. It builds up your capacity for workout and challenges your cardiovascular ability.

The second thing that I achieved was learning how to pace myself. This was mostly gathered from the shorter runs. In the past on running workouts with 400m runs or so I would always start way to fast. This was for two reasons. Firstly I have grown up as a sprinter, this results in me moving a bit to fast at the start because I can not because I should. The second reason is that I did running workouts few and far between, so I would always think my fitness would carry me through. This is a big mistake. There is a big difference in the styles of training that is required for general CrossFit movements and running.

By doing more workouts with shorter runs, I have had the chance to learn what pace I should be moving at and then progressing that pace to move faster. Having a variety of distances to work of really means that you have to adapt your speed to the workout. This is great for learning the pace you can move at and challenge you to push that pace.

The last thing I achieved from these formats of workouts is building up the speed that I can run at for distance. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, I started quarantine with an 11 minute mile time. This wasn't trying to move very fast but in the next workout that I completed with a mile run, I ran an 8-minute 40-second mile. That was me trying to move faster and it still was not very quick. At the start of this week, I had an attempt at 1 mile for time. This time I completed the run in 6 minutes and 49 seconds. This is nearly a 2-minute improvement.

By taking the time to gradually increase my capacity while running it has meant that I have seen a huge improvement over a smaller time domain. Instead of throwing myself in the deep end and making myself do ridiculously long runs, I spent my time trying to progress over the shorter distances. From here the plan is to start increasing the distance that I am running and keep improving my overall running speed and capacity. I am never going to be a marathon runner and although I have improved I still don't like running. What I do like however is challenging myself to improve a skill and then seeing the results. That's what motivates me to keep going.

I'm sure there are a lot of you that are like me and hate running. But that doesn't mean you should avoid it. The only way you will get better at running is by pushing your abilities and challenging the movements that you would normally avoid. This doesn't just apply to running either. During quarantine, everybody has a bit more free time to work on their weaknesses. Try your best to challenge yourself and hopefully when you come out of quarantine you will be better than when you came in.

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