Whether or not you’ve been hitting the hot pavement all summer or are just dipping your toes into the running pool, our friends at Racefaster in Ridgewood and Paramus have compiled some of their best tips to improving your running and racing game.
- First, focus on your own personal progress. It can be tempting to compare yourself to others, but remember that everyone has different goals, abilities, and limitations. As with any form of exercise, improvement should be gradual, and at times will test your patience. If you put your energy into improving just a little each week or month, then over time you will see the greater returns. More importantly, you will be able to maintain your fitness and avoid injury.
- Be consistent.“We recommend trying to run three times per week in order to stay in ‘running shape.’ Often times, we see people who will train very well for a few weeks, maybe even overdo it a bit, and then lose focus and miss weeks of training. It’s better to do a little a lot than a lot a little.
- Program your runs to create balance. The pros at Racefaster suggest aiming for a speed workout, a tempo run, and a long run every week.
- You can do a speed workout on a treadmill, the track, or just on the street using your stopwatch. The goal of this workout is to run faster than you would in a race, but for shorter intervals. For example, you could run 2 minutes fast, 2 minutes rest for 5 to 10 rounds depending on your fitness.”
- A tempo run should last between 15 and 30 minutes at a steady, but controlled pace. As a guide, run approximately one minute per mile slower than you would expect to run in a 5k.
- Long runs will vary depending on your experience and fitness; start with what you can handle and follow the 10% rule: increase no more than 10% of your previous distance per week.
- Cross training is key. Don’t be one dimensional. Understand that adding strength or extra cardio to your routine will make you a stronger, fitter person. Corefire’s classes are a great way to build up the necessary core strength to become a faster runner while reducing your chances of getting injured. We at Corefire happen to love this strategy!
- Make active recovery a non-negotiable. Keep in mind that recovery is not just about resting. You will recover more quickly if you can do some light exercise, stretching, and self myofascial therapy (like foam rolling); these will all create blood flow and speed up your recovery so that you can be ready for the next workout. Racefaster offers yoga classes that target the specific muscle groups that fatigue the most during running.
Still have questions? Racefaster is here to help!
We hope that these tips help you with your training this season and welcome you to join us for our complimentary group run, held every Saturday at 8am, at Racefaster Ridgewood (11 N. Broad Street, next to Dunkin Donuts). Racefaster Run Club is also open to runners of all levels who are looking to join a team of like-minded athletes. The run club offers a weekly track workout and social run as well as discounted race entries fees, discounted yoga classes, a racing singlet and much more! If you are interested in getting more information about the run club or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-727-3135.
If you ready to for a little friendly competition, be sure to check out the Racefaster 5K or Half Marathon on September 9th!