There are a variety of different methods you can use to increase the effectiveness of the time you spend running. One vital factor for getting the most out of your runs is to make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not enjoying your exercising, the likelihood of you continuing it for an extended period is small.
Before getting started, it’s important to assess your current fitness levels and body structure. This helps you know where you should begin adjusting your workout routine to suit your individual needs.
How To Assess Your Fitness Level
Using a test such as the 11-step fitness assessment, you can find out the numbers and information you need to make useful alterations in your running plans. There are numerous health tests and information about them that can be researched online.
Strength plays a significant role in running efficiency as it cures imbalances in the muscles that can create more work for other areas of the body. If you feel unbalanced while running or find that certain areas of your body become weak faster than others, you should address the issue by locating the area which needs more strength and build muscle there.
One example of this is that sitting down for too long could cause the gluteus medius on either side to lose strength. This will result in hip issues such as lateral shifting. This can give you off a sense of instability.
Lateral shifting will cause the body to waste energy and movement, hindering your running time. This is but one of the strength issues that can appear when you run without knowing your body in detail beforehand.
Mix Up Your Running Styles
Endurance running will help you develop stamina, muscle strength and focus while exercising. If you’ve only been using speed drills or aerobic type routines, then endurance running will change the fitness game for you.
If you’re used to long-distance running only, speed drills will help your body get used to quick accelerations and changes in speed.
Running With Weights
Are your long-distance runs or speed drills becoming too comfortable? Don’t want to extend your running time? Add on some body weights and see how your body reacts.
Do your regular workouts involve you running around a sports track or level ground? Try mixing things up by running uphill, downhill or both. See how your experience differs.
Improve Your Stride Rate
By taking too many strides, you create more work for yourself, meaning more energy gets used up and you feel fatigue much earlier than you’d like. Studies have shown that elite runners have a rate of around 180 strides per minute.
To determine your stride rate, locate a level area and begin a typical endurance run to get into your natural running rhythm. Then when you’re ready, start counting your strides for a 60-second duration. At the end of the test, you’ll know your average stride rate and you can begin working on decreasing the amount of strides you take.
Have any experience or tips on what has worked for you when using your running time more productively? Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts.
About the Author:
Cassie is a runner who enjoys keeping up to date with the latest developments in the fitness industry. She also likes teaching others health and exercise methods that can help them get the most out of their workout routines.