How well can you shift gears?
If you are like most athletes you are looking for ways to change up your running the fall. One of my favorites “ADD INS” is to vary the pace during your workouts. My clients know this as “Pick ups”. We all get to the point where we are just putting one foot in front of the other. I say shake it up by tossing in 20-60 second accelerations into your run. I like to add in surges and then settles back into a steadier pace for several minutes before accelerating again. Not only will 5 or 6 of these bursts snap me back to life, I find they can also trick me into an even better workout. By the time I get back into a comfortable pace, it is much faster than I was going, and I’m farther along in my run than I realized. I really find this to work well on a treadmill.
After warm up kick it up a full 1-3 km/hr for 20 second and when you settle back into your steady pace you will find it might even feel too slow. It’s all in how the brain and muscles interact. Also don’t feel you need to stick to a specific length or pace. Athlete more then ever need to learn to mix it up and not be so ridged in their training. I varies the length and pace of my pickups (20 seconds, 80 seconds and 40 seconds, and 18km/hr, 20km/hr, 16km/hr – then I settle back into 14-15km/hr) throughout my run. I also suggest that when you switch the pace that you also play with your gait in the pick ups. This can really teach you a lot come race day. You will learn to react to changes in pace or terrain very quickly without it having a negative side effect.
Playing with pace can provide endless variety, and these “Pick Up” alternatives can lead to quick improvements. One key point to remember is while the variations are limitless, the rest periods are never long enough or slow enough for a full recovery.
Head Coach of HR
“HR Tips hopefully will make the road you travel a little less bumpy”