MHM Expert Tips: Run Faster for Longer
Do you want to run faster for longer? Then include sprint intervals, hill reps and threshold runs as part of your training. Why? Because this type of training improves your V02 max which, in simple terms, is the speed at which oxygen is delivered around the body to the tissues, the effect of which will mean you don’t tire as quickly on your runs and you can keep going for longer.
In addition to increasing your long runs each week, and once you are comfortably running 30 minutes or more (around 5km), be sure to include at least two of these training sessions in your weekly schedule.
Understand your pace…
Here is an example treadmill pace guide. Yours may be faster or slower but the key thing is to train with varying paces. This will help you adapt to different situations on race day.
In much the same way as a complete beginner runner will start out with walk/run intervals and progress to consistent running, sprint intervals will help you achieve much more (further and faster) on your long run. If you are training on a treadmill, set the gradient to 1.5 or 2.0 as this will simulate running outside.
Start by running at an easy pace for two minutes, then for at least 1 minute (2:1) sprint as hard as you can. After the time is up, revert to an easy pace for two minutes to recover, then repeat. You can change the run/sprint ratios to be more challenging, however it won’t be necessary to increase this type of interval to more than three minutes. If you are running outside, there are plenty of timing apps available that you can use to time your intervals.
Hill repetitions condition the body to adapt to inclines of various gradients along your route without slowing you down. Include hill reps in your training and you will have an easier time moving through tougher parts of the course.
It’s easier to master hill training on a treadmill using the gradient settings. Start by running at a comfortable pace for two minutes then increase the gradient for 30 seconds or more keeping the same pace. You want to be working really hard here so test to see what works for you, then gradually increase both gradient and time from there. Otherwise find a suitable hill that you can run up and down safely, and follow the same pattern.
A threshold run is the pace slower than a sprint but faster than your steady pace. Maintain this pace for the duration of your run. You will feel challenged throughout but it is really effective for improving your VO2 max and anaerobic threshold and getting that all-important PB! On race day it will help you move through any slow parts too.
Sessions to start with need not be more than 10-15 minutes but as you improve, push this to 20-30 minutes. Test your long runs each week to see how you are progressing. Good luck! ????