At SportsPower Geelong we prioritize fitness by providing you with quality equipment to maximize your results. What you wear and use is just important as what you do, whether it is weightlifting, playing sport, or running, your shoes are the most important asset to be as efficient and successful as possible. Having uncomfortable, unsupportive shoes can be detrimental to your progression and often cause more problems than it is worth. We provide a large range of comfortable shoes to help you in achieving your goal.
Our most common and most popular are our running shoes, from brands such as Nike, Puma and Adidas, these shoes are the most important tool you will buy in aiding your running career, or if your just a casual or beginner, there is nothing like running in a comfortable shoe. However, running does not just consist of you putting on a pair of shoes and going where your legs take you. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but if you want to get the most out of your running, there are different methods to focus on your specific goals, whether it is to get more fit, or to increase your endurance, we are going to show you a range of exercises to help you in whatever your goals may be.
For those who are just starting and have not had much experience or practice in a while, it is always ideal to start with a very basic run, not so much a technique rather just getting back into the swing of things, you will want to stick to the basics and not worry too much about speed or distance, start with a simple 1.5 – 2km run, you will want to keep a steady pace and try to avoid hills or uphill encounters, the purpose of base runs is to not meant to be overly difficult and is to allow you to improve yourself while no going over the edge, aim to do 1 – 2 per week and increase based on how you are feeling, try to avoid doing more than 5 per week as you do not want to overdo yourself.
After quite a few base runs, depending on how often you do them, you should be able to feel improvement, runs should get easier and depending on your diet your likely to see some weight loss. If you are still struggling with your base runs. Be sure to continue those until you notice some improvement in performance.
After some noticeable improvement, it is ideal to move on to the more advanced running, firstly you could move onto Progression running, this involves increasing pace and distance to make the run slightly more difficult, this is ideal as it increases difficulty without diving straight into the deep end. You will begin at a natural pace, similar to a base run, then after the 1.5 – 2 km you will finish off with a 500m – 1km dash in which you will want to increase your pace to a high tempo and keep a faster pace for the remainder of the run, it is important to note that this will be moderately more difficult and will require more recovery time, so don’t expect to be able to do this run as often, however you will notice large improvements in your performance.
Alternatively, you could go straight from a base run to a long run. The goal with this is to increase distance without compromising or changing you speed. Your aim for the long run is to drastically increase distance to focus on mainly on your endurance, allowing you run for longer and farther without getting so tired. Aim to complete a 10-15km run at a steady, natural pace. It is important keep a steady pace that you will be able to maintain the entire time and not burn out before finishing. If you want to challenge yourself it is not impossible to increase your pace or mix intervals, which is something we will get into later. The long run often is challenging on the body so do not expect to be able to do more than 2 runs a week, it is very challenging and is more suited for those who are slightly more experienced.
For those looking to add some variation and who are looking to increase their performance drastically, are looking to do a tempo run, intervals or hill repeats. Intervals contain short or long bursts of high intensity running separated by equal or slightly longer breaks in between, the idea of interval running is to be extremely out of breath by each interval and use the breaks to regain your breath and repeat multiple times. An example could be to run 1km at high intensity then slow for 1km and repeat, however keep in mind that you don’t want to stop during your rest intervals, use your rest intervals to gain your breath by jogging, completely stopping is not good as your muscles will relax and could actually hinder your progress slightly.
A similar variation of interval running is known as the Tabata running exercise, Tabata training is just a shortened version of the interval training mentioned above. It involves 20 second intervals of highly intense work rate with a 10 second break between each. Traditionally this is done for 8 rounds being a total of 4 minutes, however 4 minutes is very short especially for those experienced runners, so increasing this is an option otherwise looking to the interval training mentioned above would be more ideal. Much research and positive results have found that people who train in shorter, more intense intervals performed better on cardiovascular and anaerobic test after being compared in an experiment in which other people did medium intensity, longer workouts.
Alternatively, a tempo run is an option, the tempo run is a basic run in which you run as fast as you can for a certain period or for as long as you can. The tempo run is one of the most challenging as well as physically demanding and is ideal if you have had a lot of previous running practice as it is quite unforgiving, it is definitely a more experienced exercise and is not something a beginner would want to go for.
Last but most certainly not least is hill runs, hill runs a slightly more specific for those who have a hill near them. As in the name, a hill runs main focus is going uphill, ideal sets for hill runs would be 10-15 sets of 60 seconds uphill with a small 60-120 second recovery between, possibly walking or jogging back down the hill as a break will allow you to maintain that tempo while recovering. Again, this exercise is very physically demanding and is not ideal for beginners, if attempting this early on, be sure to use your first run as a guide, if you find it is too difficult to go the full 60 seconds, reduce it to 45 or even 30 and gradually up the time as you improve.
To wrap up all these effective running strategies it is always important to take care of yourself post workout, to incorporate more running into your regime, a recovery run is a great option. Many people often do their hard workouts and finish it on that, not to say this is bad, although it is not a good thing. The amount of physical demand running puts on the body is incredibly high, for good reason of course, that is the effective results, however the recovery time can vary for many people depending on their running experience and most importantly their recovery techniques.
Think of your body like a motor, starting a motor when it is super cold and quickly trying to reach max revs is not a good idea, and is an easy way to break your motor. The body is very similar in that manner, beginning a workout with high intensity is a good way to injure yourself, we need to warm up to get the blood pumping, similarly an engine will not instantly cool after it has been ‘running’ for a while, no pun intended, it takes time, in a similar sense we should take a small amount of time to cool down, not just instantly stop a lie down right after our high intensity run, this is where the recovery run comes in very handy as it helps you slowly relax and will greatly reduce your recovery time. The recovery unlike the others, is a very simple, and self-controlling exercise. There is no real guide as it is for you to recover, the best way to do this is to keep a relative pace while not putting any pressure on yourself at all, it can be as long or as short as you would like, its main focus is to bring your heart rate down slowly without completely stopping.
Now that you know the basics of different types of running exercises, be sure to check out our range of shoes here at SportsPower Geelong and be on your way with your new running schedule.