Here are my stats, 59kg, 1.57m. I run an average pace of 8km/hr. Is that too slow? I currently run 10km in about 1 hr 30 minutes (a good day) to about 1 hr 45 minutes. I want to improve my timing and pace. How do I go about doing it? Any diet tips to follow? Thank You!
You probably over stride and land hard on your heels. Try shortening your stride so your foot strikes a more of a glancing blow beneath your hips. Decreasing foot contact time with the ground makes you feel lighter on your feet and a smoother runner.
Quicker leg turnover is necessary to compensate for your new, shorter stride length. Good runners take about 180 steps per minute, or 90 in 30 seconds. Count your number of strides for 30 seconds and try to hit 90 consistently.
Add intensity to one workout per week. Five or 6 intervals for 2 or 3 minutes at your 10 K pace ought to do it. Ideally this workout is done on a 400 meter track so you can time your intervals and monitor your progress; however you can also just use a watch and a flat stretch of road. Four to six of these workouts should be enough to make a difference in your 10K time.
Finish one of your easy runs with 4 or 5 striders. Striders are 50-75 meters run at your 10K pace that keep your leg muscles accustomed to faster turnover. Save this one for 2 or 3 days after your short interval workout.
Add a spin class, bike some hills, or climb some stairs once or twice a week, especially if your muscles are tired from running. These non-running workouts will boost your level of fitness and may add enough extra leg strength to make a difference in your running times.
stretch key muscle groups, especially as you get older. The evidence is that stretching improves running, however as a runner you should stretch hamstrings, calf, gluts, and hip flexors almost daily to ensure good range of motion in your hips.
Lose weight if you need it!
Always take an easy day after your interval workout or any long runs you might be doing. Remember, only 1 hard session per week is all you need. Take the day off before running your next 10K so you are good and rested.
Try one or two 1-mile time trials in the weeks leading up to your 10K. This will help you understand pace, decrease anxiety, and even improve fitness. You can substitute this test for your usual short interval workout.
Fatigue can often be blamed on dehydration. It takes more than 1 day to ensure that you are fully hydrated, so keep that water bottle handy and sip throughout the day, especially before and after workouts.
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