Are you a runner who loves to Burn? Burner who loves to run? Please join me (Kelly) for a 55-minute Burn for Runners specialty class on Sunday, April 6th at 10:30am at the Broadway studio and Wednesday April 9th at 7pm at the Irving studio. The class is designed for runners of all abilities so whether you are training to run your fifth marathon or very first 5K, don’t miss this opportunity to kick off your Spring training season. Sign up and come join me and other avid runners-that-Burn!
Below is my running story and a few tips that may help you become a faster, stronger runner:
In the years following my “glory” days of running competitively on my HS and college cross-country and track team, I started racing longer marathon and half-marathon (my favorite) distances. It was five years ago when I ran my first half-marathon. I finished in a time of 1:31< and little did I know that despite the hard training that would follow, that it would take me another full five years(!) before I ever ran faster. It was not that I was sidelined with an injury or that I was not putting in enough work, it was that I was over-training. Too much mileage and not enough speed, interval and dynamic strength training workouts kept me drifting further away from my goal time. This past Fall I was benched with my first serious injury (stress reaction from overuse) and decided to change my approach to training upon recovery. To make my comeback, I decided to emphasize the following five changes in my training plan and earlier this month I finally broke through to run a new personal best time in the half-marathon:
Know your body, have a plan, and get it done. Training consistently is key, but also essential is consistently knowing when to modify/alter your pre-set training plan based on what your body is telling you on that day. A strong foundation for your fitness and your best running cannot be built from a haphazard approach to training. Make your workouts a priority and be committed to backing off and modifying your plan as necessary to keep your body free from injury.
Mixing it up:
Muscle confusion is essential for surpassing fitness plateaus. The Burn method has brought my running a lot of value in that department. Every instructor and every class has different dynamic exercises that constantly bring new challenges for your body. I have to say that the combination of both taking and teaching Burn classes is one of the main reasons why I finally am seeing my racing times get faster again. My teaching ‘time-on feet’ in addition to taking Burn classes quite regularly has really given me new-found strength. In addition to integrating Burn’s workouts into your training plan, I encourage you to take a good hard look at your running workouts. Have you been following the same general plan race after race and not seeing the end result you want? I encourage you to think about how you might be able to shake things up for the better, and to check out this Runner’s World article on this very topic.
Quality over quantity:
I have shifted my high-volume approach to training and now focus more on quality miles/workouts and much less about the quantity of my mileage. If you’re not reaching your goal consider the idea that you might be doing too much of what you don’t need so much of. Once I subtracted the ‘junk miles’ my legs got back their life. I had spring in my step. This will translate well on your race day.
There has been a direct correlation between my flexibility and running performance; the more flexible I am the faster I go. The leg spring work at Burn has helped me lengthen and stretch my legs, restoring some much needed flexibility. You must make it a priority every day to stretch after your run. If you are limited on time, I advise to cut your run a mile short so that you have those 7-10 extra minutes that will keep you from compromising on this. You’ve got to take care of the machine. Miss too many days of stretching followed by extended periods of sitting and tight hamstrings/hips may affect your gait, alter your stride and leave you prone to injury.
A big part of becoming a faster runner is simply… getting TO the the starting line! Rest and recovery is vital to keeping your body healthy. At least one day a week, I make rest my only ‘workout’. Your rest day is as-important as your toughest workout day. Embrace the mental and physical break- it will give you more energy and make you stronger for your ‘on’ days.
Thank you for reading,
I really hope to see you in class! If you have any questions or want to share things/tips that have worked for you and your running please share by commenting below.