Thursday, April 29, 2010

Traits and Habits of Slower Runners vs. Faster Runners?

I took a rest day yesterday at Brennan's request, so it was good to get back to the gym this morning for a 1.75 mile treadmill walk in 30:04. As I was stretching afterward, I thought about how I'd really like to head home and start getting ready for work, but then I decided that time working on core and upper body strength would be time well spent. So, I did 50 ab crunches on the ball, then some alternate supermans, before heading to the free weights for some bicep and tricep curls, and ended with some shoulder presses. As I type, my arms are a bit tired. I can tell I'll be a little sore later.

Part of what motivated me to stay at the gym for a few more minutes and extend my workout was the thought of "going the extra mile," as the name of my blog goes. I've been thinking about the differences between slow and fast runners, and how a slow runner like me can make the transition to becoming a faster runner. I think that part of it is talent, especially for elite runners, and part of it is years of training. But, what are some things that slower runners can do to shorten the gap? I'm thinking that some changes can be made pretty easily, but others take time.

So, what do faster runners have in common? Here's what I'm thinking so far....
1) Low BMI (No brainer here, the fewer pounds I have to lug around, the faster I'll go)
2) Well-rounded training that includes (especially for a middle-aged runner like me) speedwork, endurance work, crosstraining, and strength training
3) Plenty of sleep
4) Staying hydrated daily
5) Healthy diet

I'd love additional ideas to add to this list! Any thoughts?

1 comment:

Skylar Masey said...

The key I've been seeing over and over is core that you can keep your legs and arms from the extra work. Building the core can also help with hip troubles, which can take a pounding depending on a runner's form. Form is also important to being a better runner, slow or fast. I've also heard that a clean diet can help because you body runs better on fresher fare than processed foods...which also goes hand in hand with the lower BMI. And a will to do better and a heart to go that extra mile can also even out weknesses!


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