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3 Tricks for Running Harder and Longer

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How to move faster and go your farthest distance yet

3 Tricks for Running Harder and Longer

While fatigue is manifested in muscular pain, shorter strides, and decreased speed, your mind is actually the culprit behind your tired body. Science has discovered that the brain is wired to slow down and keep some energy in reserve so that you do not run out of fuel. There are simple tactics training that you can use to trick your brain and use some of that unused energy, however. Try them for the next training run farther and faster than ever.

Break Up Your Mileage

Interval workouts are less difficult to handle than the long term. “Break any long term manageable chunks away makes it seem like you’re not running as now,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a marathon runner 2:39 and founder of Running Force in Washington, DC “When it is divided into a warming -fast repetitions, rest intervals, and low mileage fresh all seems less intimidating. ”

You can go harder during those short intervals only do so when a constant race for the same distance, too. This increases your VO2 max-the efficiency with which ingested oxygen to convert calories into energy-so you can push your body harder and faster, according to a study from the Mayo Clinic.

Do this: Head to a track and warm up with 10 to 20 minutes of easy jogging. Run six x 800 meters at your 5-K race pace with a 400-meter jog between each. The interval pace should feel difficult but sustainable for a half mile. During the 400-meter recovery, focus on bringing your heart rate down and mentally preparing for the next interval. By the end of this workout, you’ll have banked three miles of hard running and anywhere from six to eight total miles including warmup and cool down.

Boost Your Strength
Sprint workouts are already tough. But if you want to take yours to an all new level, throw some quick bodyweight training between your sets. You’re changing the stimulus and challenging your body in new ways instead of just thinking about the next sprint, explains Brandon Vallair, a USATF-certified coach and owner of Run for Speed in Dallas, Texas. When you attempt your next sprint, your mind will consider it a brand new workout instead of a continuation of the previous sprint. The result: You’ll be able to push your limits and finish more sprints than you could before.

Do this: Head to a flat field, park, or track. Complete four 50-, 100-, or 200-meter sprints. Between each sprint, perform a strength move—15 situps, 20 pushups, a one-minute plank, or 30 squats—instead of walking. Once you complete all four sprints and all four strength moves, take a short rest. That’s one round. Do as many rounds as possible.

Speed Up Your Workouts
Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” meaning you vary your pace during your run. “Doing this allows you to focus more on effort and running intensity, rather than total distance,” explains Tim Bradley, founder of Big River Personal Coaching in St. Louis, Missouri. You’ll throw in speed changes that are typically faster than your normal steady-state pace, which will give you a better workout than if you jogged for the same amount of time. Plus, increasing your speed and intensity for short bursts mimics running a race with hills and turns, says Bradley. This causes your heart rate to remain higher during a fartlek run, ultimately improving your overall fitness and preparing your body for race day.

Do this: Perform a short warm-up. Then begin your running route. Somewhere in the middle of your run, pick up your pace for 30 seconds, slow down for 30 seconds, and then repeat four more times.

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