Getting motivated to go running by yourself is always hard work. That’s why I love being part of the Y Striders running group that meets on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. After a long day either at work or just being busy, it is fantastic to meet with a group of likeminded runners who enjoy being outdoors together. We can forget the cares of the day as we exercise and run.
This year we have had a focus on Interval Training. This has meant we improve our running times, our stamina and endurance, our energy levels and it has brought a focus to our program. So, what is Interval Training?
Each of us works with our trainer to assess our various paces of: ‘steady’, ‘tempo’ and ‘threshold’. What this means in simple terms is: comfortable, faster and much faster. We know what we’re aiming for and where we want to be next.
These evening sessions start out with a normal warm up given by the trainer, followed by a 10 minute run out and back at a steady comfortable pace. Those who run faster will go further but we stay as a group because we all get back at the same time. On returning to the oval we do a short series of dynamic stretches which keep our muscles warm and relaxed, helping blood flow and minimising the chance of injury. Then come the skills exercises to promote good habits such as lifting our feet, and having a good posture while running, giving us a more efficient running style. The interval section of the program is then executed out on the path. Although each program is slightly different, we work to a similar model of short periods of running where we push our performance, followed by periods of recovery.
All of us who run together have seen a dramatic improvement in our running ability, our physical endurance and a marked lessening of injury. The really wonderful thing about this training is that it works on both our Anaerobic and Aerobic energy producing systems. This makes us fitter and stronger performers on the field.
It is great to be part of this program. We can set ourselves goals to achieve each session, as well as goals to achieve over an extended period. It is rewarding to see us reach our milestones and then move on to different aspects of the program as we improve our strength and fitness. Why don’t you join us?