Indeed a lot of people see running as an unnecessary and arduous task. If you fall into the category of people who see no benefit in cardio exercises, then try out the ones outlined here for a chance to change your mind.
These workouts were designed by Bobby McGee, who has been an endurance coach for thirty years and is a professional mid-distance, road, cross country, marathon as well as a triathlon coach. If you want to improve your general fitness levels and athleticism as well, then you have much to benefit from these workouts. If you already engage in endurance runs and such, then you will also be greatly helped by these exercises towards improving your speed, endurance and so on.
The following workouts should be arranged to span a 7 or 10-day training routine so that you will give yourself time to recover from the strain and avoid injuring yourself in the process. As you already know, you have to warm up adequately and hence, there are suggested warmups below which will enable you to get ready for the exercise proper.
Start off with a walk and then gradually skip or if you prefer, run for about 5 to 10 minutes. Following this, you need to go through some mobility drills such as heel walks, quad tugs, lunges, knee hugs and so on.
EXTRA WARM-UP EXERCISES: Engage in about 4 to 6 alactic strides which involve massive energy bursts, in very short time increments (under 9 seconds). In between each alactic stride, ensure you get a full recovery. Afterwards, go ahead and finish 5 sets of 50-meter strides, going progressively faster and making sure the final three are done at the highest effort you can control. As you progress, attempt to get to your max speed a bit sooner than the last. Between each of these, ensure you take some time (3 minutes) to walk and also, mobility drills should be performed between each.
DISTANCE: To work on your speed, cover a distance of 90 meters divided equally into three distances and marked at each point with cones. To work on endurance you can cover a distance of 120 or 150 meters also divided and marked.
REPS: 3-5 reps.
PACE: The run is done in a division of three. The first third should be run all out and then for the next third you come off the gas a little to maintain speed (float) while for the last, you increase to maximum effort.
For those who will select the 120-meter run, the first third will be 40 meters, then you will float for the next 40 meters and then for the final 40 meters you can go back to maximum effort.
RECOVERY: Ensure that you recover fully, between each rep. Allow yourself rest for a period for five to ten minutes and at then at the end of the session, engage in foam rolling, placing focus on the calves, hip flexors, and the quads as well.
SPEED ENDURANCE WORKOUT
DISTANCE: Cover a distance of about 200 meters REPS: Complete eight to twelve reps for this workout.
PACE: This should be 95% of one maximum effort. What this means is that if your maximum effort of 200 meters is 35 secs, it means the least drop you can have is 37 secs. RECOVERY: Make sure you recover fully after each rep. Take a walk or light jog.
MAXIMUM AEROBIC VELOCITY (MAV) SHUTTLES
For this workout, you need about 100 meters on the track. At 20 meter intervals, place down cones which will mark your recovery area. REPS: You have to complete 3 reps which will be completed at intervals of 5 minutes. What this means is that you have to repeatedly complete 100-meter sprints, while giving yourself 50 meters, five-minute recoveries.
RECOVERY: If you, for instance, run 100 meters in a time of 20 seconds, then your recovery will be done in 20 seconds for 50 meters. DISTANCE: Ensure you select a distance that you will not use longer than 75 seconds to complete. Some suggestions are 300- or 400- or 500-meters.
REPS: Reps of 6 to 10 sets are sufficient
RECOVERY: Your recovery should be done in half the distance run while sticking to the same time. In other words, if you make 300 meters in just a minute, then to recover, you will need to jog half that distance (150 meters) in a minute as well. PACE: The pacing should be a bit faster than that of your third workout pace.
EXTRA WARM-UP EXERCISE: To warm up for this exercise, ensure that you run for a bit longer than the minimum time (5 minutes). When you finish the warm-up, pick up your pace for about three to four minutes. This process is called “Priming” and by doing this, you will get the maximum value from the workout.
DISTANCE: A distance of about 800 meters to 1600 meters is recommended. Each rep has about 3 minutes and thirty seconds, or six minutes’ worth of work involved. In total, it should not be more than thirty minutes though.
REPS: Reps should consist of 5 – 7 sets.
RECOVERY: If you work out for five minutes then you will be entitled to about three or three minutes and forty-five seconds to recover, making about 60-75% of the time spent per rep. PACE: It should be a bit faster than the pace you use for the 5K race.