Training Tips

Hello and welcome to our training tips.  Hopefully I can give you some help here to improve your running even if you can’t come down to our club sessions.  And this might inspire you to join us for support and chat on our Facebook groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/wirralacimprovers/ and https://www.facebook.com/WirralAC.RunClub/and at races.  As a club we compete in road and cross country leagues which cost a fraction of the price of a big city race to enter!

Training doesn’t have to be complicated, and getting faster doesn’t either.  The body adapts to the load placed upon it so in order to race faster….guess what?  You have to train faster.  At the most basic level, you will get faster by simply doing more running and I recommend that you build up your base so that you can comfortably run at least 30 minutes 3 times/week before adding speed work into the mix.  The sessions below are aimed at the runner looking to improve their performance over 5-10k.

What you will need- Trainers (I’m not going to tell you which is best) and a watch that beeps every minute.

If you’re just beginning, start at the lower end of the number of repetitions and do go out too hard.  Warm up properly before the session with 20 minutes of easy jogging and maybe some drills.  The recovery between the sessions is walk or a very easy jog.  Start by adding one of the speed sessions per week into your schedule but you may want to add in the endurance session as an easier session just to make a run more interesting rather than busting it all-out.

The aim of training is to increase workload on the body, how you increase load depends on your specific training aims.  If you are looking to run faster, maybe aim to run your repetitions faster and keep the recoveries long and the rep. numbers low.  If you are aiming to run faster for longer, try increasing the number of reps at a given pace and/or reducing the recovery times.  Try to think about your running form.  Run tall and pick your feet up, keep your shoulders relaxed.  And if you’re tired and your form has gone, stop.  you can always do more another day.  You will also want to include some drills, strength and flexibility work to improve your running form and prevent injury.  Here are our top tips- Injury Prevention

High Aerobic or speed sessions to help you run faster

8- 10x 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery jog
Pyramid 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1 etc. minutes hard with 1 minute recovery in between.  20-30 min total
6-8 x 2 minutes; 90s to 2 minutes recovery
Hill session – 2 lots of (5x 1 minutes, slow jog back down recovery), 2 minutes between sets
4-6 x 3 minute run, 90s – 3 minutes rest
Track 8-400m*
Track 4x 200m, 4x400m, 2x800m*
Hill session- 3-4 x (5x30s, jog back recovery)

*If you don’t have access to a track you could use a school field or loop round some streets,  The distance doesn’t have to be exact.

Low aerobic sessions to help you run faster for longer- they are longer efforts and not run as fast as the above.

4-5 x 5 minutes hard, 2 minutes rest
5-6 x 4 minutes hard, 2 minutes rest
2-3 x 10 minutes hard, 2 minutes rest
2-3 x 8-10 minutes continuous running up and down a hill (Kenyan hills)

To improve your endurance you will want to include a longer run each week.  for 5-10k runners it is good to build up to about an hour of running.  Your weekly schedule may include-

  • A speed session
  • A long run
  • A strength session
  • At least 2 easy runs
  • Some drills before one of your runs

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Find more information on our Run Club here Adult Endurance- Wirral AC Run Club
Written by Anne Rosbottom, UK Athletics Fell Coach in Running fitness