HOW TO MAINTAIN THE FITNESS LEVEL YOU HAVE BUILT IN RISE RUN CLUB
By: Jessica Kopp, Co-Owner of RISE Fitness Community, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, RRCA Certified Running Coach.
Missing your favorite RISE Run Club class? Are you unsure how to maintain your current level of fitness that you have worked so hard to achieve? Are you fearful that you will lose your current level of fitness and have to start over once social distancing is a thing of the past?
This doesn’t have to be the case. You can continue to progress and achieve your goals so that you are ready when the time comes to reopen the studio. Remember, our bodies are amazing machines that can change and adapt to be more efficient under stress. If each time we go out for a run it is at the same speed for the same distance, then we will not progress. It is important to change up the speed, intensity, and duration. That is why at RISE we focus on three key runs each week, speed, tempo, and the easy long run. Before you lace up your favorite pair of running shoes and head out for some fresh air and vitamin D, think about the goal of your run for the day.
Speed and Strength
When it comes to strength and speed work, think of track repeat style workouts. These workouts should be 30-40 minutes in duration, and should focus on a sprint:recovery ratio of 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1. During your sprint interval you are aiming to reach 80-90% of your max heart rate, then allow yourself to run/walk as slow as you need to in order to let your heart rate come down to 65-70% of your max heart rate. Sprint work benefits the body by improving your heart rate response to exercise, improves VO2 max, (your body’s ability to uptake oxygen more quickly) quickens your pace, allows for easier long runs, and improves strength so we are less likely to be injured.
Tempo runs are the closest the runner will be to running at their “race” pace. Runners should aim to maintain a heart rate between 65-80% of their heart rate max (max is calculated by 220-age). Hill work should be included during these runs to build strength in your quads, glutes and calves. Tempo runs push the runner to run outside of their comfort zones working on improved mental strength, heart rate response to exercise, controlling and maintaining a pace, improved endurance, running economy, and overall improving the ease of the long run. Tempo runs are typically 40-60 minute in duration.
The long run should be at a slow steady pace, 50-65% of your max heart rate. It is the perfect time to catch up with your running partner and take in your surroundings. The long run focuses on pain toleration and cumulative fatigue in addition to muscular endurance, increased capillary density, improved cardiac output, and increased mental toughness. Careful consideration and planning should take place for fueling when long runs last for more than 60 minutes. After 60 minutes of exercise a runner’s glycogen stores become depleted and need to be replaced with fuel consisting of high, easily absorbed carbohydrates.