Running can be an exhilarating way to get in shape, the sport is straightforward and is a test of endurance.
Runners typically lace up the sneakers, go at their own pace outside or on the track and it’s the same straight routine. But Reebok running expert Chris Hinshaw says this type of monotonous training is doing more harm than good.
“In a short amount of time your body adapts,” he says, “The change either stops or goes the opposite direction.”
As a lifelong endurance athlete and coach as seen on his site, Aerobiccapacity, Hinshaw’s insight into the running community has allowed him to discover what some fitness enthusiasts may be missing out on.
He says you’re not seeing results because the average person doesn’t know the right questions to ask. He says it starts with a self-evaluation.
“You need to ask, ‘Is this workout in the highest and the best use of my time?’,” Hinshaw says, “Doing an assessment of yourself is important. Take into account if it’s speed or volume that you need.”
In order to find out what you need to work on, the next step is to calculate your fatigue factor or the rate at which you slow down during your run.
A fatigue factor allows you to bridge the gap between your starting pace and where you want to end up as a runner.
“You take your 400 meter time and your 1 mile time and look at the relationship between the two,” Hinshaw explains. “In the elite running community the formula is between 6-8%. In the 16,000 people I’ve worked with that average is 20-21%.”
Average man improves mile time by focusing his training on volume over a 15 month period of time:
If your score doesn’t land in the zone of 20-21%, the next step is to decide if you need to focus on speed or volume.
Hinshaw explains that by maximizing your training and then personalizing your routines based on this data, you’ll achieve your individual goals.
Sounds simple right? While it may be more technical than you ever thought running could be, focusing in on speed or volume rather than mindless miles has proven to make a difference.
“Rich Froning’s time went from six minutes to 5:41 just by focusing on his weakness,” Hinshaw says of the elite CrossFit athlete’s 19 second improvement on his 1 mile time.
When asked what sparked this method of training, Hinshaw credits his CrossFit background for catering to the every day person and as proof that there is a method to general fitness.
“I’m not trying to train an elite, I’m trying to train somebody who wants to run 2-3 at most 4 times per week,” he says.
Hinshaw says finding your workout gaps and trusting yourself is the best check-in process for you to reach your highest potential as a runner.
“You have to understand and ask why is this of value to me,” he says.
Using Hinshaw’s method, what will your new program focus be? Tweet @Reebok and let us know!