Banjamin Quek – Running is a simple sport – all you need is a pair of shoes and off you go! Yet, it is not an easy sport to master especially if you are not aware of the different types of training that a runner can use to achieve his/her goals and improve their performance. Besides, learning various skills of running can make you a better all-rounded runner, allowing you to benefit the most from your training while avoiding potential injuries at the same time.
Being a seasoned runner, I’ve come across, and used personally, a number of different training approaches. This include several types of training runs, such as Fartlek, Intervals, Tempo runs, Long runs, Recovery runs, and last but not least, Cross training. Yet, keeping in mind the busy lives of Singaporeans’, my personal take is that greater focus should be placed on the intervals and long runs
Let’s start with intervals. Intervals are essentially speed work done on a track to allow runners to experience and get used to the exertion and effort of running at a certain (fast) pace. During my training with the ActiveSG team, my Monday Interval workouts on Monday would be based on my 10,000m pace, with a dynamic changing interval workout depending on how rested I am and my condition on that day. A typical workout could be 15 sets of 1km repeats at 3:20 min/km pace, with a minute of rest in between.
Moving on to long runs, which were the bread and butter of my training program in Kenya when I was clocking an average weekly mileage of close to 140km. Despite its importance, many runners tend to have the misconception that long runs need to be fast. Yet, I’ve learned that long runs are more beneficial when they are done at a pace that feels relaxed and comfortable, yet challenging enough without pushing the body too hard.
Last but not least, runners should also invest time into strengthening their body through conditioning workouts to prevent injuries. If you are tired of pounding the roads and pavements, try doing alternative exercises such as cross training or hopping onto the elliptical in the gym.
As a parting note, one should always aim to enjoy running in spirit of the sport! As much as it is important to explore a multitude of training methods, it is also equally important to keep the flame and passion for running alive by switching up your running routine every now and then! !
Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.
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