Tips to improve running performance

- September 7th, 2012
coach jason

Dr. Jason Karp

Dr. Jason Karp, America’s running expert and the 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, shares the following five tips for improving running performance:

1) Train with a good coach. A good coach will design a seamless, progressive, systematic program for you and monitor what you’re doing. A coach relieves you of the responsibility of planning your own training so you can focus on the training itself. Research shows that people who train under the supervision of a coach see better results than those who don’t.

2) Run more. To become a better distance runner, the number of miles you run each week is the most important component of your training. Running lots of miles stimulates many physiological, biochemical, and molecular adaptations.

3) Improve your running mechanics. Running has an under-recognized neural component. Just as the repetition of the walking movements decreases the jerkiness of a toddler’s walk to the point that it becomes smooth, the repetition of specific running movements can make a runner smoother and improves running economy, the amount of oxygen used to maintain a given speed. Lots of extraneous movements, unnecessary muscle contractions, and an inefficient absorption of force at foot strike increase the use of oxygen to maintain a given speed, all of which make a runner uneconomical. Conversely, smooth, coordinated movements and the recruitment of the fewest muscle fibers needed for the task decreases the use of oxygen, which makes the runner economical. With countless repetitions, your muscle fiber recruitment pattern becomes ingrained, allowing for smoother running mechanics and a more efficient application of muscular force.

4) Spend time running at faster speeds. Once you have a solid aerobic base of miles behind you, you need to incorporate faster workouts into your training program. Train using the whole continuum of paces, from slow running speeds to very fast speeds to enhance both your aerobic and anaerobic abilities. Fartleks, acidosis threshold runs, intervals, and hill sprints all can help you learn a range of speeds and get faster.

5) Train with others. Training with others, especially if they are of equal or a slightly greater performance level than you, makes workouts easier since you have other runners to help with the work. You can become faster since other runners can push you and bring things out in you that are hard to bring out on your own. Other runners also offer motivation, encouragement, camaraderie, and accountability. There’s a reason why the best runners train with other runners rather than by themselves.

About Dr. Jason Karp

Armed with the credentials, the training, and the experience, Dr. Karp uses his personal observations and knowledge of the client to design personalized training and workout sessions to give people the best possible results. Dr. Karp offers a deeper perspective into the main components of running and how to master it so that anyone can run faster and more effectively, while also losing weight.

For more tips and information on how to effectively master the science of running, you can read one of Dr. Karp’s books: Running a Marathon for Dummies, Running for Women, 101 Winning Racing Strategies for Runners, and 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners.

For more information on Dr. Jason Karp, please visit www.runcoachjason.com.

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