Are You Running At The Right Intensity?

I recently found this article which is great to help you understand why should not ‘just run’ to improve your running times and fitness. It also goes for ‘just walking’ if you want to walk faster, further or progress to running. The Beachside Walk, Jog Run Group can help you build from walking to running and help you increase from your jog round the block to a 5 or even 10km fun run. Some of our beginners have even gone on to run half and full marathons!

Enjoy this article from Vince that I found on the Running Heroes blog and put it into practice. If you’d a hand you can always grab a free trial and join us at Beachside.



Are You Running At The Right Intensity?

“A friend of mine had recently gotten back in the fitness and exercise after a decade break. He was making awesome progress in the weight room but was worried that he had already plateaued with his running.

He had set himself a goal for the month, to be able of run 5km on the treadmill in under 30 minutes and had asked for advice as he was worried that he would miss the mark.

After talking about the training he was doing, which mostly all centred around steady state running and at the same pace for 30 minutes. I could see that it was clear that he needed to either increase the time he was running or increase his intensity and get confident running at a speed that was less comfortable.

The math was pretty simple, to run 5km in under 30 minutes, he needed to run six minutes per kilometre or ten kilometres per hour. He didn’t like the idea of running further, but I was able to sell the idea of running less, but at a higher intensity. The idea was that for two out of his three 30 minutes treadmill runs he was doing, he would run the first kilometre at 12 kilometres per hour, then he would slow down and run the second kilometre at 8 or 9 kilometres per hour, then repeat.

I don’t think he was initially convinced but within the following week he had reached his goal of running 5km in under 30 minutes.

The simple fact was, he got better results by training faster. Increasing volume will help improve your performance and it is something you should not ignore, with studies suggesting that increasing intensity and keeping volume constant will lead to significant performance improvements while reversing the process by keeping intensity constant and increasing volume, can lead to your training stagnating.

It’s mostly through trial and error that most athletes will find the right balance for them between the time they spend running and the intensity they train at. By increasing your intensity you are increasing your body’s ability to efficiently remove and reuse lactic acid and by simulating the same levels of speed and intensity as you would in a race you are training your muscles to work more efficiently.

I like using a treadmill for my high intensity training sessions as it gives you a clear indication of speed and eliminates a lot of other variables like wind and terrain. Once a week I will get onto the treadmill and run eight to ten, five minute repeats. Running at high intensity for three minutes, then two minute of walking.

Increasing intensity helps the body improve performance when faced with fatigue, not only in shorter races but in longer events when you need to increase speed or power, such as when you are running up a hill or in your final sprint to the finish line. To help the body prepare for these types of intensities it is usually based on performing short burst of high intensity training followed by a long recovery.”

Vince Sesto

Vince is from Melbourne, Australia and has been running for over 10 years. He enjoys multi sport and long distance endurance events, with his goal in life to inspire people to live healthy lives and do amazing things. He is also one of the organisers of the Melbourne Ocean Swimming Meetup Group.