"Up in the sky, look: it's a bird, it's a plane..."
We had local speedster Jeff Campbell in the shop recently for some tips on how to get fast. We're not gonna lie - there's no silver bullet or magic pill - but if you want to improve your race performance, read on what worked for Jeff.
Please note that Jeff is a lawyer so we preface this with the usual disclaimers!
- Run more. Jeff's a high mileage guy as more running equals better cardio and running economy. The best way to rack up the kilometres is to be consistent but make sure you have at least one rest day per week.
- Train faster - also improves cardio and running economy, as well as trail technique as fast trail running is a skill that needs practice, especially downhills. Tempo runs are hard to beat for training impact but not every run has to be fast.
- Listen to your body. Learn what is tiredness and what is laziness, and be careful with overuse injuries by limiting mileage increases to 10% per week.
- Find your right weight. You don't need to be a physics doctorate here - keep it simple with real foods, not too much (but not too little either) and mostly plants. Weight is ultimately about calories in versus calories out.
- Mix it up - keep your training interesting and keep challenging yourself for better physiological adaptations. Even little things like training on both road and trail as well as varying the drop on your shoes can all help.
- PRO TIP - Run to Work. This is great for anyone struggling to find the time to run and with a shower at work (or wet wipes). You'll probably find your door-to-door run commute takes not much longer than the train or bus, and it trains you with weight (work clothes) as well as the option to double (morning and evening runs). Jeff likes the IAMRUNBOX backpack for runs to work.
Best of luck to everyone who wants to get fast - and let us know what works for you!
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