Here at Intersport we love to run, and we know how tempting it is to up the mileage to feel like we’ve done a better workout. Of course, that is a great way to keep fit and increase endurance – but did you know that you can supercharge your workout by training smarter, rather than for longer? Studies show that the effectiveness of a workout session is measured much more accurately by the quality of your routine, not by how long your exercise.
parkrun, for example, can be an excellent way to train smart! We know that parkrun is many things to many people, and on any given Saturday you’ll find people starting out on their first 5k alongside seasoned runners using it as a challenge for a new PB or a recovery run after a harder session. If you use the 5k wisely you’ll reap enormous physical benefits whilst soaking up the fantastic social atmosphere for which parkrun is known.
Read on to find out more about how you can train smart!
Quality beats quantity every time – maximise the benefits of your workout routine
Many runners incorporate a little strength training into their routine, and it’s important to avoid strain and injury through correct technique and alignment. For most exercises, smooth, controlled moves work muscles harder and generate maximum benefits. Snatching, twisting or straining can put unnecessary stress on the body and leave you prone to injury.
Use appropriate weights, resistances and reps for your fitness goals. Looking to bulk up? Do fewer reps at a higher weight. For toning, lighter weights and more reps are the way to go.
Avoid the plateau: change your workout routine regularly
Avoid plateauing by reviewing and refocusing your fitness routine every few weeks. The body adapts quickly, so sticking to the same routine will produce less benefit over time.
Set yourself new challenges. Explore a new running route. Add in some hills. Try new moves, up your rep count or increase your weights to increase the impact of your chosen workout. Use different machines to work new muscle groups. By ringing the changes, you will keep your body guessing and working harder, with no need for extra time in the gym.
Plan for success
A great way to avoid boredom, reduce injury and maximise results is to alternate what you do. Alternate cardio, strength-training and conditioning sessions for improved overall results. Work different muscle groups on different days. If it’s lower body you’re working on one day, work your upper body the next.
Ensure that ‘hard’ training days are followed by gentler sessions to avoid burn out. And it’s not just about the training: don’t skimp on rest days, stay well-hydrated and follow a good nutritional plan to keep your body working efficiently.
HIIT – supercharge your workout
Want to supercharge your existing gym workout for big improvements in a fraction of the time? Then add high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your current workout routine. Whether on the treadmill or out on the trails, you can dramatically improve your fitness with HIIT.
By pushing yourself hard for short bursts, then recovering at a slower pace for a short period, you force your body into oxygen deficit. Studies prove that this form of training is far more efficient and effective than longer, less-focused full body workouts and endurance and stamina improve much faster.
A great way to start, for example, is by incorporating 10 or 12 reps of HIIT into your existing run routine: a 1-minute sprint, followed by 2 minutes’ recovery at a slower pace. You’ll soon start to see the results.
Remember that we’re always on hand here at Intersport with plenty of friendly advice, from tips about running through to gait analysis and finding your perfect shoe. Find your nearest store here
Don’t forget you can claim 10% off all running products in store at Intersport, as part of our ongoing parkrun partnership price #PPP*. Simply show your parkrun barcode (#DFYB!) to claim 10% off running products!
See you at your next parkrun!
*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.
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