I’ve heard and read from so many sources that if you want to build and shape muscle, long distance running at the same pace is your biggest enemy that I decided to make an experiment: stop normal running for a few months and only do intervals and sprints and hit the steps machine more often than the treadmill. Actually I also noticed that when I was running too much my butt didn’t look quite the way I wanted, so I expect this to turn out really well. And it’s always great to shock your muscles and body with new types of exercise, right?
So what do I do exactly? Well, the weather has been awful lately, constantly raining, so most of the time I had to do my cardio sessions in the gym. As I said it often changed to long and intense steps machine workouts but I also started running intervals on the treadmill.
I decided to do a 2 mins : 1 min split and it seems to be working for me, though when I want to work a little harder sometimes I do 1:30 mins instead of 2. I started off with 9 km/h light jogging as the slower pace and 11.5 km/h as the faster but by now I’m doing the slower periods with 10 km/h (which is my average speed if I go for a long distance run) and 12.5-13 km/h for the faster.
It’s unbelievable how much more enjoyable intervals are than regular running! Running a 5k sometimes feels like such a struggle on the treadmill, it feels like I’m on the machine forever, but during intervals I keep checking the time, setting the machine, thinking about what speed I should choose and 30 mins flies by without me even noticing, it’s pretty awesome!
And this past weekend I was lucky to catch one day when it wasn’t raining and convinced a friend to come and do some sprints and interval running outdoors with me. Oh boy those sprints! It’s so so so different when you’re outside and try to really run as fast as you can (according to my TomTom Runner, my top speed was 20,43 km/h) than when you’re running relatively fast on the treadmill.
We warmed up with jogging/running about 1km, then stopped to do 6 rounds of 100 m sprints. Then we continued with intervals, running/sprinting, but rather intuitively. Our overall distance was 4.2 kms with a great overall time. I was SO sore that evening already not to mention the next day! I really managed to shock my muscles but it felt so damn good! So I’m sure when it finally stops raining all the time (not in the next week unfortunately) I’ll so quite a few sprint trainings outdoors! And can’t wait to see my results for the summer!