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How The Kenyans Run So Fast Since I am sure most of you did not run six miles barefoot to school at 7000ft. altitude every day we have our work cut out for us in order to run like a Kenyan. We can simulate some of their training techniques by running hills, training on grass and soft surfaces, doing long slow distance runs and running according to how we feel. I am a firm believer in "train smarter not harder". Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place to train hard but consistency in your training is the number one ingredient to reaching your goals. Running easy (able to hold a conversation while running) on your recovery days, running even pace or negative splits on your hard workouts, the weekend long runs and knowing your race pace are all important pieces of the puzzle. Keys to Successful Running My number one goal is to keep you injury free. By remaining injury free you will be able to train consistently, increase your mileage, increase your intensity and increase your fitness level. Recovery runs are just as important as hard workouts. One of the biggest mistakes runners make is running too fast on their recovery days. This is one reason I schedule time and not mileage on my training schedules. This way the runner does not have an incentive to run faster in order to finish. An hour run still takes an hour no matter what the pace.Running hills is a speed workout in disguise. Hills are a great way to build strength in your legs, buttocks and calves and a great way to improve your running form. Running hills is one of the most important workouts we do. Short hills help increase your sprint speed and anaerobic capacity, while longer hills help build endurance and mental fortitude. Long runs should be run at conversation pace unless indicated otherwise in the schedule. Too many runners run their marathon race in training and have nothing left on race day. Save your racing for the race. Do not race workouts. When you finish a workout you should feel as though you can do another repetition at the same pace. Know your race pace. Running too fast at the beginning of a workout or race will lead to a decline in performance. You need to feel good at the mid point of any workout or race. Don't be afraid to take an extra day off if you are feeling overly tired or your legs feel beat up. Consistent, injury free training is the key to improvement. Pilates is incredible for reducing and rehabilitating injuries. Pilates has saved my running career and will greatly improve your performance. You should refuel your body within 15 minutes of exercise. Have a carbohydrate drink and protein bar ready to eat immediately after running. Run on soft surfaces whenever possible. The Science Behind the Workout A runner's V02 max, the delivery of O2 to the working muscles, is an important ingredient in determining how fast you can run. Workouts that improve VO2 max generally revolve around the concept of improving stroke volume. This is the actual volume of blood pumped by each beat of the heart. If your heart is able to increase the amount of blood it can effectively pump with each beat, more O2 travels to the working muscles. This does not mean you are faster, it just means the potential is there for improved performances. The number one way to improve stroke volume and therefore VO2 max is by performing consistent interval workouts such as 200, 300 and 400 meter repeats, short, steep hill repeats, moderate length, gradual hill repeats, etc. These workouts are all designed specifically to increase an athlete's stroke volume. Workouts that seek to improve anaerobic threshold, the effectiveness with which the working muscles make use of the available O2, are workouts that force the working muscles to make adaptations and become more efficient at making use of the O2 that surrounds them. The main reason for doing anaerobic threshold workouts is to increase the size and number of the mitochondria as well as increasing the aerobic enzymes activity located within the working muscle, all of which results in a greater percentage of the available O2 being utilized. This will allow you to be a more energy efficient runner and will generally result in an improved race performance. For more information on this please visit the following: [ Garmin Forerunner 610],[ Garmin 610] and [ Forerunner 610]