Summer is traditionally the time when we move away from marathon and cross-country training and thoughts of that elusive 5k/10k PB loom large. I’m sure like me, that when you see Mo turn on the after-burners Jonnie Peacock tearing up the track, you think that you have to be born with that speed. And you may be right but you can definitely run faster than you do at present, I guarantee it.
I believe that we are all born fast. Watch any two-year-old rocket around the living room and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Unfortunately we slow down dramatically when we leave school or college and, as we get older and spend more time sitting, getting tighter and deconditioned so those fast twitch fibres rarely get a chance to show their stuff.
Yet some very simple changes to your current running can re-activate them and give you that extra gear and, as an added bonus, help reduce some running related injuries at the same time.
First you need to re-condition dormant fast twitch muscles that are hardly getting a look in under the office desk and on your long slow runs.
These are the muscles of the posterior chain, running from your back down the back of your leg, glutes, hamstrings and calves. The ones that you can’t see in the mirror (without some serious contortionism).