The Sheffield Park Run is held Saturday mornings (9am) at Endcliffe Park, it’s a 5km run (5000m) and is very popular amongst the Sheffield community – with lots of people turning up each week.
It’s not just fit runners (who are looking to get personal bests each week) that do the Sheffield Park Run. There are lots of different types of people who attend, for example: the elderly, teenagers, the fit, unfit and everybody in between.
Each person doing the park run has their own goal that’s important to them, whether that’s to improve their running time each week, or to complete the full 5km without stopping, or for some people… it’s just about taking part each week – running with friends and family! It really is a fantastic community event and one I certainly appreciate as a local Sheffield community member.
Being a personal trainer in Sheffield, I have lots of my clients who do the Park Run each week, and it helps them stay motivated and keeps them fit, healthy and active. I’ve helped lots of clients improve their running performance by coaching them on a 1-1 basis in my private personal training studio based in Sheffield.
In this post I thought it would be cool to share some tips for those of you out there who are wanting to improve your Sheffield Park Run time.
#1 Practice Makes Perfect
Ok, I know – kind of obvious right? BUT if you’re not running regularly then your progress will be much slower. Doing the Sheffield Park Run once per week is definitely better than doing nothing, and I admire anybody out there who takes part, but that said if you really want to improve your running time – you’ll need to be training at least 3x per week (the more you train the better you’ll get).
Not all of your sessions have to involve running, they could be weights focused, or some other form of cardio training, for example going to the gym and using machines like a : stepper, cross trainer, rowing machine, ski machine, fitness bike, etc. If you suffer with knee pain, then actually running more than once per week could cause you pain – so low impact exercise like cycling and swimming could be a good way to increase your training frequency without damaging your body.
If you’re training 3-5x per week it’s imperative that you recover properly in between workouts. Whilst the more you train the better you’ll get, there is a fine line between training regularly and overtraining.
If you feel fatigued, are always aching and your running times aren’t improving it could be that you are not recovering properly. Here are some things i get my one to one personal training clients to do to help them recover:
- Foam Rolling – this a great way to loosen off tight muscle knots. When you run regularly your thighs will be tight, so will your hamstrings, calfs and potentially lower back. It’s important to look after your muscles and one way to do this is foam rolling. Here are some exercises that you could try…
Aim to do 5-10 mins foam rolling after every training session.
- Sleep – aim for 8 hours sleep every night. Sleep is the most important aspect of recovery, it’s when your mind and body heals. Check out this post that I wrote on how to improve your sleep
- Stretching – like I’ve already mentioned running is a sure way to become inflexible, and injure yourself, you need to keep on top of your flexibility. Try out these exercises…
Aim to hold each stretch for 45-60s and do anything from 1-3 rounds (do more rounds when a muscle is extra tight).
#3 Do Resistance Training
Lifting weights and performing body weight exercises can be a great way to improve your running performance…
For example with lots of my personal training clients I get them to do exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges (to improve thigh strength).
I also do lots of core training with them, doing exercises like: planks, crunches, sit ups, Russian twists, reverse crunches, etc. Lots of runners also have weak hamstrings and glutes so I focus on exercises to improve the weaker muscles, which support them whilst running, encouraging good running technique and preventing injury.
Doing resistance training 2x per week could really compliment your running and help you to improve your running time at the Sheffield Park Run. You’ll also have firmer muscles and a better looking body shape – which is an added bonus!.
#4 Hire A Personal Trainer
A good personal trainer will help design you a program to help you improve your running time. They will not only coach you during your personal training sessions but they’ll also be able to help you with a program to follow outside of your coaching sessions, for example one of my running LEP Clients ‘Richard’ does the following each week…
Trains with me 2x per week – we work on high intensity cardio, and building up the muscles in the legs and core.
Runs 2x per week – one run is the Sheffield Park Run (5km) and the other run he does by himself during the week (10km)
Completes a home workout routine 1x per week which I designed for him – this includes stretching, body weight exercises, foam rolling and some resistance training with a pair of resistance bands – resistance bands are great for runners, here are 20 great exercise you can do to improve overall body strength…
Thanks for reading, if you found this post helpful or have any questions then please comment below…
About Nick & LEP Fitness…
Nick founded LEP Fitness – a personal training company based in Sheffield back in 2012. He has completed over 10,000 x 1-1 coaching sessions and has a wealth of experience training a wide variety of people, from fit to unfit, old to young. Nick has the experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help people reach their health and fitness goals. If you want proof of his work then please check out the hundreds of testimonials on his website.