You have probably heard of running repeats or mile repeats if you are a runner. But, if you are thinking of starting a running exercise to improve your health or compete in the running races, you must know about the benefits of running repeats.
It is a known fact that running is one of the best exercises for cardio and maintaining overall body health. But, what happens when you run? You feel exhausted and wear out after running a mile. Will this one-mile running make you healthy? No, it takes at least running quite a few miles to activate your muscles, drain the stored energy, and build new muscles while making you stronger and fit.
What to do? How to increase your stamina? How to make yourself able to run for miles without running out of stamina?
Well, nothing happens overnight. A step by step increase always leads to achieving more. This includes running exercise too. If you want to run for miles and do not wear out, you need to adopt the method of running repeats or mile repeats.
What is Running Repeats?
Quite simple as the name elaborates. It means running but with repetitions and recovery pauses.
What happens when you run for a mile?
You’d get exhausted and you’ll run out of stamina. What will be the result?
You won’t be able to run more miles. But, that’s not the case with running repeats because you run with different repetitions including pauses between them.
Let’s take an example; you run for a mile with a specific pace called the race pace and then you take a recovery break of 1 to 2 minutes.
During this recovery break, your body regains stamina, stabilizes the high heart rate, and supplies oxygen to the muscles. After that, you are somewhat reenergized to run again for a mile or two, and then another recovery pause will be needed. This way by the alternate running repeats and recovery pauses, you become able to run more miles and have all the benefits of running.
Factors Affecting Running Repeats
Running repeats, as explained above is not a complicated task but it does involve some variables that are needed to be considered before starting running repeats. Let’s discuss them below:
The most important things to consider before starting running repeats is
The pace is generally the speed at which you are running. The pace of running or mostly called the race pace is the speed at which you run for different lengths. In running repeats the race pace is categorized differently for different lengths. Generally, they are described as:
Half Marathon pace
So, the 5K pace is different than the 10K pace, and these both are different from the half marathon and the marathon pace.
For longer distances, the pace is less (running with less speed) while for shorter distances the pace is higher.
Note that the:
5K means 5000 meters distance
10K means 10,000 meters distance
Half marathon means 13 miles
A Marathon means 26 miles
Recovery periods are the pauses between running a mile or more distance. These rest periods are usually 1 to 2 minutes varying upon the distance, pace, and other variable factors.
When the runner gets exhausted after running some distance, he/she is supposed to take a recovery pause for a minute or two. During this recovery pause, the runner doesn’t stop the movement completely because this abrupt stop can be harmful to heart rate and it also will lose the momentum and wear out muscles. What is recommended is that the runner must walk or jog so that the effort isn’t lost and he/she gets energized at the same time for another run with the same pace.
RPE stands for Rated Perceived Exertion. This indicates the strength of physical activity. This is rated by a perception of how strong or mild the activity is. The scale ranges from 0 to 10. It starts from no activity at 0 to the highest activity at 10 while showing a moderate activity in the middle of the scale
V stands for Value
O2 stands for Oxygen gas in the air
Max stands for maximum.
So, VO2 MAX accounts for the maximum consumption of oxygen by the runner during an exercise of increasing intensity.
An average value of V02Max for a female is 65ml to 85ml and for a male is75ml to 90ml. The more the VO2Max, the more will be the endurance of the athlete during the exercise.
Benefits of Running Repeats:
The benefits of running repeats have been explained in the whole article. Talking about the effectiveness of running repeats, it is the only technique that can increase the endurance of a runner and help to achieve fitness and health-oriented goals. Some benefits of running repeats for runners are:
How to improve your stamina when you can’t even run for a mile? Running repeats helps you improve your stamina by taking recovery pauses and preparing the body to run more miles thus aiding to improve stamina.
An increased endurance demands exercise for a longer time. Running repeats let you run for a long time by gradually increasing the time-span and the distance which in turn increases the endurance level of your body.
Increased Muscle Strength
The more human body muscles are used, the more they develop strength. Running for a mile won’t put much stress on the muscles or make them any stronger but with running repeats, when you’re running 8 to 10 miles, the muscles get a lot of stress and the muscle fibers are torn. The new muscle fibers built, are stronger than the previous torn ones.
Increased Cardio Efficiency
The cardio activities are generally the ones that increase the blood flow, heart rate, and activity of the muscles. But an exercise that is done for longer periods such as the running repeats are more preferable in cardio as the activity is for a longer timespan reaping all the benefits of it.
With all the effects of the running repeats, improved health and improved fitness can’t be ignored. Imagine a person, running 8 to 10 miles a day. All the organs of the body, the stomach, the blood flow, the heart rate, and other body functions must be in total accordance with how they should be performing.
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