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Learn How to Run Stronger

Take your cardio outdoors -- running is a fun and effective workout

Three approaches to guarantee big gains, courtesy of San Diego, CA, running coach Jason R. Karp, Ph.D.

Build Power
Running hills increases leg muscle power, rapidly increases heart rate, and uses the muscles of the legs, arms, and trunk in ways that are different from running on a flat surface. Hills can also be a painful nightmare. To make hills your bitch, get aggressive. Exaggerate your arm swing, lean into the hill, and focus on pushing o.. with the balls of your feet. As you near the summit, pump your arms to accelerate and lengthen your stride.

For a cardio-boosting workout: Run a half-mile hill (5% to 8% incline) four to five times at medium-fast pace; jog back down.

To increase leg power: Run a 200-meter hill eight times, running at medium-fast pace at the start and accelerating the last 50 meters; jog back down.

Gain Speed
By breaking your overall time goal into smaller segments, separated by periods of recovery, you can perform the whole set of work at a higher intensity. his helps you run stronger and faster.

Run four to five intervals of three to four minutes, at near-maximum heart rate, and with equal time jogging to recovery to increase your aerobic power. Sprint six to eight reps of 30 seconds to one minute, with double the time jogging in between to improve your speed.

Get Your Max: If you don't know your max heart rate, do a test. Run a mile, picking up speed until you're running all out to the end. Check your pulse in your neck immediately upon stopping. Count beats for 10 seconds and multiply by six.

Go Farther
Long runs (1 1/2 hours or more) severely lower your muscle glycogen—the stored form of carbs—and force muscles to rely on fat as fuel. Translation: You become a fat-burning machine! Low glycogen also stimulates your muscles to synthesize and store more glycogen during recovery, increasing your endurance.

Cap your long runs at about 30% of your total weekly mileage. Increase the distance you're covering by no more than one mile per day per week. New runners should run the same mileage for four weeks before increasing.

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