If you are a regular runner you may have heard about running economy, but do you know what exactly this is?
Running economy is nothing more than the amount of oxygen your body needs to run at a specific speed, and is measured in volume of oxygen, per kilo, per minute. The smaller it is, the better.
Running economy becomes more relevant the greater the distance we have to run, so it is clear that long distance runners or endurance runners should try harder to improve it.
How to calculate running economy
The ideal way to accurately calculate your running economy would be to carry out a stress test and gas analysis, although logically these tests can be complex to carry out and that is why you can opt for other alternatives such as the Course Navette and Cooper’s test.
In the Course Navette, the runner must move from point A to point B located 20 meters away. The race pace gradually increases until the runner is unable to reach point B within the stipulated time limit.
From there, we make the following calculation: 5,857 x speed reached in the test (km / h) – 19,458.
The Cooper test can be somewhat easier for those who have few means. It consists of calculating the distance you can travel in 12 minutes.
The formula in this case will be: 22.351 x distance reached (km) – 11.3.
By means of these two tests, although we will achieve somewhat less precise results than in the case of gas analysis, we will be able to get a rough idea of our running economy.
How to improve running economy
Evidently there are factors that we can modify to improve running economy.
Lose body fat
The first and most obvious is the amount of body fat, and that is that the more a runner weighs, the more energy they will have to invest to move.
For this reason, one of the first goals of a long-distance runner should be to lose some weight in case you are over.
Do plyometric workouts
The second is to carry out plyometric workouts, because these will allow us to improve the elastic energy that the muscles can store and use.
It is convenient that to avoid possible injuries we carry out this training on a relatively soft surface.
Don’t stop running
The third, of course, is resistance training itself, which in addition to helping us burn part of the fat that we have discussed in the first point, also it will improve our cardiorespiratory fitness and the ability of our muscles to carry out prolonged efforts.
Improve your running technique
The fourth thing you can do is introduce exercises focused on improving running technique, such as skipping, and you should also evaluate your running technique in general, from the correct alignment of the ankles to the position of the neck during exercise.
Do strength training
The fifth is strength training, which will allow us, among other things, to reduce the time the foot spends in contact with the ground. So we can reduce energy consumption and we can reduce oxygen consumption, so that our running economy will improve.
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