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  • Writer's pictureJohn Carrico

Let's talk cardio!

Let's talk Cardio - specifically running!

When we think of goals like Weight loss, Body fat reduction and Heart Conditioning, we all know running helps us in all three areas of focus. But what does that mean for us, and how do we plan our workouts accordingly? Depending on your goals, as little as 15 min is enough time to achieve desired results so cardio can be a fantastic addition to your workout. Unfortunately, it can be tricky figuring out how much cardio to do and at what intensity, in order to achieve our desired goals. Thankfully we have 3 brand new treadmills here at NWFitness first hill to explore! I love running as a form of cardio. I find it exhilarating, exhausting and empowering. Here are some tips to follow to help you minimize your time and get the most value out of your cardio workouts.

Form - Use these form tips to maximize your time spent running.

Arm Swing: Keep your arms parallel. Wrist to shoulders, elbows close to your sides. Your elbow drive can add a lot of power and control to your running. Keeping wrists parallel to each other ensures a fluid and efficient movement in your swing.

Footstrike:While there’s nothing wrong with a heel-first strike, try a mid-foot strike instead. Since the shin and the calve work with the same intensity, a mid strike is ideal for long distance running which you will need if your goal is weight loss. Focus your foot placement in the middle of the foot where your arch connects to the ball of your foot.

Neutral neck / Charging chest: Think of your chest leading the movement. This will keep a slight lean forward in your stride. You’ll find as fatigue starts to set in your shoulder will raise and the muscles in your neck will tighten. Focus on keeping your neck relaxed. This will help keep the chest lifted and shoulders rolled back and down.

Interval - Try these different intensities to add better results to your workouts.

Incline: Adding incline is a great way to increase your strength gains. If you’re walking start with an incline intensity at 3% minimum. Practice with hands off of the hand rails, and if you have to, place one hand lightly and focus on your elbow drive with your other hand. Try 3-5 min intervals playing with different inclines each time. 15-30 min blocks

Speed: For increase in explosiveness, train your power with short bursts of speed. 30 to 60 seconds max at top speed. Give yourself a minute at a low speed jog (try not to walk) then be ready to dive back into the race! 15- 30min blocks

Duration: For endurance bouts 60 min just under your 10 k speed is needed to see major increases in performance. A 12 min non stop running block is a great starting point to see where you’re at. If this is too intense, 30 min just under your 5 k speed and break the time up into 3.5 min blocks with 30 seconds to recover. 60-120 min blocks.

Try these out and let me know what you think and reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns. NOW GO CHASE THOSE DREAMS!

Coach Ryan.

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