There are many ways to train indoors to complement your running programme. Using the gym can really accelerate the triple challenge of form, fitness and strength on the run. Below are some of the ways you can get the best out of your indoor training.
To be the most efficient runner you don’t necessarily need to be running every day because the body won’t have enough time to recover, so utilise CV (cardiovascular) gym equipment or the swimming pool in order to have some active recovery days.
Often people are frightened they will put on muscle from swimming or biking but this is not the case if you do it in the right way.
When you train with less impact you can move the joints to keep them lubricated and in range without them having to absorb any of the potentially damaging impact that running puts through them.
2. Strength and Conditioning
The easiest way to hold good form on the run is when the right muscles are conditioned to hold the body in the best position.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so try to get a gym programme specific to your body, your needs and your personal goals, and like in every aspect, make training tailored so you get the best bang for your buck.
This is equally as important as sleep for recovery, the muscles will get tighter and tighter over time if you don’t stretch as part of your recovery and this, along with a good warm down, aids consistency in training.
If you find it hard to stretch on your own then sign up to a yoga class or follow a session from a podcast.
4. Treadmill Running
Sometimes treadmill running can be a great way to indoor train. The treadmill is a very standardised way to compare key sessions, to work on specific technique cues or for testing. It also allows you to fuel and hydrate easily during your sessions.
There are now apps that you can run along to that make treadmill running more visual and exciting. Training indoors also means that you can manipulate your surroundings, for example by setting the heat in the room if you are training towards a race in a hot country.
There are also Alter G treadmills to aid the process of returning to running post-injury, or altitude chambers if you want to do some runs with a different stress adaptation on the body.
5. Variety is the spice of life
Variety can also be the spice of your training. If the body is always doing the same workouts and moving in the same planes, then the rate of progress is likely to be a lot steadier than if you’re in an environment that works holistically on the body and is constantly changing and challenging.
With gym workouts, you can have a strength day, followed by a day focusing on function, or proprioceptive goals.
Try to vary what you use indoors; don’t always stick to machines or to body weight or rack weights, keep freshening things and keep challenging the body.
Progress in different directions when you’re using weights; sometimes go with reps, sometimes with dynamic stability of the movement.
Whatever you choose, gym work should never be routine or mundane because then it won’t be building and developing the motor patterns by recruiting the neurones of the brain. You want to think about and feel movements because that’s when the fastest progressions occur.
Words by HOKA.