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What will get me fitter- running or circuit training?

(10 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Sun 26-May-13 18:59:09

Hiya all, some advice needed!

I'm reasonably fit at the moment but I would really like to up my fitness, strength and stamina.

I can run about 6 miles but am very slow - about 13 minutes per mile, and try as I might I cannot go any faster (there's some hills on my route too, I'd like to think this has something tp do with it but it probably doesn't smile ) I'm trying to do this twice a week.

I also do half an hour circuit training about 3 times a week.

I was wondering which would improve my general shape, should I stick with the running, at which I probably never improve, or up the amount of circuit training I do each week?

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 20:53:45

Hi, interval training is the best for upping your fitness/shredding fat and circuits are good for all over conditioning. The key is to mix up your training so your body doesn't get complacent (it will with straightforwad 6 mile runs).

I have been seeing PTI (forces) recently re getting back to military fitness test fit and have seen great results with the intervals:
(2 different workouts, do it on whatever gym equipment you want - runner, x trainer or bike, or outdoor on bike/running)

1. Go at around 80% of you max effort for 5 mins then alternate 30 secs at 100%, 2 mins at 80% for 6 sets - cool down at about 60% for 5 mins.

2. Go at top end of maintainable pace for 1 song on ipod then push yourself for 1 song, for 25 - 30 mins.

You need to train 4 times a week, and if you want to mingle those sessions with circuits and longer, slower runs then it's all good!

If you're not doing circuits then some sort of weight (strength) training is good for sculpting and conditioning, but circuits are prob best (if you're giving it your all!!). The good thing about these sessions are that they only take about half an hour.

Long post, but hopefully it makes sense!

justkeeponsmiling Sun 26-May-13 21:09:56

Thanks forvtaking the time to answer monicalewinski (smile ) that's brilliant advice, exactly the kind I was hoping for! I'm going to give the interval training a go, it sounds quite tough, but as you said, at least its only half an hour smile, and stick with my circuits. Thanks again!

mercury7 Mon 27-May-13 00:56:06

To increase your strength you could try using more resistance/more weight in whatever exercises you do for circuit training?

To increase fitness perhaps shorter more frequent runs, you might find you can go a bit faster if you're not pacing yourself for a 6 mile run?

Fridayschild Mon 27-May-13 07:28:20

Is there a park run near you? This is a free 5k run on a Saturday morning. I find it hard to go fast though I can trot along for miles. Park run is as close as I ever get to speed training! I yhink

Ruralninja Mon 27-May-13 07:53:12

everything the first poster answered with & definitely intervals as well - you can do hill & sprint intervals to increase speed & you need enough muscle power which oh can achieve in the gym, including circuits

MelanieCheeks Mon 27-May-13 07:56:57

I was just about to suggest Park Runs! I used to be an incredibly slow runner, but in the past 10 weeks I've improved my 5km time from 35 mins to 28. I also do longer slower runs.

Bumply Mon 27-May-13 08:04:20

Do you have a running club nearby?
I joined one and found it great for improving my speed. Their idea of an easy run was my tempo. There's always someone just that bit faster to aim for. It helped me speed up a bit for at least one run a week. Still do my long runs at about your pace, which is good for building endurance.

justkeeponsmiling Mon 27-May-13 09:19:33

Thanks for the advice everyone!

I've checked out parkruns, but we live in North Wales and sadly, whilst on their website the rest of the UK map is covered in tiny icons to indicate their events, the whole of North Wales is just one big blank...

I think I might have a look for a running club but will definitely try and improve my time a bit first - I totally agree that running with others helps but I've done it before and found it so disheartening to lag behind by quite a bit (although everyone was really nice and encouraging, to be fair)

So, off I go now to brave the wind and rain, to try for my first interval...

AnythingNotEverything Mon 27-May-13 09:27:29

Interval training should speed up your runs. As they say, the only way to run faster, is to run faster, and the only way to run further is to run further!

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