10 tips for improving anaerobic conditioning


Anaerobic training is intense exercise that seriously reduces oxygen levels in the body. It is the opposite of aerobic training, which is low-intensity but it keeps your heart rate steady. Aerobic exercises can be turned into anaerobic ones if the intensity is increased. Here are ten ways you can improve your anaerobic training:


Flat sprints

These require explosiveness and engage certain muscle groups which are important for enhancing leg strength and running economy. Try warming up with a slow jog for three minutes, then sprint for 30 seconds and jog again for one minute. Do five sets of these at first. If you want to improve your speed when doing flat sprints, do short sprints once a week and increase your distance over time, so you build up both speed and endurance.


Hill sprints

This is excellent training for everyone, including distance runners. Hill sprints decrease the risk of injury to the Achilles tendon or hamstrings. After a slow jog to warm up, do one set of 4-12 steep hill sprints of 10 seconds once a week.


Pull-ups

These can be done anywhere and they include lots of different methods which work out various arm muscle groups. They can take some getting used to for some but others can do them quite easily, so it’s important you work on your technique. Chin bars are affordable and can be attached to any door in your home.

Stretch your muscles first and hold the bar with your knuckles facing away from you. Then pull yourself up until your elbows are at a 45 degree angle, and then lower yourself down again without stretching out your arms. Do ten reps of these at first.


Plyometrics

This is mainly a series of jumping exercises which increase power in the legs. Endurance athletes do these to perform better in sporting events. One good exercise athletes can do is the single-leg box jump. Start by standing on your left foot in front of a box or 12-17 inch high platform. Then bend your left knee, swing your arms like a pendulum, jump onto the box on your left foot and jump down again. Do this for 30 seconds and then switch legs.


Push-ups with claps

These consist of clapping in between push-ups to enhance explosiveness and arm strength. Get into the push-up position, put your feet together and move your hands farther apart, but ensure they are level with your face. Lower yourself down, then quickly bring yourself up again and clap your hands. Ensure you land properly to avoid injury and reduce impact, by pressing your hands downwards so you land like a spring. Do 20 reps.


Triangle push-ups

If push-ups with claps are too challenging, try doing triangle push-ups instead. These are also known as tricep push-ups. They mainly work out the triceps and are great for preventing bingo wings. Make a triangle shape with your hands first, then lower yourself down and push yourself up again.


Weight-lifting

This can benefit runners immensely. Even distance runners can improve their performance by doing as little as three fifteen minute sessions every week, as they won’t gain strength by distance running alone. This cannot boost running performance the way strength training can, so it’s essential athletes lift weights, particularly heavy ones as lighter weights won’t be as effective. One good weightlifting exercise for runners includes barbell squats.


Medicine ball throws

These can be thrown in many different ways to enhance power and strength. One exercise you can do requires two people. Choose a small ball that is soft like a basketball and not that heavy. Hold the ball to your chest and then throw it to your partner while aiming for their chest. Repeat 30 times. Alternatively, you can do this exercise without a partner by throwing the ball hard against a padded wall.


Bench presses

This is an effective way to increase your upper body strength. However, if you don’t perform each press correctly you could increase your risk of injury. If you’re just starting out, get an experienced trainer to help you with your technique. Lift some lighter weights that you can do 10 reps with at first, and when you’re comfortable you can add heavier weights.


Run up steps

Running up steps is great training. To start, run up some steps as hard and fast as you can. This will enable you to build your leg muscles, and pump both these and your arms with oxygen to make you run faster.