Hybrid athletes combine strength and endurance training to push the limits of their fitness capabilities. Fergus Crawley is at the forefront of the hybrid training movement and is known for combining heavy lifts with fast-running feats.
Crawley has completed triathlons and marathons on the same day after competing in powerlifting meets. He aims to run a sub-five-minute mile after deadlifting 500 pounds later in 2023 and is currently training to improve his mile time. On July 31, 2023, Crawley shared six strategies he uses to run a faster 5K. Check out the video below, courtesy of Crawley’s YouTube channel:
1. Manage Expectations
Crawley counseled setting running goals around lifestyle and background. “[Running] is a skill. It’s something we need to develop and be mindful of,” said Crawley. “It’s important not to compare ourselves with arbitrary numbers or what other people are doing.”
According to Crawley, self-progress is the most crucial factor when setting running goals. He suggested setting short-term goals that can be improved over time by tracking progress daily.
To manage expectations, an individual must assess their starting point, strengths, and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement.
2. Allocate Effort Effectively
Crawley suggested planning, tracking, and managing effort levels and heart rate for the course of a training week. He advocated applying the Pareto principle to training — 80 percent of your training should be easy, and the remaining 20 percent should be moderate or strenuous. “Easy running” involves long, steady, and slow miles in the aerobic heart rate zone, which is approximately 70 to 80 of the maximum heart rate. Stenuouscomprises tempo, zone three, or sub-threshold pace.
Crawley advised doing three types of running workouts per week. Long, slow runs to improve your aerobic capacity, high-intensity track sessions to improve top-end performance, and moderate-intensity tempo runs to get used to the 5K effort level. Per Crawley, this training approach enhances recovery and boosts aerobic and anaerobic adaption.
3. Strength Training
Besides helping build overall strength, resistance training can help runners understand their unique biomechanics, which can improve their gait. Strength training also promotes structural integrity and overall health and well-being.
Crawley recommended intermediate runners do heavier back squats, trap bar deadlifts, and single-leg movements to improve running performance. On the other hand, he advised advanced athletes to focus on building strength.
4. Have a Plan & Commit
“Commit to that race, join that run club, the athletics club, or sign-up to your local park run community,” urged Crawley. These will give you a goal and a deadline and make you more accountable.
A structured training program designed around one’s lifestyle helps stick to a workout regime long term. Knowing what each training day calls for can improve focus to maximize each session.
5. Make Training Sociable
Crawley advised against isolating oneself while training for a 5K. Socializing with like-minded people can make training more rewarding. Crawley confessed that solitary training over the past two years took a toll on him. He has been training with others in 2023, making the process more enjoyable.
Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram