This year I have been tasked with writing a research project, an experiment as such. It could be on any subject of my choosing as long as it was exercise based and a case study, focused on one person. 

I chose running, obviously. Specifically, I decided to test whether you can increase your running speed (min/mile average) by doing no running, or in fact any cardio training at all. 

Surely in order to be a faster runner you need to actually run right? Well, no. Not actually. 

Enter the Guinea pig. 

Currently said guinea pig is sedentary. Aside from daily activities she isn’t a gym bunny, she doesn’t run regularly, in fact she doesn’t do very much exercise at all (apparently losing your shit and trying to find it doesn’t count). What I can tell you is; she’s female. She’s over 35 and she has no known health issues. 

So what’s the plan? Well the plan is this – 

  • We’ve taken static measurements like height, weight, blood pressure, and resting heart rate. We’re going to use them as comparisons throughout the process to see if they’ve improved, or not. 
  • We’ve calculated how much she can lift. This is for her programme, so we can accurately have her lifting weight to improve strength
  • I made her run. 5km to be exact. We did an initial run, we will do one half way through and one at the end with the hope that the time taken to complete improves. 
  • She’s going to workout 3x per week. Each session will include a small section of plyometrics (think skipping), and the rest is either body weight exercises (press ups, and planks) or weighted exercises (like back squat and kettle bell swings)
  • She’s not drinking alcohol for 12 weeks and we’ve marginally increased her protein intake without even a whiff of a protein shake or a juice plus capsule. 

And that’s it. Nothing magic, no crash diets, no hours and hours slogging on then treadmill trying to get quicker. 12 weeks of weights and a bit of skipping and I’m *hoping* it’ll transform her running economy astronomically. 

Which will basically give me an excuse to sack off the running and still pull marathons out of thin air surely? 

Stay tuned for updates as we go…