If your running is in a rut and you’re finding it hard to get faster, or even to get motivated, read on for 5 tips on how to get your running back on track.
If your running is in a rut, and you feel like you’re just stagnating, you might be looking for some ways to rev up your training. Here are five suggestions to help give you a lift:
5 Ways to Step up Your Running
If you’re just running at the same pace every day, you’re not going to improve much, if any, no matter how far you run. The only way you can run fast in a race is to run fast in training. Fartlek, intervals, tempo runs are all good ways of incorporating speed into your workouts. A few ground rules: don’t do speed workouts more than twice a week, and make your run the day after your speedwork an easy one. Make you sure you stretch well after your workout.
2. Hill Running
One of the best ways to gain both speed and leg strength is hill running. Ideally, you should do a hill running workout as one of your speed workouts every week, or at least every other week. You can do either do lots of sprints on a short, steep slope, or do fewer, but longer, hill repeats on a more lengthy and gradual incline. If you live in an area with flat terrain, your options are either to run on a treadmill with an adjustable incline, or to run steps at a local stadium. However, there’s no substitute for the real thing, so try to find at least one natural slope. The fatigue you induce in your legs during a hill running workout will really pay off when racing.
Tip: Rather than focusing on making it to the top of the hill, focus on surging just as you reach the peak, and accelerating on the ensuing flat. You’ll gain explosive leg strength.
3. Incorporate a Long Run
If you are training for a marathon, no doubtless you are already doing a weekly long run. But even if you’re not, incorporating a once-a-week run that is substantially longer than your daily run can help in several ways. First, it can give you endurance to help you finish strong in shorter-distance races such as 10 km, 21 km and even 5 km. Second, if you’re running for basic fitness or weight loss, a long run of anywhere from 60 to 180 minutes is a fabulous way to burn kilojoules. Lastly, if you run simply as a hobby, it’s a fantastic way to carve out time for yourself to spend contemplating anything you wish.
Tip: Remember, the long run is not a speed workout. Run slower than you normally do, especially at the beginning.
If you’ve never entered a road race such as a 5 km or 10 km, you should think about doing so. If you’ve raced in the past, and have got a little lax about competing, now’s the time to get a little more intense and start racing regularly. There’s nothing like the thought of a looming race deadline to get you to take your running more seriously and sharpen up your training.
If your running is truly in a rut, now may be the time to take some time off. It may be as simple as taking a day off completely from running every week. Or it might mean you need to stop running for a few weeks to let your body recover from overtraining or your mind from mental fatigue or boredom. And after you rest, hopefully you’ll come back refreshed and ready to step up your running even more!
source: article by the late David Spence
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