It is often regarded that the easiest, most effective way to get better at running is to do more training and to do that training a lot harder. What proves to be interesting is although you may achieve some success at shaving seconds or even minutes off your personal best, it is often short-lived due to the onset of fatigue leading to injury or illness.
Being a strong runner is fundamentally key to having continual improvements in your endurance performance. There are two things you need to get right in order to break through those barriers preventing you from reaching your goals.
Bear in mind this does not only apply to performance junkies but also to those who are in it to complete and have an enjoyable experience doing it.
Do those long runs at a slower pace
The strength benefits from running at a low intensity are missed by those who do their long runs as though they are racing against the clock. By dropping your pace to run at a low intensity, you essentially reduce your stride length to keep your heart rate low.
Inevitably you will have to take many more steps to complete your run and this loads your muscles a lot more over time.
This explains why it is often a lot easier to run fast than it is to run slow. Fast-pace running focuses on working out your heart and lungs more than your muscles, which you would need to build as an essential part to have a solid base. This weekend, head out and give it a go on your long run – see if you feel any different.
Head for the hills and make them count
Be specific with your run training and include those treacherous hills as often as possible. To start, you should aim to run them as part of your regular routes. This is a simple way to incorporate resistance training to your workouts aimed to build strength.
By running the uphills solid and cruising to recover on the downhills, your heart rate and perceived effort should average out.
A Little Exercise to Try Out
Head down to a track and see how fast you can complete a lap. Next after a short break, try it again but this time aim to maintain that same pace for as many laps as you can.
You should find it easy to go fast for a lap but not for many more after that due to the lack of strength endurance needed to support the speed you already have.
If your run training is lacking in either of these areas, now would be a great time to put them to action and start getting more significant results.
Marathon training would have a greater focus on these given the extended duration of time spent running the race, so remember to make every second you spend training count.