Even the most experienced runners are constantly asking themselves, ‘how fast should I be running’? Most of us started running by getting out of the door and running a similar loop at a similar pace every day. You may have found that this got you fit quite quickly, but then you plateaued and couldn’t get much more out of your legs. Well this is where we need to introduce different types of training, different speeds, distances and recoveries will ensure that your body is always working to improve its ability to run.
By nature your body adapts to training. So by undertaking the same training session day by day, your body will become accustomed to this training and stop improving. We need to continually shock our body into something that it isn’t used to, testing our heart, lungs and muscles in different ways. Then we are always improving.
There are 5 key types of training that can help us to do this:
Races & Time Trials
We shouldn’t be training flat out every day, this would just lead to exhausted, a lack of progression and probably put you off running forever. No successful runner misses the concept of recovery within their training plan and they all understand the fact that our bodies need time to recover for our next tough training session.
A sensible and careful combination of these workouts will ensure that we are getting the most out of our time training. And it should also mix things up to the point that you become less bored and keeps you motivated. As a general rule, 40% or 2/5 of our runs should be recovery runs. Races and time trials should also be limited within the region of 1/20 or one race per month. And with one long run per week built in there is probably only time remaining for one Interval session and one Tempo run. So why not have a read through some of our articles on the types of training above (including example sessions) and build yourself a weekly plan. A basic plan may look something like this:
Day 1 - Recovery Run
Day 2 – Rest
Day 3 – Interval Session
Day 4 – Recovery Run
Day 5 - Rest
Day 6 – Tempo Run or Race
Day 7 – Long Run
But don't forget to vary your work outs, don't let your body become to accustomed to one type of training. Train all aspects and work on your weaknesses!