Happy Thursday, friends!
I started running consistently (for the second time) in 2013. With the exception of the past 4 months, I’ve been running pretty consistently for the past three years. I’ve seen my fitness improve, and have set some PRs over the past few years. There’s definitely room for improvement in my training, so I wanted to talk about some of the reasons why you might be running and training, and aren’t getting faster.
You’re not training enough (or hard enough)
Running here and there without much of a plan, or a goal, isn’t going to help you get faster. Yes, you do need to push yourself during your speed work and tempo runs in order to get faster, but you shouldn’t be pushing yourself during all of your runs.
You’re training too much (or too hard)
Conversely, if you’re running all.the.time or are running hard all.the.time your body won’t have appropriate time to recover. Not all of your runs should be at, or near race pace.
You aren’t respecting the rest day
In the past, I’ve struggled with the rest day. I’ve felt like I was doing my training a disservice if I took a day off from running. Now I know rest days are vital to help my body recover from my hard runs (and even my easy runs). It gives my body a chance to heal and repair. This is especially important after a race. I know I need a fully week off after a marathon to allow my body to heal. Also, I believe you should take one day off from running/strength training/HIIT/etc once a week. Yup, a whole day off.
(Right now I’m probably taking a few too many rest days, but I’m getting better).
You treat every race as a PR
If you’re only racing a handful of times per year, this may not apply to you, but if you’re running a race near every weekend, you probably shouldn’t treat every race as a PR. Ideally, you should be training in a cycle, with base training, an increase in load, speed training, and a peak. If you’re constantly running in the speed zone, then your body, again, won’t have ample opportunity to recover.
You aren’t strength training
Some coaches believe you should choose running over strength, and when I’m training for a goal race, I will cut back on my strength sessions to fit in some extra key runs. However, the majority of runners have some kind of a weakness that requires attention. It can be so easy (I know from experience!) to shirk the work to strengthen our weak areas. For me, this just leads to an increase in pain and injuries. I plan on keeping my Dozen and BODYPUMP sessions throughout my training cycles in 2016.
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Have you made any of these mistakes in your training?
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