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Focus on how you feel

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It's not all about your run times. Trying to make progress at all costs can sometimes lead to missing the point altogether. Run for the pleasure of running, and focus on how your body feels while you run. It's more than simply a strategy. It's a philosophy...

 

Change your pace often

Nothing can be worse than weariness setting in! Always running at the same pace will result in one thing only: the pleasure derived from training will slowly start to fade until it's gone altogether.

Each runner, regardless of level, should run at a range of different speeds. As you train, go through all your paces at regular intervals, from light jogs (particularly during long endurance sessions) to fast sprints.

How? By adding variety to your training session schedule. Following a training schedule generally helps to keep running from becoming a bore or a chore. It's also important to use your imagination, and not be afraid to try new things by adding some spice to your training sessions and frequently alternating running speeds.

For example, after a warm up lasting at least 20 minutes during which you gradually increase your speed, run:

- 2 x 5 minutes at a sustained pace. It should only make you feel moderately tired. Make sure to pace yourself so that you don't slow down before the five minutes are up. Fast walk or slow jog for three minutes between sets.

- 10 x 30/30. A classic! Alternate between 30 seconds at a fast pace and 30 seconds at a slow pace (but no walking). Stay focused on your running technique so as not to lose your stride. If ten sets is too much, or if your body doesn't feel right while running, then reduce the number of sets.

 

By regularly changing your running route

This is just as important, and maybe even more critical on the long term. Running is not a seasonal sport. Runners don't have to cancel an outing in the event of rain (like cyclists) or work around school hours (like swimmers). They're free from any such constraints.

Running is the sport that gives you complete freedom.—All the more reason not to lock yourself into the same monotonous route for weeks, months or years. You can find ways to change your route often without having to drive somewhere or take public transport.

 

Some tips:

- Locate and pick out two or three places and itineraries which will allow you to do specific types of training, such as a 400 m track for interval training, a 200 m slope with an incline between 6% and 8% for building muscle strength, and a flat straight road for running at different speeds.

- Alternate your session schedule and your routes. (Don't do interval training two days in a row.)If tiredness or feeling under the weather cause you to shorten your run, stay close to home to avoid being forced to run far just to make it back home.

Don't be afraid to travel—even if it means a 20 or 30 minute trip (by bike if you can!)—to meet up with friends or a club to take part in a longer group run, usually scheduled on the weekends.

 

Running with others will help you improve your run !

 

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