When to change your training to make progress

How do you know when to change your training to make progress and why do you need to change it?

Progressing your training

Your body will get used to whatever training you are doing. Unless you are new to running, after a couple of months of base training you won’t improve your fitness. You need to progress your training and knowing how much by and in what way is important.

Look out for an increase in your Chatty pace

During the base training phase you will notice that your Chatty pace gets faster as you get fitter. If you are continuing to improve in this way there is no need to change anything. Keep running Chatty and add the varied runs we talked about in our video on base training. You can improve your Chatty running pace by 90 seconds to two minutes a mile and your 5k pace will also increase even though you have not been training at 5km pace.

But what happens when your Chatty pace stops improving? It’s time to progress your training.

Ways to progress your training

There are three ways to progress your training:

Add another Chatty run in the week.

Increase the duration of a run, particularly the long run to get the adaptions we mentioned last time.

Add faster running into your week.

Most people think that the best way to improve your running is to run faster. However adding another Chatty run or lengthening your long run are far more effective.

What happens when you have no more time in the week and your long run has reached the magic two hours? At this point you may begin to notice that you are not getting any faster. Now is the time to change things and add some hill training.

Why not immediately go faster? There are two reasons for this.

Adding faster running doesn’t train the right energy system. It is simply the icing on the cake that we talk about later in this series.

If you go straight to faster running from your base training phase you are at risk of injury. This is because your muscles and tendons lag behind your heart and lungs in adapting to training. You need to help them catch up and hill training is perfect for this. It will strengthen up ready for the demands of faster running.

What if your not sure if you are improving?

Time trials are a good way to monitor your progress as long as you don’t race them. Keep a gentle effort and do the same course every so often you will soon notice if you are improving as you notice that you are getting further round the course.

Join us next time as we talk about how to add hill training into your week.

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  1. Pingback: How to train on hills - Chatty Sparkly Runners

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