For those looking to simply enjoy the run, going out and running whatever feels good on that day is a great plan.
However, for anyone looking to seriously improve upon their running fitness, proper planning and progression must be taken in to account.
Simply going out and running will only get you so far in the way of PRs and the time will come when this “plan” will stop working. The day this happens is the day you are no longer a newb.
Here’s what comes next:
This is likely the easiest. You just gotta run more. This article from Matt Fitzgerald discusses how those who run the most tend to be injured the least, contrary to popular opinion.
Jason from StrengthRunning.com also puts it bluntly that “there is one principle of distance running success that is more important than all others: volume.”
These first two go hand in hand. A higher run frequency is a clandestine way to help get your volume up. Many people who only run 3-4 times weekly may find it more beneficial to increase their weekly mileage by adding the distance to completely new runs instead of on top of current runs.
Doubling, or performing two runs in a single day, is another fantastic tool to utilize when running at a higher volume. If you get to a point where you are averaging upwards of 70 miles per week, you may find that incorporating double run days can reduce the stress on the body.
By splitting up runs you’ll recover better and still be able to run more volume. It’s a win – win.
Practice Goal Pace
Why should someone expect to be able to run at goal pace for 26.2 miles if they did not practice that pace during training? Specific Endurance is the ability to resist fatigue at goal pace. The best way to make this happen is to do workouts at speeds ranging from 90% to 110% of goal pace. Months out from the race, start with short bouts in this range and gradually increase week to week.
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