Advice on how to improve your running skills can be found everywhere and there are all kinds of them. It is easy to get lost in details that should not be a priority in the end. I give you the essential advice today and I guarantee you that by respecting it, you will really progress!
I'm not saying that all the things I'm not going to talk about today are not important. What I'm saying is that most of the progress will come from simple advice that, put together, will have a huge effect! And there are 10 tips for progress in main running that I would like us to focus on today.
1- Be as regular as possible
In all the tips for progress in running, this one is the most important of all! The more regular you are in your training, the more results you will get. The body functions in such a way that in order to progress, it needs to be stimulated as regularly as possible. This does not mean that you have to run a lot, but a minimum of 3 training sessions per week is recommended for anyone who really wants to see great progress. By being stimulated every 2 days on average, the mechanisms of progression will be really effective. Maintaining this training frequency all year round is ideal.
But if it's complicated for a week or two in terms of planning, try to keep 2 training sessions per week to keep you in shape. In any case, avoid absolutely the "yoyo" effect with 5 training sessions for a few weeks and then nothing... When you stop running you start losing your level after 5 days. And then it gets lost relatively quickly!
You know the expression: There's no point in running, you have to start at the right time! Basically, be patient, progress can take time to really see each other. But know that work always pays off at one time or another when running, so never be discouraged, persevere!
2 - Listen to your body
In fact, there should be a tie in these tips to progress in running... Because this one is as important as the first one! The best training method is the one your body will accept. Because the body knows how to tell us if something is wrong, it sends us signals for that. Listen to your feelings and you can detect these signals.
Fatigue or abnormal pain, cardio that is not in the nails at all, great stress at work or at home... There is plenty of reason to slow down on a big session or take a few days without sport to do it again in case of an alert of this type! And since 5 days of break have no effect on the shape, don't hesitate to make this kind of micro cut if necessary!
Be careful not to fall into the hypochondriacal side... Progress in running comes from fatigue! It is normal for a big session to push us into our depths and tire us out. It is this type of training that sends a strong signal to the body that it must progress. We should therefore not seek excuses for not giving ourselves all we can about the big sessions. The next day, you may feel tired.
This is where you need good planning with intense sessions and days of recovery to handle them well. And then with experience we easily recognize the "good fatigue" that is necessary to progress and the chronic fatigue that shows that we are doing too much! Don't worry, you have to push the machine hard enough for this overtraining to be really effective.
3 - Do you find a motivating objective
Motivation is the lifeblood of endurance sports. As progress is achieved with very regular training, week after week, month after month... Maintaining motivation is essential! And the best way to do that is to define one or more objectives that you will remember in difficult times. Because it's not true that we're enthusiastic about going to practice 100% of the time!
A rainy day, a tiring day at work, problems that seem to follow one another like a spiral... We all have periods when we could give up if we didn't have our objectives to say "I know why I do this". These objectives must be motivating and above all they must seem achievable. The ideal is to have a big goal that makes us dream in the long term to maintain the passion + small goals in the short or medium term to motivate ourselves on a daily basis.
4 - Respect your jogging pace
Running faster while jogging doesn't help you progress any further! Jogging is a pace where EVERYONE feels like they can run faster and have to slow down to stay in the right area. When you're not in great shape, your cardio flies away at the slightest acceleration and so you have to slow down to keep it in the nails. And when you're in shape, your legs are so good that you feel like you're being pulled forward to accelerate the pace...
In short, we run almost all the time jogging with the handbrake! Running slowly is necessary for certain physiological adaptations to be made correctly. But running slowly while jogging is also a necessity to progress because the purpose of your training is to build your endurance base without generating fatigue. If we run too fast, we generate fatigue that will prevent us from giving the best of ourselves on the sessions where we have to be at the top! It is perhaps the one among the tips for progress in running that beginners have the most difficulty integrating. It's normal, it's unnatural! Yet... That's the basis!
5 - Split sessions must be very intense
In fact, the most important thing in running training is to respect the 80/20 rule. Without trying to calculate precisely, we want about 80% of the training time to be spent in endurance. The remaining 20% must be hard, we really have to give ourselves to improve! Because the progression is not automatic. It only occurs when the body has been stressed in one way or another. In a fractionated session, it means pushing your cardiorespiratory and/or muscular limits!
20% of intense training may not seem like much to you, but if you think of this 20% as the fundamental part of the week where you have to be physically and especially mentally at your best, it's already a great volume of work. And if you want to know how to organize a week of training within these constraints, look at the typical week I described here. You'll see that it still gives you a lot of opportunity to push the machine!
6 - Put recovery at the heart of your training
Advice on how to progress in running is not only related to training! Indeed, recovery is for example just as important as training! Because training is used to stress the body. And recovery will turn this stress into progress. So if you do a big training, very tiring, there is a big potential for progress. A good recovery will therefore mean a good progress on the quality worked on during this training. A very poor recovery will lead to much less progress, your efforts will not pay as much as they should. And in addition, it is one of the major factors increasing the risk of injury!
In short, train effectively and try to manage all aspects of recovery well to benefit from this good training. Recovering well means having the most effective diet, hydration and sleep possible. There is obviously more to it than that, but it is a subject in its own right, I have already dealt with it here if you want the details.
7- Warm up properly before training
A good warm-up is rarely mentioned in the advice to improve in running. However, it is a must. A good, progressive warm-up is one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of injury. During the first strides of a training session, you feel rusty, that it doesn't respond as you would like. And to force it at that moment is to put unnecessary and harmful stress on our body. A good warm-up starts slowly, at least 10% slower than the normal jogging pace.
If you have not moved all day yet, walking 500m before running and waking up briefly can also be interesting. Finally, if you are leaving for a split session, consider integrating dynamic warm-up exercises before starting it. (See the video of the exercises I recommend and how to do them here) In addition, these exercises are extremely interesting to work on your running technique! In short, a good warm-up is all the benefits!
8 - Maintain a long weekly outing
Having a longer outing than the others in your week has many advantages! It's ultimately accessible to everyone and it doesn't change much in terms of planning. Especially since for many it is done on weekends when there is no time for training. And when I talk about long outings, I mean running for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
And if you are not at all used to this type of outing, take your time before you reach this duration! It's important not to risk injury, there's no hurry! Simply add 5' to your longest outing each week until you reach 1h10!
To put it simply, this long outing will help a lot to improve your overall endurance. And the interest is not just to be able to run longer, more easily. The long exit also helps to make shorter efforts easier. That's why I recommend it to all runners and not just those who are preparing a half or a marathon.
Example of the interest of the long trip for a 10km runner
Imagine a runner who is 50' per 10km. And that its longest release each week is also from 50′. By running a 10km he will end up at his endurance limit. The end of the race will therefore be very difficult partly because of this. On the other hand, by being used to running for 1 hour and 15 minutes, this endurance limit is far from being reached by running a 10km. The end of the race will therefore be less complicated.
This is one of the many advantages of the long trip, if you want to know everything about it, it's this way! And if at some point you have to miss a long exit, nothing serious! Maintain at least one long outing every 2 weeks. It allows you to benefit from most of the advantages of this long outing.
9 -Vary your training
Whether it is to boost your motivation, to minimize the risk of injury or to progress further, variety has many advantages. The first advantage is for motivation. Doing various training sessions, in different places or on different terrains will be beneficial thanks to the feeling of novelty that we get every time.
And getting your body used to different terrains is also extremely interesting to reduce the risk of injury! Especially if you run a lot on asphalt, do everything you can to add courses on more flexible terrain if you can. The stress associated with the shocks of each stride will be limited and the body will have to adapt to the ground, which is a kind of natural reinforcement.
And even for your progress, you better vary. If we do the same training, at the same speeds, on the same ground... The body gets used to it and we will therefore get less benefit from these training sessions as we reproduce them.
10 - Enjoy it
To finish these tips to improve in running, I have a simple fact to present to you. Without fun, it won't work in any case so have fun! I know it may seem trivial as advice, but finding the way to train that gives us the most pleasure is essential! To progress you have to be motivated, as we have seen. But motivation is not only about the objectives you set for yourself. It is also necessary that in each training, there is something that makes us want to do it.
It can be the challenge to succeed in a session that seems difficult to us, it can be to know that we will meet friends to share the training. It can also be to test a new course or equipment that you've just bought... But the main thing is to make sure when you choose your training plan or when you build it, that it makes you want to.
Because with a little creativity, you can easily make your training more fun and motivating than getting a 15x200m around the track every Tuesday! Think about it, always try to have a fun goal at each session and you will see, not only will you be a more fulfilled runner, but your progress will also come more easily!
10 tips to progress in basic running!
Here I have summarized more than 5 years of running advice articles. I drew the main one, 10 tips to improve in running that are essential for me. And above all, I wanted to keep simple advice that everyone can apply in their daily training. I hope that these tips for improving your running skills will be really useful to you. If so, don't hesitate to tell me, it always makes me very happy!