If you are looking for a method to improve your running skills, progressiveness is essential! In fact, it is the basic advice that all runners should include in their training to progress over the long term and without injury. Progressiveness is indeed an essential concept that can define whether you will progress or regress, because once injured, it is difficult to reverse the trend.
From the beginner to the most experienced runner, this concept must remain in a corner of your head when you realize your training plan. As we do not start the race with a one-hour run from which we will emerge totally physically ruined, we do not go from 10km to the marathon overnight either.
The concept of progressiveness can be summarized in 3 points!
There is nothing simpler than the concept of progressiveness. In fact, it only makes sense when you think about it. And before going into the details of each of the points, I suggest that you summarize it in 3 points:
Increase your training volume gradually,
Increase the intensity of your training gradually,
Increase the duration of your outings gradually
Progressiveness in training volume
Let's start with the basics, using the example of the beginner. It is simple to understand and in the end is representative of what a runner, whatever his level should apply. When you start running, you should avoid 5 outings per week. Otherwise, there is a good chance of being quickly sidelined by an injury. The body needs to get used to the effort.
We're all anatomically made to run
The problem when I haven't been run for a long time (or even always) is that the body hasn't developed this skill normally. He therefore needs time to get used to the mechanical constraints of the stroke.
2 to 3 outings in the week seems to be a maximum to avoid pulling too much on the body for a beginner. If there is an increase in the volume of training, it should be done very gradually thereafter.
The 20% rule to use for good progress
Integrating the concept of progressiveness into training is not complicated. All you have to do is increase its volume and intensity very gradually. No more than one additional exit each year and an overall volume that must not change by more than 20%.
Example: You usually train 3 times a week with an average mileage of 30km per week. The following season you can gradually move on to 4 outings per week and a total volume of 40km.
However, don't change overnight. If you need to add an outing in your week do it very gradually. Example: increase your jogging time by 5-10 minutes each week.
Progressiveness is also part of everyday life!
Even within a year of training it is good to go gradually. Just because you used to run 40km/week a few months ago doesn't mean it's good to do it today. If you have had a major annual cut or have been injured, it's different. It is then necessary to leave with much less mileage to get your body back in shape. I advise to start again with 50% of the volume we were used to maximum. And then we can gradually reintegrate more volume. 10% per week maximum until the desired volume is reached.
Focus on quality rather than quantity!
Moreover, there is not only the volume itself. For the same volume, quantity can easily be replaced by quality. There is a difference between training 5 times a week, always in fundamental endurance, and inserting intensity into your training. Whether it is split training or physical preparation to strengthen your body, the diversity of work is good for progress because it allows you to strengthen your body in general.
In fact, by applying a well-designed training plan it is possible to progress in running by running 3 times a week. Moreover, in terms of volume, there is a rule that says that as long as we make progress, we should not try to increase the volume. When you reach a performance plateau, you can ask yourself the question of increasing the volume to make further progress!
Progressiveness in distances
In the logic of the previous paragraph, running 10 kilometres 3 times a week is not the same as running 20 kilometres twice a week. Be careful not to suddenly increase the distance from an exit, because the longer you run, the more you tire and the more likely you are to be injured. If in fact, the above example respects the general increase in volume... It is not recommended at all.
Let's take the example of ultra trail running runners, they seem like supermen to you? No, they just worked hard to get there with very long training outings. But it's all about progressiveness in trail running too. Starting trail running is easy, but you have to keep your feet on the ground, it takes years to be able to run ultra trails like the Diagonale des Fous or the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. The long outings that these runners are able to do have not been done since the day they decided to do ultra-trail! They gradually increased their volume until the body became accustomed to this.
Besides, it's the same logic on the road! Before running a half-marathon, it is good to make sure you master the 10km distance... And to master the half-marathon before going for the marathon, it is the best way to have good running experiences and to want to go back there afterwards!
A last running advice to improve your running skills? Don't focus absolutely on going ever further, ever faster, just enjoy yourself. Progress in running also depends on the pleasure you have in training! ????