Everyone has a range of paces that they will use in training. From the slow jog that does not induce breathlessness to the short sprint, which cannot be sustained for more than 20 seconds, a change of pace is required on a regular basis in order to avoid a certain monotony.
Take care to create a balanced weekly training schedule with sessions made up of a different plan each time. It is important to respect the following basics:
- A long session at endurance pace (you should be able to speak without problem) to be gradually extended to attain one hour if you are preparing for a 10 km-run and 2 hours 30 minutes if you are preparing for a marathon
- A session of interval training in the country or on an athletics track.
- One or two jogging sessions run according to how you feel – including, if possible, so-called threshold sequences or at the running pace of your next competition (if that is part of your schedule).
The world is huge. Visiting it while running is one of the privileges of the sport. All too often, the joy of running gets lost through always running the same route. It is therefore important to create an element of surprise by changing a route that may have taken hold over the weeks, months and years. Dare to venture into the unknown by taking a right turn rather than the preferred left turn as you leave home, or choosing a route through a wood rather than on the road that skirts your town or village.
Here are some tips that you could take into consideration:
- Sometimes, take the public transport or a bicycle to get away from your home and go on a training session in completely different surroundings.
- Listen to the advice of other runners as they list the benefits or qualities of their favourite routes.
- Do not hesitate to run on an athletics track – if there is one near you – to learn the basics of interval training.
When it comes to GPS watches and all the devices you can use to calculate certain parameters (number of miles run, average speed, etc.), you should be able to do without them so that you can be aware of how you feel (rather than being aware of a screen attached to your wrist). This is the best way of not losing the joy of running on roads. Don't forget, you're not a high-level athlete!
Advice: Start by choosing a race near to home in order to experience a competitive event in familiar surroundings.
Building real friendships with other runners is a great way of making running increasingly enjoyable. If your experience of running becomes an increasingly solitary affair, you will miss out on the deeply human aspects of running.