Aside from any differences in ability, runners should seek to enjoy themselves when they practice their sport. What's more, exploring every avenue for avoiding the monotony of running will not have a detrimental effect on the objective of making progress. Some tips will help you in this area…
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).
CHANGE ROUTE ON A REGULAR BASIS
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.
BEWARE OF CONNECTED DEVICES
Whether you prefer running for enjoyment or you're planning to improve by gradually stepping up the intensity of your training sessions, it's important to avoid becoming a slave to your connected devices. Listening to music while running or during long training sessions can naturally be tempting. However, this should not be systematic. In any case, not to the point where the idea of a training session without music discourages you from running at all!
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!
DON'T HESITATE TO PARTICIPATE IN A COMPETITION
No one can run a marathon without training, but everyone can and should aim to enter an official race from their very first year of regular running training. 10 km, short trail runs and the now very popular "fun runs": Firstly, running a race provides an opportunity to join the vast community of men and women who run. This includes adopting the rituals, pace and etiquette when running as a group.
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.