Ever looked at your training and wondered why, despite all the miles, you’ve not improved or gone backwards? That’s what’s happened to me recently.
I’ve been doing lots of training but my times haven’t improved, in fact I’m slower than I have been in a long time. Or that’s how it feels.
This picture appeared on my Memories on Facebook and my curiosity was piqued. I wanted to see how fast I’d been 12 months ago. Strangely, I’d run the same number of miles (8) exactly a year ago, although a different route. I looked at the time I’d done it in and it was much quicker than my long run last weekend. I appreciate there’s a couple of things I need to take into account so it’s not an absolutely accurate comparison. For a start the route was different, the weather conditions were totally opposite (we had a heat wave this weekend and last year it absolutely tipped it down). Also last weekend I had a cold. All of these will affect a run. But somehow it feels like there’s more to it than that…
I did a bit more digging into the running that I was doing a year ago and something struck me pretty quickly. The sessions I was running last year were much more varied and better quality.
Yes, I’m still running the same number of times a week but most of my runs at the moment aren’t challenging my body as I’m not varying up my pace. Looking back I was doing a strength/hills session, an easy run, a speed session and a long run.
Those two more challenging sessions have been dropped and if I’m honest there’s no real reason that they should have been.
So, I have a plan. I’m keeping my Tuesday session I do with my friends, I’d never want to drop that one as I love our chats in the morning. But instead of two other easy runs I’m going to re-add the sessions I dropped. I just need to work out how to space my runs so I have enough recovery time. I also need to get in long runs as I’ve got three long races coming up over the coming months; an 11 miler, a road half marathon and a trail half marathon.
It’s too close to my next race for any changes to take effect as it’s on 8 September 2019 but there’s nothing to say that by the Cardiff Half Marathon in October I can’t have made an improvement.
Good luck if you’re training for races. I’d love to hear any tips you might have in terms of sessions to try.