Whether you are looking to place in a marathon or brush up your weekly jog time, improving pace is one of the most critical tenants of running. Those who are just starting an exercise routine are often drawn to running as it is widely regarded as an inexpensive and straightforward sport. While running can be quite affordable, any experienced runner will tell you there is a great degree of form, training, and tech involved in high-level running. Jerome Clavel has spent many years researching pace theory and running best practices as a fitness enthusiast and lifelong runner. Today, Jerome hopes to share some of the most effective ways of improving pace and reaching athletic goals with readers and jogging newcomers.
Start Incorporating Tempo Runs
To improve pace, runners must first understand the concept of the anaerobic threshold. The anaerobic threshold is widely defined as the greatest degree of exercise intensity that the body can sustain for a prolonged amount of time before lactate builds up in the bloodstream. Often times, when an athlete overexerts, lactic acid can build up in the bloodstream resulting in discomfort and sore muscles. To comfortably increase pace for long periods, runners must train with the anaerobic threshold in mind.
Within running circles, tempo runs are often used to develop an anaerobic threshold and help the body switch from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism more efficiently. A tempo run will often entail running for 5-10 minutes at a leisurely pace followed by 15-20 minutes of running at 10 seconds slower than a pace that can be sustained for 6 miles, then finishing with a 5-10 minute cooldown. Jerome encourages runners to incorporate tempo runs into their jogging schedule once per week to see improved tempo results.
Practice Speed Work
Unsurprisingly, you are not going to improve your pace if you only go on long endurance runs. To increase speed, runners must first practice speed interval runs, improve their pace, and later incorporate endurance workouts to sustain it. When practicing speed work, runners should first attempt:
– Running 400-meter repeats at the track
– Warming up with an easy 400-meter job
– Alternating between a fast 400-meter lap and a slow recovery lap
– Start with 2-3x 400 meter repeats and slowly work your way up to 5-6 laps