Going longer, but not necessarily harder

Going faster seems like the obvious option to increase training session output.

Of course, it will be harder, but if we really want it, we can overcome the challenge, right?

Being hardcore isn’t always the smartest option and there are many situations where increasing the speed isn’t the best thing to do.

Someone might have an injury, particularly a joint issue that flares up with intensity; a cardiovascular condition; or maybe they just like the current pace (remember: adherence is important).

In this case, we mostly need to look at the distance to progressively overload the training session.

Since the speed isn’t going to change too much, this means that the session duration will also have to increase, so the previously 45-minute session will need to run a bit longer.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to increasing distance is that most people currently end up back where they started (ie. home or work) and if they want to increase the distance, they either have a go a bit further or find a new loop.

This might sound trivial, but if you’ve done the same 5km loop for a period of time, you will probably find that during the last 500m you are mentally preparing for a cold drink and a shower, with zero desire to run another 500m.

I’ve done that - as I run past the front of the house, the temptation is going to be to go inside than to keep on going (“I’ve already got 5km in the bag - I’ll increase the distance next time”).

This can be offset by making track alterations that occur during the run (ie. add the extra 500m) so we end up in the same place we started.

Because if you are anything like me, just tacking 500m on to the end is not the best approach!

Tom Fitzgerald