You have been running for awhile and doing great. You are losing those pesky pounds, getting toned and feeling healthier. But then, suddenly, you hit a plateau. You want to do more but you just can’t seem to find the energy to do it. What’s happening? Is it because you aren’t as healthy or fit as you think you are?
That may not necessarily be the case. In fact, your running plateau may be a result of too little sleep, high overall stress levels, wrong diet and poor weather (yes that is a factor too). Or you might just not be doing enough kilometers or minutes on your routes. Whatever the reason may be, hitting a plateau can be terribly frustrating because, let’s face it. No runner ever wishes to have to change their lifestyle or routine. And, well, humans just enjoy being comfortable don’t we?
But what are some ways runners can break through this monotony and get back into their gaining more bang for their efforts?
1. Plan your progress
While most will just take it to the streets when they hit a plateau, it may make some sense to actually write down what needs to be improved on your routes to make your work out more rewarding. Sometimes, you may find that what you need to do is not so much about doing more, but more about doing something different.
2. Run more
This is probably the most straight forward and simplest way of breaking through your plateau. Just run more each week! It is a well-known fact that higher mileage increases endurance, improves economy by making your running form more efficient and increases your ability to tolerate longer and faster workouts. Try to increase your weekly mileage by five to 10 miles and you will feel the difference in no time.
3. Do strength exercises
Such exercises help to reduce your risk of injury, which in turn helps a lot when you are trying to build up longer distances at faster speeds. Try building up your core muscles and utilize the medicine ball to get a more effective workout.
4. Attempt different plateaus and exercises
What I mean is the ground plateau here. Switching up your regular run on a straight path to, say, doing your last kilometer uphill, can be both refreshing and a boost to your body. You can also hit up cross training to break through your plateau, although most runners will turn up their noses at this option.
5. Start running faster
Putting more speed in your runs can help to propel you to run longer distances in a shorter time, over time. The thing is, if you don’t attempt to run quicker at all, your plateau is sadly never going away. Fact.