It seems rather counter-intuitive doesn’t it? We always think, to run faster, we have to run fast. But, why don’t we think, to run faster, we just have to run more! And in order to run more without burning out, we should incorporate slower runs into our training. Did you know most elite runners do half to two-thirds of their runs slower than marathon race pace?
Mileage is King
Keeping the pace slower will enable you to run more without burning out. If you are constantly pushing your pace whenever you train, you won’t be able to run as much. 70 kilometers into the week, you will start to feel tired and your legs will start to feel heavy. You won’t be able to go the distance. On the other hand, if you were to do more slower runs, you would be able to run more before symptoms of fatigue start to manifest themselves.
Say No To Overtraining
In the world of long-distance running, yes, mileage is king. But, to be so focused on hitting your weekly mileage at a fast pace risks overtraining. The dangers of overtraining cannot be stressed enough. Overtraining can lead to a decrease in overall fitness and injury. Incorporating more slow runs in your training mitigates the risk of burnout. This is because overtraining is often caused by high levels of anaerobic work whereas slow runs are done at an aerobic level.
Read More: 8 Signs Of Overtraining
Consistency Is Key
It has always been said mileage is king, but being consistent in hitting that mileage is key to excel. If you are running 100 km in week 1, 40 km in week 2, 80 km in week 3 and 50 km in week 4, you won’t reap as many benefits as hitting 80 km a week, every week, consistently. In order to be consistent, we can’t go too fast. We may feel too fatigue from the previous week and end up running a much lower mileage this week. You end up being inconsistent.
Read More: 5 Tips For Any Runner To Become Faster
How To Run Slow?
It may come as a surprise but it is hard for some people to run slow. It’s easy for us runners to always want to push ourselves due to time constraints. Because we do not have enough time, we have to make every session count. We end up pushing ourselves every time. One way to ensure we run at minimal effort level is to use a heart rate monitor. Ensure that your heart rate is always kept at the aerobic base level zone.
Read More: Understanding Your Heart Rate Zones
But, To Run Fast, You Need To Run Fast
However, to run fast, we all know we need to run fast. This just means that most of your runs should be done at a slower pace, however, speed runs or tempo runs should not be neglected. Most of your runs do not mean all of your runs should be done at a slower pace.