Spring is on its way and for most of us the running season is starting again. Even in Finland the snow is melting and I’ve already gone for three runs outside this week – yay! And since many of us set goals to become better, faster or lose a few pounds in spring, I’m herewith addressing a common problem.
The problem is: you go jogging regulary, but nothing happens when it comes to your pace or weight! Well, then you’re stuck like so many other runners too. That’s a problem I had for a long long time as well. The thing is, that as long as you run the same distance at the same pace all the time, that really helps into get a running routine and to clear your mind, but sometimes your body does need more. Otherwise it will get used to it.
Funny enough, before people used to think that long and slow endurance runs are best to lose weight. You just jog an hour daily and the pounds will start to fall. At the beginning that might happen, but the theory has been outdated for long. In fact, a short intensive run burns a lot more calories and will develop your body and muscles much more!
The newest advice is to incorporate short interval units in your run. I always try to spot a lantern or a tree in a distance of about 300-500m and then sprint there. I have to admit that I don’t really like it. Okay, that was understated. I hate it. Sprinting after having already run several kilometers is pure agony for your legs, especially if you’re not used to it. But I try to bite my teeth together, overcome my weak thoughts and do it anyways, because I know the feeling afterwards will be so great, and of course it’s super effective too. Without noticing you will become faster and your endurance will enhance too! And the best part – your body will keep burning more calories throughout the whole day! So there’s no better reason for tasty protein pancakes and a lot of peanut butter as a reward afterwards! 😉
The current advice is to incorporate short interval units in its course. For this I look for when running just always a point in about 500m distance, and then sprint there. Okay, I admit that I do not really like me. No, that is even understated. I hate it. Sprinting after a few kilometers one has already passed – this is a pure agony for the legs. At least if one is not so usual. But I bite my teeth together, overcome my weaker self and do it anyway, because first the feeling is then better (totally exhausted) and secondly, it is super effective. It is without noticing better stamina and faster. And the best part – the body burns more calories throughout the day than for a normal course. So one must reward without problems with tasty protein pancakes and much peanut butter. 😉
Oh, and it is also important to bring as much variety into your training as possible. Try out new routes, do long and slow runs, and sometimes short and crisp ones. And combinable your runs with strength training! Then your body will certainly evolve and not stagnate in training.
I wish you lots of success and would love to hear how you alternate your workouts!
pictures by Stefan Lindauer