Should I increase running speed or distance first?

Should I increase running speed or distance first?

If you’re a new runner, you might be asking yourself if you should try to improve your running speed or distance first. It’s understandable, as we all aspire to be fit, fast runners who can blast through any distance. There’s no reason why you can’t focus on both, but there’s a smart way to do it. 


Try going further, first 


It might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to improve your running speed or distance to start with distance, but it’s the most effective way to get results. Here’s how to do it.  


As you slowly master extended distances, your fitness and confidence will skyrocket. It takes grit to cover longer distances (don’t force it – limit your distance increase to no more than around 10% each week). Covering the distances will give you strength, which will give you the power to speed up later. 


Sometimes, the mental hurdles are the hardest ones to overcome. If you can show yourself that you can cover larger distances, you’ll trust your body enough to pick up the pace. If you push too fast too soon, it can be easy to convince yourself that you just can’t do it. 


To increase running speed or distance, try keeping your pace to a ‘conversational’ speed. As an indicator, you should be able to carry on a conversation easily while you run, without feeling out of breath. If you’re sucking in air so fast you can’t talk, you’re pushing too hard. 


Use the above techniques to build a reliable fitness base to work from. Once you can cover a good distance without tiring out, you can start to build in speed training. Change one run per week to an interval-style session, or check out fartlek training recommendations. Like with distance training, start small and build your speed slowly. Pushing too hard too fast can cause injury. 


Like all things, have fun, have confidence in your abilities as a runner and enjoy chasing down your new goals. 


About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles –  Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury,  the unique design features support your foot throughout training.  Enertor insoles are enhanced by D3O impact protection technology, which means they can provide more shock absorption than any other insole.  Our expertise, combined with the patented D3O shock absorption technology, enables Enertor to deliver the most advanced injury prevention insoles on the market today.

Enertor insoles are available to buy from our online shop .

Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.

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