Slow and steady can win the race, it’s true. But there’s a training secret that wins races more often than people let on. It’s called progression training. Essentially, it involves running at a steady pace for the first half of a race, and then increasing your speed as you get closer to the finish line. This will give you the edge when everyone else is drawing on their last reserves.
Starting slowly has many benefits. It will teach you to be patient and not waste all that energy in the early stages of a race. It takes discipline to stay at a steady pace early, especially if you’re watching the over excited competition pull away from you. Don’t fear – by half way they’ll be wishing it was over when you’re just finding your stride!
Hitting a solid pace allows your body to warm up gradually. By the time your systems are at 100% you are ready to push to the next level. This sort of running isn’t something you can just pull out on race day though, you need to train for it.
Runners who use progression training are sometimes described as running in a relaxed state. The key here is avoiding that mental and physical shift into high gear right when you’re hurting – you know the one. Training to increase your speed gradually helps to make these transitions smoother.
Increase your stamina by incorporating a progressive run once a week into your routine. First, do a base line run with even time splits across your nominated distance. Maybe you’re working with a 6 minute mile pace, so hit that consistently over your distance (say, 5 miles). Next time you run, clock your 6 minute pace for 4 miles, then aim for 5 minute pace for your last mile. Give yourself ample recovery time after the first few times you do this. Once you’re comfortable with that, run 6 minute pace for the first 3 miles, 5 minute pace for the fourth mile and then see if you can pull a 4 minute pace in the last stretch. Your body will learn to adapt to increasing speed and you will see results.
Again, it’s really important to give yourself recovery time after testing this new training program. Testing a new method will challenge your body initially and you don’t want to overdo it with a regular run the next day. If you delve into the world of progressive running you won’t look back.
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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