VARIETY! A common mistake many runners run into is doing the same type of training day in and day out, for weeks, months or even years. The body adapts in amazing ways to the stresses put on to it. A common trend I see in runners is they start out with a gradual increase in volume of running as well as intensity of running. After they get to a certain level, they stop changing up their weekly running schedule and guess what happens? They stop improving. Over time, the body will get use to a certain routine, even if it is a strenuous one, and the adaptation will be hindered as a result. When there is no adaptation, there is no improvement in fitness level and running times. When this happens frustration sets in and a change is needed. So how do you keep variety in your running plan?
There are many ways to mix up your training and you don’t have to be drastic about it. Even some subtle changes such as trading out an interval session on the track, for a long tempo on the roads can have a significant impact on your performance. One thing to keep in mind when you are deciding what type of change to incorporate is the type of event you are training for, or if you are not training for a specific event, what your primary running goal is. You can mix up your training to taylor the results to those desired outcomes.