Imagine running twice as far as you do now. Mission impossible? It’s easier than you think. “A major part of a runner’s performance comes down to psychology,” says fitness instructor David Sheppard from Purescapes fitness holidays (purescapes. com). “Before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, no one thought they could either. But once he broke the psychological barrier, things changed.” And there’s good reason to try breaking down some barriers of your own. Adding miles can boost your stamina, help manage weight and get you more comfortable on the road. Here’s how.
Aim for three
You don’t need to go hell-for-leather, training every day. In fact, a three-day running week is the best way to run more and stay injury-free. By giving yourself time to rest before and after a running day, you’ll make sure your muscles feel fresh and you’ve got the sustained energy you need to go further.
Make every mile count
Giving each run a purpose will help you keep up your routine without getting stale. Designate one day for a ‘maintenance’ run (easy pace), another day to run long, and a third day for Fartlek (speed play). On this run, set out at your usual pace, and pick up the tempo when you feel ready. You might accelerate to a landmark up ahead, like a tree. Jog to recover. Take off again whenever you’re ready and run fast for as long as you like.
On your long run, slow the pace from the start to cut your chances of getting exhausted – or hurt. Your pace should be about three minutes per mile slower than on a maintenance run. Catch your breath with a one-minute walk break, every one to three minutes.