How To Break A Plateau.
Sep 02, 2021
How to break a plateau!
Running has been an exhilarating journey for you, you have never felt better, you have dropped KGS, you are running longer than ever and your 5km time is minutes faster than you ever dreamt it could be. Yes indeed this is the honeymoon period of your running life. If you have been a runner for long enough though you would have experienced some form of running and fitness plateau. It can be very frustrating when the paces stagnate, the miles become harder and every step feels hard.
Well take a step back take a breath and relax because it's normal! We all stagnate in performance from time to time for many varying reasons.
As a running coach I have see some form of it weekly and have experienced the plateau myself many times, I have my fair share of advice to give to you today if you are reading this in a similar situation.
The trick is identifying it and using the below tips to overcome the roadblock in your way to achieving even greater fitness. More importantly than this it is not letting it suck your enthusiasm for the greatest sport on earth.
- Don't be a slave to your watch- Closely monitoring your times is great in races or time trials but in training it can be very detrimental to be obsessed with how fast or slow you are running ALL THE TIME! It is important at times to dial in on the rhythm of certain paces, but if you have hit a plateau in performance, pace checking isn't necessary, in fact the negative narrative that may go with seeing a pace you don't like is conducive to even longer periods of undesirable performance.
If you like wearing a watch for training diary's run for minutes and do not have pace displayed on your watch. Or even better don't take the watch! Jog free! It will take 2-3 weeks of easy jogging without a watch and you will feel revitalized and remember how good it feels just to run sometimes, without any form of restrictions.
- Continue to mix up the paces- Even though we are not at all paying much attention to paces whist breaking our plateau it is still important to run fast and get uncomfortable on 1-2 days a week. Just don't force it, let the pace come to you, learn to feel the body moving at paces, but run on perceived effort not actual pace. RUNNEZ sessions are perfect for this!
- Fartlek some of your long running- A great way to pass the minutes very quickly on your long runs and great for running economy and CNS development, it does not mean a major amount of time at quicker paces but something like 80 minutes of 4.5 min easy, 30 seconds @ 90% is great. Not for all the time but great if you are in a slump.
- Monitor sleep, nutrition and any other life stresses. - If you can identify any improvements you can make in sleep hygiene, dietary habits and general life stresses, work to rectify them, this will improve you general well being immensely as well as greatly improve your running, you will feel "lighter" both literally and figuratively.
- Hire a running coach!- If running is important to you, and you want continue to improve then invest in yourself! Give back to YOU. A coach will take care of all the thinking, planning, structure and science for you. So instantly you will feel lighter and have less decision fatigue. As well as this you can bounce off your coach and they will navigate you through the plateau. Take the pressure off.
- Stay consistent, hard wired and remember it is a privilege, we must enjoy the process. If you take on board all of this advice, stay consistent and regular, running and any other training to complement your running is just like brushing your teeth every day, it is just a must do. No thinking about it, and don't let your mood or performance sway your consistency. Process first - then the outcomes will follow. Also running, jogging or power walking are a privilege denied to many people, it is a gift we can move, please stop worrying about "slowing down" and just go out and enjoy moving!
Move with Gratitude Legends .
Become the runner you always dreamt of, join the Runnez Redzone today you have nothing to lose!