At some point, all new runners realize that they are capable of tackling just about anything—whether it's hills, speedwork, long runs, or even races. The fact that you're attempting such a range of runs marks a major accomplishment. But if you struggle with some workouts more than others, these strategies will help you complete every running challenge with success and confidence.
GET UP ANY HILL:
As you approach an incline, shorten your stride while maintaining the same cadence. Small, quick steps will help reduce the effort.
PUSH THE PACE:
Inject more speed into your runs: Run one mile slow. Run faster for 10 seconds, settle back to your usual pace for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds. Jog for one minute. Speed up for 15 seconds, settle into normal pace for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds. During one or two of your runs, do two to four accelerations. Work up to 10, then increase the accelerations to 20 seconds.
FINISH EVERY LONG RUN:
Run two minutes per mile slower than your normal easy-run pace. Start with a ratio of three minutes running/one minute walking. If necessary, drop down to a 1:1 ratio.
Low blood sugar can result in an overall feeling of fatigue. Consuming an energy bar and caffeinated beverage 30 minutes prior to running may stoke your energy. If you're going longer, it's normal to experience some tiredness. Slow the pace and walk more.
CROSS THE FINISH LINE:
Prepare for your first, or next, 5K by increasing the length of your long run until you can run/walk up to four miles. Do your last long run 10 days before the race. For the first two miles of the 5K, follow the walk-break frequency you use in your long runs. After that, walk only as necessary.