IMPROVE EFFORT AND PACE SENSE
SILENT LONG RUN
WHY DO IT Improves effort perception and strengthens the link between your body and mind. HOW TO DO IT Go for a medium-to-long run without a watch or music player. Give in to the run, rather than trying to control it or force an outcome. Set off with a rough route in mind, but don’t be a slave to it – judge the duration of the run on how you feel. Over time, questions such as ‘Is this comfortable?’ or ‘Can I go faster?’ can be answered more easily.
WHY DO IT Improves your inner pacemaker. HOW TO DO IT Twice a week, time a mile during an easy run. Don’t adjust speed – the goal is to gather information. Note the time and an effort rating on a scale of one to 10, along with how your breathing and legs feel. By focusing on such cues, you’ll ingrain the sensations that match different speeds. After a few weeks, do the timed mile at 10K or 5K pace and note how that feels compared with the easy pace.
LIMITED FEEDBACK INTERVALS
WHY DO IT Instils pace sense and reduces over-reliance on a GPS for feedback. HOW TO DO IT On a running track or a flat, 400m stretch of ground, run 3 x 1600m at 10K pace with a three-minute rest between each. For the first repeat, check your splits after each 400m lap; for the second, check every other lap; for the final repeat, check at the end. Aim to get within 10 secs of your goal time; work up to within five secs.
WHY DO IT Teaches you how it feels to run harder without the stress of trying to hit a split time. HOW TO DO IT Once a week, on an undulating route, vary your pace from a short sprint to a jog to a faster stride and back to a jog, using landmarks to guide you. Take it easy or zoom as your body feels. The emphasis is on play; if you don’t have an inner smile on this run, you’re not doing it right. The session should last 30 minutes to an hour.
WHY DO IT Helps develop accurate pace and effort sense. HOW TO DO IT It’s a time-based workout, so simply divide your workout time by two. Run out for half of the total time, note your split, then run back along the same route and take your time again. The goal is to run both halves as evenly as possible or with slightly negative splits (a faster second half). Use the watch only to know when to turn around and to compare times for each half of the run.