PLAN YOUR TRAINING
THE OLD WAY Every plan featured long runs and simple interval sessions such as mile or 400m repeats.
THE NEW WAY We add tempo runs, mid-run pickups, hill repeats and fartleks to challenge our bodies in new ways each week.
THE BEST WAY You'll get fitter faster if you mix up your workouts, which is important for racers, but it often takes a toll. ‘Highly structured training is very effective, but it can also be physically and mentally hard to maintain,’ says Mike Norman, cofounder and coach of Chicago Endurance Sports. ‘As long as you're consistently running, you'll lose little, if any, fitness by taking a break from it.’
Runners overwhelmed by workouts should take a cue from old-timers: sometimes it's OK to just run. Spend some time keeping it fairly simple – a few runs a week at a comfortable pace – to rekindle your motivation.