If ever I give advice to a person who wishes to improve their running or is just getting started the first thing is consistency. You have to be consistent in order to build a base, get stronger, become faster, and adapt to your training.
If you are not consistent, your body just doesn’t adjust and get stronger. Consistent doesn’t mean doing the same thing week in and week out. consistency means you are running on a regular basis multiple times a week. It’s getting out there when you don’t have the motivation to tie your shoes.
Running between four and six days a week is ideal for most runners. This gives you a rest day each week which reduces your chances of injury and gives your body total day to recover and rebuild. Tie those two words together, recover and rebuild, it makes taking a rest day much easier.
If you are constantly jumping around doing a run whenever you feel like it or going from running six days one week to two days the next, this isn’t going to help you reach goals. Sure you’ll be able to run a 5k without having to walk a bunch, but if you want to improve your time at a 5k or you want to run farther than a 5k, you must be consistent.
What happens if you’re not consistent? you get injured. You have to take time off to heal. Then you have to start over. That’s hard. It makes you not want to run anymore. Starting over Sucks.
If you don’t get injured, you are not going to improve. The older you get, the more true this becomes. Getting faster means you have to push yourself on a consistent basis, usually once or twice a week. You run speed drills and hill repeats. To go longer, you increase your miles in increments until you are able to run the distance you want.
Day by day, week by week, and month by month you get faster and your endurance, muscular and aerobic, improves. You are able to reach your goals and challenge yourself to new goals, a new distance or a faster time.
You’re going to have hard days. You’re going to have days you don’t want to get out and put in your miles. Is it okay to take an extra rest day when you’re tired and another aspect of your life has you stressed or overwhelmed? sure, just don’t make that a consistent practice.
Run consistently and you will improve. I promise.
Happy healthy running!!