Runners, try these solutions to get out of your performance plateau.
Break that running plateau with these expert tips. (Photo: lzflzf / www.123rf.com)
Want to reach a new level of performance in your training, but seem to have hit a running plateau? Hitting that flatline is disappointing, especially if you have been pounding the pavement regularly.
Get past your running plateau with these tips from Dr Ben Tan, head and senior consultant at Changi Sports Medicine Centre, who’s also the author of Run For Your Life: The Complete Marathon Guide.
Running plateau: Want to run more?
Overcome this by doing 20-minute runs, regardless of pace or distance
Progressively increase each training’s duration until you can walk and/or run for 30 minutes per session. Once you have achieved this, shorten the walk-run duration until you’re able to jog continuously. Then, increase the frequency of your trainings.
Running plateau: Want to go further at race pace?
Overcome this by doing comfortably hard runs at a steady pace
Start by running 3km at your 10-km pace; maintain it throughout. Thereafter, increase the distance (without changing the pace) once every two weeks or so. Because lactate builds up in the blood as running speed increases, this routine serves to increase the lactate threshold.
“Tempo runs train the body to clear lactate quickly and endure the fatigue caused by accumulation,” says Dr Tan.
Running plateau: Want to race faster?
Overcome this by doing speed intervals once every one to two weeks
Go all out over a 200- to 600-m distance, and rest in between. The work to rest ratio is typically 1:2 to 1:4. Do five to 10 such intervals during one session.
This high impact exercise is said to strengthen muscles and improve neuromuscular coordination, two factors that help you go faster without expending too much energy, explains Dr Tan.