It's extremely important to monitor your progress as a runner, otherwise how will you know if you're getting better at it or not?
This will include posts about distance records, weekly and monthly mileage and pacing.
If I'm to be honest about my running progress in recent months, I'll say that I haven't made any when it comes to speed. I've become so caught up in training for marathons that I'm more interested in how far I can run and not how fast I can run.
As it stands I've no real intention of throwing in any speedwork into my routine. Sounds like too much work. I'd rather have fun running. Which is why I'm more interested in fartlek bursts towards the end of my sessions. I love trying to sprint home. It really gets the endorphins flowing.
Tracking Your Running Progress Online With Garmin Connect
Whenever you buy a Garmin Forerunner product, you also get access to the Garmin Connect website which stores all of your runs and allows you to run historical reports on your progress.
I find this immensely helpful when I'm training for a marathon. If I'm not feeling confident with my training, I simply run a weekly report and compare my weekly mileage with the training schedule I'm following.
Even better is the monthly reports. This gives me a longer term view of how my training is progressing!
It's crucial to track your progress if you're just starting out with running.
In my first few months I felt that I was making no progress whatsoever. This would have been incredibly demoralising if it weren't for the Garmin Connect service, as only by studying my previous runs could I see that I was faster by a few seconds per mile each time.
It takes a few months of solid running to notice a drastic effect in your running ability and when it comes you feel on top of the world.
Tips For Running Faster – How To Get Better At Running
In my case I've got better at running by running more often. That's all there is to it! It's the same with everything in life, practice makes perfect.
My running philosophy involves trying to stay as long on my feet as possible and to run through the wall and go an extra mile when I think I can't. By pushing for that further distance I've made steady progress over the 18 months.
Going forward I think I could improve yet further if I paid more attention to my diet. This is a continual work in progress.
Will Taking Short Breaks Over The Weekend Effect My Running Program?
There is nothing wrong with taking rest days in your running schedule. In fact it's a necessary practice for most runners including myself.
If I end up running for 7 days without having a rest day, I'll feel fatigued, irritable and will begin questioning my own sanity.
After taking a rest day at the weekend I'll be dying to get back into running. Rest days help you reflect on the progress you've made as a runner and as a person.
Therefore don't be afraid to take it easy now and again.
What's The Longest Period Of Time I Can Rest For Without Losing Progress?
In my experience this would be somewhere between a fortnight and a month.
In December last year, I took most of the month off and I found running after my rest very challenging indeed. Don't get me wrong, I could still run, it was just one hell of a battle. When you're used to running being easy and it suddenly becomes difficult, it can kill your morale off.
I've had several week long holidays in the past year and I've got straight back into my program without a problem. It seems that my running ability degrades after a fortnight off. That's why I try my best to get a run in as soon as I can after a break. The longer I leave it, the harder it will be to get back to where I was.
Running On A Treadmill Is An Excellent Way To Progress
Nowadays if I want to focus on improving my speed, I'll introduce a few treadmill sessions during the week and set the pace to be between 10 and 11k per hour.
I'll then challenge myself to run for an hour at this pace and if I'm successful I'll notice that running at my current outdoor speed is uncomfortably slow.
Treadmill's are excellent for interval training as well. If I'm bored of running at the same speed all of the time, I'll select an interval program on the treadmill and just go for it.
Adding variety into my running schedule has been a godsend.
Is Running Every Day Good For Progress?
Yes but only if you remain injury free.
Listen to what your body is telling you, if you feel fresh enough for a run go out and do one. If your body is aching and you're trying to maintain a running streak just for the sake of it, then you're risking injury.
I ended up with an overuse injury after maintaining a 9 day streak in June 2012. I felt unstoppable for the first 8 days but when it came to Day 9 I knew I was struggling.
What did I do?
I went out and ran and had to take the next week off because of runner's knee. I then spent the rest of the month trying to get my fitness level back.
Running every day for a month is a popular challenge that runners undertake and it can be beneficial if you go throw in easy sessions either side of a testing one. But do remember that it's better t0 rest for a day, than be sidelined for a month by an overuse injury.
Having A Positive Mental Attitude Will Help You Get Better At Running
Are you not making much progress with your running?
I know the feeling. It can be hard to pull yourself out of a rut. Instead of sinking further into the mire by thinking negative thoughts, it can help to set a realistic goal to boost progress.
Let's say that you want to run 30 miles per week but have plateaued at 25 miles. Instead of aiming for the 30 next week, why not aim for 26 or 27?
Then when you look back at your training log you can safely say that you've progressed. By achieving your goal you'll be more inclined to think positively about your training.
From there hitting 30 miles isn't a massive challenge. You could aim for 28 or 29 the following week and then 30 after.
Setting yourself unrealistic targets can impede your progress. Ultimately we're all human and have our limits. But through perseverance and positivity we can continue to develop as people and runners.
My Average Jogging Speed As A Beginner Is 5.8 mph
My average jogging speed at the minute is about 5.8mph. Most joggers I know run at about 6mph.
As I've mentioned elsewhere my average jogging speed has actually decreased since I first started. In the early days I would run until I was exhausted and get back into the house in quite a state. This made me dread going out as I knew that each run was gonna be strenuous.
Nowadays I take it easier on the run and make sure I leave enough in the tank to finish strong. It's much better to finish a run strong than it is to start out too fast and end in a whimper.
In recent months, if I'm feeling strong enough at the end of the jog I'll go out a few hours later for another run around town. Usually this 2nd run is easier than the first and I can coast around on autopilot.