We all have those days, especially in winter, when the alarm goes off and you look out the window, all you can see is wind, rain, and darkness. The training plan says that you need to do a 4 mile tempo run and this is the only opportunity you have to do it, work will take over the rest of the day and you are looking forward to watching a documentary about maggots that evening (other docs are available, I don’t even know if that doc exists, it probably doesn’t, but you get the point!).
“Missing this one run won’t matter will it? This bed is so warm! I think I’ll skip it…”
As a coach I hear all sorts of excuses, normally on a day that hill reps are involved! I don’t mind people missing the odd session, I encourage it if there is a valid reason, but making a habit of doing so isn’t going to help your running, or your dream of smashing that marathon PB. So I thought I’d share five training sessions that are hugely beneficial to your running, and a reason to stop avoiding them.
Classic excuse: The race I’m training for is flat!
Reason not to skip: Hill reps are basically ‘leg day’ for runners; they improve your leg strength enormously and will benefit your cardiovascular system.
Classic excuse: It’s hard!
Reason not to skip: A tempo run should feel ‘comfortably hard’ and will help improve your speed, if you want to become a faster runner, then you need to include some tempo runs into your training.
Classic excuse: I’m training of a marathon, not a 5k!
Reason not to skip: Intervals build strength, speed and running form, whatever distance you are training for, they are hugely beneficial.
Classic excuse: What’s the point? I’ve done the tough workouts.
Reason not to skip: When implemented into a training plan correctly, easy runs can be essential in aiding recovery, ready for another week of hard training.
Classic excuse: I haven’t got time!
Reason not to skip: If you are training for longer races, like a marathon or ultra, then the long runs are vital. They are your chance to work on building up endurance and learning about how your body reacts to the vigour’s of longer distances.
Stop skipping those sessions and you will become a better runner quicker than you can say “Mo Farah”!
About Matt Buck
Matt owns Running Adventures and is an ultra runner and coach.
Running Adventures offer coaching for all types of race, from 5k to ultras, as well as guided trail runs. Find out more about Running Adventures here.