Running is a regular part of many people’s lives, particularly those who are serious about good health. Those who have just started incorporating running into their health routine may already be beginning to see the addictive nature of running everyday. Running helps clear the mind of any stress or tension and keeps your body in great shape. In fact, regular runners often find themselves feeling a little off if they miss out on doing a run.
While some people are content with simply running a little everyday, some might be keener on pushing themselves a little farther- those with marathon aspirations in particular will be eager to try running harder each time in order to build up speed and stamina. The truth is however, that is you want to learn how to run faster, you must first learn to run slow.
The Secret Formula
Studies have shown that athletes who put in a long, slow run at least once a week develop better overall conditioning and display considerable improvement in long distance runs. The secret to this improvement lies in the monitoring of the heartbeat. The tri-athlete Mark Allen developed a simple formula which can be used to calculate what your heart rate should be for a particular run.
By determining what his heart rate should be for a certain run, the runner can then start running and make sure that he keeps his heart rate below that limit. If the heart rate exceeds the limit, the runner should either slow down or stop running completely. Straining the heart during a run does not benefit the runner but if he can monitor his heart rate, he can gradually increase his aerobic capacity.
Running slow does not simply increase your aerobic capacity; it also helps runners in a number of other ways. Running slow helps a runner develop a much-needed mental toughness, especially for runners who are keen on doing marathon running.
Power of your mind
Completing a marathon is as much about mental conditioning as physical conditioning. More often than not, a runner may feel like putting on an extra spurt of energy when he should be running slow and steady. Practicing slow runs will condition your body and mind to hold steady during a long distance run.
Another advantage to running slow is that it will indeed help you to run faster and harder. Once you have learned to pace yourself, you will also learn how to store and maintain your energy for the stretches when speed is necessary. You will find that when you do kick into high gear, your body is prepared for it and you don’t feel drained and fatigued. Slow running is one of the best ways for long-distance runners to condition themselves for marathons.