It happens to most seasoned trail runners – you hit the plateau sooner than you like – when no matter how fast or how often you run, you stop making any real progress.
If this is affecting you too, then now is the time to change the way you are running. Here are some key strategies to help you overcome the slump.
Incorporate Hill Specific Training
Very few trail runners may have been able to master the art of running uphill and downhill, there always remains room for improvement in this arena. Apart from tackling hills on your regular trail runs, you can add more spunk to your training by incorporating hill-specific training. This will help you improve your confidence levels and also your technique.
Hill repeats may not be the easiest things in the world, but they are one of the most effective ways to boost your uphill prowess. You can incorporate running into your climb up the hill, but you must focus on your downhill progress too. This may not be able to substitute your typical trail run but it can certainly eliminate your weaknesses and improve your strengths.
Interval Hill Training
The problem with hill training is the rough terrain as it may hinder progress. It is just not the same as running on flat ground. So instead of trying to beat the clock, try and focus on the effort. You can try this with interval training where you can run for a short while with all your effort, stop for a few minutes, and then run again. Keep these workouts short and sweet in the beginning, and then continue to push yourself harder. Over time you can improve your strength and the distances you cover.
Strength Training Adds Spink to Your Regime
It’s not only about the effort you put on the trails but also about your exertion in the gym. Focussing on your core and legs improves your coordination and can give you a big boost on your trail-running efforts.
Leg workouts include squats, single-leg squats, and different types of lunges, while core workouts include bicycles and different plank variations. You can also add a stability workout on the Bosu ball to improve your balance.
Shake your general fitness routine to run a new distance. For instance, if you are fixing a specific goal distance for yourself, try and clock in some extra mileage for yourself. As you clock in longer runs you may discover new aspects of your competitive self.
It’s not always about clocking extra miles, but also trying to reach the same distance in a shorter span of time. When you’re more used to running long and steady, you’ll also be able to amp up your speed.
Don’t Ignore Your Shoes
Don’t ignore what you run in, we mean your trail running shoes. Properly fit and rugged shoes can literally help you to cover the extra distance. Pick up shoes that can brave any terrain you run on, and they will also boost your confidence. They also keep you from slipping when you are covering the downhills in sturdy shoes.
Rest Days Are Really Important
Don’t forget to include proper rest days. If you are someone who is always in the relentless pursuit of fresh fitness goals, then you need to be most conscious of the rest days. Recovery is the missing puzzle in getting the most out of a workout. It helps you recover, give your best to your next intensive workout, and prevent injuries. Instead of lazing around on your rest days, stay active and do something less taxing, such as stretching and yoga.
Strengthen Your Ankles
Gain ankle strength to remain active when you are running on trails. You can improve your ankle strength by incorporating bands and rotating your ankles.
Focusing on this aspect of training is important as you need to adapt to the changing terrain. Your foot will be more adjustable to a dynamic surface.
Focus on your strengths and continue to challenge yourself as you run towards your fitness goals. Don’t get bothered by a lull in your fitness journey, rev up your efforts, and hit hard to reach your goals! Best of luck!