As the New Year gets underway, many of us have made a resolution to start running (again). Here we take a look at good practices.
How fast should beginners run?
Perseverance is the first key to success if you’re trying to find your ideal pace. If at first you have to walk, then alternate walking and running and don’t get discouraged. Gradually increase the time you jog: 15, 20, 30 minutes then between 45 minutes and an hour to benefit in the medium term, and do one or two sessions a week.
Jogging should be easy exercise: you should be able to chat without being breathless, find it easy to manage your breathing and have a relaxed posture. If that’s not the case, you’re going too fast, and forcing the pace is counter-productive. Take your time and exercise regularly to imprint your pace on your memory over a period of a few weeks. This comfortable pace, known as “fundamental endurance”, underpins a runner’s training and is different for everyone.
What are the benefits of jogging?
You’ll be delighted to discover that a jogging pace has more health benefits than other types of running! It enables you to:
- Work on your pace, breath and developing your ability to run for longer
- Help your heart and lungs to use oxygen more efficiently
- Get to know your body and its capabilities better
- Work on your posture and stride
- Stimulate recovery and the regeneration of your body and muscles
Can you progress just by jogging?
YES: When you’re starting out, jogging is the first variation of running that helps you progress. Jogging regularly and for longer distances plays a central role in a runner’s development, and his or her capacity to run more efficiently for longer periods.
NO: If all you do is jogging, you’ll hit a plateau. You’ll need to commit to different types of sessions like interval training if you want to improve your time. For a regular runner, jogging is essential for both warming up and recovery. It is the basis of weekly training and is around 70% of the total running programme. The rest comprises faster-paced sessions. These will help develop abilities like speed and stamina, which can’t be achieved by jogging alone.
Can you go faster when jogging?
Don’t think that top athletes go out jogging at 20km/h while sipping a cocktail. They too stick to the slow “fundamental endurance” rhythm. Jogging is essentially a paradox: knowing how to run more slowly in order to run fast. So it is vital to stick to the right rhythm. However, your jogging speed can increase as your level improves. Once you become stronger and build more stamina, it will naturally become faster.
Why is it bad if you run too fast?
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, your legs are pounding the tarmac, your friends are piling the pressure on, you accelerate, the GPS shows impressive speeds, but it’s all wrong! Your jogging has become a speed session and you’ve lost the benefits of recovery. If all your training sessions are intense, when you going to recover?
Going too fast when you are jogging means:
- Tiring yourself out unnecessarily without progressing
- Greater risk of injury
- Increased muscle fatigue
- Bad recovery
Why not just enjoy it?
Always remember that jogging should be for pleasure and not because you feel you have to. It’s the best way to enjoy your surroundings, an easy pace in the fresh air putting the world to rights, breathing serenely, bounding around the countryside following the butterflies as they flutter by, with a light breeze caressing your face. No stress, just enjoy it!