How to increase running distance when intervals aren’t cutting it
A new study shows that flat and steady wins the race… if you’re running a marathon.
Running can be frustrating when burn out comes after the first ten minutes. What’s even more frustrating is continuing on the same intervals routine – even changing up an interval routine – still not seeing any time increase and not knowing what can be done to improve distance ran.
So, while everyone who has done even a small bit of reading knows intervals can help increase stamina, what else can be done to increase time pounding the pavement when intervals just aren’t good enough?
If you’re looking for distance over speed, a recent study from South Dakota State University suggests running intervals on flat terrain is more effective for improving distance running than hill repeats. So while running hills may feel rewarding, it’s actually doing your body good to choose flat landscapes to run on. The study had runners do intervals twice a week for six weeks, on either level ground or a small incline. The results showed that the athletes who ran on a flat surface were able to run longer and more effectively without tiring out as quickly as the hill runners.
If distance is what you’re after, look for a flat area to run and watch your time improve relatively quickly. If you’re looking for speed over distance, however, or are training for an intense course, experts say it is better to run on hills for the intensity.