Pace and distance goals are achievable through experience and consistency

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Candra Winata/Unsplash

At some point, almost every runner thinks about adding distance to their routine. After all, two of the many goals runners have in mind is to run faster and farther. But like any other sport, progress doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of patience, practice, and determination to reach those goals. The good news though is that pace and distance ambitions are achievable through experience and consistency. 

Practice the 10 Percent Rule

According to strength and elite performance coach Francis Diano, the best way to increase mileage is to follow the 10 percent rule (10PR), which states that you should only increase your weekly distance by 10 percent over the previous week and nothing more. It’s a safe and time-proven formula that allows you to progress with minimal risk of injury. 

If you are currently running 10 miles a week and want to increase your distance, you must run not more than 11 miles the following week. After completing 11 miles, you can run 12 miles next week and 13 miles the week after that. The 10PR will help increase the your distance up to 20 miles in eight to 10 weeks. 

If you are currently running 10 miles a week and want to increase your distance, you must run not more than 11 miles the following week. After completing 11 miles, you can run 12 miles next week and 13 miles the week after that

Master the Skill of Visualization and Pacing

Diano says that visualization and pacing are two extremely important skills that runners should hone. The ability to visualize helps reinforce mental endurance by providing a plan for your goals. Meanwhile, pacing prevents you from exhaustion and ensures you have enough energy to cope with the journey ahead.

Visualization means engaging all human senses to achieve your goals. You must always visualize how you aim to complete the race before you even start. Pacing is knowing when and how to run fast and slow, and how this could improve performance.

Consistency Is Key

Respect the distance and  remember that consistency is key. As cliché as that may sound, those two statements are the keys to the success of many championship runners worldwide,” says Diano. 

He also adds that undertraining for a distance that you are not prepared for could possibly lead to a painful and unpleasant experience. Undertraining also increases the risk of developing an injury, which can lead to long-term setback. The best solution is to run consistently and remember that slow progress is always better than no progress at all. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest sports news and active lifestyle and fitness features you need