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Run Coaches Reveal Essential Workouts to Accelerate Your Pace

Published on May 30 by Anna

Interval training, according to top running coaches, is a crucial component of any runner's regimen. These workouts involve alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity periods, providing a cardiovascular challenge that can significantly improve running speed. 

"Interval training is a game-changer for athletes wanting to improve their pace," says Boston-based run coach, Alex Reynolds. "By pushing your body to its limits during short, intense bursts of running, followed by a period of rest or lower intensity running, you're teaching your body to recover quickly and efficiently. This, in turn, helps increase your overall running speed."

But it's not just about intervals. Long runs also have a key role to play. These workouts, typically done once a week, involve running at a steady, slower pace for a longer duration. They help increase endurance, improve cardiovascular health, and teach the body to burn fat as fuel, a valuable skill for long-distance runners. 

"Long runs are about more than just endurance," says New York-based running coach, Sarah Mitchell. "They help you build mental toughness, which is often as important as physical strength in long-distance running. You learn to push through discomfort and to keep going even when you're tired."

But how do these workouts fit into an overall training plan? 

A balanced running plan should include a mix of interval training, long runs, and easy runs, according to leading run coaches. Easy runs are performed at a comfortable pace and help the body recover from more intense workouts. They also contribute to building running volume without overly stressing the body.

The integration of these different types of workouts into a training plan can be complex, and the optimal mix can vary depending on a runner's goals, fitness level, and other factors such as age and injury history. Run coaches can provide personalized guidance to ensure runners are getting the most out of their training while minimizing the risk of injury. 

While this advice from run coaches provides valuable insights into how to pick up the pace, it's important to remember that improving running speed is a gradual process. It requires consistency, patience, and a commitment to training. 

Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a beginner looking to improve your 5k time, incorporating intervals, long runs, and easy runs into your training plan can help you pick up the pace. But remember, it's not just about speed - building endurance, mental toughness, and a love for the sport are equally important.