More than just running:
how to vary your training
Keep your running practise exciting and diverse
Admittedly: Running can also be a bit boring. And if you always run the same route at the same pace, you will have a hard time improving. It helps to leave the well-worn paths and try new content with “driving games”, mountain runs and trail running that are fun and powerful.
No other form of training is as versatile as the driving game. On the one hand, it is the ideal preparation for anyone planning a cross-country run, and on the other hand, it increases endurance, strength, the ability to regenerate and also trains coordination. And there is another side effect: it shortens the "perceived" training time by several minutes because it is so varied. With a driving game, you can also approach your competition speed wonderfully.
Depending on your training condition, daily form and terrain, you constantly change the speed during a run so that you sometimes strain your body less and sometimes more. You are free to choose the length of the route, the running speed and the duration of the exertion. You can adapt your training perfectly to the geographical conditions. Sometimes you quickly run uphill and then downhill at an easy going speed. Rush uphill if you like. That strengthens your legs. You can then use the next downhill section for the speed rush or rest while running in an easy going way. In the breaks between the fast sections, you should always jog on to train recovery while still running.
However, you should also check your heart rate during this type of ride. Beginners in particular can otherwise quickly overstrain themselves. In the fast sections, your heart rate can easily rise to 85 to 95 percent of your maximum achievable heart rate. The pauses should last until you have reached the heart rate you would normally use for a steady endurance run, i.e. about 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.
The running game is also a very good training tool for practising the intended short section speed which you would need for running competitions. Initially, it is sufficient to run at competition pace for one to two minutes. By gradually lengthening the tempo runs up to ten to twelve minutes while shortening the breaks, you can increase your performance from week to week and thus get closer to the competition speed step by step. The heart rate is of secondary importance in this type of training, as you want to run at the planned competition pace in the fast sections. Of course, you should have considered beforehand - also based on your heart rate data - how fast you want to (and can) run each kilometer in your planned race.