Have you hit a running plateau in your stride? Maybe you aren't increasing your speed at the rate you'd hope or perhaps you've noticed you aren't clocking that extra mile you planned to add. If these scenarios sound familiar, you aren't alone. Running plateaus are common among athletes of all skill levels. We can either view a plateau as a setback or an opportunity.
Follow us as we race past plateaus, hurdle over challenges, and get back to the finish line. The team at FlipBelt is here to support you at every mile.
Why Do Runners Hit Plateaus?
Runners might hit a running plateau for a variety of reasons. One of the easiest ways to settle into a plateau is simply being content with where we are at. Many of us fall into the same routine day after day. Say we run 6 miles every 3 days at a speed of 8-9 minutes/mile. This is a fantastic workout routine and a great way to establish consistency! But when if we're looking to improve, habits can quickly become obstacles. A plateau is a sign that it's time for a change, a shift from the norm, a new, exciting adventure.
How To Break Through and Conquer
So how can we turn the corner on a running plateau and make a lasting change to our routine? We know breaking out of our box is hard, so the team at FlipBelt has put together our favorite ways to beat a running plateau.
Set Small, Achievable Goals
Every run has its own reward. Try to implement one small goal each week. While it can be tempting to set lofty goals, we're far more likely to keep subtle changes. Over time, these small goals will become big goals and empower you to conquer your plateau.
Incorporate Strength Training
We all know that cross-training is important for runners, but did you know the kind of cross-training also matters? If you've been limiting yourself to cardio, it's time to add in some strength training. Strength workouts improve endurance as well as balance, working every muscle in tandem. This can help you push through a plateau and come out on the other side stronger than ever.
Add a Rest Day
Sometimes we over-focus on our goals without giving our bodies adequate time for recovery. If you've noticed your running has stalled, it may not be because you aren't training hard enough. Try adding one extra rest day per week and note the difference in stamina and resilience. You can adjust this to add an additional rest day or a lower mileage day as needed. As the old rule of fitness goes, with higher-intensity workouts (i.e. more miles, faster pace) comes additional recovery time.
Invite a Friend
Having an accountability buddy can help you stick to your goals. Network with your local running community and find a friend to break through your plateau with. Not only will this allow you to mix up your routine and engage with the social side of running, but you'll be more motivated to keep up and keep training.
Pack the Right Gear
Increasing speed and mileage means your body requires more fuel throughout your run. Don't neglect important items such as water, energy bars, and electrolyte supplements. Be prepared for any weather so your goals are never stalled. We recommend packing a cooling gaiter to beat the summer heat. Last but not least, find a safe, secure place to store your phone so you have a reliable way to track progress via your favorite fitness apps. Our unique, innovative FlipBelts are designed by the running community with comfort, durability, and function in mind so you can keep going that extra mile.
Ready to break through your running plateau? Reach out to our team for more running tips and enjoy the journey!