VARIETY could be just what you need…

I’ve got something a little bit different for you today. In-line with the theme of this email, I’m going to spice things up, by not relying solely on the written word and using a different medium: VIDEO

The video’s short and to the point and is meant to entertain and get you thinking, rather than provide you with any detailed analysis or step-by-step plan.

Now I’ve got your attention. This is basically the scenario I see frequently with runners. They want to get faster and don’t understand why they’re not doing so any more. They may have started running fairly recently and have built up to regularly to running 3 – 4 times a week. They run the same routes, in the same direction at the same time of day, at the same pace – every time.

Want to get the same results – do the same old crap – otherwise you’re going to have to change things up a bit.

Fitness is a many faceted thing. It involves:

  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Breathing
  • Strength/Power
  • Different Energy systems
    • Aerobic
    • Anaerobic
  • Fuel – Nutrition/Hydration
  • Different muscle fibre types;
    • Fast-twitch
    • Slow-twitch
  • Speed
  • Performance
  • Tactics
    • Concentration
    • Mental toughness
    • Discipline
    • Routine

I would hope that it’s fairly obvious that just going for a gentle jog a few times a week – though good for you, would not have much impact on improving the anaerobic energy system, speed, power or fast twitch muscle fibres. However, doing a bit of speed work (faster-paced) running will improve all of these as well as the efficiency of slower running and benefit your aerobic system too.

Your body doesn’t utilise every strand of muscle in a muscle group all at once. It cycles through them, so that some get a rest while other do the work of running. Fast-twitch fibres can be called on in long distance events like the marathon, when slow twitch fibres have been exhausted. But they will not last very long and generally don’t as that’s not what they’re designed for. But they will be next to useless if they’ve never really been trained at all.

So think about your running and consider ways to inject some variety into it. If you usually run in the daytime, try a night run. If you normally run exclusively on roads, try a trail run. If you always run slow, do some faster paced runs. You will thank me for it – It will make you a fitter and better runner.


Best Wishes & Happy Running,

Coach D

PS – I didn’t intend to share this video with anyone, as it was just a ‘mock-up’ for me to learn how to do things. As with most things in life (running included), taking decisive action, even when things aren’t perfect, beats doing nothing every time. Whilst I’m not happy with the quality of the video, especially my narration. I think it has the potential to be useful. I’m also aware that I can be my own worst critic and and on reflection, I’m very new to this video-making malarkey, but I fully expect to improve with consistent practice.

About the author 

Coach D

Hi, I'm Dave. I'm a UK Athletics qualified and licensed Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF), Endurance Event Group Coach and Certified Running Technique Coach. I coach groups and individuals of all abilities both online and in person.

I particularly enjoy coaching beginner and improver runners in the 40+ age range.

I'm also a regular recreational runner and I've been competing in races from 5k to marathon distance for over 30 years.

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