- Have you been running (nearly) every other day for at least six months?
- Can you run for more than 30 minutes without stopping?
- Do you always resist the temptation to run two days in a row?
If any of your answers are No, go back to Beginners.
If all of them are yes, you might be ready for the next step.
How To Get Faster
- When you're running nice and slow and then you suddenly feel all tired and weak and like you have to walk, instead break into a sprint. Just for a little way, then you can walk if you want. You can finish your run sprinting/walking or sprinting/slow running.
- Do a faster run in a different direction that is much shorter than your usual run. (This works particularly well if you're pressed for time and contemplating not running at all.)
- In general, try to avoid just doing your usual run faster. Your brain will tell you that it's impossible. You need to distract yourself.
How To Go Farther
- Plot out an out-and-back run -- a straight line -- that is new and that is farther than you usually go. Make extra sure to go slowly on the way out. You'll feel fine at the turnaround, and you'll have no way to cut your run short at that point.
- If you're having trouble adding distance to your usual route, it's easier to change the beginning of the route than the end.
- In general, it's better to do one longer run per week rather than adding a little time on to every run. For instance, if you usually run 40 minutes, do one 60 minute run and three 40 minute runs rather than four 45 minute ones.
How To Sneak In An Extra Run
A lot of people have a problem with the every-other-day plan, because weeks, inconveniently, have an odd number of days. If there's one day you really can't run, you're forced into a pattern where you have only three running days every week. If you're ready for Advanced Maggotry, once a week you are allowed to have two runs that are 36 hours apart instead of 48. So you could, for example, run Tuesday evening, Thursday evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday evening. It means you add in one morning run if you're an evening runner or one evening run if you're a morning runner. Do not abuse this privilege. You may have four runs per week MAXIMUM.
Oh and p.s. I do have a twitter thing now. We'll see.