If that is not the case, everything is good, you are most probably progressing. However, if you are experiencing a plateau, do not panic! Take the time to catch your breath and revisit your training method by adding new ingredients to it.
1- Your friends, the intervals
Rather off-putting at the beginning, intervals allow breaking monotony and pushing back your limits as a jogger. They rapidly prove to be quite profitable for a stagnating performance. Roughly speaking, it is a training method that mixes intensity and active recovery periods (regular pace run) or passive (rest). For example, adding a 30 second to 1 minute sprint after running 1 km at your regular pace is a type of interval.
2- Up and down the hills
You carefully avoid the streets in your neighbourhood that are too abrupt? Why not include them in a new course? You will discover new muscles by going up a hill and then down, you will also be working your cardio in a different way. The next time you run on your usual course, it will be as if you have wings!
3- That motivating music
Do you have that ONE song that boosts your energy on your iPod? That one song that will make you forget the kilometres you just ran and charge up your battery for the coming ones? Music can also be used to impose a tempo to your steps. Sing! Life is beautiful when running!
4- The motivated friends
Picture a rabbit running to catch its carrot… That’s the advantage of having an experienced friend to run with (do you know any Ironmans or triathletes?) following them could help you get out of your comfort zone. Their pace will unavoidably influence yours! Leave your pride at the door, dare a little!
Finally, as Jean-Yves Cloutier, advisor trainer for le Marathon Oasis de Montréal, says in his book entitled Courir au bon rythme: “there is no need to get exhausted, you just need to run at an appropriate pace!”