Ever heard someone say they are going on a steady run and wondered what they are talking about? Ever wondered why bother with a steady run? Shouldn't I just do intervals, tempo's and long runs? Read on
Steady runs, or steady state runs are a great way to build aerobic strength which are the foundation for any performance from 5km to the marathon. A steady run will be somewhere around 10 seconds faster to 20 seconds slower than your marathon pace. HERE is a nifty link to a calculator where you can pop in a recent race result to give you an idea on where your steady/easy run training pace should be.
Running at different paces in your workouts will not only add variety to your training, it is also a very effective way to enhance your overall performance.
So why steady run? Well if you only ever ran fast do you think you would get better performances? Possibly, but only in the short term, eventually your body would adjust and you would start to plateau.
A steady run can be used in training programs to accomplish certain objectives, such as when you start back training after an injury or as I mentioned above building aerobic strength. One of the things with developing aerobic strength is that it TAKES TIME. Investing your time in steady runs is certainly for the long game. Steady runs help you develop your aerobic strength by challenging your aerobic system and not making you too tired to run hard in the following days.
A steady run is one that feels comfortable but purposeful pace. The steady run helps teach your body economy, and also familiarises you with the speed you should set off if doing a marathon come race day (if that's what you are training for)
You should start your steady run easy for the first few km's until your blood starts to flow and the muscles loosen up. From there you should start to increase up to your steady pace and then try and stay as consistent as possible for each km during the run. Your steady run will likely work up to be a little longer than your tempo runs as well. I also sometimes plan a mid week steady run in peoples program to help with building their aerobic strength.
If you want to learn more about steady runs or need some more guidance to help you in your training, get in touch.
Simon Brooker is an accredited Multisport and Running Coach based in Brisbane, Australia