Run Anglia: Variety is the spice of life when it comes to your summer training

Head of Physical Performance at Walk To Run, Charles Allen. Picture: Supplied

Head of Physical Performance at Walk To Run, Charles Allen. Picture: Supplied


Head of Physical Performance at Walk to Run, Charles Allen, discusses the importance of variation to your training.

With many of us involved in the spring marathon season in one way or another we slowly turn our minds to the summer and the wide variety of events on offer over the coming months.

This includes the Run Norwich 10km as well as many others, including the faster paced Lord Mayors 5k, where runners are expected to complete the challenging course in under 20 minutes.

But it’s not just our mind that needs to change focus, it’s our approach to training too. The transition from marathon to 5K and 10K training couldn’t be, or feel, more different. Our quest for speed sees us move away from the long runs associated with the marathon, towards sessions designed to test the body’s springs. Sessions that have us combining carefully controlled efforts - that see us working at up to 85-100 percent of our maximum – with equally controlled periods of recovery.

Training for shorter distances allows us to push for a faster pace per mile and thus the loading of the muscles and joints is magnified. There are extra neurological stimulations of our muscle fibres as we exert a bigger range of forces on the body.

MORE: Love running? Sign up to our Run Anglia Facebook group here

This can also mean that niggles, which once sat in the background during long distance training, could become more obvious, especially if ignored or left unattended.

The need for different footwear, diet, frequency of training can make those who have been training for the marathon almost feel like they are involved in a different sport.

Personally, we like seeing people mix it up at Walk to Run. Too much of the same type of training can result in adaptations that are less than healthy. Yes, running is good for us, but we need to consider power and strength to maintain our health and shorter, more explosive work, certainly ticks the boxes that the slow-paced runs certainly do not.

Our clients at Walk to Run Ltd have experienced huge success in going from one end of the spectrum to the other. We have seen improved bone density, muscle mass and a regeneration of physical performance resulting in improved speed over all the distances they take on.

From the middle of June, Walk to Run, in partnership with Sportlink, will be starting professionally informed development groups for runners. If you are interested in joining these groups to become faster, stronger runners then please contact us on

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