Before you can run fast, you should build a big aerobic base to serve as your foundation. This will be the platform that will launch you to great heights if you are patient enough to let it evolve naturally. This can take quite a bit of time so impatience is the enemy. Understand that it will take years to reach the peak of your aerobic fitness and that there are no shortcuts to the top. Of course, you could include faster sessions in your training plan that but of your days should be spent on easy runs. Experts say 80% should be easy. Here are some tips for building your fitness:
Bring Down the Intensity
Aerobic activity is characterized by low effort such that you never feel like you are running out of oxygen because of the exertion. Since people have different fitness levels, what feels easy for one person may be hard for another. Always stay within yourself and don’t try to keep up with others all the time during training. You do plenty of catching up when racing. If you ever feel like you are getting side stitches or running low on air, then do not hesitate to slow down. If you are breathing hard, then you are in the anaerobic zone which is the wrong place to be.
Wear a Heartrate Monitor
If you are having some difficulty gauging your effort, then you may get help from technologies like a heart rate monitor. A lot of GPS watches come with heart rate tracking using a chest strap. This can be cumbersome to wear but it is fairly accurate. Newer watches have integrated wrist-based monitors located at the underside. This is more convenient as there are no straps to fiddle with, worry about, or constrict your chest. The downside is that the readings are not yet as accurate but this should improve over time.
Slowly Increase the Duration
Since you will be running easy, you will be able to go longer than you would if you were sprinting. Even novices will probably be able to go for 15-30 minutes without stopping if they are reasonably fit. Wherever your starting point might be, take note of it and slowly increase the duration. It would be best to go by time instead of distance. If you can only run for a minute before feeling tired, then so be it. Walk it off until you are ready to go again and repeat. The following week, try to run for 2 minutes at a time. Eventually, you should be able to go for an hour or much longer without needing a break.
Proactively Prevent Overuse Injuries
Lowering the intensity has a dual purpose: it reduces your risk of injury. You will be able to train daily without getting overly tired or feeling your body break down. This doesn’t mean that you won’t feel occasional aches and pains. Niggles will come up. Just be sure to treat them aggressively with rest, massage, and strengthening exercises.