As runners we often associate our progress with our pace, but there are MANY signs of increased fitness that have nothing to do with speed.
Let's take a look at a few of them with Coach Carola from ZOOMA Run Club:
You can run LONGER. You can run for a longer distance or more time and can manage it without difficulty.
You can run MORE. You are able to increase your frequency and/or running volume. You are able to run more times per week and more overall volume.
Your heart rate is lower and more consistent. It is easier for you to stay in your target HR zone when running. Your resting heart rate may also have decreased.
You feel strong on hills. Don't get me wrong hills will probably never be EASY, but are you now able to crush that hill that used to leave you gasping for air or bring you to a complete stop?
- You can stay consistent. This one is key! Consistency is the most important part of your training. Have you experienced cycles of burnout in the past or needed lots of unplanned rest days because you felt tired? If you have struggled with consistency in the past but are now able to stick with your training, it's a HUGE sign of increased fitness!
Have you noticed any of these signs recently in your own running? CONGRATULATIONS! Your hard work is paying off!