As a soccer player I try to keep up and develop my stamina all year round, in particular during "off-season" by running 5/10 km twice a week. In the first weeks and up until a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a steady linear development that now has stabilized to 19:30/45:00 minutes and I am unable to progress anymore, although I've included two more sessions per week. Same time +-30s every time although I try to push myself to the limit.


What are the causes to the lack of progress?

1 Answer 1


There is a concept known as "training stress". When you put stress on your system and then give your body time to recover, you will improve.

When you started, it was easy for you to put stress on your system, but over time, your body adapted, and now you only put enough stress on your system to stay where you are.

The solution is to change up what you are doing, to once again provide training stress. To do this, you will need to increase the intensity of the work that you are doing. You can't do this with your current workout, so you will need to change your workout to be harder (during the high-intensity parts) and then easier during the rest of the workout. I'd also start by reducing the number of workouts back to twice a week.

You can find lots of good running interval workouts online. I would also suggest that you consider fartlek workouts; they will likely to be more interesting.

Do the interval workouts for a couple of weeks, do one easy workout to make sure you're well-rested, and then retest the runs you are doing now. You will see an improvement.

  • Does this hold for strength as well? Is it an interval based workout that should be incorporated there as well? I managed to go form 0 chins to 10 chins, but not a SINGLE more..
    – EricAm
    Jul 21, 2014 at 10:57
  • Training stress is also cumulative, and overtraining can also contribute to the same kind of symptoms. Before trying intervals, etc. take a week off and relax. Make sure you are completely rested/recovered. Then mix up your training.
    – alesplin
    Jul 21, 2014 at 20:04
  • Yes, I agree. A few times I've had relatively terrible times(a couple of minutes off) and I've felt tired. So recovery is indeed crucial.
    – EricAm
    Jul 22, 2014 at 20:14

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