Mistake 3: Not Enough Intensity
Athletes often think, “I’ll be running slowly during my race, so I don’t need to run fast during training.” This thinking is not entirely flawed. It’s not that you need to run spectacularly fast but rather that you need to focus on a range of different intensities. Developing specific parts of your physiology, through focused intensity during different parts of the year, produces a more fit and ready athlete, regardless of your background and goals. For those of you reading this who do in fact incorporate some sort of intensity, I applaud you and encourage you to give yourself a pat on the back.
However, even when athletes incorporate intensity, I have often found it to be sporadic and unsystematic. They do different intensities during the week (say, a speed session on Tuesday and a tempo run on Thursday) or not enough of the same intensity all at once. Yes, some intensity is better than none, but focused and concentrated intensity, applied systematically over a period of weeks, is the best way to become a complete athlete.