Bear in mind that it takes months and years of consistency to build a good endurance base or endurance backbone and it is a continual work in progress. With the decimation of the race calendar it is probably a good time to back off the intensity of training a little and here are a few ideas of what you could be doing whilst on your solo runs
1. Leave the HRM at home for easy runs, switch off your pace or lap timer and get out on the trails or parks and explore new routes and learn to run by feel and free of tech.
2. Extend those easy runs a little so make the odd 45 min run a 55 or 60 min run.
3. If you were in the final stages of marathon prep with long runs of say 16-20 miles with some mar pace work thrown in, why not replace with a weekly shorter strong steady pace run of 10-12 miles at a little quicker than mar pace.
4. Replace the group club session with tempo intervals so more volume but at a slightly lower intensity (a pace you can hold for around an hour) which for most club runners lies between 10k and half marathon pace. An example is the Watson fartlek (pic below), and recovery should be kept short at around 60 secs to get max benefit from this workout.
5. Do a time trial over 2 or 3 miles, maybe every 2 weeks and on a flat route in the middle of a run, so maybe 3 easy 3 TT, 2 easy and trying to pace evenly but at race pace, this will teach pace discipline and help keep you motivated.
6. Try to build in a hilly run each week, preferably on a grass or trail lap, maybe a mile or 2 with several hills of differing length and gradient, this run should be steady pace and working up and over the top of all hills, and is great for building strength.
7. Think about your autumn targets or even spring 2021 targets and plan your training for them now. Don’t forget you can sharpen up off a strong base very quickly and massive gains can be made in around 6 weeks once you start the high intensity sessions again.
Above all, do not throw away all your gains by simply throwing the towel in. You will lose little by stepping back a little and if you are guilty of racing every weekend or over racing, then this is an opportunity to try out something new. Periodisation in training involves a lot of work up to tempo pace over 3 or 4 months, followed by a period of intense interval and hill work to peak for a certain time or series of races…..you may just surprise yourself 😉