Ancillary Components in your run training

Wanna know the secret to a good run training plan, hard work and consistency. Yep, that’s it. It’s not magical, there is not some top secret formula . Even with the best laid plans. The coach or plan, will not work if you don’t. No magic bullet. No secret workout. No magic number. Consistent sound training over a duration of time will allow the body to absorb new stimulus, adapt and continue to improve.  There are some solid training principals that most of your top level coaches follow along with training practices that will aid in injury prevention and sustainability. Understanding the bodies reaction to stress and how we can  apply stress to run training without overloading and causing injury is the foundation for any solid coaching plan.

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I am a student of the sport. Eager to learn and grow as both a runner and coach. As A Vdot certified coach I have taken the time to study and follow the work of legendary coach Jack Daniels. However, I try not to get stuck in a box. What works for one athlete may not have the same affect on another. I think there is value in learning from the coaches that come before him and after him. Following athletes who train under his philosophies and those training in ways different to his principals.

I just finished Running With Lydiard.  A book about a world renown coach, way before his time. Compared to the structured, time restricted philosophies of Jack Daniels, it would seem that these coaches come from completely different corners. When you really hone in on Lydiard’s training philosophies, however, it’s the same idea. He values the training stimulus.  Like Daniels, asking athletes to train at their current ability, not training toward where they are going. For him, he takes a much less structured approach, but he also worked with a clientele that is on a much more elite level. I think this understanding of perceived effort and perception of reaching the desired training stimulus that Lydiard’s book includes would be difficult for newer and younger athletes.    I also believe one of the reasons Jack Daniels training principals are so widely used, is the ease at which it can be adapted and understood by a large variety of runners . This is especially true with his later versions of the book. Again, there are definitely some distinct difference between these two widely famous coaches, the underlying principals, are still there.  Train with purpose in mind every day, for every run.  Train at your current fitness level in order to reach the fitness level you want to achieve. 


barbell on the floor
Photo by Leon Martinez on

When designing a training plan, I like to think of the running, nutrition and recovery as the foundation of the training plan.  They are must have items.  Without that foundation the rest of the items don’t matter.  Progress will more than likely be minimal, at best.  Once the foundation is set, I begin to build in the ancillary components; strides, hill sprints, dynamic warm ups, form drills and strength.  Just like running each has a specific purpose. so do these ancillary pieces.

As a teacher, mother, wife, coach and business owner, I understand the busy life of many of my adult runners and high school athletes. When designing a training plan  and assigning ancillary training components beyond the mileage. I ask myself, is this important? Is this worth my athletes time? What am I trying to gain?   Can I gain a similar training affect more efficiently. img_2277


These ancillary items are  important for runners of all levels. Just like your run training, those little things add up.With consistency and a relatively short amount of additional time those other components can help make a runner stronger, faster, more economical and more injury resistant.  (Check out my post on Understanding Running Economy) Athletes who are consistent with these items can usually build mileage quicker and they can handle high quality sessions more readily.  They also recover better.  With just running, the muscular-skeletal system does not develop as quickly as the cardiovascular system.  These ancillary components address that limiting factor creating at more well rounded runner.  There is one constant; runners who are healthy, train better, are more consistent and more importantly enjoy running much more.


Next week I will be follow up each day breaking down some of those key ancillary training components that I like to prescribe for my athletes.  I look forward to sharing rationale for each along with some guidance to go you start.  Be sure to subscribe so that you can follow along!



Catch up on yesterdays post! Understanding Running Economy

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 11 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here





Published by RunCanvas

Avid Runner, mother, wife and teacher. On a wonderful journey, taking it one mile at a time.

4 thoughts on “Ancillary Components in your run training

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