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.

img_2278
Follow RunCanvas on Instagram!

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 Pexels.com

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.

img_1531

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

 

 

 

 

Understanding Running Economy

I’m not going to lie. I really nerd out when I get to teach my middle school kiddos concepts that I can relate to running, or exercising in some way . We have been recently learning about how our body converts food energy into a usable form of energy called adenine triphosphate, or ATP. This process is called cellular respiration.img_2269

Our body goes through two types of cellular respiration, aerobic and anaerobic. Most adults have heard of the two different types of exercises before. Aerobic respiration occurs when the body uses oxygen while anaerobic occurs without the use of  oxygen. The difference is mostly dependent on the pace and duration you are going when you are exercising.

The difference also breaks down the different types of fuel the body can use as fuel and how quickly. This can help a weight conscious runner fuel more effectively and still maintain energy through the training cycle. This can also help runners understand running economy.

What is running economy?

selective focus photography of gasoline nozzle
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

An overly simplified analogy, commonly used,to understand running economy is fuel economy of a car. Which is, how much fuel it takes to get your car to travel a specific distance. The difference is the fuel used when talking about running economy is calories and oxygen. As both are ingredients for the same aerobic process for cellular respiration they are fairly interchangeable and most often the consumption of oxygen is the primary focus. However, there can be some slight variation depending on the fuel source being used, such as carbohydrates being easier to break down than fat.  That is why endurance athletes will turn to simple sugars for mid race fuel,  because it is a more economical fuel source .

Why is it important?

Running economy is a measurable factor that plays a role in performance outcome . Essentially, the more economical a runner is at a given speed the better they become. There are of course other factors, both physiological and psychological that will play in the outcome of an athletes performance.img_1265

Running economy is often looked at alongside a runners VO2 max . Which is another measurable factor the plays a role in performance outcome. If you have two runners A&B, both having the same VO2 max, but runner B has a better running economy. Most likely, runner B will also have a better performance than runner A. The difference is seen in greater proportions in the long distance races verse middle distance.

 

Can you improve running economy?

Absolutely! Simple things like increasing a runners mileage base can improve running economy. One training aspect often neglected or even avoided by runners is strength training, which is an excellent way to improve running economy.  Greatly undervalued and non-time consuming form drills , strides and short intervals are other great ways to improve running economy.   The development of running economy can be quite simple or complex depending on the need of the individual runner.

Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to subscribe for more great information!

 

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

 

Understanding Running Economy

I’m not going to lie. I really nerd out when I get to teach my middle school kiddos concepts that I can relate to running, or exercising in some way . We have been recently learning about how our body converts food energy into a usable form of energy called adenine triphosphate, or ATP. This process is called cellular respiration.img_2269

Our body goes through two types of cellular respiration, aerobic and anaerobic. Most adults have heard of the two different types of exercises before. Aerobic respiration occurs when the body uses oxygen while anaerobic occurs without the use of  oxygen. The difference is mostly dependent on the pace and duration you are going when you are exercising.

The difference also breaks down the different types of fuel the body can use as fuel and how quickly. This can help a weight conscious runner fuel more effectively and still maintain energy through the training cycle. This can also help runners understand running economy.

What is running economy?

selective focus photography of gasoline nozzle
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

An overly simplified analogy, commonly used,to understand running economy is fuel economy of a car. Which is, how much fuel it takes to get your car to travel a specific distance. The difference is the fuel used when talking about running economy is calories and oxygen. As both are ingredients for the same aerobic process for cellular respiration they are fairly interchangeable and most often the consumption of oxygen is the primary focus. However, there can be some slight variation depending on the fuel source being used, such as carbohydrates being easier to break down than fat.  That is why endurance athletes will turn to simple sugars for mid race fuel,  because it is a more economical fuel source .

Why is it important?

Running economy is a measurable factor that plays a role in performance outcome . Essentially, the more economical a runner is at a given speed the better they become. There are of course other factors, both physiological and psychological that will play in the outcome of an athletes performance.img_1265

Running economy is often looked at alongside a runners VO2 max . Which is another measurable factor the plays a role in performance outcome. If you have two runners A&B, both having the same VO2 max, but runner B has a better running economy. Most likely, runner B will also have a better performance than runner A. The difference is seen in greater proportions in the long distance races verse middle distance.

 

Can you improve running economy?

Absolutely! Simple things like increasing a runners mileage base can improve running economy. One training aspect often neglected or even avoided by runners is strength training, which is an excellent way to improve running economy.  Greatly undervalued and non-time consuming form drills , strides and short intervals are other great ways to improve running economy.   The development of running economy can be quite simple or complex depending on the need of the individual runner.

Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to subscribe for more great information!

 

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

 

Running tips for rainy weather

Yesterday I gave a super short post on the benefits of heading outside in less than ideal conditions for a training run. Train for the worst, so you can run your best!  Whether your goal race is Boston Marathon or a smaller scaled local race. You are taking time to prepare for that race and you should develop skills that make you a more well rounded runner. Practicing in the elements allows you to be prepared for a variety of race days conditions along with making you a mentally stronger runner no matter what race day brings.  So put on your big girl ( or big boy) pants and run in the rain!

Here are some tips to make running in the rain, more enjoyable.

  • Wear a slicker! A vented rain jacket that will allow air to flow through while also keeping you dry. These things can trap a lot of body heat as you get running, so don’t worry about finding one that offers any sort of warmth or insulation. You will not want that additional warmth during a warm summer rain.
  • Dress for the temperatures-  It easy to see the cooler rain and want to add an on extra layers. However, you will warm up, the rain jacket will trap in your body heat and you begin sweating, it will only make the problem worse.  Dress as you would for the weather, if it were not raining, and then add on your shell/slicker.
  • Keep your head dry!   Wear a hat with a brim to keep your head dry and water out of your eyes while you are running. If it’s raining a bit harder and you have a slicker, pull the hood up as well.
  • Be Visible!  It’s always a good idea for runners to think about visibility for safety reasons, but it is even more imperative when it is raining and visibility is lowered.  My rain jacket is bright orange, its not a fashion statement.
  • Say no to chaffing! Pre-lube/Body Glide up any areas that have caused issue in the past. Just in case, I carry a Chapstick size body lube in my flip belt when on longer runs so that I can touch up any hot spots.
  • Take care of your feet.  While shoes are usually the star of the show, in rainy weather it is all about the socks.   Avoid cotton and stick with socks that are specifically designed for running.  I absolutely love my Swiftwick socks on rainy days. They are thinner and have never caused an issue.
  • Ditch the electronics. Even the best laid plans can fail. My sweet husband put his phone in a Ziplock bag and water still managed to get in and ruin his phone.  I am pretty sure I assured him it would be fine, too.
  • Change immediately after your run. Even if you aren’t cold yet,  as your body temperature cools back down you will get cold very quickly.  A nice warm shower will do wonders, also.
  • Consider loops- On long rainy runs, I will complete shorter loops allowing me to dress or undress as the weather changes. Change socks or shoes if any blisters start creeping in and towel off my face or anything else to keep the run more comfortable.
  • Most importantly, Have fun!  Bring back the inner child and have a little bit of fun with it.  Toward the end of your run splash in a few puddles and pretend the rain drops are lemon drops and gum drops.  Choose to have a great run!

 

img_2230-1

What are your favorite running weather conditions? What are your least favorite conditions? Comment below!  If you enjoy the content, check out some of my other posts! Be sure to subscribe for more!

 

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

 

Train for the worst, so you can run your best!

Rain, wind, snow and yo-yo temperatures.  It seems like we experienced all four seasons in the 48 hour weekend here in KC. The only thing predictable about Midwest weather, is that it is quite unpredictable.  So while many athletes are taking it indoors.  As long as safety isn’t compromised, I encourage my athletes to head outdoors and brave the elements most of the time.   Train through the worst conditions, so on race day, you can run your best.

When you are prepared for everything, you will be scared of nothing.  Now that it is April and we are nearing Marathon Monday (Boston Marathon).  What a better example of goal races with less than ideal weather conditions.  I had a great number of friends in attendance last year many with stories of triumphs and some with stories of misery.  Ok, maybe a few whose story included both.

Some runners were prepared, mentally tough and forged through gross conditions with new PRs or remarkable stories of overcoming adverse conditions. Not to mention huge bragging rights to saying they were at the historic 2018 Boston Marathon.

It’s not a complete correlation, but athletes who are willing to go out in less than ideal conditions and avoid making excuses during training.  They will fair far better when things go wrong on race day. It’s a little bit about learning to run in those weather conditions and much more about building mental fortitude. There are races that will be hotter than ideal, raining, windy or freezing.  Prepare yourself for all possibilities and remember every chance to run is a chance to get better!

img_2230-1

Running in crappy weather gives you bragging rights as well! Some of the times my running friends laugh the hardest about are the crappy weather days.  My friend Ben and I ran into ice pelting us in the face, what seemed no matter what direction we ran.  With a bit of morbid sarcasm me manged through and frequently joke about our match with the ninja star snow.

Last summer I had a run, that for some reason I was absolutely dreading.  With heavy winds and rain forecasted, I wanted to do anything else but run.  It took some serious will power to get started and I reflect back on that run as a break through run for me. I ran fast and felt good after a bit of a stale period. Subsequent runs went remarkable well, also.  It may have been just the mental break from ungodly heat that I needed.

So get outside and face the challenge. When you are done, raise your head proud because you are a bad ass runner!

I have already posted tips for running in the winter. Check it out!  I plan to follow up with tips for running in the rain tomorrow, training tips for the heat later this week and then how and when to adjust your workouts when it is windy.

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

Train for the worst, so you can run your best!

Rain, wind, snow and yo-yo temperatures.  It seems like we experienced all four seasons in the 48 hour weekend here in KC. The only thing predictable about Midwest weather, is that it is quite unpredictable.  So while many athletes are taking it indoors.  As long as safety isn’t compromised, I encourage my athletes to head outdoors and brave the elements most of the time.   Train through the worst conditions, so on race day, you can run your best.

When you are prepared for everything, you will be scared of nothing.  Now that it is April and we are nearing Marathon Monday (Boston Marathon).  What a better example of goal races with less than ideal weather conditions.  I had a great number of friends in attendance last year many with stories of triumphs and some with stories of misery.  Ok, maybe a few whose story included both.

Some runners were prepared, mentally tough and forged through gross conditions with new PRs or remarkable stories of overcoming adverse conditions. Not to mention huge bragging rights to saying they were at the historic 2018 Boston Marathon.

It’s not a complete correlation, but athletes who are willing to go out in less than ideal conditions and avoid making excuses during training.  They will fair far better when things go wrong on race day. It’s a little bit about learning to run in those weather conditions and much more about building mental fortitude. There are races that will be hotter than ideal, raining, windy or freezing.  Prepare yourself for all possibilities and remember every chance to run is a chance to get better!

img_2230-1

Running in crappy weather gives you bragging rights as well! Some of the times my running friends laugh the hardest about are the crappy weather days.  My friend Ben and I ran into ice pelting us in the face, what seemed no matter what direction we ran.  With a bit of morbid sarcasm me manged through and frequently joke about our match with the ninja star snow.

Last summer I had a run, that for some reason I was absolutely dreading.  With heavy winds and rain forecasted, I wanted to do anything else but run.  It took some serious will power to get started and I reflect back on that run as a break through run for me. I ran fast and felt good after a bit of a stale period. Subsequent runs went remarkable well, also.  It may have been just the mental break from ungodly heat that I needed.

So get outside and face the challenge. When you are done, raise your head proud because you are a bad ass runner!

I have already posted tips for running in the winter. Check it out!  I plan to follow up with tips for running in the rain tomorrow, training tips for the heat later this week and then how and when to adjust your workouts when it is windy.

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

RunCanvas Ready Made Training Plans!

Great for beginners to advanced!

RunCanvas offers multiple options for each race distances.  Periodized run training plans based on the foundations of legendary coach Jack Daniels. This comprehensive plan goes beyond running to include; dynamic warm ups, running form drills, and no weights strength training.

Runner assessment done either via email (most common and usually quickest option) or phone call will help your RunCanvas certified running coach set your plan up to meet you at your current fitness (pacing and weekly mileage).  The plan is then uploaded into the VDOT training app with and paces calculated by the VDOT calculator.  If you get in lead up races along the way, paces can be updated to match your new fitness levels and increases your training stimulus.  Taking your from where you are now, to where you want to be!

Self-motivation and individual commitment are required for this plan. A weekly follow up email is optional for athletes who have questions about the structure or function of their training.

 

 RunCanvas 5K & 10K  Ready Made Training Plans

  • Beginner (5k only) training- 12 weeks- Plans starts at 3 runs per week with 15 minutes of running in a single session
  • Low Mileage athlete plan- 15 weeks- for runners who are lower mileage, this plan starts at 15 miles per week with 3 miles completed in a single session.
  • Introduction to speed work- 18 weeks-this plan starts at 22 miles per week with a single long run of 5 miles.  Base building phase included before introducing speed/quality sessions.
  • Introduction to speed work 2- Similar to previous plan, for athletes who have established a mileage foundations of 30 miles per week and a 6 mile run in a single session

RunCanvas Half Marathon Ready Made Training Plans

  • Beginner training plans
    • 20 weeks-  plan starts at 20 miles per week with a long run of 4 miles in a single session
    • 17 weeks-plan starts at 25 miles per week with a long run of 6 miles  in a single session
    • 15 weeks-plan starts at 30 miles per week with a long run of 7 miles in a single session
  • Intermediate training plans
    • 18 weeks-plan starts at 35 miles per week with a long run of 4 miles in a single session
    • 16 weeks-plan starts at 40 miles per week with a long run of 10 miles in a single session
  • Advanced training plans-
    • TBD

RunCanvas Marathon Ready Made Training Plans

  • 10 different levels of plans, designed to meet the runner at their current fitness level. 12-24 weeks depending on the athletes current fitness. Some plans will include a base building phase while other jump right into the quality session. Minimum miles of 20 miles per week for base building, quality session (intervals) will not begin until the runner has a base of 35 miles per week. I recommend that you make an effort to run 5 days each week, 6 or 7 is better.  More details to come…

RunCanvas High School Summer Training Ready Made Plans

  • This 12 weeks program is designed to prepare students for a successful Cross Country Season.

    Safely increasing the runners mileage base will progressively transitioning speed work that is designed to adapt a runners current track fitness into a fitness level that meets the specific demands of a cross country runner

    Ancillary components, beyond daily run training also included. These are designed to build a stronger and more injury resistant runner. Ancillary training components include;
    +strides
    +strength training (w/ or w/o weights)
    + Running Form Drills
    +Dynamic warm ups
    +and more!

    Initial consultation will be conducted so that the certified coach can identify the current fitness levels and match athlete to the best fit plan

  • Plan is designed with 5 different levels of fitness. Before an athlete can begin the base plan, they should be able to complete 20 miles of running per week with 4 miles of running in a single session. Athletes who are at a higher fitness level will be given a higher tiered plan to match their fitness abilities

Ready to start working toward your next PR?!

 

Want to check out the other RunCanvas coaching packages? Click Here

 

Hard working runners, who could accidentally be sabotaging their run training.

Training for a goal race requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and some sacrifice.  Most runners working toward a goal have great intentions, every time they set out to complete a run or workout.  However, there are times when the things they are doing can actually be more harm that good. Below are a few examples of things that runners do, hoping to improve their running, that may actually do the opposite.

  • Trying to copy other runners-  GPS watches and apps that allow us to virtually stalk our favorite elite runners has many runners trying to copy the workouts of elites.  The problems?  The workouts aren’t made for the fitness level of an everyday runner.  Copying a workout, without taking into consideration the purpose of the workout and scaling the pace, rest and volume of the session can lead to missing the desired training stimulus.  These workouts do not happen in a vacuum, but are a part of a detail balanced training plan.  Training this way is short sighted and can leave an athlete burnt out, over trained or injured.
  • A case of the “toos” – Too much, too soon, too fast! With great intentions, over zealous runners will jump into an intense training plan upping the paces and volume without giving the body time to adapt and recover from previous training.  This will often yield quick short term results, but end in over training and injury leaving the athletes taking longer duration of time off to recover and loosing the progress gained. How many of us have seen a runner stuck on the injury roller coaster.  Are you guilty yourself?
  • Running through pain- The old school notion of “no pain, no gain” can be greatly incorrect when it comes to pain that creeps into a run and doesn’t go away.  Runners who are reluctant to take a small break or cut back in mileage find themselves sidelined with a much greater injury.  It’s better to take a little time now, then a lot of time later.  Here is a previous post about trying to identify injury verse soreness.  
  • Racing the workout- This goes back to my soap box saying, Every run has a purpose. Understanding that sound training principal is key to successful training. When runners complete workouts at appropriate paces and listen to their bodies more, they feel better, improve and usually enjoy the process more.  In a previous post, “Stop beating the workout” I gave a mathematical example of a runner who averaged a workout faster than another but gained less of the desired training stimulus.  Coaches like Lydiard go even less by the watch but by training a runner to learn appropriate efforts and design a workout to be completed when the desired effort and fatigue is reached. Going beyond the training stimulus creates a larger deficit for the athlete to recover from, subsequently negatively impact future workouts/runs.
  • Not trusting your coach or training plan- This isn’t to say, that there aren’t poorly designed training plans or coaches. However, there are times when runners get caught up in comparing the workouts and training they are completing with others and they freak out.  They begin to sabotage their own training. I am guilty of second guessing my own training, after watching other girls crush workouts and assume greater fitness. Some runners are workout all stars, this doesn’t always translate to race day.  Another example of not trusting ones training comes at the end of a training cycle and a nervous runner tries to cram additional training in when they should be tapering and focusing on peaking.  Leaving them fatigued and flat on race day.

I have made these errors through my own running journey.  Being able to identify and reflect on our own training deficits only makes us stronger moving ahead.  What are some well-intentioned training mistakes you have made during your training journey? 

 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

What is the purpose of your run today?

Are you working toward a new distance or a time goal? If you are, you need to think about this title question every day, before you head out the door.  What is the purpose of this run?  When you are training, you are applying a stimulus or stress to the body.  That stress will hopefully cause minor damage to your body,. You body will then rebuild and adapt so that it is stronger the next time. The amount of stress is important.  We want fast results, but we don’t want to be injured.  In order to maximize results and minimize risk we need to train smarter.  Identifying the body systems that you are working and the purpose of the workout will guide your distances and pace. Completing goal specific workouts stress the body in different ways and allow adaptations for the different body systems used in endurance racing. This can sound very overwhelming for new runners and one of the many advantages to hiring a coach*. Below are some basic types of runs, and how they impact your different body systems.

Learn more about RunCanvas Coaching

  • Easy days/active recovery runs– Slowing down and running easy miles is difficult for many runners. We are built with a train harder, race harder mentality.  This will inevitably leave the runner over-trained and under-performing.  Your easy run needs to feel easy.  You need to run easy enough that your body is still able to recover from the previous workout and not create further stress and damage on the body.  Easy runs are a great way to add up more base mileage which will help increase your endurance base.  Easy miles also help runners slowly build up a tolerance to the stresses of running, which will build up a resistance to injury.  Easy runs will help strengthen your cardio vascular systems, strengthening you heart allowing your body to pump blood more efficiently and increase stroke volume. Improvements are not made during actual workouts, but instead are made when our body adapts and recovers from those workouts.  If you do not allow your body to run easy enough and recover you will eventually injure yourself.
    • I wrote a previous post on slowing down your easy runs. Check it out!
  • Threshold /Tempo Runs- You will often hear tempo runs explained as comfortably hard, or called a sustained effort run. Tempo runs help by improving your endurance base at higher intensities.  As your body runs faster, your metabolic rate increases.  Lactic acid is a by-product of the metabolism.  Your lactic threshold is the breaking point of where your body can no longer keep up with the increasing build up. At a higher rate, your body will begin to build up lactic acid which leave the muscles feeling fatigued.  As you train at this threshold your body becomes more efficient at clearing the lactic acid and other by-products.  These adaptations allow your body to, eventually, run at higher intensities before the lactic acid begins to build up.
    • Example workout-20 minute Tempo run
    • Purpose- Improve your body’s ability to efficiently manage lactic build up at higher intensities.
  • Long Run-Physiologically, your long run is a key workout for building your endurance base by building up your cardiovascular system. When running long runs, you are increasing the impact load your muscles, joints and connective tissues can support during longer distances. While running long, you are increasing your mitochondrial production of capillaries.  Remember you mitochondria acts as the “powerhouse” of the cell.  Taking food (nutrients) and converting it to energy. The increase of mitochondrial capillaries helps get that energy to the muscles more efficiently. During long runs, your body learns to store glycogen (energy) while using other energy sources more efficiently.  Running long is also great for preparing mentally for endurance races, practicing hydration and refueling techniques.
  • Speed work-There is a variety of speed work or interval training workouts for runners. The idea that you have to run faster to get faster is correct. The problem is many runners want to do it every day. Speed work is calculated workout session used to stress certain body systems and allow them to recover. Small adjustments in pace can have a large impact on a training session. If you have ever blasted the first interval of a training session, only to ride the suffer bus the rest of the way through. You know what I am talking about.  Speed work is performed by running repeated segments of fast running and then a recovery.  During speed work you are training your body to perform efficiently at high paces and build up a resistance to fatigue. Interval training helps a runner build up speed, improve running economy and manage pain.  Speed work improves efficiency and bio-mechanics, so be sure to focus on form while completing your speed work.
    • Example-400 meter repeats
    • Purpose– To improve speed and economy by loading the amount of oxygen needed to run at a specific pace while improving leg turn over.

Remember you are training with a goal in mind.  Training load is a balancing act.  Your distances and paces are important to maintaining that balance.  Stop trying to “beat” the workout.  You aren’t racing the workout, you are simply applying a stress load to the body, which will cause the body to rebuild stronger.  Pushing your paces too much increases that training load, increasing your risk for injury.  Along with not allowing adequate recovery.  A complete training program should include a variety of training sessions, training at multiple paces.  Before you begin to implement speed work into your training, be sure to have built up an endurance base.  This means running consistently for 2-3 months at least 3 times a week.  Always include a warm up and cool down session.  Never complete a speed or tempo session while injured.  Anytime you feel a slight niggle or small injury it is best to back off on intensity and distance for a short time, until the injury has healed. 

        So how to do you know what kind of workouts you should be doing and what paces?  Well, that’s is one great benefit of working with a coach.  Cheaper options may include books published by professional coaches an online programs, many are free.  I have used all three methods. Not all freebie plans are good so finding the right programs is important.  Look for a variety of workouts and a write up by the author that gives you an idea on the reasoning behind the workouts.  Previously, I was using Jack Daniels book to guide my workouts.  I really loved the book.  Most of my training relied on his book and formulas for the last year.  I would highly recommend his book to anyone who is wanting to learn more about running and training zones.  My biggest “ah ha” moment was when he talks about training based on where you are now, to get to where you want to be. If you like developing your own programs, there are a lot of training pace calculators.  While they don’t all use the same formula a lot of them will get you similar pace.  I like to use Jack Daniels Vdot Calculator and Greg McMillian Calculators, when I am deciding on paces.

I have spent the last training cycle, really focusing on the purpose of the run.  By doing so, I have become more in tune with my body and I have been doing a lot better with avoiding major injury. I also have found that I am running more consistently, because I understand the purpose of each run.  I get a bigger sense of accomplishment out of my runs, knowing that my run today had a bigger purpose through my training plans.

I’m curious, what kind of training plan do you use? Why did you decide on that method? Have you used other methods before?

Thank you so much for reading.  I really appreciate all comments, likes and shares.  If you want to continue to follow my journey, please subscribe!

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

The Week of Slow

Working with a variety of running clients, including many runners who feel the need to run their easy runs in the moderate zone. Limiting their ability to safely build mileage and make adequate gains following their quality sessions.

The challenge?  The individual runs feels fine, but the athlete is slowly building fatigue and not recovering from the previous training.  This compounding fatigue can negate the hard work and benefits of the prescribed quality sessions a runner completes, while also increasing the risk of over-training and injury.

One of the ways I like to address this issue with my clients is by giving them what I call, the week of slow.  I limit my runners to 7-10 days of easy running.   Retraining their mind and body to recognize how easy pace should feel and break the habit of pushing through all of their runs. It seems counter intuitive to many runners, to slow down, in order to get faster.  I have covered this topic in detail in a previous post; Slow Down! Running Your Easy Run, Easier. 

As a VDOT certified coach, I utilize the training zones in Jack Daniels Running Formula for my athletes.  Before I can begin building speed sessions and lengthening the long run, the runner must understand the importance of the active recovery run.  Runners improve by training at a variety of paces. .  The faster and longer sessions a runner completes are designed to create a stimulus/stress to the runner’s body.  The body responds by rebuilding after this stress, adapting so that it is stronger the next time. Similar to the way your skin scars after a deep wound. The easy running allows the athlete to become a more efficient runner while fatigued and can safely build on the aerobic fitness levels without adding too much additional stress to the body.

When completing the week of slow, a runner is given a variety of training tools to support their running; including dynamic warm ups and form drills. As a coach, I look very closely at the runners entire run pattern for each run session.  When a runner first begins, they will often roller coaster their paces.  As their body relies on the old habits, they will hit the front end of the training zone and back off repeatedly during the run.  As the week progresses I can see the ups and downs begin to level out. The runner will begin to run much more by feel and not continue to check their watch.  Ideally, I will begin to see the runner backing off on pace when they hit elevation gains as they are now running more by effort and not by the watch.

Active recovery is an important component in a training cycle.  Getting in small recovery runs helps build an athlete’s endurance base and aerobic fitness.  The more miles a runner can safely complete the better the training cycle.   

 

If you enjoy reading, please subscribe and share!   What are your current training challenges? Comment below! 

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over  10 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 about customized training plans or private coaching opportunities click here  for pricing and package check it out here

 

%d bloggers like this: