We’re entering running season here in Austin. If we consider the Turkey Trot as the start, then we have a couple months until the middle of the season (Austin Marathon, February 19th, 2017), with the end of the season coming at the Capital 10k (April 23rd, 2017). There are races after that, but the heat really puts a damper on times. So for the speed demons out there this is the spread where the magic happens!

 

Over the years, I’ve trained a LOT of distance athletes and uniformly they’re overtrained. They attempt to emulate the training programs of elite athletes while also holding down a full-time job and raising kids. This is a recipe for unproductive and injurious training! Further, these athletes sort of have a “soup de jour” approach to training, trying to create adaptations across the total spectrum of potential adaptations without concentrating on either. Let me help you do better! My goal with this guide is simple: provide the optimal minimal effective dose of training to help you run your best race injury-free. http://shushescorts4u.co.uk/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://shushescorts4u.co.uk/hampshire-places-to-visit-with-your-lovely-companions/ How does acheter cenforce 200 mg 2 workouts a week sound? Read on!

 

You’re only human

The first step to becoming a better runner (who actually enjoys the running!) is to understand that you’re merely human. Our squishy biology does not adapt indefinitely and as far as your body is concerned a running workout is a stressor no different than a boss breathing down your neck about a deadline. As such, your physiology needs time to recovery from ALL stressors: there is no special “exercise-only” recovery hidden away from the rest of your biology. Working full time and raising a family means that your training needs to be scaled to your life.

 

Put another way: the only way to feel SUPERHUMAN is the realize that you’re only human and that your training needs to be scaled accordingly.

 

Specificity is king!

Next, you need to understand that there is a limit to the amount of training the body can benefit from. The first quality action you take is going to reap the biggest return on your effort, but the action also needs to be specific to the race you’re trying to run well. People tend to worry about the getting the right mix of long runs, tempo runs, or intervals, but they need to instead match their effort with the distance they’ll be running. You can’t have it all: the best milers are not the best marathon runners and vice-versa. If your goal is to run a particular distance well, you’ll need to train specifically to that distance.

 

Quality Workouts and Key Workouts

One of the concepts that runners often use is tapering, where they’ll attempt to absorb a huge training load for a period of time with the intent of backing off before a big race to let the gains manifest. As a point of comparison, I like clients to look at Olympic games to see this in action. Many of the athletes do not set personal bests with this approach in spite of the fact their only job is to train and they have coaches, massage therapists, and nutritionists helping to keep them in top shape! How can a person with a full-time responsibility load have any chance of making that sort of training load work if the professionals are unable to do it consistently when it’s their job to do so?

Instead, I have clients focus on quality workouts with specific performance goals in mind. These workouts accept the tradeoff between speed and endurance, namely that you cannot have both. They’re challenging for the given distance you’re looking to do well in, but infrequent enough to let your both recover and create the adaptation that will let you run faster.

 

Assuming fairly consistent weather (like we have here in Austin) on a similar training course, we use key workouts to both challenge our physiology and act as a marker for improved performance. It’s this apples-to-apples comparison that shows improvement over time, letting you accurately estimate performance on race day. For example, if you’re training for a marathon, your most important key workout is your 15–20 mile long-run. For a half-marathon, it’s your 8–10 mile fast paced run. For the 10k, it is a mix sustained efforts of 3–6 miles and interval work. For the 5k it’s short time trials and fast intervals. These let you know if your workouts are moving you in the right direction over the weeks and months leading to your race. This will be outlined in example workouts below.

 

Strength Training

Did this catch you off guard? If it did I’m not surprised. Strength training is a cornerstone of the fastest American runners and something you need to include as part of your total training package. Strength training can improve your speed by increasing your total strength, but where it really shines is by improving injury-resistance. Running is a repetitive use injury waiting to happen and the faults in our mechanics (we’re not elite after all!) are magnified near the end of the race as things like posture begins to sag and cadence begins to slow. Strength training is then used to strengthen the total body, with special emphasis on the back, the hips, and the shins. This will keep you “running from your gut” (to quote Joe Vigil) near the end of a race, which will contribute to a better overall performance. To keep things uncomplicated, I suggest a constant tension lifting routine centered around the “Big 5”. If you’re in Austin, schedule a consultation with me to learn more. If you’re not in Austin, here’s a guide (or buy Doug’s book).

 

Minimal Effective Dose: The Plan

So two days a week of training for an event. It can’t possibly be enough, can it? I assure you that if you’re a mortal human being with real responsibility, it will be more than sufficient! Will you set a PR? That largely depends on whether you started running as a teenager or in college; if so the answer is likely no, but you might get very close on a very small amount of training. If you started running as an adult, you have a good chance of making a PR AND having fun doing it.

 

As far as pacing during key workouts, you can either just run as fast as you can during the repeats or you can use a tool like the VDOT calculator to determine a goal pace based on the 5-10k time trial suggested as the first “workout” of the program. In reality, you can use any recent race on a good course as a point of reference for goal paces and just plug them in the calculator. Use the “Threshold pace” mile as your goal and try to stay below that time!

 

Since the 5k is the most perfect race, let’s start with a sample training plan for that, shall we?

5k Training Guide:

Week

Key Workout

Strength Training

1

5k Time Trial

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

2

3 x 1 mile w/ 2 minutes rest

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

3

2-4 mile time trial

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

4

6 x 1/2 mile w 1 min rest

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

5

3 x 1 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

6

2-4 mile time trial

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

7

3 x 1 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 3”

8

5k Race

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But what if you want to go further? The same idea applies to a half-marathon:

Half-Marathon Training Guide

Week

Key Workout

Strength Workout

1

10k time trial

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

2

7 x 1 mile w 1 min rest

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

3

3 x 2 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

4

8 x 1 mile w 1 min rest

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

5

4 x 2 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

6

8-10 mile time trial

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

7

4 x 2 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

8

8 x 1 mile w 1 min rest

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

9

4-5 x 2 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 5” plus Leg Curl

10

8-10 mile time trial

“Big 5” plus Back Extension

11

4-5 x 2 mile w 2 min rest

“Big 3”

12

Half-Marathon Race

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Ultimately you want to feel fresh and eager come race day, not worn down through tolerating 3 months of unruly milage. This will get you there!

 

If you give this a try on your own, please let me know how it goes! If you’re in Austin and want to do this in person, schedule a consultation with us!