"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Flavors of Running #7: Simplification!

In the series I did called "Thinking Aloud," I created what I think is a coherent philosophy of training based on energetics. A few people reading it said, "I get it! That's brilliant." A lot more said, "What am I supposed to do with that?" The idea was that, if you understand the why of training, then you don't need someone telling you what to do.

In this series, I tried to describe the different types of training and show at least one way that one can look at them. Again, the idea wasn't to tell people: train THIS way. It was meant to help people understand why the training programs they're following are designed the way they are. What people want, however, seems to be to be told explicitly what to do.

Sigh. You can find that anywhere.

Since most people only check this blog weekly, they're going to find I wrote a book since they last visited. I'm going to hold off on the racing posts and let people catch up.

Basic training

A standard week looks like the following:
Monday: recovery/easy endurance run
Tuesday: Intervals
Wednesday: like Monday
Thursday: fartlek/hills/sprints
Friday: like Monday
Saturday: fast continuous run
Sunday: long stamina run

There are four components to training: 1) How far can you run? 2) How far can you run at a given pace? 3) How fast can you run a given distance? 4) How fast can you run?

The stamina run covers the first of these.

Pace work depends upon the length of race; under 10K, one runs as many intervals as possible at race pace; over 10K, one runs the Saturday continuous run at race pace. If one does pace work on Tuesday, then Saturday is a continuous run at a brisk pace, but slower than race pace. If one does pace work on Saturday, then the Tuesday intervals are done faster than race pace. Either way, this covers 2) and 3).

How fast you can run is essentially a sprint workout. Because this has limited value for those racing long distances, it usually becomes a fartlek run emphasizing hills.

People can generally handle two hard workout per week. These are usually the Tuesday and Saturday runs, but for ultrarunners the long stamina run is a hard run and the Thursday hill workout becomes the second hard workout.


Jean said...

Steve, I have really enjoyed your "Flavors of Running" posts. They have been both very insightful and informational. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Nature Girl said...

my standard week looks like this:

Mon-Fri - run

Saturday/Sunday - run longer

In order to prevent dying while running my 1st 1hundred this year, I'm going to have a coach and I'm dreading the routine. Yuck.