Focus your training and achieve better results
Know the purpose for each of your runs! Have a clear goal for your training and a specific training plan of how to get there. Is your run today an easy run for aerobic base or recovery or a tempo run at lactate threshold? The big mistake we often make is to always do the same type of run: running at the same pace and over the same distance. To get faster and stronger, we need to mix up the training to target different systems in the body and to challenge our body with new stresses.
I am currently setting my goals for 2014, deciding on races, prioritize which are the focus races and which races are part of the training plan to get me to my big goals. When training for a marathon, I use shorter races as part of my training to build towards that end goal. Now that I have selected the Boston Marathon and the Half Ironman as my focal races, I am creating a training schedules of what I need to do in order to succeed in these races.
Key concepts in creating a plan are:
1. Specificity of Training – Practice what you are training for. Obviously the specific sport, but also prepare for the specific distance and the speed you plan to race at. Training for a 5km race is very different than training for a marathon, however, the 5km race can be part of a marathon plan, if it is used as a tempo run, to prepare for the marathon. The training sessions however for a 5k goal and a marathon goal are very different!
2. Current Level of Fitness – You need to know your current level of fitness and build your training plan based on that starting point. Building slowly is key – as you stress your body it becomes stronger to gain fitness and strength, however, over- stressing the body (over-training) will end up in the body breaking down and becoming injured.
3. Phases of Training – Split training up into phases to build slowly and ensure that the foundation is there for the harder types of training. I will describe these phases here and then in an upcoming post, I will go into detail on the types of workouts that are done in the different phases of training. These concepts are taken from Daniel’s Running Formula:
- Phase 1 – Base training – Foundation and injury prevention training. During this first phase the focus is on steady easy running to build endurance and allow the body to adapt to the stress of running. Cells adapt, increased blood flow to muscles develops. Focus on increasing distance of running, slowly and steadily.
- Phase 2 – Early Quality – Start adding in some short speed repetitions to teach legs to turn over more quickly, improving running mechanics. Add hill workouts to build strength. Easy runs are still done for recovery and for long runs (half marathon and marathon training)
- Phase 3 – Speed Phase – Adding in longer intervals at VO2 max pace. This would be the most strenuous phase of training.
- Phase 4 – Final Quality and Taper – Tempo runs are the focus in this phase. These are runs done at lactate threshold. Some intervals are done, but less than in Phase 3. The last week or two of this phase is a TAPER before the key race. Mileage decreases and the body is allowed to fully recover for the key race.
I am hard at work creating my training plan for 2014. I am currently recovering from last week’s half marathon and doing easy, fun runs. I would love to assist you in making a training plan or you can find a coach in your area to help put together a program to reach your goals. Happy Training….[products ids=”1172,1206″]