December 11, 2018

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In order to reach the improvements you are capable of, I believe variety is key in any running program and your weekly schedule should contain a mix of short interval or hill work, tempo runs, long runs and easy or regeneration runs. As we get older, some cross training can be beneficial for the basic aerobic conditioning without the pounding caused by running so to minimise the injury risk. It can also serve as a different stimulus for the body and can help with reaching goal racing weight if you may have plateaued.

Benita’s basic types of runs 

Regeneration run

Relaxed run, conversation pace done between harder session days. Try to do this on a trail or grass surface as to minimize the impact of hard roads or bike paths.

E.g. 40min jog

Long run

Forms the base of aerobic conditioning. Easy jogging at conversation pace. Usually done on a day you have more time (as recovery after is important). In most programs the long run is done on Saturday or Sunday. Gradually increase your volume every two weeks and don’t be afraid to shorten the long run once every four weeks to allow your body to adapt to this new load. Try to include a long run in your program each week, usually followed by a day of rest or cross training.

E.g. 80min jog

Tempo run

Longer sustained efforts either within a run or as an actual session if you have time. Usually done all year round, dropping the volume and increasing the intensity slightly once you start a block of racing or get closer to your goal half or full marathon.

E.g.

3km warm up 

3 x 6min tempo runs (2min @ MP/ 2min @ half marathon pace/ 2min 5-10sec per km faster

1min slow jog to get your HR down then repeat starting at the slower pace first 2min again.

2-3km warm down

(or can be done in a continuous run)

Intervals

Fartlek or speed play – idea is to run fast for a time period or distance interval followed by a recovery. This variation in pace helps you to train for races from 5km to marathon. Usually done all year but in your base phase training, time based intervals are better then exact distances then move into km reps or work on the track once you start specific preparation for your goal race.

E.g.

3km warm up

2-3 sets of

[3min @ 10km pace (2min slow jog)

2min @ 5km pace (90sec slow jog)

1min a little faster then 5km pace]

Take 3min rest between the sets

2-3km warm down

Hill repeats

Strength + speed work as well as pain tolerance training. Aim is to run very hard up the hill (around 5% grade is ideal) then very slow jog down. I like to do these at the end of a base training phase just before you move into higher intensity training or in the middle of track season block when you have a few weeks of no races to train. Allows you to get in very good intensity without the pounding.

E.g.

3km warm up jog

10 x 40sec hills (2min slow jog recovery)

3km warm down jog

Have fun with your running and enjoy the process! Don’t forget, if you have any questions please post a note to us in here and we’ll publish the top three questions/ answers in our ‘Ask the Expert’ section each Tuesday.

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