Friday, May 20, 2011

The List Every Runner Should Memorize

There's a lot of terminology thrown around in the world of endurance training and racing.  And a lot of stuff that goes in one ear and out the other because, frankly, what is the difference between a tempo run and a cruise interval?

I found a concise TRAINING KEY in the Spring 2011 Runner's World.  I'm reprinting it here because I think it is such important information for every runner, which means you, my blogger friends.

LONG RUN:  These should be run at a conversational pace and on trail terrain similar to that of your race. Training specificity during your long run gives you the most bang for your buck.

FAST FINISH AND PROGRESSION RUN:  This is a dress rehearsal.  Test your gear on the trails that you'll be running on race day.  This workout should mimic your long run's steady pace, but in the last five minutes, increase your effort so that you are running faster than 5-K race pace.  Focus on your foot plant and practice weaving around obstacles on the trails without losing momentum.

HILL REPEATS:  An excellent way to strengthen the legs and increase the cardiovascular workload without stressing your joints.  Find a hill with a six to 10 percent grade that you can ascend in 60 to 90 seconds.  Jog back down to recover between reps.  Each hill repeat should be run at an effort equivalent to your mile race pace, which translates to roughly a 5-K race pace.  If you do not have an appropriate hill nearby, use a treadmill, highway overpass, or parking garage.

TEMPO INTERVALS:  Run these at 10-K race pace on an even, flat surface in order to maximize leg turnover.  Recover for four to five minutes between intervals.

CRUISE INTERVALS:  Run these on an even, flat surface as well.  These intervals are shorter and slightly faster than your Tempo Intervals (roughly 8-K pace).  Recovery is 200 meters for 1,000 meter repeats.

STRIDE WORKOUT:  Warm up thoroughly (15 to 30 minutes).  Gradually build your speed as you progress through each stride.  Focus on form and turnover.  These are not all-out sprints.  Cool down for 10 to 20 minutes.

EASY RUNS:  Run at your natural pace.  There is no need to push this workout.  You should run on whatever surface is most convenient for you.

OFF DAYS:  You can use these days as you wish - just no running.  Cross-training (yoga, swimming, biking, rowing) is fine, but be sure to incorporate only very light cross-training as you approach race day.

STRENGTH AND BALANCE TRAINING:  The key is to develop the muscles - particularly your hips, quads, glutes, and ankles - that aren't used enough during road running.  This training also helps cultivate proprioception, or your awareness of your own body relative to its surroundings.

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