Workout of the Week: Tempo Runs
This is a moderately fast workout that focused on building stamina. For runners with a solid endurance base, a midweek tempo run includes several durations of “comfortably hard” pace: fast enough to be challenging for 5-10 minutes, but not so fast as to leave you breathless. A sample tempo run could be an hour consisting of a 10’ easy warmup, then the workout proper of 10’ tempo at comfortably hard pace followed by 5’ easy jog, repeating until you have finished 45’-60’. More experienced runners can shoot for up to 90’ of tempo work.
Workout of the Week: Hillwork
Hill training is speedwork in disguise. Working against gravity on a moderately steep hill forces you to exert more force in your foot strike, at the same time teaching you how to pace properly so you can ascend at a consistent pace. Focus on elbow swing to “pull” your knees up as you run, breathing rhythmically and focusing on the crest. On the descent, lengthen your stride and quicken your cadence while lightening your foot strike to “fly” downhill.
Workout of the Week: Threshold Intervals
If you want to get faster at the 10k and 21k distances, you need to develop your lactate threshold pace. “Threshold” is the fine balance between fat and glycogen consumption, as well as the efficient dispersal of lactate acid from your muscles. Determine your threshold pace by dividing your best 10k time by 10. For example, a 50’ 10k translates to 5’/km threshold pace. 20 to 30’ training at threshold pace (or slightly faster) would look like 15 minutes warmup followed by 5 x 5’ @ threshold pace with 2-3’ rest interval. With consistency you will find your threshold pace naturally getting faster.
Workout of the Week: Fartlek Runs
Swedish for “speed play”, fartleks sound funny but they’re a powerful, fun way to get faster. Instead of following a set number of intervals, a fartlek lets you run as fast and as hard as you like, helping you develop a ‘feel’ for proper race pace. You can substitute a fartlek for tempo or interval work to teach yourself when to run hard and when to go easy.
Workout of the Week: Long Steady Distance
A staple workout of the distance runner, long runs develop aerobic efficiency and muscle endurance. These can be anywhere from 80 minutes to a little over 2 hours for experienced runners. The key is to start easier than you think is “easy”, and focus on good form. As fatigue sets in, it will be a challenge to maintain a steady pace and this is when the biggest gains can be had.
Words / WOTW: Coach Andy Leuterio