A collection of training tips, plans, tools and personal reflections.
If you’re looking to improve your running, it’s important that you mix up the types of runs you do. Combinations of hard and easy days, tempo sessions, long runs, speed workouts, hill repeats and intervals can all help to make you a better runner, and stop you getting bored.
This should be a comfortable conversational pace and should make up the bulk of your weekly running. Builds basic aerobic fitness, aids recovery from hard sessions and builds fitness levels for beginners.
These are are short, intense efforts followed by equal or slightly longer recovery time. Run at a harder effort than tempo runs and the key is in the recovery period so that you can keep the same effort up. Results in improved running form and economy, endurance, mind-body coordination, motivation, and fat-burning.
Not an Alec who farts. Fartlek is a Swedish term for “speed play”. It is unstructured and mixes up hard efforts with easy recoveries. Play with speed by running at fast efforts for short periods of time (to the traffic lights, to the next tree) followed by easy-efforts to recover. Fartlek running improves aerobic capacity by optimising your VO2 max which helps you to increase both speed and endurance.
A comfortably hard running session. A typical Tempo run would be a non-stop run at this level of effort for 20-60 minutes. It improves metabolic fitenss, increases performance levels and sets your body up for the intensive efforts of middle distance races.
Find a hill and run up and down it. Maybe walk back down to get used to it and jog down once fitter. They are great workouts for developing speed, power and strength. Start with 4, then 6, 8, 10 and up to 12 if you really enjoy them.
The long run should be a staple of everyone’s training. It’s about building time on your feet. Long runs can be either 1.5 – 2 times as long as your normal run or 20 to 30 percent of your overall weekly mileage. Run them at a conversational pace to reap the most benefit as it prepares you for endurance and limits the onset of fatigue.
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If you have a Garmin then you will be able to download a number of training plans from Garmin Connect which cover 10k, half marathon and marathon distances. What’s important is that you find a plan that works for you.
Or you can make your own, which is what Kev did. He looked at various training plans and adapted them to fit his own schedule. Don’t be a slave to the plan – it’s very rare that you’ll complete a training plan without missing out a few sessions.
Get some ideas from these plans.
Jack Daniels’ VDOT Running Calculator
The calculator is driven by Jack’s world-famous running formulas and allows you to quickly calculate the appropriate training paces for various workouts necessary to help you reach your goals. The calculator also provides equivalent race performances. For instance, if you ran 43:36 for 10k, it will tell you that the equivalent performance for the marathon is 3:21. This helps you to judge what your goal time should be for other distances.
For more information see the Run Smart Project pages.
More useful tools: