Winter isn't quite over yet, but this is an exciting time of the year as we see the days getting longer, warmer weather coming and the racing season fast approaching! We'd like to wish everyone running in the Chilly HM, Around the Bay or the Retina Races good luck.....these are all great races to start the year!
We'd also like to welcome our newest Renegades: Alice, Joan and Lynn. It's great to have you join the group. We look forward to having lots of fun while we help you reach your running goals.
With spring just around the corner, it's time for a bit of reflection on the year ahead. This edition of Coaches Corner is going discuss all the things that YOU can do to help this be a great year!
You've likely already taken the first step and that's setting realistic goals. One of the things that we try to impress on people is having goals that match your life, and the time you have available each week for running. If you can only run 30 minutes 3 times a week, the marathon isn't for you, and that's totally OKAY!!! Please talk to us if you need any advice here!
The next thing on the list is 'LISTEN TO YOUR BODY'!! We set up your training plans, monitor your training, try to talk to as many of you as possible during group runs to see how things are going, but you need to be constantly in tune with your body! We've talked about this before but know the difference between those little niggles we all feel, and the signs of an oncoming injury. Do you 'warm out' of the pain or does it get worse during the run.....how do you feel the next day....is the pain increasing or is it worse when you run faster etc. These are just a few examples but if you're starting to experience some new soreness/pain, talk to us or if there is any doubt, seek professional help.
Along these lines, if you don't have a foam roller, please get one.....and USE IT regularly! Massaging your quads, hamstrings, IT bands, calves and lower back regularly is a great way to help to reduce the likelihood of injuries. We strongly encourage regular massage, and also having a Physiotherapist / Chiropractor / Sports Medicine Practitioner that you can go to regularly.
There are very few silver bullets in running, but most people believe that developing good core / leg strength is one of the best ways to improve your running / reduce the likelihood of injury. Please try to make as many core workouts as you can, or do the exercises yourself at home. You'll see the difference!
We also thought this would be a great time to review the elements of your training plans and how they help. Remember Daniels rule #1, know WHY you are doing any particular workout. Many of you have seen / read this info before, but PLEASE take a bit of time to review it - each time you do so, you'll understand / appreciate why your training plans are set up the way they are.
Easy Run Training (E)
- As the name suggests, you should feel comfortable and be able to talk easily at this pace.
- It's usually carried out at an intensity from 65-78% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). You should try to vary your pace.....if you feel really good some days....try running toward the upper end. After a hard training session or race, keep the pace at the lower end of the range.
- E running is a low risk way to allow your muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones time adapt to the stresses of running.
- It increases mitochondrial density (mitochondria are the energy factories of your muscles), heart stroke volume and capillary density. ALL of these things help to deliver more oxygen to / remove waste products from, your exercising muscles. THESE changes all help you to run faster!!
- This type of running should make up approximately 80% of your weekly mileage
- The name is self-explanatory and the benefit to those running marathons is obvious. If you train at your marathon pace, you teach your body to endure the physical and mental strain at that pace. It is also valuable for anyone running distances more than 10k.
- It also teaches your body to conserve stored muscle glycogen (the fuel used by your working muscles). That's why this type of running is useful to anyone racing more than a 10k.
- While it's great to take gels / carbohydrate on your long run, it's also recommended that about once/month you 'run on empty' to teach your body to conserve glycogen. These runs won't be fun but they are a valuable tool.
- This is the next fastest type of running you'll be doing. People refer to this pace as 'comfortably hard' but I like Alberto Salazar's take on it....he calls it 'fun fast"
- T running is typically 86-88% of your MHR. T workouts will typically see you running intervals up to 20 minutes at T pace, but this can be broken up into shorter 'cruise intervals' usually 1-3k.
- T running teaches you to endure the discomfort of running 'fun fast' for extended periods of time. It also stimulates your body to produce more enzymes to help you metabolize lactate that is produced by your exercising muscles. This allows you to run longer / faster without having lactate levels build up in your bloodstream.
- Continuing up the effort scale, Interval running will see you running at 90-95% of MHR for periods of not more than 5 minutes, A typical workout would be repeats of distances from 800-1200M.
- One of the key benefits of I training is increased heart stroke volume. During the rest period between intervals, your heart fills with blood quickly and literally 'stretches' the heart muscle wall (ventricle in particular), increasing it's volume. If your heart can pump more blood to your exercising muscles, you deliver more oxygen to your cells / remove waste products and you RUN FASTER!
- Repetition training teaches your body to run anaerobically (without oxygen). At this speed, your body cannot deliver oxygen quickly enough to your cells, so they metabolize glycogen without oxygen.
- This type of training is done at your MHR and develops your speed, and economy of running.
- A typical workout would be repeat intervals of 200m, 400m or a mix of these.
- Because this type of training increases your running economy (think of this as mileage in a car - you go faster, using less fuel), it is an important component for all distances up to and including the marathon.
Finishing off this edition of Coaches Corner is hard....as I write this, Monday night will be Patricia's last run with us. We all know how much she's contributed to the group...coming up with the idea of and writing The Runner's Code....leading many of our core workouts.......being a very accomplished runner in her own right...and how more than anything, she's made the group fun to be part of.....for that, we can never thank her enough. We've welcomed many new Renegades since that night, but the best way to close off is with a picture of the "Original Renegades' taken after our first run. We all remember that was a pretty special night.....and it's a great way to let her know that to us, Patricia will 'Always be a Renegade'.