Training For Your Goals
There are many different types of competitions, many different distances, and many different terrains and environments to compete in. So it only makes sense that there is man different techniques to training. Let's break down some popular training techniques and how they benefit different goals.
The long run:
If your goal is to run long distances or gain endurance. The long run is vital to your training. There is no other way to build endurance without adding miles or time spent running. Whether you are training for a half, full, or ultra, if your body Is not used to the miles or time spent, you will struggle to find success. Long runs are relative to the distance you are training for. When preparing for a marathon a runner will typically pick a day in the week when they run their long run. This distance will build during their training until they typically reach a distance around 20 miles where they will then taper for the race.
If your gaol is to run a distance at a faster pace per mile. Speed training is necessary in some form to help you get there. Speed training can be; intervals, tempo runs, Fartleks, or repeats.
-Intervals or repeats can be done on the track or the road. A workout could look like 4x1 mile repeats or 10x200 meters with 2 minutes break in-between.
-Tempo runs are done by picking a distance and pace to maintain throughout the run. This pace should be comfortably hard, typically around 30 seconds slower than race pace.
-Fartlek training is harder to explain. A classic Fartlek is done using landmarks and variations in speed for a duration of time. For example if you are running on the street you could say you will all-out sprint to the light post, then jog to the stop sign, then run your 5k race pace for 2 miles and so on.
If your goal is to become a stronger runner or to run high elevations you will need to do hill training or elevation training. This could be as simple as going out and running a hilly route, doing hill repeats, or if you are preparing for mountain terrain type races, you could need to head out to the trails to gain the technical skills along with preparing for the elevation.
Cross training can be specific to the need of the runner or just used for an active recovery between workouts. If you are suffering from an injury that takes you off the road, swimming or biking is a great alternative that will maintain your aerobic fitness. If you are finding weaknesses in your form, exercises to strengthen certain muscles will keep you from injury. Resistance training to build a well balanced and strong musculature will also keep you from developing these imbalances in the first place.
Every runner has a different goal, be sure you are getting the most out of your miles!
-See you on the road