Posts Tagged ‘endurance’

Don’t Let One Dictate the Other

This week my training took an unexpected turn as I was forced to start my transition to road running much sooner than anticipated.  As it turns out, the death of our gym’s treadmill was prematurely reported and I now have the option of mixing both surfaces into my training plans.

My first run on the road a few days ago was both a positive and a concerning experience.  I didn’t come away with any swelling or acute pain, but my legs were completely lost in regards to rhythm, pace, cadence and stride length.  I finished the 5k in my fastest time yet, which wasn’t the day’s objective, but I also finished with nothing left in the tank and gasping for air.

As a middle-aged, novice runner I am in no position to offer up training advice to anyone.  But I’ll break that rule today to share this point: do not let your pride dictate your training pace.

Slow and steady today. No HR redline.

My current goal is to train for and complete the ING Miami Half Marathon in January of 2013.  The biggest obstacle I face in completing that task is aerobic capacity and endurance.  Not pace.  Not speed.  Not the desire to finish under some magic number that has embedded itself into my brain as respectable.

Today I headed out for my second run on the road and I made a promise to myself not to look at my watch’s pace indicator.  In fact, I reprogrammed what data it would display before the run so I could only see the distance covered and the total elapsed time.

I pretended I was performing drills, and leaned from the ankles ever so slightly, just enough to get me moving, and I tried to maintain that body position for the remainder of the run.  Guess what.  I never felt tired muscularly until the final mile.  I never gasped for air.  I never questioned if I could keep running.

I run four days a week, and am slowly increasing my weekly volume.  I perform hill sprints at the end of at least 1 run per week.  And I will always try to negative split my easy runs, regardless of how slow the overall pace is.  But something clicked today that although I was already aware of, had not experienced fully until now.  Slow and steady is the race I’m in.  Train for it.

###

Today’s run was a 3 miler. 1 mile easy, 1 mile of fartleks, 1 mile easy.

 

Fartleks are a great way to work a little speed work into your training without the significant stress and fatigue that a threshold run or intervals might create.

There are many variations on the fartlek theme, some calling for random bursts of faster running throughout your entire run, while others are slightly more structured calling for specific increases in pace followed by specific recovery periods.

Regardless of which method you choose, fartleks are a fantastic tool.  The relatively short duration of faster pace will help improve neuromuscular coordination as well as improve aerobic fitness.  Instead of locking your legs and lungs into another stale, easy run, consider adding fartleks to your arsenal for increased fitness, strength and endurance without substantial risk.

After completing my post run cool down routine it was time to refuel and I did so in grand style. Whole wheat pasta, omega -3 scrambled eggs, black olives, avocado and bacon.

For those of you who know I follow a Paleo or Primal diet guideline, I have no problem admitting that my motto regarding my food choices is, “I’m 90 paleo, 90% of the time.”

90% paleo, 90% of the time

 

###