Training Tips

Notes and Definitions  ​by coach Bernie SHer

Tempo Training - Tempo runs will make you a stronger miler, a faster 5-K runner, a more powerful 10-K runner, and a less-fatigued marathoner. How can one workout benefit such a wide range of race distances? Simply put: Tempo runs teach your body to run faster before fatiguing.

Studies indicate that the best predictor of distance-running performance is your lactate threshold, which is the speed you are able to run before lactic acid begins to accumulate in the blood. By regularly including tempo runs in your training schedule, you will increase the speed that you can run before lactic acid begins to slow you down.

You can base your tempo pace on either your 10-K or your 5-K race pace. Shoot for about 20 seconds per mile slower than 10-K pace or 30 seconds per mile slower than 5-K pace. Your Pace Chart developed from your 2-mile TT also has a recommended Tempo Pace based on your TT time.

Recovery during a tempo workout should be approximately half of the tempo time; ex, 4-minute tempo run an easy recovery for 2 minutes before starting the next tempo event. Make sure you include a good warmup before starting and a cool-down after finishing. The number of miles indicated in the workout includes the warmup, cool-down and tempo workout.

Pace Training - Relatively lengthy repetitions at your goal half-marathon per-mile pace to build endurance and develop pace judgment.

Interval Training - Interval trainings optimize your VO2 Max. Optimizing VO2 Max provides the greatest benefit toward increasing speed. Interval sessions are geared toward working at 95 to 100% of VO2 Max.

All interval sessions should start with a 10-20 minute warmup and some light stretching. Sessions should be finished with a 10-20 minute cool-down and again some stretching.

Intervals can be done on a track or on the road. If you run intervals on the track recover going in the opposite (clockwise) direction.

An interval session consists of several repeats; i.e., as example, 4x400 means do 4, 400 meter (440 yards) repeats. Between each repeat recover by easy running/walking the same distance - 400 meters.

Each repeat should be run at your interval pace. Check the pace chart sent to you for your time for each distance. As example, if your 2-mile TT was 18:00 minutes read across the chart to the 400 column for your 400 time you should be shooting for. In this example your 400 time is 2:10 and your 800 time is 4:30.

Strides - Strides exercise your fast twitch muscles without causing lactic buildup. Run your strides at your 5K pace taking a full recovery between each stride. A full recovery means, walk or easy run before starting the next stride.

Training Tips 

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