Taking it to the Streets - Page 3
Lundstrom suggests different workouts for different race distances. Aerobic strength and lactate threshold are key for ultras, while shorter trail races require a tolerance for sustained, high-intensity running. He also notes that workouts of varying intensities work different muscle groups, potentially aiding in recovery and allowing you to squeeze in more workouts. However, he reminds, “It’s important not to ignore fatigue. You still need recovery days and time off after hard efforts.”
Short speed session
Useful for: Races of any distance. Spinning your wheels can be a primer for a long training period, or provide a final tune-up before a short race that will require quick leg turnover.
How it helps: Running fast forces your neuromuscular system to fire at its peak and shore up any inefficiencies; in other words, you’ll improve your running economy and form.
How to do it: 8-16 x 200 meters, or 4-8 x 400 meters, fast. “You don’t need to do a lot of these—one to two miles total—in order to get a really good benefit,” says Lundstrom.
3-4 miles of total effort, below 5K pace
Useful for: Short trail races, up to half marathon or 25K
How it helps: A fast trail race hurts. Building a tolerance for sustained, intense efforts makes the pain more bearable and helps you stay in mental control of your race.
How to do it: 6-8 x 800 meters at 5K pace or faster with two to three minutes of recovery. “Start a training phase on a track, road or other relatively flat surface,” Lundstrom says, “and then over the last few weeks shift the workouts to trails that are similar to those you will be racing on.”
Long tempo session
Useful for: Races 50K and longer
How it helps: Improves lactate threshold and aerobic strength. “This workout is long enough that you have to get somewhat comfortable at this faster pace, which means that running slower will feel quite easy,” says Lundstrom.
How to do it: 4 x 2-mile repeats with two to three minutes of recovery in between.