The Dream Season - Page 4
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4. Hill work can fall into both the speed and stamina zones of training depending on the length and slope of the climb and your pace. Uphill intervals are low impact, challenge the cardiorespiratory system and develop strength in the legs and glutes. Downhill intervals are less taxing on your heart and lungs, but will prepare the legs for excessive eccentric loading, typical of mountainous trail courses.
1) Short Hill Repeats
To improve your VO2 max, find a hill with a medium slope (6 to 10 percent) that takes 15 to 90 seconds to ascend. Run up it at your mile race effort, nearly 100-percent effort. Focus on good form with powerful push off and strong arm swing. If you find your hands on your knees after a few reps then you’re doing the workout correctly. Slowly jog down the hill to recover. Start with four to six repeats and build up to 12 to 14.
2) Long Hill Repeats
Find a hill with a medium slope (6 to 10 percent) that takes 90 seconds to 3 minutes to ascend. Run up at an effort equivalent to your 10K to half-marathon race pace. Again, focus on good form with powerful push off and strong arm swing. Slowly jog down the hill to recover. Start with three to four repeats and build up to 10 to 12.
3) Long Rolling Hill Run
During a long, hilly run, approach each incline as a challenge. Start with 45 to 60 minutes and work up to 90 to 120 minutes total. Regard- less of the size, surge at 5K to marathon race effort to the top of each hill encountered. Recover on the subsequent downhill and flat terrain. Adjust your pace and effort depending on the length and slope of each climb. This workout will not only increase your stamina, but will boost your confidence as you’re able to tack on miles over time.
4) Mountain Climbs
Find a trail or road that ascends for several miles and ideally gains between 300 to 1000 feet per mile. Complete a total of 30 minutes to two hours of uphill running, steadily increasing your intensity as you approach the top of the climb. You can also duplicate a long climb workout on a treadmill.
5) Circuit Workout
This is a combination of short hill repeats and neuromuscular strides. Run hard up the hill, jog for 30 to 45 seconds, run a 20-to-30-second stride on flat terrain and then jog back down to the bottom of the hill to begin the circuit again. You should end up with around four to 12 hills and four to 12 strides.
6) Short Downhill Repeats
Find a hill with a medium slope (6 to 10 percent) that takes a minute or two to descend. It is best to start on smooth, soft surfaces. Stay away from rocky, technical trails for this workout. Like the uphill repeats, start with fourtosixandworkupto12to 14 downhill repeats. Jog slowly or walk back to the top for recovery.
7) Long Downhill Repeats
Long downhill repeats should last anywhere from a quarter mile to six miles. The more sustained downhill, the better. The objective is to make your legs ache in training to minimize race-day soreness. Schedule a long downhill session at least once every 10 to 14 days during peak training as muscle memory for this kind of work can fade after a few weeks.
Endurance Zone Training
Endurance workouts, the bulk of your training, help you recover from hard training, improve your ability to run longer, maintain your aerobic fitness level and maximize your capacity for speed and stamina training.
1) Recovery Runs
Recovery runs assist with the recuperation process between tough efforts. They can be used for the rest periods between taxing intervals or on the days following rigorous workouts. They are purposely short in duration and should be kept at a very slow “jog” where the heart rate remains below 65 percent of maximum.
2) Easy Runs
Easy runs maintain our aerobic fitness. Most runs within a given week fall into this category. Do these runs at a conversational pace for no longer than 90 minutes. Your heart rate should stay below 75 percent of maximum.
3) Long Runs
The long run is the most crucial workout. It enables you to build a strong fitness base, prepares your body for all of the faster zones of training and boosts your confidence as you run farther than before. There are several ways to approach the long run.
STEADY LONG RUNS
These are what usually come to mind when we think about running long. The objective is simply to spend time on your feet. These runs:
- Train the body to become efficient at burning fat, its optimal fuel source.
- Teach the body to become efficient in storing muscle glycogen, the major form of stored carbohydrates in the body.
- Increase the size and number of muscle capillaries and mitochondria, the blood vessels and cellular factories that facilitate aerobic energy.
- Prepare you for running while fatigued.
The pace of a steady long run should be easy, but the effort consistent. Your heart rate should remain below 70 percent of maximum for most of the workout.