Workout of the Week: 035 – 40 Minutes of Freedom

A little bit of hills, a little bit of endurance, a little bit of faster stuff … this workout has all the ingredients for a fun and free session!

WHAT

40mins @ marathon effort

w/ 6x1min @ 5k effort

No recoveries.

Terrain: Undulating mixed terrain. Keep it fun!

Feels: Freedom!

This workout is designed to give you the freedom to express your fitness over varying terrain while you mix up the speeds. Throw in the 6x1min bursts at 5k race effort wherever you like. No recovery jogs after these 1min efforts—just settle back to marathon effort and teach your body to recover on the run.

WHY

Freeing yourself up from the confines of a splits and a GPS watch can do wonders for your running as you build fitness by having fun. This is one of those workouts. It won’t look amazing on Strava, it won’t set any course records or win you any segments, but it will lay another all-important brick in the epic pyramid of fitness that you’re building!

HOW

Feel free to put the 6x1min at 5k effort wherever you like. But if you want some structure, perhaps you’ll do them after every 5 minutes of marathon paced work.

Also, be prepared for your heart rate being all over the place today, spiking a little if you do the 1-minute burst up a hill or recovering quite a lot when cruising downhill at marathon effort. This is totally fine and is one of the gains we’re looking to get from the workout—teaching your body and mind to handle variety and fluctuations in intensity.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: SHOULD I DO REPS TO FAILURE?

If there’s anything that grinds me gears in the world of running this is it! 

“Reps to failure.” It’s a training methodology you’ll hear a lot in gyms and strength training circles and actually works really well most of the time in those environments.

When you’re doing bicep curls or bench presses you do as many reps as you can then you rest and then come back and do another set of reps to failure. When you’re working just one or two muscle groups in isolation, this methodology works really well but when you attempt to transfer it into running it just simply does not work because a) you’re not just using 1 or 2 muscle groups, and b) the main thing that is likely to fail is your heart and lungs … I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure you don’t want them failing!

Instead, I usually encourage my runners to aim to finish a workout feeling like “Yep, I’ve worked hard, but I could’ve done another if I had to.” You don’t get any points for doing that extra workout, that puke-yourself rep. You get points for coming back the next day and logging more miles and coming back later in the week and doing another quality session.

You win in the game of running by how many successful weeks and months of quality training you can do; not how many reps you can fail!

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