Ready to strap on your speedy boots!?! It’s more mile-paced reps on the cards this week, but with an additional step up to 800m race pace for some 200m reps.
3 sets of:
- 2x 400m @ your mile race pace
- 1x 200m @ your 800m race pace
Recovery: 400m jogs (or more between sets)
Terrain: A track (or measurable path).
Feels: Fast & Smooth
By stepping up the pace and shortening the distance for the three 200m reps at your 800m race pace, we’re testing your ability to stay smooth even when running fast. Use the final 100m straightaways of the 200m reps to find your rhythm, breathe deep and express good speed.
This week we’re further raising your ceiling on the paces you can run while staying relaxed and in control.
Once again, we want you recovered enough between reps and between sets so that you can slot into this zone of expressing good speed and staying smooth—always focusing on great technique.
For those new to running 200s on the track, there are a couple of things to be aware of:
- Your starts should be rolling—meaning that, rather than starting from a standstill, you’re almost at your goal pace as you cross the start line. So begin your build up from about 20m before the start and hit your stop watch start button as you cross the line.
- Use the curve. The first 100 of the 200m gives you the time to find your rhythm and groove as you settle into those good economic but powerful motions of a fast, smooth running style.
- Use the straight. Once on the straight, now you can focus on staying relaxed and maintaining your rhythm.
- Run through the line. Like any good high school coach will say, “run all the way through the line!” Don’t ease up a few metres back, but instead maintain your speed all the way through the finish—this is great practice for nailing those race finishes and for building that mental strength.
Take slightly longer than the 400m jog if you feel you need it in order to nail each repeat.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
SHOULD I BE TAKING REST DAYS FROM RUNNING?
Yes! Unless you’re doing big mileage of well over 100k per week, almost every runner should be including days of no running each week, and especially before and after key races and when experiencing niggles.
The main reasons why are 1) to avoid injury by incorporating enough recovery time to offset the training stress you’re throwing at your slow-to-adapt tendons and muscles, 2) to avoid general exhaustion in body and mind that comes from monotonous intense training, and 3) to allow a little break in your nutrition habits.
So, as runners with almost-nicotine or caffeine like addictions to straping on the trainers, how do we approach rest days?
1. Cross Train. A rest day from running gives you the opportunity to explore different types of movement. These could be other forms of cardio or maybe a strength session in the gym or something that fills the soul like surfing, golf or hiking.
2. Intentional Recovery. Rest days provide a great opportunity to be more intentional around your recovery. This could be a massage, foam rolling, hot tub/cold bath, or yoga session. Whatever it is, find something that chills you out in body and mind and do it!
3. Injury Prevention. You know those exercises your physio or doctor gave you to do to prevent that tendon dodginess you’ve had for months? Yeah that one with the clam shells and exercise bands? Well, a rest day is the perfect opportunity to prioritise nailing these exercises!
4. A Nutrition Check. This can be a tricky subject to address because many runners have issues at either or both ends of nutrition spectrum, but I find a rest day from running perfect for recalibrating my eating habits. With a lower need for calories I can use these days to make sure the calories I am consuming have plenty of micro-nutrients (i.e. loads of colourful fruit and veg) and a good healthy balance of macros (protein, carbs and fat).
5. Time for Other Things. Rest days allow you to be a normal human for once! Not only will have more time because not running, you’ll have more energy to enjoy other things in life. Enjoy them!