This week we kick off a new workout series that builds on the craft of running fast and smooth while also building endurance long haul engines from a heavy dose of threshold training.
STRIDES & TEMPO #1
3x20s strides (100s jog recoveries)
20mins @ lactate threshold (your 1-hour race pace)
Terrain: A flat and measurable pathway.
The strides shouldn’t be sprints, but fast controlled bursts of running designed to work on the craft of getting your body to move well.
The tempo run on the other hand is all about grind—teaching the body and mind to go faster for longer. Be sure to use the calculator at tempofit.org to work out your lactate threshold pace.
You’ve got to have both the craft and the grit to be the best runner you can be. It’s no good to just move well with beautiful technique if you don’t have the engine and tenacity to back it up in the long run. And it’s going to lead to injury and/or a massive limiting of your potential if you don’t learn to move efficiently.
Over the next four weeks, it’s important to have a course that is flat(ish) and measurable so you can pace yourself well in the tempo runs by knowing your splits accurately.
Also, make the most of those long recoveries after each of the strides and take longer if you think you need it in order to be fully fresh for each 20-second effort.
THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:
THE DISCOMFORT PARADOX
By Hayden Shearman
Isn’t it interesting how the universe is wired that for almost any joy or pleasure, it’s required that there is some work or suffering beforehand? Sowing must be done before harvest, seeds must die before the plant grows, winter must come before spring—it’s the same with running that experience comfort when running you need to go through discomfort.
The main reason it’s so hard to take up running, is that those first three weeks for a beginner involve very little comfort when running. But after about three weeks, the body and mind have developed and grown after enough exposure to discomfort that the runner begins to experience moments of comfort when running, and even pleasure.
The more experienced a runner you are, the more likely you are to have those pleasurable moments when running.
Tempo runs are designed to take you into moments of discomfort. If you’re pacing this right, this week should feel comfortable until about 10 minutes and then shift into uncomfortable from 15 minutes. But the idea is that your body and mind will adapt, so that next week that comfort extends out to, let’s say, 12 minutes and the discomfort only arrives at 20 minutes.
What’s important is that we get the discomfort dosage just right so that it doesn’t overly stress both body and mind while also providing enough of a stimulus to get you stronger for next time.