Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer Miles Part III

As mentioned before, the summer consists of 12 weeks. These weeks should be broken down into three phases of base: Slow, Progressive, Threshold. You can brake down these phases any way you like. For example purposes, a four week cycle will be used for each.

Slow - At the beginning of the summer, your main goal should be to build up your miles. This is best obtained by running slow and easy. Your goal for the four weeks is to introduce your body to the increase in miles.

Example: A 5:20 5k runner should keep the majority of miles at around 7:10 - 7:30 pace.

Progressive - At this point in the summer, you want to continue to increase your miles, but add a little umph to your runs. A progressive run starts out slow and finishes at a moderate pace. Remember your pace range (Periodization Post)? If your range is 6:45 - 7:30, you should start out your run around 7:30 and slowly work down to 6:45. It is very important to stay within your range. You do not want to start running under 6:00 pace or you will turn your run into a threshold workout.

Example: 6 mile run.
Mile 1 - 7:30
Mile 2 - 7:20
Mile 3 - 7:05
Mile 4 - 6:55
Mile 5 - 6:48
Mile 6 - 6:44

Threshold - At this point you have put in 8 weeks of good base training and are ready to get your lungs working a little harder. Two good threshold workouts are Fartleks and Tempo Runs.

Fartleks are meant to mimic speed workouts during a continuous run. The main difference is that you do not stop or run as fast as you would if you were doing an interval session. Your pace should be at current to goal 5k race pace. The goal for the workout is to finish feeling that you worked hard, but can keep running another mile or so comfortably. Always remember to run easy before and after the Fartlek session.

Example: 8 mile run with 10 x 1' x 1'. This means that you are going to run 8 miles total with a Fartlek session of 10 x 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy during the run. Your first 2 miles should be easy, like a warm-up. Once you are ready to go, start by running one minute at current to goal 5k pace. When the minute is up, slow down to an easy jog for one minute. When that minute is up, begin again. When you are finished with all 10, use whatever is left in the 8 miles to run easy and cool-down.

Temp Runs are meant to mimic racing during a continuous run. The main difference in a Tempo Run is that you do not run at race pace, but 10-15 seconds slower for the 5k distance. A Tempo Run in the summer will get your mind and body used to running longer distances at a faster pace. Since your longest race will be a 5k, a good distance for a summer Tempo Run is around 2 miles.

Example: 2 miles easy (warm-up)
2 miles Tempo (5:35 pace for a 5:20 goal 5k runner)
2 miles easy (warm-down)

Please remember that this is not a race. It is important to keep your pace even and controlled. To run harder than Tempo pace defeats the purpose of the workout. You will have plenty of time to run hard when the season starts.

Threshold runs can be performed one to two times a week during the last phase of the sumer. Just remember to keep a day or two in between each Threshold workout where you run easy for recovery purposes.

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