Home FitnessRunning The Pillars of Endurance Running: The Three Key Training Runs

The Pillars of Endurance Running: The Three Key Training Runs

by Gee Ess
Tanya Agarwal - wellthyfit

Running makes you an athlete in all areas of life…trained in the basics, prepared for whatever comes, ready to deal with each hour and deal with the decisive moment

We all know a successful endurance runner when we see one and we also know tons of runners who are gifted but have never really live up to their potential. The difference in most cases is that the former trains for all round improvement in running ability while the other just runs – same effort different results ! Obvious question – How do we achieve all round improvement in running?

Almost all training methodologies universally agree that it can be achieved through good aerobic endurance (long slow distance run), ability for sustained strong running (tempos) and good VO2 Max plus anaerobic endurance (speed work). The difference in the methodologies is in the frequency, sequencing and intensity of these runs plus their interplay with strength and flexibility aspects.…What are these three key training runs ?

The Long Slow Distance Run.     The LSD (as it is popularly known) is the foundation or the base upon which the endurance runners abilities are built. It trains the mind and body to run long distances. For a half marathoner the LSD should be run once a week for 15-24 Km or 25% of your weekly mileage. The recommended pace is 1 to 2 min slower than your half marathon planned race pace. Walk breaks are okay. The benefits of the LSD are many :-

  • Improves mental toughness and determination.
  • Teaches the body how to burn fat for energy.
  • Increases muscle strength.
  • Increases capillary growth into muscle fibers.
  • Increases aerobic efficiency.

 The Tempo Run.    Tempo training runs determine how fast you can run for long distances by raising the bodies ‘lactate threshold’. Some runner gyan here – the lactate threshold is the point at which lactic acid (a by-product of the process of metabolizing glucose by the body) begins to accumulate in muscles leading to muscle soreness and fatigue. At slower running speeds, lactic acid is produced at a slow enough rate that it can be re-absorbed into the body. However, if a runner continuously increases his speed, he will eventually reach the LT, which is the point at which so much lactic acid is being produced that it begins to accumulate in the muscles. The tempo run improves the body’s ability to re-absorb lactic acid at faster speeds. Doesn’t matter if that sounded too technical it is more important to accept the benefits of the tempo run and how to do it. We’ve already done a piece on this before. Details at https://wellthyfit.com/are-tempo-runs-the-key-to-a-personal-best-timing/

Speedwork – Interval Training.  Speedwork improves your running form and efficiency. Technically speaking it improves your VO2 Max. A runner’s VO2 Max measures the rate at which oxygen is transported to muscles. The term “VO2 Max” is an acronym for volume (V), oxygen (O2) maximum (max). The only way for the body to obtain oxygen is through respiration – which makes the blood’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles an absolutely critical component for runners to develop. VO2 Max can be increased through any training workout, but is probably best developed by running intervals of 2-6 minutes in duration. Some of my favorite VO2 Max Workouts include:

  • 6 to 10 x 800 meters
  • 5 to 10 x 1,000 meters
  • 4 to 8 x 1,200 meters
  • 3 to 6 x 1,600 meters

Note.   More details at /https://wellthyfit.com/running-speedwork-budding-half-marathoners/

The key is to make every training session count and lead you towards the path of constant improvement. Incorporate the three key training runs at the CORRECT PACE in your weekly schedule as per your phase of training to see progressive results !

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Always looking for the next big high -physical, social, intellectual or spiritual, Gee Ess got hooked onto endurance running with ADHM 2014. A multitude of full and half marathons since then, he enjoys penning down the intriguing nuances of running that go beyond and hit the mind of a runner.

Two quotes define him:

Life begins outside your comfort zone

Dreams are not those which come in your sleep. They are the ones which don’t let you sleep 

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Sriram Amur February 9, 2017 - 3:33 pm

Great gyan

Gee Ess February 28, 2017 - 2:43 pm

Thanks Sriram


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