Plan for the week
Mon (7:30) - Track. 400m efforts. X 8-12. 1:00 to 1:30 recoveries.
Wed (6:30) - 800's - Low Stobhill. 2 laps, effort finishes when first person completes the two laps. 2 min recoveries. 6 efforts.
Thurs (6:30) - 4's and 2's. Main part of Stobhill. 3X (4 min effort, 2 min recovery, 2 min effort, 2 min recovery)
NB - I'm away on both Wed and Thurs. However there is likely to be a few people who know the sessions which are pretty standard and also don't need any fancy time keeping.
Plan for the week
Mon (7:30) - Hills. 1:30 efforts up hill, 2:00 to get back down to the start. X10
Wed (6:30) - Track, long efforts. 1000m, then 2-4 X 1600m, 1000m. 2 min recoveries. I'm away.
Thurs (6:30) - Tempo session Lancaster Park
Running with a heart rate monitor can be helpful. Many guides to using these talk about various "zones" and how you might want to stick in various ones for different elements of your running. However there is one thing to remember when doing this and that is that your heart rate will drift up during a sustained period of effort (including during a race). To illustrate this, I have passed the information from my heart rate monitor for the tempo session I ran on Thursday - 4 laps of Lancaster Park - 5.6 miles. The top plot is altitude, so you can see where I ran up to Lancaster Park at the beginning. The middle plot is pace - the scale on this is not very helpful and makes it not that easy to see what is going on. The bottom plot is heart rate. You can see my heart rate increase as I ran up the hill. It then drops as the group paused to sort out who was doing what. Then I ran the tempo. The middle plot shows (as far as you tell) that I ran pretty steady pace. However, what you can see is that my heart rate increased steadily during the session. My average heart rate for each of the 4 laps was: 147, 156, 160, 164. The first average will be lower because my HR was slower at the start of the lap. However, you can then see that my HR was increasing by around 4 beats per lap.
What are the implications of this? Well suppose I had run a marathon at the same pace I ran this tempo. If my heart rate increased by 4 beats every 1.4 miles, by the end it would have been around 224. This is above my maximum heart rate - i.e. I couldn't sustain the pace for that long. What you need to do is be able to run at a pace that will lead to an increase in HR during the run that will not take you over your maximum!! So, a HR increasing by say 1 beat per mile in a marathon, with you starting off at around 150 would mean ending the race at around 176 - do-able. Trying to run at a pace that allows us to run fast for the entire distance of a race is all about getting this right. HR increasing, but not too fast.
How do you do this? The best way is learning to listen to your body and getting plenty of experience of running at different paces so you know what these feel like. This is why we do short efforts, longer efforts, tempos and long steady runs, as well as doing races every so often. This all helps you know during a race whether you are likely to be able to maintain the pace you are running right to the finish. A HR monitor can help by giving you some extra feedback, but there is no substitute for listening to your body. This is because additional factors (e.g. how well hydrated you are, how much sleep you have had, how stressed you are etc etc) all also affect your HR. So HR monitors are interesting, informative and helpful, but don't try to totally rely on them.
Plan for the week
Mon (7:30) - 2's and 1's - Kirkhill. 6X 2:00 efforts with 1:00 recoveries then 6X 1:00 efforts with 1:00 recoveries
Wed (6:30) - 4's and 2's - Stobhill. 4:00 effort, 2:00 recovery, 2:00 effort, 2:00 recovery. 3 sets. NB - I will not be at this session
Thurs (6:30) - Track - 800's. 6-10X 800m with 1:30 recoveries.
Training is most purposeful if it is guided by a schedule. There is the one we have for the group, and then there are loads of ones you can find in books or download from the internet. You are much more likely to make progress if you follow a schedule that is focused on a target race. However, successful training means increasing fitness and staying injury free and an important key to this is adaptability. You may need to adapt a schedule in terms of your starting point level of fitness, the number and days of the weeks you train etc.
However, adaptability is more than this. It is also being prepared to adapt each weeks training in the light of the previous week or two, or even specific sessions in your schedule depending on your response to previous sessions. Adapting may be increasing or decreasing the amount of effort you put into a session (not every one should be 100% flat out - that is the route to injury), the number of efforts, the nature of the efforts and/or the recovery periods.
Let me give a couple of examples.
Long runs can be made a much more specific training stimulus for your target race by not running them all at a steady pace. For example it may be helpful to run the first 2/3 of a long run nice and easily, and then pick the pace up for the last 1/3, aiming for target race pace. This can be particularly useful for half and full marathons. You should not do this for all long runs - this would be too much for most people. However the proportion of the long run that you up the pace might vary from 1 mile to 3/4 of the distance. You can also vary the target pace for this faster element. Start with just a short distance at the end and see how you respond. Then adapt your plans week on week depending on how you feel post run and, very importantly, how quickly you recover from your long run.
An alternative example is the emphasis you place on sessions during the week. This is particularly the case with regards to back to back sessions as we do on a Wednesday and Thursday. If you plan to do both, it is best to target one of the sessions and key and adapt the other in some way. How you do this will depend on your current fitness level and your current goals. I saw an excellent example of somebody doing this over the last week. They decided that the 400m session on the Track was what they really wanted to focus on and so they modified the tempo session the night before, making it shorter and slower than they would have otherwise run. This also made sense in that the person had stepped up their long run distance the weekend before. Really good intelligent training.
Plan for the week
Mon (7:30) - Track 5K. Tough session, but easy to adapt!! 1000m at 5K pace, 5X(400m, 100 recovery, 200m, 100m recovery – efforts faster than 5K pace), 1000m faster than first.
Wed (6:30) - I'm away. Somebody will need to have a watch: 2:00, 1:30, 1:00 and 0:30 efforts with 0:30 recoveries. 3 sets. Round and round Loansdean.
Thurs (6:30) - Tempo, Lanci Park.
UKA Level 2