Benefits of Running at Different Speeds
Happy Cereal Day, everyone! I had the best bowl after a trainer group ride with the Genuine Health Ironman 70.3 team.
Want the recipe?
Mix together and eat. I am sorry but there is nothing more delicious after a long ride and nothing I would rather eat to celebrate National Cereal Day.
I did more than eat cereal this weekend. Our team set up our bikes and trainers and watched movies while cycling for 4 hours.
Well, they were champions and did 4 hours, I did an hour and a half because I had a race on Sunday.
I did the Chilly 5 KM and although I was not super proud of execution (which seems to be a theme with me lately), I am proud of my time (18:34) which is a new PB!
We followed that up with a pool swim and a cross fit session at Academy of Lions. It was a hard training weekend and I am feeling strong!
This is actually not what I wanted to talk to you about today, I will discuss it more later, but today I wanted to cover an important topic on running different speeds.
Often, when runners first begin with the sport, they go out at a tempo effort and try and go as hard as they can, as long as they can, every day. This is not an efficient way to run and you will hit your ceiling fairly quickly in terms of what you are capable of.
One of the things that runners struggle hard with is the concept of running easy, especially when running with others because it can be easy to get pulled along with a group. This is where my favourite quote by pro runner, Reid Coolsaet comes in:
This has been one of my biggest learnings in my time as a runner. It is ok to run different speeds, especially as each run is there to accomplish something different in your training and you can be dealing with different elements, etc. A recent look at my strava confirms this.
Running at a slower speed with develop aerobic adaptations but allows me to feel completely recovered for my speed sessions where I prime my legs for specific races.
So why does running fast all the time not work? If you are running fast on days that should be your recovery days, you are setting yourself up for injury and decreased performance. Also, developing different gears to run in will be a big pay off for race day.
So what are some different types of runs you can do?
I currently do one interval training day a week where I do short, high end speedwork which is often performed on the track. An example is 400 m repeats with a 2 minute resting interval. They boost speed, running economy, fatigue resistance at fast speeds and pain tolerance. This is my fastest paced run.
I currently do one tempo run a week which consists of is a sustained effort at lactate threshold intensity. Tempo or threshold runs serve to increase the speed you can sustain for a prolonged period of time and to increase the time you can sustain that relatively fast pace. This run is often at 10 K pace for me.
I do one of these runs a week and the purpose is to develop raw endurance and to build a base for runs. I do this at around 65-70% of my speed ability.
I do 2-3 easy runs a week. These are done at a slow pace and are designed to add mileage without taking away from my overall run performance. I often will go do a favourite route, do these with friends or listen to music. I call them my fun runs.
Running a variety of different speeds, distances and intensities will certainly help to keep you injury-free and reaching your race goals.