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April 20, 2018  


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Coaching Archive
March 2017
ROCK AND ROLL WITH FOAM

December 2016
SUPER SET TRAINING

September 2015
CORE STABILITY-LATEST TRAINING THOUGHTS
TRAINING THE HIP FLEXORS AND HAMSTRINGS

August 2015
COACHING STRATEGY
A TRAINING PROGRAMME TO BOOST SPEED

June 2015
A FURTHER LOOK AT SKULPTING A SPRINTER

October 2014
TECHNIQUES FOR BUILDING CONFIDENCE

April 2012
PLANNING YOUR TRAINING FOR ENDURANCE RUNNERS

December 2011
INTENSE TRAINING VERSUS VOLUME TRAINING

September 2011
ACCELERATION -THEORY AND PRACTICE
DYNAMIC AND SPORTS SPECIFIC WARM - UPS

June 2011
RUN FASTER

October 2010
DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF VARIABLE PACE

February 2010
TRAINING DEVELOPMENT IN PRE_ADOLESCENT CHILDREN

November 2009
NUTRITION FOR ATHLETES

August 2009
UNDERSTANDING SPORTS DRINKS

June 2009
SIMPLIFICATION OF ENERGY SYSTEMS

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A 'SHORT TO LONG' APPROACH TO SPRINTING

DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF VARIABLE PACE

When you see an endurance runner heading for the track,you can be almost 100% certain that he/she has interval training on the mind

It is not that there’s anything wrong with interval training. After all there’s no doubt that it can do an exceptional job in elevating the VO2max as well as improving basic running speed. It is just that the carefully-controlled,well-ordered drudgery of intervals sometimes can be replaced quite easily by other fun-filled and beneficial types of track workouts such as Variable-Pace(VP), for example.

When carried out properly VP training can produce improvements in aerobic capacity as great as those induced by traditional interval training. Also VP workouts enhance endurance and help the runner to learn to run at important running speeds.They are also of benefit for 5K,10K and marathon runners.

VP running is similar to interval training,but it differs in a number of key ways.

Like intervals,VP gives you occasional breaks or ‘recovery’ periods and like intervals ,it helps you achieve those last little gains in maximum aerobic capacity(VO2 max)performance that are impossible to attain by just doing long ,steady pace running

The main difference between these two forms of training is that with intervals,you alternate between a high –quality pace(your work-interval speed) and a low-quality pace(your recovery speed) while with VP training you interchange two very important running speeds during the course of your workout

Let’s take an example for endurance runners.
Jog an easy mile or two until you feel loose,warm and ready to run at faster speeds. Then run 400m at your current 5k race speed and---without stopping for recovery—run 400m at your current marathon pace.

Continue this pattern,alternating 400m bursts at 5k speed with 400m at marathon pace until you have completed 3 of each(six consecutive 400’s).
After that take your first real break by jogging lightly for 3-6 minutes.

After your rest period,embark on a new set of six 400’s,again interchanging three 400’s at 5k pace with 3 at marathon speed.

If you are averaging only 30 miles per week or less,or if it’s the first time you have done this workout,you’ll want to stop after the second set,it is tougher than it appears at first sight.

As half of your running is done at 5k pace and the other half at marathon speed,your average running speed for the overall workout will be just below your current 10k pace. That means that if you complete a full second set,you will amass about 3 miles of running at close to 10k intensity. Not bad for a training session!

Working out 5k and marathon paces for your VP workouts is quite simple. For the shorter distance take a recent,typical 5k time,convert it into seconds and divide it by 12.5

The result will be the time (in seconds) that you should take to complete each 400m that you run at 5k pace. For example if you run 5k in 19mins,19x60=1140s and 1140/12.5=91seconds per 400.

Calculating marathon pace is a little more difficult.

Take a recent,typical marathon time(if you have one),convert it into seconds and divide by 105.5 to get the time you should you should take to run each marathon pace.

If you don’t have a marathon time,multiply your current 5k time by 9.6 or your 10k time by about 4.6 to make a reasonable estimate of what your marathon time would be

For example,if you usually run the 10k in about 40mins,your projected marathon time is 4.6x 40=184mins(3:04).
To complete the calculations,184minsx60secs per minute=11,040secs and 11,040/105.5=105secs per 400m.

If you don’t have an actual marathon time and you hate doing the sums there’s an even easier way to work out marathon pace.
Simply add about 11 or 12 secs per 400m to your 5k speed

After you have worked out your 5k and marathon speeds,you are ready for a VP workout.

Runners who complete the 5k in about 18:50 and the marathon in around 3 hrs would alternate 90s 400’s with 102s 400’s during their VP workouts. Take note that the 400 at 5k speed is not superfast,but the marathon pace provides real benefits to you cardiovascular and muscular systems,unlike the slow,jogging speeds you would use during relief intervals in a conventional interval workout

At this stage it must be stated that although it is all right to run a little slower than 5k pace during the rapid 400’s,don’t try to run faster.

Zooming along at a faster speed will increase your risk of injury and decrease your chances of finishing the whole set with a good, relaxed running pattern.
Secondly,while it is perfectly acceptable to run slightly faster than marathon pace during the ‘slow’ 400’s,don’t let yourself dawdle along at slower than marathon pace.

Running too slowly won’t teach you to run at desired marathon speed and it will provide less stimulus to increase your VO2 max.

Over along period of time,you may be able to increase the number of sets per VP workout from the two already mentioned to four(or even five) sets (24total 400’s with 12x400’s at 5k race speed)during a workout,you will have completed almost 10k of running at close to your average 10k race speed.

That is pretty good for a workout but also pretty hard on you physically,so be careful.

Don’t plan a race for a week in which you’re completing four VP sets. Also try not to let your VP mileage (counting both the fast 5k 400’s and the slower marathon 400’s) add up to more than 10% of your total weekly mileage.

That means you’ll want to be running about 60 miles a week before you attempt four full VP sets

Besides increasing the number of sets,there is another way to toughen a VP workout.

As you become fitter and better able to handle the stresses of VP training,you may want to try lengthening each set.

For example,in order to increase the rigour and realism of the workout,make each set consist of eight total 400’s(four at 5k pace,four at marathon pace) rather than six.

Over time gradually increase the number of 400’s in your first set to10,12,14 etc,until the workout eventually consists of continuous running with no three to five min breaks.

Since VP workouts can be very physically demanding it is important to carefully plan the workouts which precede and follow variable-pace sessions.

Rest completely or conduct only easy,low intensity training on the day before and the day after.

It is probably best to conduct VP training one week followed by Intervals the next week or perhaps in a six week block,3VP sessions and 4 interval sessions.

Overall the 5k runner profits because he or she gains direct experience in running at 5k pace and because the 5k speed used during half of the 400’s is a perfect pace to send the VO2max rocketing skyward.

The 10k runner can reap huge rewards ,too,as the average blood lactate levels which build up during VP are close to those which runners experience during 10k racing.

This is because the average intensity of a VP workout is just under the intensity of a 10k race. Hey, we provide you with cheap replica handbags uk online store.

The 10k runner will also gain from the upsurge in VO2 max besides learning to handle the level of discomfort associated with that particular lactate level

However the greatest benefits of VP training may well be derived by marathon runners.

VP sessions are specific to marathon running as half of VP running is carried out at marathon speed. After you have done a number of VP workouts your marathon speed will feel much more comfortable and familiar on race day.

Secondly,if you are a competitive marathon runner,VP will help you to learn how to ‘surge’ during the race.

As VP involves shifting from marathon pace to 5k speed you’ll quickly learn how to turn on the style during a marathon at critical times in the race and you’ll be better able to get away from runners who are dogging you.

VP training gives marathon competitors the confident feeling that they can safely burst into faster running for a while and then recover while still running at a good quality marathon speed.

Finally VP training is good for marathon runners because even when they attempt to run the distance at a constant speed,the event ends up being a variable-intensity race.

Hills and changes in wind speed,temperature and running surface make it impossible for even the most conservative runner to keep the intensity absolutely constant during the event.

The VP workout,by forcing you to learn how to shift gears and handle the feeling of increased effort will help you to cope with the inevitable leaps in intensity which you’ll encounter in a race as mentioned above.

This kind of training is specific then to the 5k,10k and marathon and it can do wonders for your aerobic capacity and stamina.

Carrying it out is challenging and fun and provides a welcome break from conventional interval training.

Best of all,when it’s part of a carefully constructed training programme,VP should help you to achieve large improvements in performance

Good Luck