Matt from Australia asks:
Want my cake and eat it too!
First off love the show especially ATC! I have systematically gone through and listened to pretty much all the episodes. My question is I want to increase my speed (who doesn’t?) while training for distance races, I have a 45km trail run lined up for early October and then a 30km in mid-November. I normally stick to 5k,10k and half marathons but with the current situation my normal races are not on. I feel the easy answer to improving my 1k (3.24) and 5k (19.31) PBs is to improve my out and out speed. Currently I am topping out at 15s for 100m. In my youth it was a flat 12s and I am now 38. With all of life’s factors I usually run between 40-70km a week. I am sure Lucho could rant on this for a while, I would love to hear.
What the Coaches say:
- The first thing you need to consider is durability. Doing true speed work is violent (i.e., impact – force upon landing, dynamic movement – tendons under a high load); need to work into it.
- Start with strides (even a really good 200-meter program starts with tempos)
- Then, build into relaxed sprints (grounding workouts); continue to develop
- Once you reach your near top end, sprint for 30 meters; but Lucho says not to worry too much about this (he doesn’t think you need to work on true speed)
- Strides and timing 100 meters will be plenty for you
- Timing is really important – it drives intent!
- One of Lucho’s favorite workouts is the ladder workout
- If you want to focus on critical speed, running 40-70km a week is going to ruin that (you can’t run 70k a week and develop critical speed effectively; you can improve it, but you can’t top it out)
- Start with strides; spend 4 weeks focusing on the 100. Don’t drop weekly volume.
- Do a really long warm-up!
- An example of Lucho’s warm-up:
- 400 easy
- Lunges, isometric wall sits, seven-way hips, isometric hamstring holds, single-leg RDLs, hopping, hip/leg swings
- 20-meter strides
- 40’s (timed)
- 1-3 x’s 100’s – building into each. Start out easy and relaxed, last 40-50 meters max effort (not forced!)
- Once Lucho feels feel ready, then he’ll start the workout.
- Don’t overthink it too much!
I started to listening to the ATC show last fall while training for my next (5th) marathon. Love the show and feel like I can relate to a lot of the questions that are answered. The Coronavirus has changed my training plan from being aggressive (trying to prep for a marathon PR) to more of a maintain mode.
My question centers around training in excessive heat/humidity. I live in Alexandria Virginia (near the Potomac River) and we’ve had a record hot July, with most days over 90 degrees (including I think 19 straight days) with high to very high humidity. I have struggled to maintain my normal training paces (I’m going 20-30 seconds slower pace per mile on most days). I get that it’s more difficult to run in high heat and humidity, but was wondering if there’s an “agreed upon”/common distance equivalent for running in such conditions…for example running 7 miles in current challenging northern Virginia weather conditions (90-95+ degrees with high to very high humidity) is “equivalent” to running 10 miles in “normal” northern Virginia weather conditions (~75 to 80 degrees with low to moderate humidity)? I guess I’m partially just searching for an excuse as to why I’ve struggled so much (slow pace, heavy legs, needing to stop to rest [normally I don’t stop]) during runs this late June and July.
Data about me: I turn 51 this year and have been running for about 4 years. My normal training run pace is about 7:30 per mile (not tempo/interval/speed, that’s obviously at a faster pace). I race distances from 5k (18:35 PR) to marathons (2:58:20 PR) on roads, and run in 5- and -10 mile trail series races too.
I’d appreciate your thought on this issue.