Friday, July 27, 2012

Are you getting your runner's daily requirement?

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

One thing I learned from Wednesday's race is that I'm not working hard enough during my regular training runs. Over the past four years I've had phases where I've focused on performance and/or distance. That type of running has always paid off during races. Running fast workouts will usually produce decent finish times for 5, 8 and 10K's. The same goes for long base training runs used as preparation for a half marathon.

Some runners that I know enjoy the challenge of running fast. They approach every workout as an opportunity to test their performance. They enjoy the work that it takes and that's why they run.

Me? I like to run fast (or my version of fast), but mostly I like to enjoy the experience of moving along, outside, preferably along a wooded trail. Long slow distance is both a technique and a way to define the way I like to run. LSD is invaluable when doing base training, but it is only part of the runner's daily requirement for race preparation.

If race training was defined like a food label, recommended weekly percentages would probably look something like this:

Speed runs:               15%
Tempo runs:              25%
Hill training:               10%
Base runs:                 25%
Easy/recovery runs:   15%
Cross training/core:   10%

I fall short on everything but easy runs. It's the same thing as eating too many carbs and not enough protein. You just won't perform as well.

This morning I decided that enough was enough so I cranked up the treadmill right away, to a speed that felt similar to my race pace on Wednesday. It wasn't easy, but I was able to sustain it. That was probably because my last two runs were a speed workout and a race. Can I maintain this type of running going forward to the point where I'm getting my recommended doses of speed and hill training? Maybe not all at once, but a little harder training might be doable.

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