Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Finishing your race strong

This morning after my run, I got my weekly Runners World e-mail and they had an article about finishing a race strong, and some training to do so that your still strong at the end.

Fatigue Intervals Instead of your normal 15-minute warmup before your long intervals, run 50 to 60 minutes. Your legs will likely feel tired, so don't worry if your interval splits fall off by a second or two per lap. Running fast while fatigued forces your body to recruit muscle fibers that might otherwise go untrained. Do this workout every third or fourth interval session.

Fast-Finish Long Run In the last third of your run, drop the pace by 20 to 30 seconds per mile. Concentrate on holding good form, which will help you stay relaxed as you push the pace. Make every second or third long run a fast-finish workout.

Mile Breakdown Do a two-mile warmup, then a mile at 5-K race pace, 1200 at one second per lap faster than the previous mile, 1000 at two seconds per lap faster than last mile, 800 at three seconds per lap faster, 600 at four seconds per lap faster, and 400 at five seconds per lap faster, with recovery equal to the time of the last interval. Incorporate this workout into your long interval rotation, and do it the Monday or Tuesday before a Sunday race to prime your speed for competition.

Step-Down Tempo Workout Start this 10-mile run at 1:20 per mile slower than your usual five-mile tempo pace. Every two miles drop the pace by 20 seconds per mile (your progression would look something like this: 8:05-8:05-7:45-7:45-7:25-7:25-7:05-7:05-6:45-6:45). While only the last two miles are at your normal tempo pace, the fact that you ran eight descending miles beforehand will make the pace feel more challenging. Replace your usual tempo run with this step-down approach about every third threshold workout.


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