SOME RUNNERS FOLLOWING THE EARNED RUNS Half Marathon with ‘SAINTS DAYS’ 5k & 10k beginner training plan may be a bit more experienced and have finished a few races. With emphasis on “finished.” The primary goal in these previous races would have been to NOT drop out or NOT need to slow to a walk except at water stations. With the confidence gained from crossing a few finish lines, these runners may now wonder if they can hope to speed up a bit.
Getting to this point was one of the most exciting moments I’ve experienced in my running career. For about 35 years of sporadic running and entering races without a smart training plan the NEED FOR SPEED never entered my mind. Mostly I hoped NOT to develop tendinitis or some other soft tissue problem that would prevent participation. After paying the registration fee and telling friends of my plans, I would gear up and increase mileage not so gradually.
It was a setup for injury and disappointment. I likely needed 10-12 training weeks for the shorter distance races and more for anything above a 10k. However, the goal race would come to my attention 8-9 weeks before race day and I would start then. It wouldn’t occur to me to plan a full year of races. In my defense, I had a busy life as a mother, physician, wife, daughter, and faculty member that took considerable effort, leaving brief moments for impulsive decisions when it came to running planning.
If you wish to speed up in your next race, coach/trainer Matt Fitzgerald has 7 excellent suggestions in the article “Seven Ways to Increase Speed Without Increasing Mileage” for RunningCompetitor.com. It is subtitled, “Learn how to squeeze a little more speed out of yourself by making the most of your training.” Perfect! By now many runners are aware of the dangers of overtraining, and don’t want to boost their mileage. Also, non-professionals usually find it difficult to devote more time for more training miles.
The methods Fitzgerald discusses are:
Be more consistent
Practice step cycles
Strengthen your core
In each section, he explains how to “squeeze” the particular speed training change-up into an existing plan or busy week.
If you have arrived at the magical moment when speeding up initially becomes a goal in your running life, Matt Fitzgerald’s piece will be helpful and timely.
Another mental milestone that can become a conscious goal for older runners is the quest for running longevity. To be physically able to run for as many years into the future as possible. Some of Fitzgerald’s advice can help in this area as well. If DECREASED mileage is a goal, 2 of these routines can function as quality workouts in a week or longer cycle that allows for more rest/recovery days, strength training, and cross training. In the first section, he discusses varying intensities and recommends 3 hard and 3 easy runs per week. One or 2 of the easy runs can be swapped for other types of training if the 3 hard runs are high quality.
Whether your mileage is higher or lower, you might find that one or more of Fitzgerald’s suggested methods saves your legs and joints from the pounding of mildly intense, but continuous, unvarying sessions. Walkers can benefit as well from this advice to become faster.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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