Yesterday I weighed in at 165lbs. I’m not weighing today, so there! ; ) It has been an interesting & long week so far. Today is the day – Neurologist Appointment!! Finally. I don’t know how much of what I am feeling is real & how much is imagined. I have really cut back on riding, I’m not running at all. Not losing. Not training. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to ride ‘as a ride marshall’ 65 miles on the 19th & 72 miles on Oct 3rd. Keep playing the Dr statements through my mind, because they sound so weird. Fractured spine… narrowing spinal cavity… arthritic lumbar spine… he can’t be talking about me, right?
So, the day will be interesting. I hope the Dr can make sense of my ramblings. My cervical spine is tight. The thoracic section hurts during the day & makes a grinding noise when I twist left & right. Tightness & pain in the lumbar area. I’m such a baby…
And so I run
First, we’ll look at the science of training, then detail 2 types of endurance building exercises to incorporate into your running schedule to increase your strength, endurance & skill.
Interval Training is repeated bouts of high intensity exercise with intermittant rest periods. Intermittant exercise allows a higher total volume of high intensity work. Interval training allows us to accumulate a greater volume of stress on the blood pumping capacity of the heart.
These exposures to additional ventricular stretch may help trigger ventricular remodeling (bigger ventricle volume). A program employing relatively low volume but high intensity endurance type exercise will be very effective in increasing the VO2max of a previously untrained or (substantially detrained) person.
For the untrained, interval training is a way of accumulating minutes of exercise at a higher intensity than our skeletal muscles are initially adapted to tolerate. In the untrained, the heart is better conditioned to endurance performance than the skeletal muscles.
The improvement in lactate threshold, or the percentage of VO2 max that can be maintained without significant lactic acid accumulation. Changes in the lactate threshold occur over a longer time-course than the improvement in maximal oxygen consumption, even if we train regularly. And remember that our diet can strongly affect our lactate threshold. Give consideration to removing refined carbs & sugar from your diet when training to raise the threshold level. (Make it take longer for your body to start producing lactic acid.)
These are short intervals that are performed at faster than your normal training speed. We are going to begin with introductory level speed workouts and moderately improve speed and performance for a 5K race. Base these workouts on your current 5K race time.
If you have not completed a race or do not know your current 5K race time, here is a way to figure it out:
There are 2 levels of time trial measuring. If you are very new to running, run a full half mile & time yourself. Rest for 3 minutes in between, then run another full half mile. Add these 2 times together and multiply by 3.25. That will give you a good starting point for training purposes.
If you are slightly more advanced, try this: Go to a 400 meter track (most high school tracks are 400 meters) and run three 1600 meter repeats with one minute of rest between the three repeats. There are 1609 meters in 1 mile. Run the repeats at a pace that you can maintain for the entire workout. Make sure you choose a challenging speed that still allows you to complete the three workouts. Calculate your average pace per mile for the three repeats. Multiply this pace by 3.125. That will give you a fairly accurate estimate of your 5K race finishing time.
Hill repeat workouts will help build strength and speed. These workouts are short, repeated runs up a hill of small, moderate or high grade, depending on your experience with running and your fitness level. Remember, if you’ve never run hill repeats before, start a little easy & gradually increase the distance and the intensity.
Newer runners can do shorter sections up the hill, then jog or walk down, increasing the uphill run distance regularly until you are running all the way up & down. Start by finding a hill with the grade you want to train on. Run up it at race pace or faster, then jog or walk down for recovery. The grade should be steep enough to test you, but not so steep that your form suffers.
Run or walk a warm-up before you begin. At least 5 minures of running or walking. As you hit the incline, lean forward with your back tall. Lift your knees and focus more on vertical, rather than forward, motion. Lift through your hip flexors and push down with your glutes and calves. Keep your shoulders relaxed and low as you pump your arms.
Shorten your stride. Stay on your toes. Think baby steps. Depending on the hill and your current conditioning, do 3 to 10 repeats, totaling 20 to 40 minutes of hill repeats. Vary the intensity; short and very steep, longer and not-so-steep, fast/faster/fastest. In combination with a regular running routine, run hill repeats once a week. Always finish your workout with 10 to 15 minutes of easy running or walking to help the body cool down.
Now, just go do it
There you have it. Running 101, 102, 103. Everything you need to know to be a healthy, strong runner, start-to-finish line!!