ASICS NZ - Run Workouts Not too Miss in your Buildup
Written for ASICS New Zealand ‘Get Race Ready Campaign’
Busy has got to be one of the most apt words we use to describe our daily lives, which is a good thing. But it means our training hours in the week are precious, and we want to make sure we are getting the utmost out of every single one of them. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all secret training remedy. Your current athletic capabilities, your genetic makeup, lifestyle and target event all add colours to the paint pallet. Working with a coach and/or growing your understanding of the training process adds undeniable value and enjoyment to your race build up experience.
Lets look at a few bread and butter theories and sessions to get you running.
The Gantt Chart
A build up to race day ideally allows at least 12 weeks. Starting with a phase of base training and building into speed work by stepping up your volume and intensity each week. Don't forget to grant yourself a crucial recovery week every 4th to allow you to absorb the hard work. Its also great to include a couple of park runs or low key races along the way to gauge your improvement and keep you intune when it's dark, cold, raining and you need fit in your run. Group sessions here would work well for motivation and community feels.
Building the foundation
If you think of a pyramid, the bigger the base, the higher the pinnacle can go. Long runs lay the base layer for you to build up later. They are also a nice opportunity to drive out to some trails and make a morning of it. If you’re feeling good, uptempo for the last 20mins is a perfect way to push the limits on tired legs.
Hills are magic and should be embraced. Hills elevate your heart rate inserting cardiovascular intervals into your workout without the impact of running fast. At the same time, you’re building strength through your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Downhill fast is also great loading of the quads, so don’t fear pushing hard up, over, and halfway down the other side. A simple undulating course with varied gradients and lengths improves your lactate threshold. A set of 5-10x 30sec hill sprints is ideal for building power and strength.
Strides are the perfect introduction to some basic leg speed without over doing it. Add 6x100m strides to the end of a 30min jog, use a grass field, walk back in-between each and barefoot if you can.
When it comes to speed work you have to tell yourself that when you’re feeling uncomfortable, you’re making gains. I like this session with Armando Galarraga from Sansego Coaching:
Warm up 15mins
30x2min as 1min 3km pace / 1min just above easy
Your heart rate stays high for the entire duration yet mentally 1min is easy to get your head around. This session can easily be adapted by altering the number of reps to suit.
I am also a huge fan of the treadmill. Soft underfoot, an awesome hill simulator if you don’t have easy access. You also don’t have much of a choice but to move as fast as the belt. My favourite treadmill set from Bevan McKinnon Fitter Coaching. This is an awesome ladder set. The first half at 3% gradient is hard, but on the way back down the ladder you feel like you have free speed:
Warm up 10min
4x30sec hard / 2min easy
2min sub 5k pace 3% / 2min easy
3min sub 5k pace 3% / 2min easy
4min sub 5k pace 3% / 2min easy
4min sub 5k pace / 2min easy
3min sub 5k pace / 2min easy
2min sub 5k pace / 2min easy
3x1min 800 pace / 1min easy between
The week of the event is personal preference and takes trial and error to work out. You want to lower the volume but keep the intensity. If you rest up too much you’ll end up feeling lethargic race day. Early in the week 5x1-3mins (race distance dependant) a tad faster than race pace is nice and should feel super comfortable, later in the week and on race day some more strides really help to open up the legs.
If you’re already putting all this time and effort into training for your event, picking a couple of ‘extras’ to hold it all together are well worth it.
Strength and Stability training.
The right gym work teaches your body to engage its most efficient muscle groups. It makes you more equipt to handle your speed sessions and is a massive injury preventer (especially for females). Core and stability work will see you having better running form and posture in weeks and weights are an amazing investment into strength.
Stretching, massage and foam roller.
So important in speeding up your recovery and increasing circulation. When your muscles get tight they’re no longer at 100%, the surrounding area becomes inflamed, puts stress on the surrounding connections and increases your chance of injury.
Is a huge one and would require a separate blog post. I always think what you put in is what you get out, if you eat sugar try to keep it around training time so its metabolised, if its in a packet with numbers in the ingredients list limit it to 1-2x per week and if your struggling with energy levels and general health do your research on multivitamins.
Injury and sickness.
The theory I live by is ‘3 days off now or 3 months off later’. If you’re feeling a niggle coming on err on the cautious side and do some cross training instead. Same goes for sickness, use your training time for extra sleep.
Train Hard, Race Easy 🙂
Live Q&A session Thursday 6th Sept 7.30-8.30pm