If you’re getting ready for a running race, I’ll get some bad news: you’re getting slower and slower. Most people do everything at once. Long distance! The sprint! Cycle! Weight training! But it’s a languid recipe. A recent study even found that “American athletes never slow.” There’s a smarter way to cut your mileage.
Your body has two ways of using energy: “aerobic” and “anaerobic”. The aerobic energy system is built for a few hours, and the anaerobic system is built on intense activity that lasts only a minute or so. (after reaching 150-160bpm, your body usually moves from aerobic to anaerobic exercise) in order to gain benefits in an energy system, your body must sacrifice another. If you use a “kitchen sink” method in training, you won’t be much better.
Instead, focus on one energy system for four to six weeks at a time, which is called “block” or “phase.” When you improve one correctly, these benefits can last for a long time – even if you shift the focus to another system. But you have to do it right. This is your guide.
For the first training block:
Start improving your cardio. Why is that? Because that’s the foundation of everything. In endurance running, you rely on your aerobic system. When you make a hard sprint (this is anaerobic), you still need your aerobic system to recharge your battery, so you can sprint again without throwing up. It also helps build a bigger and stronger heart so you can pump out more blood and make your muscles better absorb oxygen.
Bottom line: in order to run the best game in your life, you have to improve your ability to move ahead without oxygen. Here it is:
Run time: keep your heart rate between 130 and 150 BPM (aerobic range). Pay attention to increasing your speed or distance in this range.
Run with Fartlek: run in your cardio range and sprint for a few seconds on a regular basis. This increases the difficulty of your aerobic exercise.
In a weight room: do weight exercises such as squats, lunges and weights while keeping your delegate low, increasing your basic strength and muscle endurance.
For the second training block:
Once you have a strong heart and aerobic system, it’s time to gently increase your running speed and distance. The second piece is where you start targeting anaerobic systems, adding interval time to your training. Here it is:
For running: do a 30-second dash and need as much time as possible to complete the recovery. Gradually add more sets.
In the weight room: strengthen and explosive exercise – vaulting box jumps, clear force, jump squat, kettle bell swings to replace your power – such as improving fast twitch muscle fibres endurance, speed and strength.
For the third training block:
In the third part, put everything together to achieve your goal speed and distance. This is where you peak, so start the block a few weeks before the race starts, so you can peak at the right time. Stop your strength training and focus entirely on your race time to get where you want to be. As the race gets closer and closer, it will gradually reduce the frequency of your running, making your body and legs fresh in big days.
Now, enjoy your life.