17 Oct Should you Run SLOW to Run FAST?
If theres one topic that just won’t seem to die at the moment its this one… How slow…
“How fast should I be running if I am training for X, Y or Z?”
And the sticking point is always – it depends…
Mr Coach Ant is sitting right on the fence again.
But honestly, the dream would be to head out the door and effortlessly plod around for 30 minutes knowing that you are going to be faster in a few weeks time.
Run slowly and run faster
It’s a headline that SELLS magazines and clicks to websites like you wouldn’t believe.
BUT… if you can only run once, maybe twice, possibly even three times per week – that strategy will fail you.
The fact remains that:
You get what you train for.
Running “slowly” (you can use whatever definition you’d like for slowly) will reap only one reward.
Slow times. 🙁
But here is where things get a little more complicated.
If you are running more than three times per week – then “slow” runs become MUCH more important in the grand scheme of things.
Also slow runs become more important as we age too as the body takes longer to recover from the stress of training.
Lets say for example, Tuesday you have your interval session, and Thursday you have your tempo run. Then Wednesday MUST be an easy or slow run. But importantly WAY slower than you probably run your easy runs at right now.
The reason being is that this Wednesday run only exists as a recovery from the previous days exertion.
Run this Wednesday session too hard… And Thursday is going to be quite a struggle. Chances are way off the pace you’d aspire to. Possibly, in the worst case scenario, popping you at a higher risk of injury too.
So what’s the solution?
Enter: My TOTALLY SIMPLE rule of thumb method for anyone thinking of writing their own training plan this winter…
Write/copy/steal this as you please (but don’t steal it and pop it on your own website… or else… 😉 )
Running TWICE per week:
Run one session hard (intervals) and one long run (relative to your goal event)
Running THREE times per week:
Run two sessions hard (intervals/tempo) and one long run (relative to your goal event)
Running FOUR times per week:
Run two sessions hard (intervals/tempo), one easy (like REALLY easy) and one long run (relative to your goal event)
Running FIVE times per week:
Run two sessions hard (intervals/tempo), two easy (like REALLY easy) and one long run (relative to your goal event)
Running SIX times per week:
Run two sessions hard (intervals/tempo), three easy (like REALLY easy) and one long run (relative to your goal event)
Sadly this non glamorous plan won’t sell many magazines or get that many clicks on a website, but it should help a lot of runners out when it comes to planning their winter training.
Of course, if you need a helping hand when it comes to planning your training – we are taking applications for our Online Training via >>THIS<< questionnaire for those interested. It’ll take away all the stress and worry about training, leaving you to just run.
If this has helped you, please give it a share (buttons are right below) as it might help another runner too 🙂
Ant is the creator of RunCamp. Everyday his goals are to educate, motivate and inspire runners and triathletes to make themselves better than they were yesterday.
Running in his eyes is a journey, and through his coaching he aims to make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.
As well as running, you’ll find Ant regularly taking part in triathlons, from sprint distance up to full Ironmans.
He also has a big weakness in the forms of Papa John’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so if you ever want to get an easier session, thats one way to get one!