Easy Pace- (50%-60% of maximum heart rate and also referred to as a recovery run) A relaxed effort where breathing is very controlled and the runner can carry on a conversation without gasping for air. Easy pace is considered a warm-up pace. Most of an athlete’s training should be done at an easy pace.
Tempo Pace- (also known as “up and tempo” or “steady” or “pick-up’s) – A pace where the turnover is quicker and pace increases but at a steady rate. A tempo pace should not achieve a point where the runner is anaerobic. Tempo pace is a focused effort and one to two notches more intense than a runner’s easy pace. Less conversation but runner should still be able to breathe and feel controlled. Typically, this is about 65%-85% of maximum heart rate.
Long Slow Distance Pace– (also known as LSD) This is approximately 60-90 seconds slower than Race Pace (Half Marathon Goal Pace or Marathon Goal Pace) This LSD pace teaches the body how to efficiently increase overall endurance, hence increasing mileage and distance at a comfortable and controlled effort. This “longer” run should never be a race but true to a long, aerobic effort.
Anaerobic Threshold- (90%-100% effort)- This is where a runner has hit his or her maximum heart rate or close to it. It is the state where a runner is out of oxygen and the legs and body can feel like “jello.” The body is working very hard (9-10 on an effort scale of 1-10) and there is no talking. Turnover is very quick and breathing can become very heavy and labored.
Stride- A stride is a gradual acceleration in pace. It is a steady pick up usually done for about 10 second intervals to 60 second intervals. A stride is not an all out effort. Simply imagine yourself getting closer to your finish line. A runner would gradually increase overall effort and intensity but in a timely fashion as to avoid an anaerobic threshold state. (See definition above)
Fartlek- A fartlek is a short speed burst. This is typically done on a track or a road run where the turnover is increased very quickly but for only a very short and condensed interval such as 10 or 15 seconds. This is more of a quick, all out sprint but not for a long period of time.
Recovery efforts in between any given interval set means that the runner walks, jogs, walk/jogs the given rest interval. (i.e. a 200 recovery means the runner goes easy right after the prior interval for one half a track lap. Once the recovery is over the runner goes back in to the interval session and repeats.) The athlete is still moving but at a slow and easy pace which allows for the heart rate to come down. The goal is to get the heart rate back in tact along with breathing.
**When doing intervals, use the innermost lane(s) of the track. The outside lanes 5,6,7, etc are longer in length. Using the inner lanes assures the shortest and most accurate tangent and distance.
Cross Train- Any activity that does not include running. Cycling, Yoga, Swimming, Walking, Pilates, Elliptical Trainer, etc. Cross Training should be at a low impact and performed for 30-60 minutes 1-2 or even 3 times per week. Cross Training helps to “cushion” the body in between run days and reduce risk of injury. Cross Training allows a person to benefit from cardio endurance but at an easier impact overall on the body. Cross Training days are important, don’t skip them!
Active Recovery- This is a “light” workout where the heart rate is elevated but for a short period of time i.e. 15 to 30 minutes. This, like cross training is any activity which does not include running. It is done at a low impact, low intensity and should be more of a “feel good” workout out for the body and work-in for the mind.
Rest Day- This means true rest and no aerobic activity. This is a day where the body repairs and heals. Rest days are an important part of training for any event and any distance. Too much overload on the body can result in injury and overtraining. Rest days will allow your body to absorb all the “good training stress” and thus increase overall fitness.
Strength and Core Work – Upper and Lower body weights, stability ball work, abdominal work should be performed 1-2 days per week with rest in between the sessions. Strength and Core work will help the body be stronger. Upper body strength can help in increasing efficiency when climbing hills and overall breathing. Lower body work will help the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles have more overall output and power. Abdominal work will help running posture and form and strengthen the back.
Strength and Core should be 25 minutes to 45 minutes but no longer. The strength and core program should supplement the athlete’s running program.