Run Training Technique

Generally my technique involves a mixture of interval and distance training, and ensuring rest days. Some people have claimed that Interval training is all they need for even a distance run, and then there are those that claim that in order to do a long run you need long runs. And finally there those that goes for a balance between the two. And with many things, I like to find balance.

High Intensity Interval Training.

I got this technique from reading the four hour body, the simplest way I can put it is as follows:

  • Choose a 400m running track, and bring a stopwatch or wrist watch with stop watch
  • Run 50-75% intensity for 400m (1 round), and rest for 1 min 30 sec, do this twice
  • Run 75-90% intensity for every 100m with 10 seconds rest (stop) repeat 16 times (or the next 4 rounds.

So you would be running for 2.4km, takes about 20 minutes, for 5 times a week, once you get used to in you may be able to do the extreme 10 time a week, doing it twice a day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.

Due to the intensity of the course, you may feel aches and pains after the work out. But due to the short distance of 2.4km, the recovery is faster. Delay Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) occurs only in the beginning, but reduces or disappears after a month of conditioning.

After a month of the HIIT interval, and employing the chirunning method, I found that a relax, aerobic run of 10km on the weekend to be relatively easy. Mind that I do finish just over an hour. The 10km doesn’t feel as tiring as it used to, and my time was still an improvement.

The only part that troubled me a few times, and maybe a few people is that the HIIT may push you hard. So may need to clock it down if you feel it is too much. Generally, HIIT is very good for improving your speed, and maintaining that speed for longer distances. The author claims that HIIT may be the only training you need to do any distance. Check the four hour body by Tim Ferriss

four hour body.

Others have criticize that the reliance on the HIIT programme may not improve your ability to do long distance. So there is the Long Slow Distance Training.

Long Slow Distance Training or Over Distance Training.

The basic idea of this training is to actually slowly do or overdo the distance  in order to get used to the race distance. this is one of the main ways most marathoners train. and this is a safe way for you to run your first race with the focus on completing the run as opposed to finishing fast.

Based on The Honolulu Marathon Clinic the rules are:

  • Train for at least an hour, three times a week.
  • Train no more than four times a week.
  • Pass the “talk” test while training.
  • Drink water every 20 minutes

The talk test is as what it states, you can actually hold a conversation while running. This will ensure that you are in aerobic state and stop you from going off into an aerobic state.

The aerobic state is also an an important factor in your body being able to use up the fats in our bodies. Which are actually a more potent energy source.

One proponent of the Long Slow Distance training is Jeff Galloway, he has coached a lot of people and wrote a few books on Long Distance Running Training.

jeff galloway on marathon trainingrun-walk-run method

My Training

Initially in 2006, I did a version of the LSD training for six months, which I then completed my first marathon after 7 hours. I did a simple Intensity training in 2007, which was mostly roughly 1km warm up, and 1km sprint for 3-4 times a week. with occasional medium runs of 5-10km. I did get my pace down to 6min/km, but I experienced my first ankle sprain during training a few weeks before the marathon, which it then popped up during my marathon, which caused me to quit.

When I picked up running again after 2012. I subscribed to the HIIT method above to do decent 10km runs. I only built up distance again when I decided to do a triathlon in 2013, and a 70.3 ironman in April 2014, which included a 21km run I did in 3 hours and 13 minutes. Recently, I completed a half-marathon in 2 hour 45 minutes (I would have arrived earlier if I wasn’t accompanying my friend who suffered from muschle cramps in the last 5km). I haven’t been able to sign up for a full Marathon run since 2007. But now I have an opportunity this November 2014.

My training is a bit random. Even though I use endomondo training workouts as training schedule, I go off of it a lot. Early this year I have been running 5-10km runs 3-4 times a week with a Long Slow Distance on Weekends, along with my swimming and cycling exercises for my triathlon. Now I have a triathlon in October and a Marathon in November. I will keep my mix short interval weekdays training with an LSD every weekend.

Next few topics will be on the science and specific jargons of training, which includes defining intensity and aerobic vs anaerobic exercise.


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