Tapering Doesn’t Equal Marshmellow Mode
- Keep up the intensity and maintain mental focus
- Minimize the load
- Keep strength training but with less weight
- Focus on quality rest and recovery
Greg McMillan, M.S. | McMillianRunning.com
In a progression run, you begin running at a slow, easy pace but finish at a fast pace. Not only will you find progression runs to be fun, but they are a great way to boost your fitness without any lasting fatigue. And, the benefits are the same no matter if you’re a 2:15 or a 4:15 marathoner.
Three Types of Progression Runs
While the idea of the progression run is simple – start slower, finish faster, I recommend that you begin with structured progression runs until you learn how to properly gauge your effort throughout the run. Below are the three structured progression runs that I have used successfully.
The first type of progression run is called Thirds. As the name implies, you break your run into three equal parts or thirds. For the first third, you run at a relatively slow, comfortable pace. As you progress to the second third of the run, your pace will have gradually increased to your normal steady running pace. Over the last third of the run, you increase your speed so that you’re running a strong, comfortably hard pace. For many competitive runners this effort corresponds to somewhere around marathon race pace to as fast as half-marathon race pace and a heart rate between 80 and 90% of maximum. This strong running significantly improves your Stamina which raises the pace you can run before you begin to rapidly accumulate lactic acid.
For your first thirds progression run, choose a 45-minute easy run. Run the first 15 minutes slowly, the second 15 minutes at your normal pace and finish the last 15 minutes at a strong pace. While I break the run into thirds, your pace doesn’t radically change after each third. Instead, it is a gradual but steady increase across the run. After getting your feet wet with this first thirds run, you can adapt the concept to any duration/distance.
It’s important to note that the pace of the final third is NOT all-out running. An appropriate pace for the last third is approximately your marathon race pace.* Could you run faster at the end? Of course! But that’s not the goal of this particular progression run. In fact, if you run too hard in the last third, the workout becomes more like a Tempo Run which causes too much fatigue for the purposes of a progression run.
It’s likely that on some of your runs, you already do a thirds progression run without even trying. When you are fully recovered from previous workouts, the body seems to just naturally progress to a faster pace as the run goes along. And please note that I suggest you do this on an ‘easy run’ day not a ‘recovery run’ day.** For all but a select few elite athletes, progression runs should not be used on days when you are recovering from a previous workout or race.
Lastly, I find a thirds progression run to be an especially beneficial workout for experienced marathon runners – runners who can handle an additional up tempo day in addition to their other key workouts and long run. The most important caveat, however, is that you must not push too hard in the last third. Strive for a medium-hard pace (around your marathon race pace) not a Tempo Run.
Read about two more types of progression runs.
By Patrick McCrann | Active.com
As solo an endeavor as running can be, there’s no doubt that having a companion to share your miles can help breathe the life back into your training. From sharing a few laughs to pushing your limits, the right running partner will help you grow as a runner.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are five great running workouts that you can do with your running partner of choice. Run them as fast or as slowly as you want; you’ve already won simply by having someone to share the experience with
But before we begin…
Quick Running Partner Advice
Running with someone else is just that; a run. Don’t feel pressure to do anything but run. It’s helpful to set some expectations around average pace and distance for that specific workout. Otherwise
don’t place too many constraints around the session as it can really take the fun out of the workout. And don’t forget that you can have as many different running friends as you like; you could have speedy partner, one for recovery days, and even one for your longer runs. The sky is the limit.
Top Partner Run Workouts
#1 — Triple Fast Slow
A variation on a fartlek (aka speed play) run, in this session runners take turns implementing three speed surges at the pace and duration of their choice, recovering as much as needed. After these three repeats, the other runner has the chance to take the lead.
Tip: Start with one set each and build up to three as your fitness improves.
#2 — Adventure Run
A personal favorite, this run involves one runner plotting out a brand new route and then acting as the tour guide leading the other(s). Use an online mapping tool and a GPS device to avoid getting utterly lost; but note that even diverting just a few blocks off your normal route can be sufficiently different.
Tip: This is a perfect substitute for a regularly scheduled long run, especially when your training is becoming monotonous.
Read about more partner workouts.
Race Day Mental Preparation
What counts is what you do when no one is watching.
- The training miles you put in.
- Giving your best effort at every workout.
- Being mentally tough during practice.
- Trusting in your consistent training, despite the ups and downs.
Foam Rolling Exercises
By Coach Jenny Hadfield
Give yourself a deep tissue massage. Roll around and feel for tight spots. Here are three great areas to target and break up the knots.
For each area, go up and down for 1-2 minutes. Hold the spot when you feel a knot.
How To Do A Reverse Lunge
- Take a big step back
- Keep your knees behind your toes
Jump Rope for Runners
Jump roping has several benefits for runners:
- Strengthens your cardio vascular system
- Strengthens your ankles
- Helps with coordination
- Injury prevention
- Easy cross training workout when you’re short on time
When is the last time you grabbed a rope and jumped? Try it.
Shalane likes a variety in her fridge- quality protein, of course some ice cream and salty chips.
What is in your fridge?