Running Training : it's all neurologic!

There are essentially just two types of running; training & racing. And the only difference between these two, is your pace or intensity. 

If you're not running with good form at all times, you're training your body to do something different.

If you're not running with good form at all times, you're training your body to do something different.

What I mean when I say this is:

With racing we are typically asking our body to perform at the highest level of intensity, with a high level of focus or concentration on every aspect of our running and running form. This we do to maximise our performance for the race.

But what do we do differently in training, when the pace or intensity varies so much?

Training comes in all different shapes & sizes; Recovery, Intervals, Pace, Tempo, Threshold, Steady State, Long Runs.

In training the only difference should be the intensity, and as a result cadence (but only slightly). The mental focus on running form should be just the same.

Here’s another way of looking at it, that most runners will understand.

There is good running form, and poor running form.

Good Running Form = tall posture, strong trunk, high foot/knee pick up, high cadence, yet smooth, light & easy. Good running form sounds like tap, tap, tap, tap. You get what I mean.

Poor Running Form = bent over posture, low hips, collapsing into knees, low feet that drag, slow cadence, bumpy, heavy, hard. Goes more like thud…, thud…, thud….

Whatever your run, your form may be better or worse depending on many factors. If we consider this on a linear scale, and as a runner you will sit somewhere along that scale at any given moment as you run. Most of us will start a run at the better end of the scale ( best form) and often move backwards as the run progresses as our strength is challenged and fatigues takes its toll ( poorer form).

Unless you’re Mo Farah, you’re probably not always at the far right (best) end of the scale, but you still should always be working towards that goal. By that I mean regardless of the type of run, hence the pace/intensity of your run or what stage of your run, you must always focus on good running form, thus aiming to strengthen the neural pathways, and associated muscles that produce good running form. For it is good running form, that produces efficient running that when combined with strength & power means you run fast!

You must always practise good running form always, regardless of your run.

Mo Farah, doesn't get much better!

Mo Farah, doesn't get much better!

This sounds like a lot of work I agree, but the consequence of not doing this is the bigger problem.

As the body responds to it’s environment always ( i.e. how we train it), if you spend time running or allowing yourself to run with anything less than good form (poor form), you are teaching or training your body/muscles to run this way ( poorly).

Now that is clearly counterproductive, and you just simply cannot afford to be doing that, if you want to become a better runner, or remain a good runner, or even get the most out of your training.

So what of slower runs; steady pace long runs, recovery runs and easy runs.

Our body is a dynamic organism in that it is constantly adapting and responding to it’s environment. In this way, we are the product of what we do, or how we keep or train our bodies. Thus running training provides a stimulus that results in stronger, fitter muscles with better condition for running due to accompanying physiologic changes.

But when we train for running, and we achieve stronger, fitter leg muscles there is a higher force that provides this change that must be considered. And this is the brain & nervous system.

When we train to get stronger, we are actually stimulating the nervous system to build a stronger neural connection or pathway to those muscles (and supportive structures & mechanisms) required for that activity (running), and thus adaptation towards greater power/strength & physiologic conditioning can be achieved in those muscle functions.

Not only that, for we are also training the body and in particular, your posture & legs to move in a specific & deliberate manner, and in doing so developing your motor pathways. This of course is also known as your running gait (or form) and very important for running efficiency.

The important point to understand and remember is that this is happening on every run. It is after all neurologic, always.

So in effect, we are not (just) training muscles, but training your nervous system to produce stronger signals, of greater intensity that result in stronger motor patterns and a stronger muscle response. So the effect of this stronger neural pathway, is a stronger, fitter muscular system that produces a stronger response that results in more efficient & more powerful running. This is what makes you faster!

And so, training your body to run, and Run Well means we must practise good running form on every step, of every run, regardless of the type of running session we perform, be it training or racing.

The question you must ask yourself is;

When I am running, when I am training, am I running with my best form, or am I doing something else?

Who is running with better form?

Who is running with better form?

 

If you find during a running session that your form has gone, then you must slow down or stop, get it back together, and then continue with good form. Otherwise you're being counter-productive.

For maximum results & performance, you must always focus first on Running Well.

Run Well! Improve your Running Technique & Efficiency in 5 weeks!

There's pretty much only two ways to get better with your running.

Effective training will make you stronger & better conditioned, thus allowing you to run further & faster.  The other way is to to run with greater efficiency to allow you to get the most out of every stride by maximising your energy output and ensuring you waste as little of your available energy as possible.

In fact whilst both are important, it is your running technique & efficiency that is the vital factor in  improving your running performance. Good running form will ensure you get the most out of every training run, and thus every race, whilst reducing your risk of injury.

Whilst I can help you with both of these elements of running training, one presents a much greater challenge than the other. 

Good running form is critical to improving your performance.

Good running form is critical to improving your performance.

 

Learning to run with greater efficiency, otherwise known as your running technique takes precise tuition, understanding, & practise.  

Whether you're a 5km weekend warrior or a seasoned marathoner, if you've never been taught how to run properly, there is a chance you are not maximising your running potential,and potentially increasing your risk of injury.

We can teach you the fundamental principals behind sound, effective and efficient running technique and over time you will see it pay dividends in your performance and recovery, not to mention the enjoyment you get out of your running.

Run Well are offering their unique 5 week Running Technique Clinic to you in late March 2017. 

We have designed & developed this unique teaching clinic over many years, & have coached over 100 runners in this method. 

'RUN BETTER, STRONGER & FASTER' IN  5 weeks & YOU will learn;  

  • the fundamental running drills that will allow you to develop stronger, more efficient motor patterns

  • retraining your foot strike for maximum recoil

  • the importance of knee drive

  • glute activation & stride power

  • cadence & arm swing

  • finally, how to run smooth, light & easy...and then fast!

This course involves hands on coaching, individual feedback, take home notes & homework. 

You will complete the course with the knowledge & understanding of how to continue to become better, stronger & faster with every run. 

 

Here's all the details you need;

WHEN:  Starts SATURDAY 25th March. 

5 x consecutive Saturday mornings ( except EASTER SAT)  from 7:30am  for an 60-75 mins. No issues with dark nights!

WHERE: PEANUT FARM OVAL, Spenser St/Chaucer St, St. Kilda. 

CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO MAP OF PEANUT FARM RESERVE

COST : $250 

 

How to secure your place ( numbers limited):

Sign up online ( YOU WILL NEED TO LOGIN FIRST) - click here to book via our website 

Transfer 50% deposit or pay in full by bank transfer to;

BSB: 062 562

ACC: 00620980

If you have any further queries or questions please send us an email here.

We look forward to running... really running, with you!

Remember, numbers are limited, so please get in touch now to secure your place.  

As always, Run Well!  

 

 

2017 : Resolve to Run

The New Year typically brings new resolutions, new plans, and new goals. 

as IN all aspects of life, if we fail to plan, we often plan to fail; whether we mean to or not!. However, if we set out with a proper plan to achieve a goal, more often than not we will succeed. this is critical in running.

It's simple, just RUN!

It's simple, just RUN!

Eg. When i considered running my first marathon several years ago, I was so motivated by the fear of failure that my goal was to read, learn and practise as much as I could about the subject, As a result, I planned & prepared well and finished well with a 3:07, exceeding my initial expectations. My second attempt was learn more, put that into practise (better training methods) in order to break 3 hrs and I did. And my third was for a better time again in order to qualify for the NY marathon & run a PB along the way, and happily I succeeded again.

I planned well in advance for each of these, and prepared well on every occasion, achieving these goals as a result. Not only that, but I also picked up more PBs over the shorter distances along the way.

This is not about my running ability at all, whatever it or yours may be but about achieving your best and performing to your potential. Which brings me to talk about one of the things I love about running, and that is that there are no short cuts. The more effort you put in with your training and preparation, the greater the reward in performance you will get in return.  These rules for running are very simple and there’s just no other way. No short cuts.

Your running results are purely based on how well you plan, commit, train & prepare. Look after those factors, and the results will look after themselves.

WITH THAT IN MIND, WHAT ARE YOUR RUNNING GOALS FOR 2017, AND HOW WILL YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

HERE"S SOME TIPS;

  • Set up your goals at the start of the year.  Are you going to run further, run faster, or just make new running friends. Are you aiming to run your first marathon or Half Marathon, or aiming for a PB in any particular event. Are you planning to run an event for the first time?
  • Be specific with your goals and make them meaningful! You'll be more likely to commit and be accountable. Make them real, write them down, tell someone.
  • Make it challenging but realistic.
  • Put a plan in place to achieve your goals. (Fail to plan & you plan to fail). Allow enough time to prepare appropriately; This means plan, train, taper, race, recover. Repeat.
  • Plan your year around your ultimate Goal Race/s.  You can enter lots of races/events but pick those you wish to do your best in and aim for these with the appropriate amount of preparation, and tapering, followed by recovery. The other races races are part of training & race training for that specific goal race/s. 
  • Commit to a program. A program will keep you motivated, accountable and on track to your goal. A personalised program is specifically designed with your goals & needs in mind and is custom designed to fit you.  Make sure your program is designed to meet your needs & your goals, to give you every chance to achieve your goals & perform to your potential.
  • Schedule it! Put into your calendar regular group runs, training sessions (we meet every FRI 6:15AM@TAN), and regular race meets that will keep you motivated. This will help you reach your goal by tracking progress, and by keeping your training intensity up. Regular racing is the best form of race preparation & training. Having said that, remember that not all races will produce your best result and should be approached accordingly. Keep your focus on your Goal Races, the rest is training!

 

Start Now. Just RUN!

 

In case you're wondering, here’s my running goals for 2017, and what my suggested race calendar looks like.

  1. Run more trails & trail races, aiming for one per month, starting JAN.
  2. Do more DRILLS SESSIONS, at least once per week.
  3. Go one better than last year in the GOR Half Marathon.
  4. Defend my Harrietville Half title in OCT, with a PB.
  5. Help my Run Well buddies run sub 3 hr at MM2017.
  6. Plan to take a Run Well group to Tokyo Marathon, Feb 2018

 

How does your Running calendar look ?

Your best reference is the Australian Running Calendar

https://www.runningcalendar.com.au/calendar/2017/

Here's some events to get you thinking and planning...?

JAN

15th - Two Bays 28/56

FEB

25 – Rollercoaster 43/21.5/10

http://www.rollercoasterrun.com/wp/

MAR

11-13 Tassie Trail Fest 44/22/21/14/2k dash for cash

http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/

11 - Six Foot Track 45( one day but not this year…)

http://www.sixfoot.com/

18 – Sharpy’s Beer Run 21/10

http://trailology.com.au/events/

24-26 – Buffalo Stampede 10-75

http://www.buffalostampede.com.au/

APRIL

1 - Run The Rock, Hanging Rock

http://events.solemotive.com/run-the-rock/

9 – Run 4 Kids 14.6

http://www.runforthekids.com.au/

30 - Great Train Race Puffing Billy 13.5 ( fast, tough!)

http://puffingbilly.com.au/en/events-and-dining/gtr/

MAY

14 - Mothers Day Classic 4/8

http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/event-info/event-locations-map/melbourne/

20/21 – GOR Running Festival 23/45

http://greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au/2017-event-dates/

JUN

24- Surf Coast Trail Marathon 42+/22

http://www.surfcoasttrailmarathon.com.au/

JUL

30 – Run Melbourne HM 5/10/21.1

http://events.solemotive.com/run-melbourne-about/

AUG

27 – Wonderland 36?/20 ( Definitely be back again!)

http://www.wonderlandrun.com.au/

SEP

2 - Costal Classic (NSW) 29.1

http://coastalclassic.com.au/the-course/

OCT

1 – Harrietville Half  21.1

15 – Melb Marathon 42.2/21.1/10

http://melbournemarathon.com.au/

FEB 2018

TOKYO MARATHON???

http://www.marathon.tokyo/en/

The Biggest Street Party in the World; 2016 New York Marathon

You've heard about it, read about it and talked about it for ages; but it's not until you actually take the epic trip, gather at the start line and take off onto the Verazanno Bridge towards Brooklyn that you start to get a sense of what it's all about. They call it the biggest street party in the world, as an estimated crowd of 1 million excited supporters line the streets along the entire 42.195 kms through the five boroughs of New York. From the start way down at Staten Island all the way to Central Park, Manhattan, you feel like you're running through the middle of a massive street festival, as the thousands upon thousands of wildly cheering spectators and supporters, that includes bands, DJ's, & marching bands cheer you through every step of the way.

This incredible event is most certainly an unforgettable experience. From the time we landed in New York, and made our way towards Central Park two days before the race for our last pre-race run, there was a palpable buzz that gripped the city. Runners from all over the globe have descended upon NY for this huge event, which has become the biggest marathon in the world, and for good reason sits atop many a runners' bucket list!

Our team of six 'Run Well' athletes came together months ago as we individually & collectively trained towards this common goal. Now the time was here and we were all suitably nervous and excited, as we gathered for the buses very early on race morning to transport us out to Staten Island for the start.

Moving 51,000 athletes out to the starting area, which happens to be an island some 40 odd kms away from the finish line is on hell of a logistical feat, and this operation was performed seamlessly and without so much as a complaint from anyone. It is a huge credit to the organisers just how well run this event is from registration, to lead up, race-pack pick up, getting to the start, to the finish and beyond was impeccable.

Finally, and all of a sudden you're at the starting line, and the gun goes off, and you're off and running. Before you know it you are one of the mass of runners that decorates this stunning suspension bridge on your way through the five boroughs of New York. You are immediately reminded of how big this event is as despite starting from the front wave there is nothing but a sea of magnificent colour and bobbing heads as far as you can see heading to the crest of the 2 mile long Verrazano Bridge that takes you from Staten Island over to Brooklyn. As we reach the peak, your eyes are drawn to the left and far off in the distance the majestic skyline of downtown Manhattan sits proudly in the far off distance. Shit, it looks a long way away.

Just a few minutes later and you're into the streets and into the party zone. Welcome to Brooklyn, the home of the most excited, loud and proud supporters you will ever see. It's not hard to feel a bit like a rockstar or in local terms a premiership player in the grand final parade as you squeeze your way through the miles of cheering masses. It's pretty bloody exciting and uplifting as we seem to float along the course with little effort.

This is the marathon you run for the pure enjoyment of the crowd; the streets and the scenic tour of New York through it's five boroughs. There is heck of a lot of runners out there ( some 51,000 on this occasion) and people everywhere so naturally it can feel a little crowded early on.  Hence it's important to stay relaxed during these busy, early stages which is also a good thing as it will allow you to enjoy the atmosphere of the crowd at the same time as preventing you going out too hard. 

There's no doubt that the crowds lining your run with give you an added boost along the way, but remember to stay relaxed and cruise along at your desired pace through the middle stages & enjoy the atmosphere, the rock bands, the DJs, the full ensemble, the high school brass band, the fans and their entertaining signs. This is no more evident than when exiting the long Queensboro Bridge that transports you from Queens across to Manhattan Island and down onto First Avenue. The absolute roar of the crowd can be heard well before you can see them, as you descend from the bridge, and finally emerge from the lower deck turning into a wall of the loudest cheering supporters that must be 10 deep. This is nothing but exhilarating and the perfect trigger to get you going into the fastest part of the course along First Avenue between 25 and 32 km, and certainly one of the most memorable crowd spots, particularly when you spot your loved ones leading the chorus.

But sure enough, no matter what, like all marathons, the last 10 and in particular the last 5 kms are very tough. And in this case quite hilly too! Thankfully the crowds around Central Park are bursting once more and if they could they would pick you up and carry you. Despite feeling like you have nothing left but what it takes just to run, each & every effort you make to acknowledge them here will be rewarded 10 fold with a mighty cheer that will lift you around the final stages of Central Park to the finish line.

If you're thinking of running the greatest marathon of them all in New York, here's a few tips to consider;

1. Don't worry about your PB, this is not the course for that. This is a deceptively hilly course, not a fast course. Of course the thousands of other runners may hold you up a bit, and the brutal travel time getting to NY, and subsequent jet lag/recovery to get to NY  will no doubt also take it's toll.  And then there's the 4am get up for a 10am start!

Now that's out of the way, you can focus on this. Just run & enjoy.

2. Wear your name on your shirt for non stop personal support.

3. Interact with the crowd, and they will give it back to you in spades!

4. Wear your medal out that night for further adulation.

The real reward of course is that you get to spend the next few days or week in NYC to recover, relax and party!

My highlights ( recommendations) post marathon are;

1. Dumplings & Beer at Joe's Shanghai ( 24 W 56th), straight after the finish line. Well, straight after meaning once you can get yourself moving again, had some fluids, get warm, and hobble a couple of miles out of the course that is. But well worth it.

2. Beers & IV drip rehydration in your hotel room. Taking no chances to ensure recovery & some good nights out to follow.

3. Team celebratory dinner - Mexican, & margheritas at Tacombi (Bleeker Street) - always a winning combination.

4. Russian & Turkish Baths - since 1892, this place is the real deal. Nothing fancy here just cold cold pools, and hot hot saunas, and burly Russian men in trunks offering you massages. Yeah, slightly terrifying but unforgettable. I'd recommend the oak leaf treatment for a real experience. Excellent for recovery, but maybe wait a couple of days!

And finally, if you're considering running the NY marathon next year, like any marathon, make sure you are well prepared so that you can perform well & enjoy the experience. Any marathon, but even more so an overseas event is a big investment of not only your time, but money. Don't forget the most important ingredient, and that is an effective training program that will get you there in one piece, with a race plan, and ready to run!

Run Well Marathon Training can help you achieve your dream of running a marathon. If you want to know more, click here.

The Ten Commandments for your Marathon Race

Race Day is all but here, your training is done, now you've just got to get your Race Plan right and your reward awaits.

Here's my 10 best tips to take into Race Day with you this Sunday.

Good luck, and as always Run Well.

Be a Finisher!

Be a Finisher!

 

Your 10 Commandments for Running a Marathon; 

1. Know your Race Plan & follow your plan. 

2. Don’t weave through people at the start, you’ll just waste valuable energy.  Relax, there’s plenty of time. 

3. Run the tangents, corner to corner, don’t make it any longer than it already is! 

4. Don’t wear a hat, you’ll overheat, and you need to sweat to keep your cool! 

5. Drink early & often, at every station. Don't wait until you're thirsty.

6. Don’t do your shoelaces up too tight, your feet swell alot in a marathon race, and do double knots. 

7. Run with the pack as much as possible for the first 30km. 

8. Don’t fight the wind. Sit in behind a pack into a headwind, & wait until you’re downwind & to increase your pace. 

9. Use the gradients – relax downhill, let your pace increase. Uphill - shorten your stride but maintain your cadence, slow your pace back a bit. It all evens out in the end. 

10. Your goal is to get through to the 32k mark, or back onto St. Kilda Road in good shape. Your race starts here!

 

Finally, the marathon is all about economy & efficiency. Be mindful of this as you run. 

How you run your first 10km will usually determine how you finish your last 10km! i.e. be conservative early to save your glycogen, for a strong finish, when you’ll need it! Regardless, it is always hard finishing a marathon, and that's what makes it what it is. How you finish is always reflective of your preparation, sticking to your race plan, and how mentally tough you are during the final stages. This is what I like to refer to as Pain vs Suffering, which you can read all about here.

When running, think about being relaxed. Think smooth, light & easy with your running form. If you’re not feeling this, ease off a bit, settle into your rhythm again before gradually picking it up.

And if you don't have a race plan, you better make sure you're not planning to fail!  

Taper Time...no time to switch off!

Whilst we like to think taper time starts after finishing our last long run, it is not actually the case, as the training 2 weeks out is just as heavy as many of those before. As far as our body, or legs are concerned, they're still doing a lot of work, and will most probably feel just as tired as they have for this previous month of high mileage.

Taper time, take it easy!

Taper time, take it easy!

So, in reality our taper starts from this weekend (2 weeks to go!) if you're preparing for the Melbourne Marathon as our weekly running volume reduces by about 20-30% in this second last week, and reduces again for the final week, thus allowing for full recovery. Your running frequency and schedule should remain the same, it's just the volume, distance or number of reps that reduces.

And with that, here's a few tips that I like to suggest to keep you focussed on Race Day and to ensure you get to the start line in the best shape & ready to race.

Taper time is essentially the time our body needs to recover from the heavy running loads & high mileage training we have done, particular in the past month. This of course serves to ensure we are at our physical peak to perform on Race Day.

Enjoy your taper time.

So, what do we need to do?

1. Assist Your Recovery ; stay hydrated, well rested, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol.

2. Muscle Maintenance ; Continue or even pay more attention to your physical maintenance ( active recovery) to ensure your legs are at their peak by Race Day. This means massage, stretching, using your foam roller & spikey ball regularly.

3. Remain focussed on the goal ahead ; No cramming! Don't be tempted to start doing extra 'other' sessions or more running than your program says. Keep your running frequency the same, it's just your mileage or number of reps that will reduce. As you start to feel better and fresher in the legs, the temptation to do more comes up, but don't, simple. You're at more risk of overdoing it now than ever, so just Don't! 

Also, this is not the time to start up some extra circuit training or the like to fill in the extra time. Focus on running well, make your sessions sharp. Apart from that, relax, and take the time to recover. You deserve it & you need it!

4. Reflect on all the hard work that you've done, and consider all the long hard Interval and Tempo sessions. You will gain confidence by acknowledging the hard yards you've been through. Try not to overthink this, as you have nothing further to gain in these final two weeks from a conditioning perspective. The work is done, recover, and focus on your Race and Race Plan.

5. Eat well, nourish your body. You don't need to eat more, and you definitely don't want to eat less ( just because you're running less). Ensure your muscles are recover and are well stocked with glycogen by the night before Race Day. Stay hydrated, and ensure you are fully hydrated throughout the last week before Race Day.

However, it is also a time that some may start to wonder or ask a few questions about whether you are well enough prepared, whether you've done enough miles etc? Whilst it's hard to back off the training mileage when it's all you've done for the past 4-5 months, you must trust in your program. Understand that you've done a lot of training, a lot of hard speed & strength work, and a lot of miles. Now, is the time for you to recover from all that, in preparation for Race Day. Don't overlook how important this final stage is. If you don't get to the start line fully recovered, your performance will suffer!

Well done! You're nearly there, but you're not done yet!

 

On your marks, Get Set...

Step it up on your Long Runs for a faster marathon finish!

A fast finish in the marathon is what we want and aim for.

A fast finish in the marathon is what we want and aim for.

 

The Long Run is without doubt the most important run in your marathon training program. These runs are specifically designed by pace & heart rate to maximise your body's ability to burn fat & spare your limited muscle glycogen stores as well as improve your leg strength & condition to allow you to make the distance.

This month represents the peak in your running mileage and arguably the most critical stage in your marathon preparation.

Having completed more than 12 weeks of structured running thus far, you will have built up a good level of aerobic conditioning courtesy of your easy paced, steady Long Runs at your prescribed pace to maximise your aerobic threshold training effect.

However, if you're anything like many runners I speak to, it's common to start to wonder how on earth you're going to manage to run 42.195 kms at your desired race pace, when you've been doing all these miles at a much slower pace.

Thus, with 5 weeks to go this is an ideal time to work a bit of Race Pace into your final Long Runs. This I believe will serve you well on two fronts;

Firstly, to give you a feel for what it's like to run at Race Pace on tired legs. These runs will show you that you can run at Race Pace even under these conditions of high mileage training on often tired legs. This will give you confidence that you can take into race day. 

Secondly, after many weeks of slower paced Long Runs, your legs will relish the opportunity to open up a bit, utilising more glycogen as you push your pace up to your desired Race pace. Paradoxically, your legs will feel fresher and alive with the extra work - the change of pace will recruit more intermediate muscle fibres, allow you to increase your cadence, reduce your ground contact time as you increase your pace. Think of it as giving your legs a break from the slow easy pace, as you train your body to work hard under conditions of fatigue.

Here are 4 tried & tested ways that you can step up the pace on your upcoming Long Runs.

These techniques have been practised & endorsed by some of the great runners & coaches of our time, such as Arthur Lydiard, Gabrielle Rosa, Greg McMillan, Hal Higdon & subsequently many thousands of athletes since;

1. FAST FINISH:

For a 32 km Long Run, run the first half (16km) at your prescribed easy Long Run pace. Gradually increase your pace over the next 8 kms up to Race Pace by the 24km mark. Hold your Race Pace through to 30km, and finish the last 2 km even faster if you can. 

2. SURGES:

Run the first half of your Long Run at your easy prescribed Long Run pace and work up towards your Race Pace ( RP) in the last km . Hold your Race Pace over the next 3 km, then follow this with 3 km at easy pace, then 3 km at RP and so on. Perform 3 x 3 km at RP, with 3 km easy pace between. Finish your last km at Easy pace.

3. THE 3/1:

Run the first 3 quarters ( 24km) at your prescribed easy Long Run pace, and run the last quarter (8km) at Race Pace.

4. THE MOUNTAIN:

My favourite. Run the first 5-10 kms of your run at prescribed Long Run Pace, then increase your pace by 10 seconds/km for each subsequent 5kms up until you hit your Race Pace. Try to calculate this so that you are running the last 5 kms at your Race Pace.

5. HILLS/TRAILS

Increasing your pace is increasing your work-rate. You can also do this on a hilly course or hit the trails. Work hard up the hills, and ease off on the downs. A great place for this type of run is Kew Boulevard in Melbourne; a tranquil undulating 14 km return roadside course.

 

Incorporate these runs into your next 30+ km runs over the next month only if your body is feeling up to it. These runs will give you the confidence and better conditioning for a stronger, faster finish come race day!

An additional note for these runs is that you might want to take gels with you. Firstly, to practise for race day, as well as provide some extra carbohydrate energy for your fast finishes. You don't need to consume your gels in the early part of your runs at easy pace, but wait until just before your faster run sections if you wish.

A note on gels; if you haven't tried V-FUEL, a fructose free energy gel that is great for training, racing and assists recovery. Built on the pillars of taste, quality and performance, check these out. Did somebody say salted caramel apple !!! Best of all, they won't upset your guts!

With the additional demands of these runs, please make sure your recovery is up to scratch. If you missed my recent blog on best tips for recovery you can find it here.

As always, Run Well.

PBs all round at the AV Burnley Half Marathon!

One of the greatest pleasures of coaching athletes to the marathon, is seeing their previous best times for the shorter distances such as the half marathon & 10km, get smashed along the way. Many runners don't believe it until they see it; that training slow to go fast, really works. Many of these runners have spent years smashing themselves week in week out on the track and running hard all the time for small gains, tiredness & injury. Others have simply just run their Long Runs too fast, or not slow enough in their previous marathon attempts. When introduced to the concept of even slower running on their Long Runs to develop the aerobic energy system (combined with quality faster sessions), I am often met with disbelieving looks. However, commitment to the program over time tells another story.

Last Sunday, Sep 4 on Fathers Day, four of my coached Run Well runners enjoyed perfect running conditions for the annual AV Half Marathon event held at Burnley.

This a really nice course, and a strong club event with many runners looking for a PB on this fast course. It's a far cry from your regular Fun Run, with fewer runners, but a high class field that pretty much leaves you for dead right from the start. But importantly, it's being amongst such a field and feeding off the energy of these fine runners that will often bring the best performance out of you. When i first ran in this event last year, i found myself at first slightly in awe, but then rising to the occasion as I could see & feel the relaxed energy of the front runners and those that passed me so effortlessly. This observation taken on board helped me to my own PB in a time that I never thought possible, let along 6 weeks out from the Melbourne Marathon.

Our Run Well runners who are on their way to the New York marathon in under 8 weeks time, had a great hit out all recording their own PB's! Importantly, these new HM times give us a good indication of what we can expect and aim for with the upcoming marathon race and hence their personalised race planning!

Congratulations to ;

Jerome Carlin - 2:50 off his Run Melbourne time just 6 weeks before.

Micheal Cutting - 1:22 quicker than his previous best, and 5 minutes quicker than Run Melb.

Micheal Bishop - a few seconds here or there but given the limited preparation, and that his training & focus is on a 10k PB coming up, a damn good effort to match his PB.

James Clarke - a whopping 14 minutes off his previous best, not to mention his second fastest ever 10km time recorded in the back half of the race. Represents a well executed race plan if you ask me!

Stay tuned for more PB smashing as the our runners hit their peaks and the all important day arrives!