Notes for the Advanced Runner
If you are an advanced runner with a sound training program and many road races under your belt, shaving a few seconds off your best race is not easily done. A well-seasoned runner must train much harder and longer to obtain modest improvements when compared to a less experienced runner.
If your workout already consists of intervals, fartlek runs, and hill training, then looking at components like weight training, pace training, and your race-day strategy could be what you need.
More: 5 Easy Ways to Run Better on Race Day
Build Strength: A stronger muscle can generate a more powerful contraction resulting in a longer stride or quicker turnover. Spending 30 to 40 minutes two or three times a week is all that is needed. Disregard the rumor that weight training will make you big and bulky and hinder your running potential.
A weight training program designed for runners is much different from the workouts you find in muscle magazines. An appropriate program should include strengthening exer-cises for each muscle group with special attention given to the torso.
Choose a resistance level that challenges you to complete six to 12 repetitions. Consult a fitness professional to assist in developing a strength training program that is right for you.
Set The Pace: Pace training is an integral part of a training program and is crucial in order to maintain the proper race-pace. Once again, if you haven't trained your body to maintain a pace, it won't magically happen the day of a race. Start with pacing your interval workouts.
More: 4 Steps to Your Perfect Pace
If you are doing repeat 800 or 1,600 meters, then decide on a pace and try to hit the mark every time. You will find that at the beginning of the workout, you may have to hold back to keep from coming on too fast. As the workout progresses, you will have to work harder and harder to maintain the same pace. Once you become pro-ficient on the track, try pace training on the roads or trails. Acquiring a strong sense of pace will directly influence your racing ability.
Race Day Strategies: Deciding on a race-pace is the most important aspect of a race strategy. The 10K is a tough distance in the sense that there is little room for errors in pace and strategy. If you go out too hard, you will drop off pace. If you go out too easy, the race is too short to make that time back up.
The best race-pace is running at your lactate threshold. Lactate threshold pace is the fastest you can run without accumulating lactic acid in the muscles. Lactic acid accumulates in the muscles when demands for energy are greater than can be met by the aerobic system alone.
Lactate threshold training is done by running at 85 percent of your race-pace for a distance just short of the race length. Lactate threshold training is a great way to put forth a maximum effort without needing excessive recovery time. The better trained you are, the higher your lactate threshold.
More: Heart-Rate Training Tips
Incorporating a run one day a week into your program that challenges you in this way will begin improving your lactate threshold, and will increase your sustained intensity resulting in new personal records.
Days Beginning Racer Intermediate Racer
Sunday Long run 6-8 miles Long run 8-12 miles
Monday Rest Rest or cross train
Tuesday Intervals (8x400 meters) Intervals (8x400 meters)
Wednesday 4 easy miles 6 easy miles
Thursday 3 mile fartlek 4 mile fartlek
Friday 3 easy miles or cross train 5-7 easy miles or cross train
Saturday 5 easy miles 5-7 easy miles or cross train
More: How Cross-Training Boosts Mileage
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