Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 4.7.2022

Our technical focus this weeks picks up on the first theme noticed during last week’s observations which is making sure the knee is flexed prior to the foot striking the ground.

The fitness focus will be to improve your ability to select race paces and to build VO2 Max; VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete’s body is capable of using per minute – it is a very strong predictor of endurance race performance, particularly 5 and 10km races for well trained athletes. Improvements to VO2 Max can be elicited with efforts that are just below (lactate) threshold (the point most athletes can sustain for around an hour) and thus are relatively ‘easy’ to achieve.

Drills

Straight leg, ball of foot taps

Toe-taps

B-Progression

Strides; focusing on pulling the ground backwards

Tuesday Session

10 minute warm-up

Marathon Pace – 5 minutes
Easy 3 minutes
Half Marathon Pace – 5 minutes
Easy 3 minutes
10km Race Pace – 5 minutes
Easy 3 minutes
5km Race Pace – 5 minutes
Easy 3 minutes
1 mile Race Pace – 5 minutes*

10 minute cool-down

* If your mile pace is sub-5 minutes then feel free to do 1 mile ‘best effort’ and have some extra rest 🙂

Thursday Session

5 minutes warm-up

Drills

400m @ self selected pace*

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

1km handicap race

5 minutes cool down

* Choose a pace you are confident at being able to improve by 10s on subsequent 400s, i.e., a pace you are confident is at least 25s per km slower than your fastest 400m rep time.

Sunday Session

Minimum of 10 minutes warm up

Find a hill suitable for at least two minutes of effort but ideally three, then run 6 to 8 intervals starting steady and accelerating to the maximum effort you feel possible by about half way up the hill, sustain that to the top. Walk down the hill until your breathing returns to normal, then jog down to the starting point.

You may notice that most weeks at the moment include a hill set – hill sets are great for; reducing overstriding, building strength and doing high effort aerobic work with low(er) injury risk.

At least 10 minutes cool down

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 26.6.2022

This week the training focus will be mixing VO2 Max improvement using Tabata Style training and hopefully many of you will be racing either the Manchester Mile, the Sale Sizzler or both. Good luck to everyone racing.

Tuesday Session

15 mins warm up

4 minutes of run fast* for a count of 20 breaths, walk for 10 breaths (repeating this cycle for 4 minutes) THEN 4 minutes easy running

* fast – this should be a reasonably smooth acceleration to your maximum pace. By the end of the 6 minutes it will feel EXTREMELY challenging.

REPEAT the above four times

15 mins Cool Down

For background see here.

Thursday Session

No session – if not racing then try a solo fartlek run; warm up nicely then pick a point to run to, run at the maximum pace you feel you can achieve to the point you’re running to, recover, repeat, then cool down.

Sunday Session

Long* Run – surges every 1km; accelerate to 90% of max pace, hold that pace for 10 long breaths (about 20-30 seconds), focus on imagining your head and torso being lifted by a balloon.

*Long is relative to what you have been doing recently; no more than 20% longer than any run you’ve done in the past 4 weeks.

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 20.6.2022

This week I will be using the Thursday session to look at everyone’s form and, with their consent, do some video analysis with a view to determining which technical areas to work on over the next few weeks. Additionally we will be doing some pacing challenges. Hopefully, this time no minor domestic catastrophes will interfere…

We’ll be continuing with the 5x1km theme ready for the first Sizzler next week.

Tuesday Session

10 minutes warm-up

5 TIMES: 6 minutes @ 10km race pace, 2 minutes super easy running as recovery

10 minutes cool-down

Thursday Session

5 minutes warm-up

Observed strides

5x1km @ 5km race pace 60 seconds rest

5 minutes cool down

Sunday Session

Minimum of 10 minutes warm up

Find a hill suitable for at least two minutes of effort but ideally three, then run 6 to 8 intervals starting steady and accelerating to the maximum effort you feel possible by about half way up the hill, sustain that to the top. Walk down the hill until your breathing returns to normal, then jog down to the starting point.

You may notice that most weeks at the moment include a hill set – hill sets are great for; reducing overstriding, building strength and doing high effort aerobic work with low(er) injury risk.

At least 10 minutes cool down

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 12.6.2022

This week I will be using the Thursday session to look at everyone’s form and, with their consent, do some video analysis with a view to determining which technical areas to work on over the next few weeks. Additionally we will be doing some pacing challenges.

The fitness focus will be to improve VO2 Max; VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete’s body is capable of using per minute – it is a very strong predictor of endurance race performance, particularly 5 and 10km races for well trained athletes. Improvements to VO2 Max can be elicited with efforts that are just below (lactate) threshold (the point most athletes can sustain for around an hour) and thus are relatively ‘easy’ to achieve.

Tuesday Session

10 minutes warm-up

4 TIMES: 8 minutes @ 10km race pace, 2 minutes super easy running as recovery

10 minutes cool-down

Thursday Session

5 minutes warm-up

Observed strides

400m @ self selected pace*

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

400m 10s faster than self selected pace

400m 10s slower than self selected pace

1km handicap race

5 minutes cool down

* Choose a pace you are confident at being able to improve by 10s on subsequent 400s, i.e., a pace you are confident is at least 25s per km slower than your fastest 400m rep time.

Sunday Session

Minimum of 10 minutes warm up

Find a hill suitable for at least two minutes of effort but ideally three, then run 6 to 8 intervals starting steady and accelerating to the maximum effort you feel possible by about half way up the hill, sustain that to the top. Walk down the hill until your breathing returns to normal, then jog down to the starting point.

You may notice that most weeks at the moment include a hill set – hill sets are great for; reducing overstriding, building strength and doing high effort aerobic work with low(er) injury risk.

At least 10 minutes cool down

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 6.6.2022

This week our technical focus is on hip stability – keeping the hips high and level to promote running economy and minimise injury.

Our fitness focus is still 5km race pace and the Thursday session continues our progression through 5x1km with diminishing rest.

Suggested Drills for the week

Lunge Progression – remember to keep your leading knee behind your leading toes and your trailing knee should not quite touch the ground.

A-March to Skip Progression – ensuring chin, toes and knees are ‘up’.

Strides with a ‘balloon’.

Tuesday Session

10 minutes easy running

10 minutes @ 10km race pace, 5 minutes recovery pace, 15 minutes @ 10km race pace, 5 minutes recovery pace, 10 minutes @ 10km race pace

5 minutes cool down

Thursday Session

5 minutes easy running

Drills

5x 1km @ 5km target pace with approx 90 seconds rest between efforts

10 mins cool down

Sunday Session

Long* Run – surges every 1km; accelerate to 90% of max pace, hold that pace for 10 long breaths (about 20-30 seconds), focus on imagining your head and torso being lifted by a balloon.

*Long is relative to what you have been doing recently; no more than 20% longer than any run you’ve done in the past 4 weeks.

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 30.5.2022

This week our technical focus is on foot landing; ensuring your foot lands close to under your center of mass and that your knee is flexing as your foot lands.

Our fitness focus is still 5km race pace and the Thursday session focuses on lactate clearance.

Suggested Drills for the week

Walking Lunges – remember to keep your leading knee behind your leading toes and your trailing knee should not quite touch the ground.

Straight Legged Run or ‘claw’ – keep your leg straight, driving with your glute muscles and lightly tapping the ground with the ball of your foot.

Jog on the spot building to a very high cadence then lean (from the ankle) slightly forward until you naturally start running.

Short (30m build, 30m @90%, 30m decelerate) strides in back-and-forth pairs; on each pair – focus on keeping a short stride length (and high cadence) in the first stride of each pair and then driving back with the feet on the second stride in each pair.

Tuesday Session

10 minutes easy running

REPEAT: 10 minutes @ 10km race pace, 5 minutes recovery pace

5 minutes cool down

Thursday Session

5 Minutes easy running

Drills and Strides

TWO TIMES: 4x400m @3km race pace with 400m recovery @ Half Marathon Pace – total of 3200m for each of the two reps – total of 6400m for this section.

5 minutes easy running to cool down

This is a running variant of a classic ‘under-over threshold’ workout that is very popular with cycling coaches, however, I can’t find any peer-reviewed literature as to whether it actually works – I will keep looking and do a proper write up of the set if I find some.

Sunday Session

Minimum of 10 minutes warm up

Find a hill suitable for at least two minutes of effort but ideally three, then run 6 to 8 intervals starting steady and accelerating to the maximum effort you feel possible by about half way up the hill, sustain that to the top. Walk down the hill until your breathing returns to normal, then jog down to the starting point.

You may notice that most weeks at the moment include a hill set – hill sets are great for; reducing overstriding, building strength and doing high effort aerobic work with low(er) injury risk.

At least 10 minutes cool down

Seniors’ Endurance Training w/c 23.5.2022

This week our technical focus is on maintaining high, stable hips in order to minimise energy wasted moving the torso around and to reduce the forces going through the legs and thus reduce injury risk.

Our fitness focus is still 5km race pace and we repeat the classic 5x1km but with a bit less rest this week. The remaining sessions use the principles of Tabata style intervals to maximise the aerobic benefit gained from the other two sessions.

Suggested Drills for the week

A-March to A-Skip progression – with focus on arms

Ball Slam

Jump Lunge (Progression)

High Cadence Jog on spot with lean into run.

Tuesday Session

15 mins warm up

6 minutes of run fast* for a count of 20 breaths, walk for 10 breaths (repeating this cycle for 5 minutes) THEN 4 minutes easy running

* fast – this should be a reasonably smooth acceleration to your maximum pace. By the end of the 6 minutes it will feel EXTREMELY challenging.

REPEAT the above three times

15 mins Cool Down

For background see here.

Thursday Session

5 Minutes easy running

Drills and Strides

FIVE TIMES: 1000m at target 5km pace, 2 minutes rest.

5 minutes easy running to cool down

Sunday Session

Minimum of 10 minutes warm up

Find a hill suitable for at least two minutes of effort but ideally three, then run 6 to 8 intervals starting steady and accelerating to the maximum effort you feel possible by about half way up the hill, sustain that to the top. Walk down the hill until your breathing returns to normal, then jog down to the starting point.

At least 10 minutes cool down