This week our technical focus is arm drive; the back-swing of the arm drive helps to promote good leg drive.
Our ‘fitness’ focus changes this week as summer approaches and 5km, 10km, short fell races and track season approaches; the basic physiology still stays the same with performances in endurance (3km and over) being dominated by VO2 Max, however, we now start using a much larger proportion of that capacity and the body starts giving the brain strong signals that we’re reaching the limit of our bodies’ capacities. To enable you to keep running fast at that point we start doing sessions that get you comfortable with being uncomfortable (whilst simultaneously training the underlying energy systems).
Suggested Drills for the week
A-March to A-Skip progression – with focus on arms
Progression of short strides – over a short (90-100m) course where you can go back and forth, repeat a stride (30m to accelerate, 30m at 85-95% sprint pace, 30m decelerate) and on each pair (back and forth) focus on the following in order; pair 1) keeping the arms moving in a plane that is parallel to your direction of movement (so they are not crossing in front of your body), pair 2) keeping your forearm and upper arm at 90 degrees to each other throughout the arm drive, pair 3) driving the arm back with ‘purpose’, not forcefully, but with some energy (your hand should end up in line with your torso with your elbow behind your torso), pair 4) keeping the shoulders down and relaxed. This should be 8 strides in total.
10 minute warm-up
40 minutes of:
During the warm-up give everyone in the group a number from 1 to 3, ensuring that there are roughly equal numbers of ‘1’s, ‘2’s and ‘3’s.
Start out at a steady (long-run, i.e. arerobic) pace then pick a landmark (lampost, postbox, bush, cone, anything!) that you are about to run past, the whole group should continue running at a steady pace after passing it, continue for 30 seconds, then all of the ‘1’s should run fast (3-5km pace or faster) back to the selected landmark, turn around at the landmark and continue, fast, back to the group. When the ‘1’s return to the group, pick a new landmark and then the ‘2’s run fast back to it after the whole group has gone 30 seconds past the landmark, repeat this for the ‘3’s and then continue this pattern until it is time to cool down.
For a detail explanation with diagrams see here.
10 minute cool-down
5 Minutes easy running
Drills and Strides
FIVE TIMES: 800m as 200m maximum effort then 600m 5km pace minus 5 seconds per km, then recover fully (2 to 3 minutes)
5 minutes easy running to cool down
This is a tough set; if you want to know why you’re doing it I have written some details here.
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