Why Do We Train?

Hello magnificent super incredible rocking and rolling runners! This is your Road Runners club of Woodbury weekly run tip. This week I would like to give some insights on how to go about designing your own training plan. This is the time of year that most runners are developing training plans for peak races. Most of us right now are in the process of training or getting ready to train for a peak race such as the Broad street 10 miler. Hopefully these tips can help in providing the correct training plan for you.

Why Do We Train?

Training will allow our bodies to adapt gradually to the stress it will experience during the race. This stress or overload created from specific training activities actually break down the muscle. Then through recovery and rest the muscles will repair, grow, and become stronger. The result yields a stronger muscle that is developed through proper training that will handle the new stress.

Training Structure

One great way to organize your training plan is to follow Brad Hudson’s three-period training cycles. The three periods training cycle starts with an introductory period; moving to a fundamental period: and then ending in the sharpening period. This unique training cycle is designed to keep your training in sequence by gradually increasing to race specific work outs.

Introductory Period

In this period we are gradually increasing the running miles that will match the weekly mileage goal for the training cycle. The main objective is to establish a base that will carry you through more race specific training. In other words simply run plenty of miles at a slow to moderate pace. This will develop your endurance in preparation for the next phases of the training cycle. This period should last around four weeks.

Fundamental Period

The fundamental period focuses more on race-specific training. In this period your goal is to increase your pace toward race pace. For example if you want to run a six minute pace in the broad street run, then your goal might be to run at a 6:30 pace in this period. The idea here is to move gradually to the race pace goal in this period. This period should last around five weeks

Sharpening Period

The sharpening period is the final stage that prepares you to run at your peak level.  The end result of the training cycle is to run at the race pace goal through out the entire race. The sharpening period is the time to focus on running your race pace goal. You are now in the stage that will prepare you for the predicted race time finish. This period should be around three weeks.

Example Training Methods and Periods

  • Threshold runs- Introductory and Fundamental
  • L.S.D (long slow distance) – Introductory
  • Progressive run- Fundamental and Introductory
  • Speed work- Fundamental and Sharpening
  • Hill work- Introductory and Fundamental
  • Race pace training- Sharpening
  • Tune up races- Sharpening

The most important thing to do is to listen to your body when training. Make sure you are getting proper recovery and rest. RRCW run club is here to help and guide you through your training. Please don’t hesitate to ask for specific help with your training plan and together we can win races.

“What you can do, or dream you can, begin it: Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”.      -Goethe

Happy Running!

John K. Carlson V.P.
Road Runner’s Club of Woodbury – RRCW


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