Itís time for most runners to move up a training Phase. It takes beginners 12 weeks to feel comfortable with their 10-12 mile runs, plus 3 miles of fartlek running. These runners will now commence two weeks of hill training, then move to two weeks of anaerobic threshold running, and finish out the twenty weeks with four weeks of short intervals. Next time through this training youíll be able to run straight to 6-8 weeks of hill training and anaerobic threshold running; the third time through, youíll be able to run the short intervals of Phase Four starting with Week 9 of 20. The forth time through, and youíll be so adept at interval running that you can enter Phase Five in Week Thirteen.
Week Thirteen: Phase Five, but only if you passed the interval test. The interval test is simple: Run 12 x 400 meters at 2 mile race pace, or 12 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace. Then run 10 miles the next day without feeling distressed. (If you run more than 30 miles per week, run 10 % of your mileage as 400s; follow this with one third of your weekly mileage as one run...up to fifteen miles).
Phase Five is not for the timid; its training is harsh yet also stimulating to your mind and your body. It will improve your 10K time, but only if youíve had sufficient experience with shorter interval training. If those 400s, or quarter miles feel gruesome, stay with short intervals for another 4-6 weeks, then peak for your race.
Longer reps, more intensive interval training for advanced runners. Longer reps at 2 mile to 5K race pace place your cardiovascular and muscular system under high stress for a greater percentage of your running time. Oxygen uptake and enzyme activity is given greater stimulation to increase efficiency.
Because you are running fast for a longer distance, you are forced to run more economically. Your VO2 max will rise to the highest it is capable of at your current mileage; your running efficiency will reach its peak; Your 10K time will improve. Provided that you: Practice running economically during your long reps.
Day one: 10-12 mile easy pace run Day three: 4 week rotation of, one to two miles of hill running, hilly fartlek, anaerobic threshold and short intervals (preferably on grass) Day four: easy 6 miles Day six: Long intervals for three miles This week it's 8 x 600 meters at 2 mile race pace with a 400 meter fast jog recovery. Total 7 miles. See week 14 for the remaining sessions. Days two, five and seven: rest Total mileage is 30-32
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