How to mix in speed work, part 2: The very first steps

#SpeedTraining #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Biomechanics #Running #RunFaster Welcome to part 2 of mixing in speed work. Last week we talked a little bit about the different things speed work targets in order to make us faster, so be sure to read that before we get any further (How to mix in speed work, Part 1). When we left off we had posed the question of what actually comes first when it comes to trying to get faster. The short answer: Train your weakness. Obviously this require

How to mix in speed work

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #SpeedWork #RunFaster #TrainingTheory #Physiology Note: This is going to be another multi-part post. I don’t want to force folks to wade through a wall of text as we get into the nitty-gritty bits of training theory. You’ve been running for a while, consistently running at a comfortable pace. Maybe you’ve been doing some base building for a bit and the mileage is up. Now you want to add in some “speed” so that you can run faster. How do you start adding

Easy Running - How to do it

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #RunEasy #TrainingPhilosophy #InjuryPrevention Last week we talked a bit about why easy running is important. But how do you actually do it? What exactly do we have to do to get what benefits? There’s really two types of easy running which are used for two different purposes. Developmental workouts and recovery runs. How we approach each type is based on what we’re actually trying to accomplish with those workouts. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Developme

Resolve to run easy

#NewYearsResolutions #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Endurance #RunEasy #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy It’s that time of year again. We’re all setting goals and resolving to get better in one way or another. I know I’ve written about goal setting before (Goal Setting), so I figured I would offer a different piece of advice that hopefully will help some folks. I recommend learning how to run easy. Running easy isn’t sexy and cool like committing to doing 2-5 miles of speed work at leas

Training While Injured

#Injury #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy #CrossTraining I have a very distinct memory of my high school coach pronouncing “Running is not pain free” at the start of the cross country season one year. What he was trying to impress on the new runners was that training for endurance athletics is fundamentally an uncomfortable process. He was also pretty fond of saying it takes a special kind of stupid to be and endurance athlete because of said discomfort, an

End of the Season

#SeasonFinale #Injury #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Reflection Today is a bit of a quick update. For those of you who missed it, I goofed up my hip/lower back the day before Thanksgiving. I initially thought (and still do) that I managed to get my SI joint out of alignment, resulting in an extremely painful pinch on the sciatic nerve. The good news is that the SI joint is back in alignment. The bad news is that I managed to probably sprain at least one of the ligaments that bridges

Training while sick

#TrainingPhilosophy #TrainSmarterNotHarder #TrainingWhileSick #Recovery Try as we might, we all get sick every now and again. Hopefully it’s infrequently and we recover quickly when we do. But how do we modify our training schedule when it happens? There are plenty of “heroes” out there that push through injury and sickness, never missing a workout or taking a day off that wasn’t already written into their training plan from the start. As much as it can make us feel like a ba

There's No Bad Weather, Only Bad Gear

#Gear #Running #Triathlon #TrainSmarterNotHarder I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. While it is important to have gear that keeps you cool and protects you from sunburn in the summer, good cold weather gear is even more critical. Even in places that normally experience relatively mild winters there are days that are brutal. And if we don’t have the right gear we have a couple of stark options. We can either: a) ski

Get another pair of eyeballs

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #Technique #InjuryPrevention I frequently get asked to take a look at someone’s form or technique. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to spend a couple of minutes giving anyone pointers that will help them stay injury free or prevent a re-occurrence of an injury. And sometimes these are even folks that know what good form is supposed to look like. And that’s a good thing. These people are smart. Even if we know what good mechanics look like, we oft

You gotta eat

#Fuel #TrainSmarterNotHarder #RunningPhysiology #Metabolism I know a lot of runners, especially the early morning crew, have a tendency to not eat a lot before getting out the door for our workouts. Sometimes this isn’t a big deal. If we’re just going to get a couple of easy miles in, or we’re part of the small minority of runners that needs to be doing fasted long runs, then it makes sense. But if we’re trying to get in a hard or long effort, or its cold out, we’re probably

Self reflection at the end of the training block

#LearnFromThePast #NotAMistakeIfYouLearnFromIt #TrainSmarterNotHarder #GoalOriented #AdaptiveTraining It’s always a good idea when you finish something to go back over it and see what you can learn from it. While this is true for most things, it’s definitely the case with endurance training. For those of us with clearly defined seasons, the end of the season is a natural time to do this. For the rest of us who have a tendency to train for an “A” race, a few days to a week aft

Treat little things like they are big things

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #LittleThingsMatter #Recovery #TrainingPhilosophy #EarnYourMiles #CrossTraining #Running #Triathlon We all know how important it is to warm up, cool down, stretch, ice, cross train, do our drills, and get the core work in. But who has time for all that, right? I mean, we run/Tri because we like to run, bike, and swim. Quite honestly, even if we had infinite amounts of time, we still wouldn’t WANT to do all those little things. But if we want to be able

Know when to pull the plug

#TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon #ExercisePhysiology #TrainSmarterNotHarder For any given workout, we should be trying to get a specific result. We may be working on our lactate threshold, our coordination, our top end speed, or the ability to buffer our blood pH, whatever. We’re also often working multiple things into the same workout. From a theoretical perspective, the more time we spend working hard enough to go over the minimum threshold required to improve, the m

Building fitness one layer at a time

#TrainingPhilosophy #InjuryPrevention #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Running #Triathlon #Progression #MilesMatter Note: This post assumes that you’ve been training. If you’re just starting out then it’s impossible to not increase your intensity and volume at the same time. This is why it’s extra important to be cautious when starting an exercise program. Listen to your body, know that the first couple of weeks are going to be a little rough, and don’t be afraid to pull the plug on a

Live like a clock

#TrainSmarterNotHarder #TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon Our bodies like routine and repetition. They don’t like having the daily cycle thrown out of whack all the time. That’s part of the reason why it’s so hard to wake up early, and why we start to drift off at the same time most evenings. It’s why we get hungry at the same time, and why consistency is the most important part of any training plan. There are lots of ways that we can think of the phrase “Live like a clo

Using that theoretical construct of fitness to plan training

#TrainingPhilosophy #Endurance #Training #TrainSmarterNotHarder The previous blog post was a pretty esoteric bit about how to visualize fitness as an object in n-dimensional space. And while that’s all well and good, how do we actually use it? Basic Review of the n-Dimensional Concept of Fitness First off – If you are really confused about what I’m talking about, go read the previous article were I explain in a little more depth the n-dimensional concept of fitness (https://w

Hydration – It’s about more than just water

#Hydration #Running #Triathlon #TrainSmarterNotHarder Summer is here. It’s hot. It’s humid. And we’re all losing buckets of sweat every time we go for a workout. Even “easy” and recovery days are costing us lots of sweat. So how do we keep track of how much we need to hydrate, and how do we do it most effectively? The first thing is to figure out how much water we’re actually losing during a workout. Even an easy recovery day is enough to get our heart rates up and the sweat

Time, effort, and volume budgets

#TrainingPhilosophy #Running #Triathlon #TrainSmarterNotHarder The time required to get the right training in to get better is often the biggest linchpin in the whole process for most of us. We only have so much time available to spend training because we have other priorities and responsibilities that we need to take care of as well. Most of us can’t ditch work early every day to get a workout in. Nor can we just ignore making dinner for our kids. Quite frankly, most of us h

Easing back into training after an injury

#Training #Recovery #Injury #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Running #Triathlon #Marathon Something like 80% of runners suffer some kind of injury each year. Most of these are pretty minor, but sometimes they can take us out of commission for more than a few days. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, be careful when you start easing back into your normal training routine. Here’s the general guidelines I give to athletes when they ask me about how to get back to where

Land Run Weekend!

#UnlearnPavement #Running #GravelGrinder #TrainSmarterNotHarder #Inspiration Every year I get to Land Run in Stillwater to cheer on friends and clients and get a fluttery feeling in my stomach. Even though I’ve yet to run this race, it’s definitely on the bucket list. Land Run started as a bike event put on by the local bike shop, District Bicycles. The owners, Bobby and Crystal Wintle are freakin’ amazing and started putting together this amazing bike race with 50 and 100 mi