The principle of any running training program, regardless of your goal or ability, should be the development of your aerobic base.
The training structure followed by most elite runners is to run 80% of their training is running at an easy pace.
Australian Olympic marathoners can be seen having a good old chat as they run up and down the hills on Sundays. We can all learn from their approach.
When we go out for our group Sunday Long Run it is to build our aerobic base, the group can happily go together because it is all about time on our legs. The idea is to run together having a chat. I think a couple of hours spent running with great people is a brilliant part of life.
Recreational runners get this wrong very often, pushing themselves hard on every run. The often try to fool themselves that they are running easy despite the fact they can’t hold a conversation. It’s a sure sign they are running too hard.
If you run for 2 or 3 hours at a pace too fast, you will not be able to recover for your sessions on the track during the week when you do need to run fast.
Training is based on long runs, tempo runs, hill strength, recovery runs and speed sessions and one session done badly can effect forms of training work together.
The long easy runs build an efficient aerobic engine allowing us the run and build a strong muscle base that can cope with the challenges of running.
Our track intervals push your anaerobic system teaching you to run fast and cope with lactic acid build up and allow us to run faster for longer.
If we don’t do our long run our speed session becomes far less effective.
Without the long run for building the base strength from the long run we are more likely to get injured. You will also find you won’t have the stamina in a race after the first few ks. You can’t expect to run fast for 5k let alone 10 or more on a diet of only short interval training, bottom line you need long runs, however only long running will allow you to cover the distance easily but without speed sessions you wont be fast the two work together.
We now run long very friendly free group runs on Sundays starting at 6:30am.