Improve your Running

Running schedule

Week ONE
Run drills
To be effective completing the progressive sessions below you will also need to complete some of the following drills. Over stride = Not enough strides per minute then complete the following.
Running down a gentle slope (not a down hill), this increases foot turnover and allows you to run with a longer stride (cover more distance).

Fast feet – Running on the spot on your toes, lean forward, drive arms at right angles pump arms quick and short (like you should when running up hill).
Complete 3 Sets of 3.
First set -Quick feet for 15 seconds rest for 5 seconds then repeat three times in total.Third set -Very fast feet for 5 seconds rest 5 seconds. Repeat three times.

Too many strides complete the following.
Heal flicks – Run/jog with your arms behind you, place back of hands on your lower back/bottom with palms facing out. Lean slightly forward kick up heals. 5 seconds at 75% stop & recover for 5 seconds. Then 5 seconds at 85% stop & recover. Then 5 seconds at 95%. Allow the heals to almost touch your palms when completing the 95% heal flicks.
Imagine yourself as a clock looking to the left. The knee is the centre of a clock and your calf is the arm of the clock.75% should be 3 O’clock 85% should be at 2 O’clock and 95% should be at 1 O’clock.
The higher the heal the more powerful and longer distance you will cover per stride.

Bounding- Emphasis on powerful strides work on height rather than, more like an antelope.

Side strides – Run side ways, 10 with left leading leg then run back 10 with right leading leg. See if you cover the same number of strides for the same distance running with right leg compared to left leg. Any difference could be as a result as poor co-ordination and more tightness imbalance in one leg.

Too many strides can be caused by run training on a treadmill. The belt moves back, this is not natural when running on the flat and up hills.
Learn to lean forward from hips rather than waist when not running on the road.

Armless running.
Your arms should be at right angles hands slightly clasped. Imagine you are holding a crisp (potato chip) thumb and fore finger. Just enough pressure to hold the crisps and not drop it. Not too tight that you break the crisp.
The biggest mistake is not driving your relaxed arms back and forth. Crossing your chest with your hands when running can throw your running pattern off balance.

Week ONE

Key session 1 (45-50 minutes)
Type: Economy run
Purpose: Improve very easy pace running
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: Main set 20 minutes
Speed: 10km race pace + 2 minutes per mile slower. (10km race pace + 1:15 per kilometre slower.
If you run a 45 minute 10km (=4:30 per KM) then you should run at 5.45 per km for 30 minutes.

Heart Rate: if your run max is 194 aim for 135 -145 If unsure (80-85% of your average 5km race Heart rate)
Terrain: Flat around grass field.
Warm down: 5-10 minutes
Total duration: 35-40 minutes.

Comments: The more easily you can run slowly, the easier you will be able to run faster naturally.
After a good warm up include some build up pace strides then complete the above session.

Key session 2
Type: Tempo run
Purpose: Improve your medium hard running style.

Warm up: 10-15 minute warm up You need to feel thoroughly warmed up.
Duration: Main set (Broken) 3 miles (4.8k) Week 1 complete 3 x 1 miles (1.6k) with 60 seconds jog recovery
Speed: Current 10km race pace (estimated at 44-45 minutes 7:20 pace) + 1 minute = 8:20
Heart Rate: 145-165 or 75-85% of max
Terrain: Flat around good surface, short grass or non-stop route
Warm down: 10 minutes
Found the session hard towards the end make sure you have at least 10 minutes easy running below 75% of max running heart rate.
Total duration: 45-60 minutes.

Comments: a 4 mile run at Tempo can be hard for many to run to maintain the same pace for the whole runIf you have a Garmin use it to control pace, then and download and compare where you can improve to maintain an even pace. Otherwise use a lap circuit of about a mile and aim to run each lap the same time.

Key sessions 3
Type: Stride rate run (Run cadence)
Aim for 180-190 Strides per minute (count 24 strides on one leg in 15 seconds)
Purpose: Count run strides, 180-190 strides per minute considered to be the most Economical.
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: Main set 20-25 minutes
Speed: Current 10km race pace + 2-2:5 minutes slower.
Heart Rate: 145-165 or 75-85% of max
Terrain: Flat around good surface, short grass or non-stop route
Warm down: 5-10 minutes
Total duration: 35-50 minutes.

Comments: Pace training. Aim to run even pace.
Consider STOPPING RUNNING AND COMPLETING THE FOLLOWING if your stride count is too fast or too slow.
If you find your stride count is less than 22 strides complete on the spot fast feet on the balls of your feet.
Fast Feet – CONTINOUS - 5 seconds fast 5 seconds very fast 5 seconds as fast as possible.

When the air temperature drops, it is normal for your speed to decrease even though your running fitness improves. This can happen in the autumn or running when it is cooler than normal.It is not uncommon to get better at running but the conditions make your times slower compared to recent performance.
Expect perception of effort to increase as the conditions become more difficult. Denser colder air will slow you down. This is NOT a lack of fitness but due to conditions.

Key session 4
Type: Race Pace efforts (5 & 10k pace)
Purpose: Improve race pace with ease
Frequency Complete every two weeks. (Weeks 1/3/5/7/9)
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: 100m build up to 5km pace then continue for another 90 seconds.
Speed: 5k -10km race pace. Repeat 8-10 times with only 20 seconds recovery.
Heart Rate: Last 30 seconds of effort should be at normal 5km heart rate.
Terrain: Flat road run or grass.
Warm down: 10 minutes
Total duration: 40-45 minutes.

Comments: The more easily you can run at race pace when you try and run at this pace for 5-10km it will seem much more natural. Broken 8-10 sessions of 90 seconds MUST BE RUN at RACE PACE. This is NOT an interval session more a mimic what pace you run in your race.

Week TWO

Key session 1
Type: Economy run
Purpose: Improve very easy pace running. Learn to run relaxed.
Lift up shoulders towards ears then drop and relax your arms, repeat every 3 minutes.

Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: Main set 25 minutes
Speed: 10km race pace + 2 minutes slower. (If you normally run 7 minute mile then run at 9 minute miles).
Heart Rate: if your run max is 194 aim for 135 -145 If unsure (then train at 80-85% of your average 5km race Heart rate)
Terrain: Flat road run. Ok to stop at junctions etc. Avoid jogging on the spot.
Warm down: 5-10 minutes
Total duration: 45-55 minutes.

Comments: The more easily you can run slowly, the more you will be able to run faster naturally. Include drills - Fast feet, heal flicks, bounding half way through easy run left elbow to opposite right knee bounds.

Key session 2
Type: Tempo run
Purpose: Improve your medium hard running style.
Warm up: 10-15 minute warm up You need to feel thoroughly warmed up.
Duration: Main set (Broken) 3 miles (4.8k) Week 2 complete 2 x 1.5 miles (2.4k) with 60 seconds walk recovery
Speed: Current 10km race pace (estimated at 44-45 minutes 7:20 pace) + 1 minute = 8:20Warm down: 10 minutes
Found the session hard towards the end make sure you have at least 10 minutes easy running below 75% of max running heart rate.

Comments: a 4 mile run at Tempo can be hard for many to run to maintain the same pace for the whole runWeek 3 complete 1 x 3miles with 60 seconds recovery + 1 mile.Week 4 complete 4 miles at an even pace.

Key sessions 3
Type: Stride rate run 180-190 Strides per minute (24 strides on leg in 15 seconds)
Purpose: Count run strides
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: Main set 25-35 minutes
Speed: Current 10km race pace + 2-2:5 minutes slower.
Heart Rate: 145-165 or 75-85% of max
Terrain: Good Surface = soft to medium, not tall grass or muddy or loose gravel.
Warm down: 5-10 minutes
Total duration: 45-55 minutes.

Comments: August –September -Nov pace training. Aim to run even pace. When the air temperature drops, it is normal for your speed to decrease even though the effort increases as the conditions become more difficult.

Key sessions 4
Type: Hilly run
Purpose: Run specific strength and to improve economy and knee lift.
Warm up: 10 minute warm up or cycle to Hampstead.
Duration: Main set 45-60 minutes
Speed: Current estimated marathon pace
Heart Rate: 120-180 Heart rate fluctuation run.
Terrain: Hilly off road. Relax easy down hill running. Emphasis to improve knee lift.
Warm down: 5-10 minutes or cycle back from Hampstead.
Total duration: 60-75 minutes.

Comments: Aim to drop shoulders but stay in control on down hills.
Short strides up hills and longer strides down hill. Making sure you change your stride length during run.For every 5 minutes running, pick up pace for 60 seconds to 10km pace then back to medium hard pace. Designed to subtly build up fatigue then keep going while dealing with small amounts of tiredness.
Why? Hills build up dynamic run strength and create extra demands on the heart and lungs. Hill running makes you work a little harder ideal if you train on your own or with others who are not as fast as you.

Key session 5
Type: Faster than 5k race pace.
Purpose: Strong controlled running.
Frequency Complete every two weeks (even weeks 2/4/6/8)
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: 12-15 x 60 second efforts. Take 90 seconds recovery. Walk for 30 seconds jog for 30 seconds walk and compose for 30 then repeat.
Speed: faster than 5k race pace.
Repeat 8-10 times with only 20 seconds recovery.
Heart Rate: Last 30 seconds of effort should be at normal 5km heart rate.
Terrain: Flat road run or grass. Warm down: 10 minutes
Total duration: 40-45 minutes.

Comments: Run faster than race pace. Good form short 60 seconds efforts will not develop poor form. Broken 8-10 sessions of 60 seconds MUST BE RUN FASTER THAN RACE PACE. This is NOT FLAT OUT but an interval session that you are able to cover the same distance each time.

WEEK THREE

Key session 1 (45-50 minutes)
Type: Economy run
Purpose: Improve very easy pace running
Warm up: 10 minute warm up
Duration: Main set 30 minutes
Speed: 10km race pace + 2 minutes per mile slower. (10km race pace + 1:15 per kilometre slower.If you run a 45 minute 10km (=4:30 per KM) then you should run at 5.45 per km for 30 minutes.
Heart Rate: if your run max is 194 aim for 135 -145 If unsure (80-85% of your average 5km race Heart rate)
Terrain: Flat around grass field.
Warm down: 5-10 minutes
Total duration: 45-50 minutes.

Comments: The more easily you can run slowly, the easier you will be able to run faster naturally.
After a good warm up include some build up pace strides then complete the above session.

Key session 2
Type: Tempo run
Purpose: Improve your medium hard running style.
Warm up: 10-15 minute warm up You need to feel thoroughly warmed up.
Duration: Main set (Broken) 4 miles 4 X 1 Mile (1.6k)
Recovery Take 60 seconds jog recovery.
Speed: Current 10km race pace (estimated at 44-45 minutes 7:20 pace) + 1 1 minute = 8:20
Heart Rate: 145-165 or 75-85% of max
Terrain: Flat around good surface, short grass or non-stop route
Warm down: 10 minutes
Found the session hard towards the end make sure you have at least 10 minutes easy running below 75% of max running heart rate.
Total duration: 45-60 minutes.

Comments: a 4 mile run (6.4K) at Tempo can be hard for many. Not from the effort but from the even steady pace to maintain for the whole run. Completed correctly this is not a flat out run.If you have a Garmin use it to control pace, then and download and compare where you can improve to maintain an even pace. Otherwise use a lap circuit to try and run each lap the same. If this is not possible run one way remembering where you start then stop after you have covered the distance. Repeatof about a mile and aim to run each lap the same time.