The Principles of Training: Putting the Pieces Together
If you are new to speed work then it is important that you build up your endurance first and you should add these elements in the following order:
– Add one new element of training at a time. Once your body has adapted to that new element (usually 3-4 weeks) then you can add another element.
– Limit yourself to two hard runs per week e.g one hill session and one speed session. Do not include your one long run per week as a hard session as it should be regarded as recovery.
– If you are approaching a race or simply want to get faster then drop the hill session and introduce another speed session. Don’t do two speed sessions that are the same eg. do an Interval session and then a Tempo session.
– Your total weekly distance you do in speed training should only be 10% of you total eg 30 miles for the week should include only 3 miles of speed work.
– You should design your speed work to to suit the type of race that you want to do eg. shorter, faster distances if you are doing a 5k and longer distances for 10k and upwards.
– Do Not forget your rest days. All your hard work will be undone if you do not recover!
– If you start to feel sluggish, irritable, have aches and pains or have trouble sleeping then you need to cut back as these are signs of over training.
Dont be afraid, it really is not that difficult, you now have a basic knowledge of what happens to your body and what you need to do to make it more efficient so go ahead give it a go!