This article will be about racing results.
How to maximize your capability to achieve the best possible race result you envision.
I spent the day doing military land navigation, than did a 9 mile ruck march (ok, 8.6 miles) back.
It was a long day but I kept asking myself on that long march home, “what is a training tool I could write about that would really help someone improve“.
I touched on this in my last post ‘5 Battle Hardened Ways to Drastically Drop your 2-Mile PT Test Time', than training at your goal race pace is a tool you have to implement.
If you have a set time goal in mind, hat must you do to run at that pace?
I try to keep in mind that visitors to rundreamachieve may not be runners at all but simply eager to improve their race times.
Running Tips For Beginners
Focus on what race you want to run, what time goal you have and practice running at that pace.
We all have goals.
I am speaking more on time goals but if you have a fitness goal in mind or simply just to go out, have fun, and run a 10K or marathon with no time goal in mind, more power to you. I applaud you.
That is something I have longed to do for sometime.
Racing results, competing and being a serious athlete sometimes takes you away from the pure enjoyment of the sport.
As I have grew older I have learned to keep the same mindset for training but to relax more.
Your race pace is going to be the most likely effort you can hold for the duration of your chosen distance without going too anaerobic.
Why Is It Important?
I guess why this subject means so much to me is because for such a long time I didn't take the same advice as seriously as I should and I do not want other runners to have to deal with the disappointment I dealt with.
Back in 2007 I had to hit a marathon time of 2.22.00 to remain in the Army World Class Athlete Program.
It was the ‘bare minimum time‘ I had to run continue to compete as a Soldier-athlete.
2.22.00 is 5.25 per mile pace for the 26.2 mile distance.
Prior to 2007, I would focus on running high mileage but at a slower pace.
I am an advocate for running easy, when it is necessary, like on days after a track workout or long run but to run fast you have to train fast, at that goal pace.
If you don't practice it enough how are you going to run at the pace in a race?
The great Olympic Track and Field Champion, Sebastion Coe, put it like this,
I have always believed that long slow distance would produce long slow runners
Now, don't get me wrong there is NOTHING wrong with runners wanting to run slow, to enjoy running period, but if your goal is to get faster, than this is the article for you.
Advice From A 2:14 Marathoner
I once told a friend of mine, Nate Jenkins, while training for an upcoming marathon that I had done a 15-mile run at 5.35 pace and that I was feeling fit.
I was excited about my training.
His response, although blunt but honest,
We'll that is a solid effort but your goal is to run 26 miles at 5.25 pace, your doing solid work but that type of workout won't necessarily bring you the results you want, you have to practice goal pace
Sure, I knew that, but I just wasn't following through.
I say this to you as well, because 1) I don't want to see you go through the same disappointment and 2) If you have a race time in mind than you have to gear your body toward handling that pace and than extending it over a period of time.
Coaches know how to get racing results
I am a HUGE fan of Renato Canova.
He is an Italian coach based in Kenya who trains some of the very best runners in the world including 2011 Chicago Marathon winner Moses Mosop among countless others and is considered the world's top distance running coach.
He puts in bluntly,
the goal of training at race pace is to reduce the consumption of your bodies fuel at that pace
You see, when you are racing all-out, you are burning mainly carbohydrates (or sugar) than fat.
You have MUCH more fat stores in your body than carbohydrate.
Now, what if we can get you to train in a way where you are emphasizing more race pace efforts where you are burning fat and conserving carbohydrate?
THAT is the secret to improving race times!
Focusing on optimizing energy production by raising your glutathione levels is another.
Focus On Your Nutrition
Glutathione is an antioxidant created by every cell of the body.
It eradicates toxins and free radicals that build up in the body yet most runners have ever heard of it.
Ever wonder why, at around mile 18, you start to feel like you can't run another step?
How many calories of carbohydrate can your body normally store before running out?
About 1800 calories!
You burn about 100 calories per mile…you do the math.
The trick is training to conserve carbohydrate and use more fat as a fuel to get you through to the finish line.
THAT is what training for extended periods of time at sub to near maximum race effort does.
You must also study and take glutathione supplements to help ensure you rid your body of toxins and free radicals.
Racing results come from specific training
Keep in mind you obviously cannot go out and try running 26.2 mile runs at your goal pace or a 10K at goal pace.
The 10K effort is much more likely but if you try doing too many maximum efforts in too short a period of time it will lead to staleness and over training.
You want to practice you goal race pace in shorter bouts of time and than once your body adapts to those efforts, gradually extend the effort.
It is like lifting weights.
If you hit the gym, try to bench 150lbs, more than likely the first time you try, you are going to struggle but the more you do it the more your body adapts and comes back stronger than it was before you did the workout.
This is called ‘super compensation‘.
Your body will adapt to any stress you place on it roughly in 21 days or 3 weeks.
When I was in college my coach, Jack Hazen (who was just named the 2012 London Olympics Head Distance Coach) would have us do workouts at a certain intensity keep us at that intensity for 21 days, than move us to to a faster effort until we adapted to that stress load.
Is this becoming clearer, I hope so, here are a few workouts I would do to prepare for the marathon.
- 3×4 miles at 5.25 pace with 800 meter ‘jog' recovery
- 20 mile run with the first 15 miles at 5.45 pace with the last 5 miles at 5.25 pace
- 2×5 miles at 5.25 pace
- 22-24 mile runs at 5.50 pace
You don't want to spend too much time during the week running at goal pace because it is extremely tough training.
Keep in mind, you are running aerobically and early on, your body is producing far too much lactic acid in your muscles for you to sustain that pace for very long.
The trick is adapting and extending the length of those efforts and maintaining the same pace.
Thus, your body will not only learn to handle that pace (and you will feel more in control to boot) but physiologically, because of that hard work you put in, you will be clearing lactic acid faster than it is building up in your muscles and they will continue to function efficiently, even at race pace.
Maintaining is the key to better racing results.
You maintain the effort and minimize slowing down as much as possible.
I hope this was helpful in some way and you can take a few of these tips to add to your arsenal and run your best.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Please feel free to leave a comment.
I hope this was helpful.
Please send me your feedback as to what areas of training you are would like written about.
Any area I can assist you with.