Road running training

by Road Racer, answer by Marius

Road running training : how to train if you want to compete year around ?

I was sent this question :

"I like to compete year round in various local road races (5,10 k) and also may jump in into some 1500s on the track. I wondered what's the best way to train for them and despite racing keep improving. Each week I do a club workout with teamates. We will do mile repeats, pyramids, 400s...

I got through all your provided information and tried to outline a training schedule for year round racing. Maybe you can overlook and give a comment.

No race:
MO: am: 6x6min/1 rest zone3; pm: 30 min steady Zone 3+strides
TUE: 60 min zone 1
WED: track workout with club,zone 5
THU: 60 min zone 1
FR: 60 min zone 1
SAT: 10*3 min/ 30 sec rest Zone 3; pm: 4*10min/2 min rest zone 3;+strides
SUN: off

No saturday workout, Race on saturday or sunday

When doing zone 3 workouts I'll go through the whole training zone, from 80% to 87% of maximum heart rate. Before really important races I'll mix in zone 4 for about a month.

Marius, can this schedule work?

Yours sincerely
Road racer"

Hi Road Racer,

Your plan looks pretty good for year around racing and you have certainly picked up the most important things here ! I want to challenge you on only one main thing : an overall periodization in your training.

My personal experience with those that race year around is that structuring your weeks A-B-A-B type structure can give you HUGE benefits. And you don't have to skip any races by doing so, and you can still run with your friends.

But what I want you to do is to use the remaining of the sessions (those that you don't run with others) this way : in the A weeks, add a few extra intervals to the runs, add minutes to the long runs and everything should add up to about 130 % of where you are at now in total load. Then in the B weeks, go down to about 70 %. One way of getting that way is to focus one week on speed and shorter long runs, the next on endurance and longer easy runs.

Try it for a while and you will feel much fresher ! Also, test out running 5 x 20 sec running/20 sec recoveries after ALL your hard workouts (so it will be 20 sec run, 20 sec walk, 20 sec run etc.) at a float speed. This will speed your recovery as you race often as it helps with your muscle elasticity post-training.

Wish you all the best with your road running training,

Kind regards,

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