January 13-19, 2019
Activity is different from achievement. We want you to be purposeful in your training this week, particularly regarding your endurance workouts. Also, stay on top of your 31 day challenge and keep up with your workouts.
THINGS TO PRACTICE:
1. 31 Day Challenge. Stay committed in your 31 day challenge to accumulate 31 workouts. If you are starting to lag behind, then make sure to pick up the slack this week. Double up on a day or two if you need to. Kudos to those of your that are on track or ahead of schedule!
2. Purposeful Endurance Workouts. All too often, we make a run just another training run. We run at the same pace without thinking too much about our technique or about why we are even running at that pace. Try to be more purposeful about your runs and aerobic training this week. Each run should have a goal and you should set your sights on achieving it every time! Generally speaking, run performance is dictated by 3 primary limiters; aerobic capacity (VO2 max), lactate threshold, and running economy or efficiency. Below is an outline on how and when to improve each.
- Aerobic Capacity (VO2 max): Aerobic capacity refers to the ceiling of your aerobic ability. In its simplest terms, it refers to your body’s capacity to utilize oxygen during aerobic workouts. You can think of this as how big of an engine you have driving your running. Long slow distance runs or tempo runs are great ways to help improve your aerobic capacity and your bodies ability to utilize oxygen and aerobic fuel sources. Keep your heart rate lower, but for longer periods of time when doing training to improve your aerobic capacity. This is often the purpose of a base building period in training programs. The month of January is typically a great time to work on your aerobic capacity and build your aerobic base for later spring or summer races.
- Lactate Threshold: Lactate threshold is the tipping point where your body is no longer able to clear lactic acid faster than your muscles are producing it. Once your intensity increases above lactate threshold, the environment in the muscle becomes acidic and it is only a matter of time before you reach fatigue and must slow down. Lactate threshold is most commonly related to the point at which your breathing rate increases significantly during running (this is because your body is trying to make itself less acidic by moving more CO2 out of your system). If you cannot carry on a conversation while running, you are likely training at a point above lactate threshold. If you can carry on a conversation with friends during your run, you are most likely running at an aerobic pace below lactate threshold. It is important to try and increase lactate threshold in order to increase the pace you are able to run without fatiguing so quickly. Speed workouts, shorter intervals, and track workouts are great ways to improve lactate threshold. These workouts involve periods of high heart rate during work intervals followed by periods of lower heart rate recovery. It is best to save these type of workouts until later in your training. Build your aerobic capacity first and save lactate threshold work for a few months down the road.
- Running Economy (Efficiency): Running economy refers to your efficiency as a runner. The goal is always to become a more efficient runner and waste less energy. If you can run at a 7:50 pace instead of an 8:00 pace and still utilize the same amount of energy, that is essentially free speed. Improvements in running economy primarily come from improvements in running technique (more efficient foot strike, arm swing, better cadence, less hip drop, reducing excessive pronation, etc.). These improvements often come through form drills or sprint work. In the month of January, I like to start my runs with 5-10minutes of drill work to try and reinforce good habits and improve my running efficiency. Tracking your running cadence can also be a good way to monitor efficiency (should be around 90 right foot strikes per minute). If you are good and warmed-up, sprint work or very fast and short intervals can be another option to improve efficiency. If you are doing sprints to improve economy, make sure to keep your intervals short (10-30sec) and keep your recovery intervals longer (60-90sec). The idea is not to be tired from these sprints, but instead to focus on quick leg turnover and good mechanics.
THIS WEEK’S RECIPES
We love to keep meals healthy, easy, and tasty! Try some of these awesome recipes this week.