With the LA Marathon less than two weeks away, and mile 7 passing through Silver Lake, let's take a look at what good training is!
Do you want to be a faster long distance runner?
Endurance training is the most popular type of physical training from my perception. The medical community endorses it as the best way to create heart health. Membership gyms place a heavy emphasis on having cardio machines. People participate in running or biking more than any other activity in my estimate. I am not endorsing this, just making an observation.
Half marathons and Marathons are probably the most popular goal event for people looking to improve their overall health and to create a stronger self confidence and self worth. I am all for someone wanting to improve their health and self confidence. So how to train for these events so that you can complete them, but also do it quickly.
I am writing this blog because I recently saw a few posts about a "speed" session for endurance runners. It consisted of HIIT over 'short' distances (shorter than a typical endurace session that is). This is the TREND. High Intensity Intervals over a shorter distance than race distance or than typical training distance. Does this make you faster? Yes, but not because its a speed session as many label it. Let's delve into it.
Low Intensity VS. High Intensity
You can think of low intensity training as anything that significantly below your maximum capability. You think of high intensity training as anything that takes you close to your maximum capability. Low intensity training can be done at a higher volume (you can do it for longer and you can do more of it). High intensity training can only be done for short bursts or periods of time and requires more rest in between (because it's harder to do and pushes your limits).
HIIT VS Speed Training
High Intensity Intervals are often MISTAKENLY considered speed training because you are working harder and as a result going faster. The truth is you are still training endurance (not speed), just at a higher intensity. You will develop the ability to ENDURE at higher levels of exertion...that's all.
Speed training emphasizes efficiency in movement. Training for speed DOES NOT require you to break a sweat!! Isn't that crazy!! It's all about improving technique and efficiency.
Trendy Toys in the Gym VS Reality
Trends like the sled and bands DO NOT help you run faster. If you are using a sled loaded with heavy weights you are SLOWING DOWN. If you are using bands with your trainer and he/she is pulling you back with significant resistance you are SLOWING DOWN. These are TRENDS...which means they appear new and innovative, but are just gimmicky and ineffective. Stay away from speed training done this way!!
Common trend is to do High Intensity Intervals over shorter distances than race distance (i.e. 400 meter, 800 meter etc) as a "speed" session. This will provide some increase in speed but only because you have increased your ability to endure a higher work capacity. SPEED training will make you fast with WAY LESS work because it will work on technique and efficiency. Make sure to know the difference or else you will likely be over training your endurance work.
I help runners and athletes understand how to create speed. The common dogma of the training world will not take you to your potential. I can help...let's get together for a SPEED session.
Check out more great tips from Tom here tlperformance.me