You will find some common elements are programmed into your training plan time and time again. Below is an overview of what we expect when you see them programmed.
Please watch Warm Up video
The biggest thing with warming up for your time trials is that you warm up by building intensity in a jog for 10-15 minutes, complete the dynamic stretches shown in video above and finally, complete 4-6 stride outs to prepare the body to go fast while also minimising chance of injury.
BEGINNER PROGRAM: With your initial 5km / 3.1mi time trial and your final time trial in week 4, these are to be done on the same course that is preferably flat. Please make sure you remember the track from the first time trial so that you have a reference point to compare to at the end.
STEP UP / ADVANCED / ULTRA PROGRAM: Like with every program, we need to start off with some baseline data, and putting you through a Time Trail (TT) is the perfect way to do this. There is one piece of gear you need to have and that is the ability to time yourself – whether that be a phone or a watch. We understand that not everyone has a Heart Rate (HR) Monitor with GPS capabilities, but if you do, please use this within the TT. Our goal is to (at worst) gain a time for the distance required – this way we can start to work out your Lactate Threshold Pace (LTP), and best case we have a Heart Rate monitor that we can record your HR and pace off through the TT for even more data, this being LTP AND Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). Please watch the video ‘How to find your LTHR and LTP’ this gives you a great insight not only how to find your LTHR and LTP but also why we want this data. Please don’t stress if you don’t have a HR monitor, we can work off of your pace or LTP and Rated Perceived Effort (RPE) – you are still going to get great results utilising this.
Please make sure when we re-test ensure the course is the same if possible, and try to do the TT on somewhat a flat-ish course. This way our HR data will be a lot more even.
These are done on the weekend – please keep heart rate at the % stated in the plan or the RPE (rated perceived effort) . Even if going up steep hills walk to keep the heart rate in check of what the program states. If possible take your metronome with you to keep you accountable for your stride rate. One of our most asked questions is regarding long run HR please trust us and stick to the % in the program and the results will come.
These are to be done just that – Easy. Similar to your long run. They are there to build your running economy and for active recovery. Your goal is not to hurt in these runs.
In the program you will only see the time specified at which we want to run at tempo pace. You will warm up for 10-15 minutes, building heart rate from minute 1 to 10-15. Then you want to go straight into your tempo pace. Cool down phase is simply an easy 10-15 minute jog making sure that we stretch for 5 minutes post cool down.
In short this is a pace that is JUST comfortable. You can’t hold a conversation, but you can just talk. Tempo needs to be just a sweet pain, not quite that sour pain that a race feels like. We are around 5% lower than race pace. If you have a HR monitor it is a good idea to wear this week to week to see a Speed to HR correlation. If you can use a similar track this is also a good idea so you have even more relative data to compare and watch your improvements.
Specified in the program is only your main set. You still need to warm up and cool down. In the warm up we want to build 10-15 minute jog/run, we want to complete a very similar warm up to our track session warm up (there is a video for this), the body needs to be prepared to operate and a high HR. The steepness of the hill needs to be an incline that we can run and we don’t have to walk at any point during the hill repeat if possible. Please note that if your specific event has very steep hills then you obviously would choose terrain to mimic this and walking / power hiking is fine.
Recovery phase is simply an easy jog down, there is no rest at the bottom, we simply turn and hit the next repeat. If possible use the same hill week to week so we have reference points to see if we are improving. Post last repeat we want to start our cool down decreasing our heart rate on a 10-15 minute jog making sure that we stretch for 5 minutes post cool down.
These can be done on a synthetic track, grass oval, dirt or a road. The biggest factor is that you try your best to measure the distance specified in the program. Taking notes / times and HR is crucial so you have data to look back on. Make sure you think about the pace that you are recovering at from week to week during these track sessions.
For the warm up please watch the Warm Up video for how this is structured. Cool down with a jog for 10-15 minutes decreasing heart rate making sure we stretch for a minimum of 5 minutes post cool down.
Track sessions are your hardest most intense session on the week. Requiring you to run at speeds equivalent to if not faster than your race pace. Make sure your goal is to have a good average time not the best / fastest 1st repeat and then significantly drop pace from there. You need to try and maintain pace.
You will see within some of the runs ‘speed pick ups’. These are simply timed short efforts where we increase our speed up to around 85-90% effort making sure we focus on good form and not going over that 90% effort. Recovery is simply going back to your normal easy jogging pace. These are done to flush fresh blood into the legs and also to sharpen our motor skills to be running fast and light with good form.
On some of the days you will see two sessions planned. We totally understand that you are busy. We do prescribe a main session and a ‘bonus’ but we’re flexible. So when life gets in the way and you can only get one workout for the day feel free to choose whichever you want out of the two sessions. Sounds crazy but at the end of the day you are doing this for fun so if you are really feeling like hitting the bush trails for a run and you can’t do a gym workout then go for it, go out at get it done on the trails. Do what your heart desires.
Our goal with warming up for any session within the program is to prepare the body as well as possible for an intense period of work. Warming up before intense workload periods we are minimising the risk of injury and also making sure we are getting the most out of every repetition from the very beginning. We don’t want to be hitting the first 400m effort of a track session at only 80% preparedness we want to hit that first repeat 100% ready to go.
Think of your body like a car on a cold winter’s morning, to start the car is a little sluggish and slow off the mark it’s the same idea when it comes to your body.
Watch the ‘How to Warm Up’ video for instructions on how we’d like you to warm up.
Cooling down post training is crucial. We want to make sure our recovery time between sessions is minimal and that by the time we are ready for the next session we can perform at a high level.
Cooling down in short gives the body a chance to flush fresh oxygenated blood through the body and give the muscles that have been worked the chance to absorb as many good nutrients as possible that the blood supplies them with.
Think of it as if you don’t cool down you trap deoxygenated blood that is full of toxins in your muscles and when we do cool down we flush them out and put new fresh blood into those muscles.
The cool down protocol is quite simple. Post the main body of work whether it’s your tempo run or a track session we want to cool down jog for 10-15 minutes. Over that period of time we slowly decrease the intensity until we get to the final 2 minutes where it’s a good idea to walk it out.
Once you finish the above you want to spend approximately 5 minutes stretching out any tight spots that might have crept into the body during the session. Whether it’s your hip flexors or hamstrings just spend some time targeting those tight spots.
When you see best average time this means that we want to maintain a consistant time / effort within the main set. For example in a set of 400m efforts with best average we don’t want the first repeat done in 70 seconds and the last done in 100 seconds. What we want is a consistant time. You are better off going out at 80 seconds for the first one and trying to maintain that. Its all about finding your threshold pace and training to maintain that. By doing this over time you learn how to race smarter because you know what your body is capable of.