As endurance runners there's certain fundamental training runs and principles we need to take into account. These can be applied to what you do on a weekly basis. These are crucial and create the platform in which you as a runner can both maintain fitness and improve it (if done correctly!)
Tempo sessions- Usually timed intervals with elements of jogging as recovery. Ideally ran at a 'comfortably quick' pace, or as a useful gage, a pace you can sustain for an hour in a road race. Get at least one in a week if possible, and make sure to get appropriate warm up, cool down and drills beforehand. Ideally done on a soft or flat surface, with no sharp bends, and with little obstructions. These sessions are great for building up fitness. Check the weekly Thursday sessions page for a session to try out every week!
Speed/ interval sessions. Structured fast speed work with static recovery, e.g 6 x 400m with 90 second rest. Perhaps the least important in the list, but still a very beneficial thing for developing speed. Summer track is currently postponed, so don't worry if you can't get this in all the time!
Easy runs. These are the bedrock of your fitness and training. As we are all endurance-based runners these underpins your fitness. More important than anything else on this list. Run steady, run to feel, and do to a level/distance you are comfortable with. Do them frequently. There’s no right or wrong with distance. Do what is comfortable for you, and keep them slow and steady. Avoid stopping if necessary. Steady runs are what is going to maintain your aerboic base over a long period of running.
LSRs- Run to feel- this may feel a bit faster/slower than other weeks so just go with it- don’t force a pace! Make sure to vary distance whenever you do them. It is critical to make sure your LSRs are right and work for you. Don’t get dragged along to running faster/longer/shorter if you don’t think it will benefit you. Don't need to do these every week if there are no long races in your diary so you can substitute them for a middle-distance steady run.
Eating- Eat when your body demands it, and fuel up appropriately before and after a hard and long session. Good carb and protein intake after a session can aid muscle development and recovery. Fueling well aids recovery and therefore the adaption process that takes place for you to make performance gains. I'm personally not a fan of ‘fasting’ or running on empty although I appreciate opinions differ on this. Staying healthy is key, and make sure to get into the habit of refueling no more than 20 min after a long or hard work out.
Sleep- Simple stuff, don’t neglect it. Work to get a good 8 hours sleep in consistently. It aids the recovery process and of course has enormous mental benefits.
Recovery – no shame in taking time off if your brain and body demands it. Training gains come from adaption and rest. The intensity or quality of workouts would mean little if you don't sufficiently recover from them! Sleep when tired, eat when hungry, and rest when you don't have energy. Treat your body well and you running will improve!
Cameron Harris, Head Coach