What is in a training week?

In a follow up to my last post I wanted to discuss effective training because I see common errors all the time and these errors can lead to injury.  And quite frankly I do not want you to get injured!  So here goes my run down to smart training.  It is also a good intro to people who are newer to running and some of the lingo you may hear getting tossed around.

The first concept to understand is not falling victim to the classic too much, too soon.  This happens all the time and you really risk injuring yourself with this.  Demonstrated below this brings the red line down, meaning there is a higher chance of you hitting it and risking injury and burn out.  See my last post to read more: https://torunningchiro.com/2017/06/29/rest-and-recovery/   Classically the rule of thumb has always been no more than a 10% increase in over all weekly mileage and no more than a 10% increase in your long run per week.

FullSizeRender (1)
Taken from The Running Clinic Injury Prevention course
Now we will break down the different days that make up your training week:

Speed training: the goal to cause adaptation leading to an increase in capacity/speed.

Typed of speed training:

  • Strides– short pick ups sometimes done before a workout but can be done as a intro in to speed training.
    • Example: 6x 60-100m at 70-80% effort with a short break in between each
  • Intervals– these can be time or distance based, typically done with complete rest or active recovery in between. Paces would be determined based on the distance of the interval and the goal of your training cycle.
    • Example: 5x 1k @ 10k pace w/ 90s rest in between (*see my Instagram for a bunch of different examples of interval workouts—I post a new one every Tuesday)
  • Tempo– keeping a steady/hard pace that can be maintained for the duration of the workout
    • Example: 5k tempo at half marathon pace *goal would be to keep the same pace throughout
  • Progression run– starting at a hard pace and getting subsequently faster as the run goes on.
    • Example: This is sometimes done at the end of a long run (*and it is tough) where say for the last 5k or so you progressively get faster
  • Fartlek: aka speed play this can be as simple as running hard to a certain landmark ahead and easy to another landmark.  It can also be a bit more regimented in having it be timed based.  Typically with this type of workout you keep moving the whole time.
    • Example: 8x 1min hard/1min easy
  • Hill training:  this is popular to increase capacity and strength in training cycles as well
    • 4-6x ~200m uphill with the run back down the hill as the recovery

*of course with all of the above an appropriate warm up and cool down is of the utmost importance.

Easy/recovery runs: the goal to get some time on your legs and recover from quality sessions
-should be done at minimum 30s and up to 60s SLOWER than your goal race pace
-you should also do these based on effort, so the pace may change from easy run to easy run depending on how tired you are…and that is okay!
-one way to make sure you are going easy enough is to chat with someone or for extra fun sing a song

Long run:  long slow distance, this is time on your feet ladies and gentlemen.  In regards to the marathon you are not going to run the full distance before race day so doing your long run easy allows you to get the time on your feet on it.  Your long run should be relative to your goal distance but you should also be careful to not exceed more than a 10% increase per week as stated above.  Later in your training cycle or as you become more advanced you may do some quality work in your long run but I would not say this is common.

Cross training:  this can come in many different forms.  It is basically a way to continue to work on your aerobic base without pounding the pavement.  Allowing you to get more work done without exceeding the 10% rule.
Examples would include:
-pool running

Strength training:  this is a way you can help to prevent injury and to become a stronger and faster athlete.  My approach to strength training is being effective and efficient.  I totally understand that strength training is not nearly as fun as running and I agree.  But if strength training is going to help me become a better athlete than I am in!  I think getting some insight from a professional whether that be an active care based chiro, physio or trainer is definitely advantageous.  In my training I aim to strength train a minimum of 1x/wk and max of 3x/wk.

Mobility:  this is another area that you can work on to improve your running.  If we think about the running stride we need a fairly large range of motion to get the most out of it.  So we need out bodies to be able to move as best as they can.  Spending some time doing active stretching (holding for 1s and repeating 10x) or even yoga can really help you to recover and be able to get more out of your training.

Lastly; it is okay to take total rest and recovery days.    That means no cross training and no strength training either.  Complete rest to allow your body to recover and wait for it… ADAPT!  Adaptation is how we become better than we were the day before. (*see chart above).  It is always smart to listen to your body and take a day off if you are feeling extra tired or sore.  This is your body speaking to you, best thing you can do it listen!

One last key is to never have two quality days back to back. Quality days include long run and speed/hills days. Be sure to take recover between each of these!

Along with all of this if you really want to take your training to the next level you are going to have to spend some time on your nutrition, hydration and sleep.  Eating a clean and balanced diet.  And making sure you are taking in enough calories to sustain your training.  Hydrating throughout the day, every day.  Sleeping ideally 7-9hrs per night at the minimum and giving yourself some rest and relaxation when you have the time for it.

My last point is to SET A GOAL, WRITE IT DOWN and COMMIT to it!!  This is the best way to stay focused.  As many of you know I have had the same goal written on my bathroom mirror for over 2 years now and I am still working towards it.


The fall season starting line is now and not when the gun goes off in October so it is time to get to work!!

Hopefully this gives you some insight on what a typical training week should look like.  If you have any further questions please feel free to email me torunningchiro@gmail.com.  And be sure to check out nike.com/toronto to join us and have some company along your training journey!

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