Thursday, February 19, 2015

Long Winter Season, Treadmill Speed Work!

Coach Brett Sutton, is amazing, spending many months on the treadmill will make you crazy, batty or just board. You need to shack it up, but what to do, Crossfit Endurance, yea that works, for shoter distances and give you a heck of a speed workout. The book Unbreakable Runner has a great 8 week, 5k plan. Coach Sutton has this workout that well is amazing, try it to change things up.

The Staple Treadmill Session

Jan and I spent a season and a half getting it right, which has become a staple for my squad ever since. Jan was from the old school of non-drafting triathletes—a good swimmer, super biker and a runner who would just get home with whatever he could. However, he wanted to go to the Olympics (a drafting event which heavily bias the faster runners), so we had to try something radical. Cue the treadmill.
We tried all sorts of distances, gradients and workouts trying to find a combination that would develop not just his aerobic function, but stimulate his turnover and build muscle strength to give him the drive forward that as a “natural” runner he just didn’t have.
The session we found that activated all three in a way that the body could adapt to without injury was this:
2x[30 seconds at 2%, then 30 seconds rest]
2x[30 seconds at 4%, then 30 seconds rest]
2x[30 seconds at 0%, then 30 seconds rest]
Run six times with an extra 30 seconds rest between each set of six intervals.
Speed was at race pace for the entire workout.
This short rest model helped with keeping condition and the aerobic function was maintained through the six repetitions.
Any less than six sets and the aerobic component would be compromised, any more and you lose the neuromuscular advantage as the body gets too tired to hold the required speed. Similarly, any more than 4 percent and we lost the advantage of being able to hold the gradient at race pace losing the strength or muscle adaptation we were looking for.
That set is the diet of every run-challenged athlete that walks into my door and wants to improve—pro or age group. As mentioned, it was completed two days ago by the current Olympic champion, just as it was done yesterday by two of my age group athletes. The only difference was a 5K an hour drop in speed.

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