Plan, Peak, ETC (Effort-Timed Conditioning)

Explanation of Training


1)         Relaxed pace:  The most common type of run and the majority over the 8-16 week training cycle.  This should be a pace where you get your heart rate up but are still able to carry on a conversation with those you are running with.  It allows for the gradual increase in your level of fitness.

2)         Easy pace:  Usually done the day before a long run, timed run or race.  Important for balanced training in that the B, C, and D days help build stamina while the easy run provides the much needed recovery. 

3)         Long, Steady Distance:  (LSD) This type of run is done once every two weeks of the training cycle. As the name implies, it is a run that takes longer than the average run but should be at an effort as close as possible to your relaxed pace.  The physical benefit is that it helps your blood work more efficiently.  The mental benefit is it makes your “normal” run not seem so long. Essential for those racing from 5k to marathon.

4)         Fartlek's:  Swedish for speed play, this type of training allows you to vary the pace of your running.  It gradually prepares the muscles you will use to race and comes in many forms.  While true fartlek's are random as to when you pick up the pace and when to back off, these fartlek's provide for a more structured approach to speed play.

a)         Equal stride/jog- This type of speed play allows you to run a set time at a faster than normal pace followed by an equal amount of time to recover.  Typically you start out with a warmup at an easy pace, then alternate one minute semi-hard with one minute easy.  An example would be a 15 minute warmup followed by 10 x 60/60 where the first 60 seconds is a semi-hard stride and the next 60 seconds is a recovery jog done times ten, then a 10 cooldown for a C 45. (15+20+10 at a semi-hard effort for the training run)

b)        Stride/twice the jog-   Same as above except you are given twice the time of recovery than the semi-hard time.  An example would be 10 warmupup, 10 x 40/80 where the 40 seconds is the semi-hard stride and the 80 seconds is a jog, 10 cooldown for a C 40. (10+20+10 at a semi-hard effort for the run)

c)        Ladders- This type of run allows you to run varied times at a faster pace and usually allows for equal recovery.  Ladders can work up (1-2-3-4 minutes) or down (4-3-2-1) or even up and down. (1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes)  An example workout would be 15 minute warmup, 4 minutes semi-hard, 4 easy, 3 minutes semi-hard, 3 easy, 2 minutes semi-hard, 2 easy, 1 minute semi-hard, 1 easy, 10 cooldown for a C 45. (15+20+10 at a semi-hard effort for the run.  Pacing is key; in the example above too fast of a 4 minute semi-hard and you may not be able to complete the 3,2 or 1.

d) On & Offs- Similar to the other fartleks explained above, On & Offs provide a varied pace usually of longer intervals (2, 3 or 4 minutes) and are of more benefit for those wishing to race longer distances than a 5k. An example would be a 15 minute warmup, 5 x 2 on/1 off where one runs a semi-hard pace for 2 minutes and then has a 1 minute recovery jog five times, then a 10 minute cooldown for a C 40. Other On & Offs are 3 on/2 off or 4 on/2 off.

5)         Steady pace:  Often called a tempo run, this is used to get the heart rate up for a longer period of time than with fartlek's.  An example would be 8-8-8-8-8 where the 1st 8 minutes is a warmup followed by 8 minutes at a semi-hard pace, 8 minute recovery jog, 8 minutes semi-hard then an 8 minute cooldown for a C 40. It is important to have a watch with a timing mode so you can focus on your pacing and not on your watch. Warning: A common mistake is to take the first semi-hard interval too fast!  Remember, in the example above you have two 8 minute intervals so pace yourself accordingly.

6)         Timed Loop:  The biggest advantage of this type of run is that it measures progress; critical in maintaining a training plan.  Measure and use the same loop for accurate comparison. The distance should dictated by the level of training you do: 30 minutes/2 miles, 45 minutes/3 miles, 60 minutes/4 miles. Also, if your goal race is hilly, measure out a loop with hills. Example: On a C 50 day of a 4 mile timed loop you might average 9 minute miles for your loop, giving you a total of 36 minutes.  The remaining 14 minutes of the C 50 can be split up for a warmup cooldown (say 10 warmup, 4 cooldown) or you can add an easy 14 minutes after your timed loop to hit your minute goal for the day.

Please don’t hesitate to ask your coach for further explanation:

Ross Deye 231-944-4034