This week we talk about some basic rules of training. Since our runners are either on vacation, or backing off to nurse injury, I get a chance to talk about how a running coach focuses on moving forward using the concepts of overload, adaptation, and progression.
The exercise science based principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our running fitness, we need to increase the running workload. In order for our running body (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to.
Adaptation refers to the body's ability to adjust to increased or decreased physical demands. Adaptation explains why beginning runners are often sore after starting up, but after running for weeks and months they have little, if any, muscle soreness.
Progression is the gradual and systematic increase of the workload over a period of time, resulting in improvements in fitness without risk of injury. If overload occurs too slowly, improvement is unlikely, but overload that is increased too rapidly may result in injury or muscle damage. For example, the runner who runs only on weekends violates the principle of progression and most likely will not see obvious fitness gains.
The principle of progression also stresses the need for proper rest and recovery. Continual stress on the body and constant overload will result in exhaustion and injury. You should not train hard all the time, as you'll risk overtraining and a decrease in fitness.
And the winner isâ?¦ Progression!
This week, our training has focused on all three principles of training, but in particular, Progression.
As a coach, along with our experts Dena and Stephanie at Excel Physical Therapy, I have applied the principle of progression in the design of the weekly workouts to keep our runners either holding steady, or increasing running fitness. The weekly training plans have considered the factors that could work against progression. Marathoner Marc is on vacation mode, half marathon Lauren is fending off her injury with alternative training, and new runner Anne is applying her intense discipline and keeping at it, to fight off motivation challenges typical to new runners.
Unlike many other goal-oriented endeavors, slacking off is not an option for the runner with a event date goal, unless they are willing to lose fitness theyâ??ve worked hard to gain. But as weâ??ve seen, when a coach can watch over an athlete, it is possible to hold the â??use it or lose itâ?? reality at bay.
Marcâ??s training week
Marc will be traveling back up north with his family later in the week, and needs to adjust his schedule for this. His schedule will allow for both travel time and dedicated family time.
Again this week, we can go into a holding pattern on mileage without any concern. If Marc canâ??t run some of the days as scheduled, not a big deal this week.
Vacation Running 3/25-3/31:
Tuesday: 5 m run at relaxed pace, Prehab focused to balance out
Wednesday: 12 mile run, at about 8:15-8:30/mile
Thursday: 8 mile at goal pace â?? NOT faster than 7:26, make sure to cool down and refuel and re-hydrate right away.
Friday: 3 mile run to loosen up before or after driving.
Saturday: 3 mile run to loosed up after driving
Sunday: 8 mile at comfortable pace
Laurenâ??s Wandering Pain
Dena and Steph are keeping an eye on Lauren, and have her keeping up her cardio up by matching the time aspect of her training. The benefits of non-weight bearing cardio are helpful in injury recovery, both emotionally and physically.
Iâ??m having Lauren to stay with Week 4 training durations to shoot for on alternative cardio equipment:
Laurenâ??s Match the Run Duration: 3/25-3/31
Note: alt means match the duration of a run of this length
Tuesday: 4 m alt
Wednesday: 5 m pace (9:09)
Thursday: 4 m alt
Saturday: 9 m alt
Anne is A Disciplined Athlete
Anne is a smart athlete, and despite the newness of running for this disciplined athlete, doing the workouts has been a great success. To help make it easier for Anne, I am going to suggest she schedules her weekend runs to be done with a friend or supporter of her goal. It is amazing how much easier the run will be when done with a friend.
The schedule progresses a bit this week with the week day runs going to 25-30 minutes, and the weekend up to 3 miles.
Anne 10K, 3/25-3/31:
Monday: walk or XT, Prehab, hip strength
Tuesday: run 25-30 min
Wednesday: Prehab, hip strength
Thursday: run 25-30 min
Friday: walk or XT, Prehab, hip strength
Saturday: 3.0 miles
Sunday: 3.0 miles