TUES: Running – Less is More?
Training for a race of some kind? Let me get right to the point and tell you that, no, you do not need to put your gym membership on hold to train for a half marathon, a marathon, or any race for that matter. Not only do you not need to, you shouldn’t.
There are endless number of philosophies that exist if you do a simple google search for race plans. I have dabbled in a whole bunch of them but have always come back to the rule of three. Three well strategized runs paired with P360 programming has always resulted in my highest rate of success.
So why is three the magic number in my opinion?
For a few reasons:
- Targeted, Focused Runs
- Reduced Burnout
- Injury Prevention
If a program is doing it right, there is a reason behind every mile you’re hitting on the pavement (just like there is a reason for every weight you lift in the gm).
Targeted, Focused Runs
A 3-day running program requires you to make each of those runs done with a purpose, not just going through the motions. From a high-level this is broken down into a recovery run, strategy run (hills, tempo, or speed), and a long run. The recovery is letting your body add miles while flushing out your legs. A strategy run is unique to each training cycle depending on the race course. Regardless of the race, the bread and butter of this run is the tempo run, teach your body to go faster in periods of discomfort. Finally, the long run simply to build your base increasing your miles week over week.
Like most people, waking up at 5 am to go run 10+ miles is not on my top 10 favorite things to do in the world. Having a race plan that avoids any garbage miles and room for other fitness goals mentally keeps the long cycle do-able. The continuous motion of a stride can quickly create muscular imbalances and overuse of other major muscles. A three-day plan significantly reduces any overuse injury because you’re simply limiting the amount of stress your putting your on your body.
Tying our fitness programming into the weekly schedule is the reason that the three key elements of a three-day race program is possible. Strength training is vital to a successful training cycle. Developing major muscle groups like quads and core are required to be a strong runner. More importantly, developing your glutes and hamstrings which tend to be disproportionately weaker to the other major muscles in runners, help to avoid imbalances that quickly could lead to injury.
The varied elements of Tier 2 conditioning provides the extra cardiovascular work necessary in ways that are not always pounding the pavement. Finally, the mental component should not be undervalued. The P360 community and the varied workouts that are provided help to make the 12-16 weeks possible.
All of this goes without saying, as with anything fitness related it comes down to the individual. Figuring out what works for you and run with it. Just don’t skimp on the supplementary strength work, undoubtedly that will lead to issues down the road.
And remember, sometimes the best strategy is less miles on the road and more focus.
First. For Strength,
6 Back Squats @65-75%
8/s Heavy DB Bench Row
Complete 1 set every 4′ for 20′
Then. For Conditioning
4 BB Rows
4 Hang Power Cleans
4 Rev Lunges