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How goes the winter training? What are you doing for your winter training? Rowing/Ellitpical work? Some strength and conditioning work? Maybe you're doing a lot of core work or enjoying the mental freedom that comes with group fitness classes. All good things.
But, if your training sessions are starting to stagnate as the winter grows longer legs where you live, I'd like to talk to you about adding some speed work to your winter training.
Yes, this likely means running on a treadmill for your speed work. I know that's not appealing to some of you, but there are some real benefits to running intervals on a treadmill.
Before we delve into those benefits, one of the reasons that I enjoy interval training/speed work during the winter months is because I am building a base of speed for a focused period of time during a time of the year not normally associated with improving your speed. When I come out of this program, I will maintain speed work at a frequency of 1x per week in order to maintain my speed gains as I move into the spring and some early summer races.
I am a bigger guy by genetic make-up. Even if I eat super clean and run 30-35 miles per week, I'd still weigh 210-215 pounds...much bigger than most folks who run distance races. I normally walk around at 225 pounds, which means if I don't work on running fast - that ability will quickly diminish.
In the month of January I have been working on the following interval running program. I will continue this program through the third week of February:
I used to do a lot of speed work on back to back days and even go as many as 4x per week, but after a serious hamstring injury in 2011 while training for the Best Ranger Competition, I can no longer handle that much speed volume. So I've spread it out to give my legs time to recover.
I want to encourage other athletes to listen to their bodies. This program may not be right for you, but 400s twice per week during the winter might fit the bill.
Ah yes - I almost forgot.
Best to you and your families in 2018.
Train hard and train smart!
If you’ve ever had a shock and felt the adrenaline surge in your body then you’ve felt cortisol. It’s a wake-you-up, get-you–ready-for-action hormone.
It really is. It hits its lowest point around midnight, so you can go to sleep, and then peaks again about an hour after you’ve gotten up in the morning, getting you to wake up and get ready for the day.
It’s nick-named the “stress hormone” because it’s released in moments of stress. So in a dangerous situation, or if you get scared suddenly, you’ll feel it.
But… when we have too-high levels of cortisol for too long, it can make us feel stressed… even if we have no reason to be.