I came into ultra running from a marathon background so I have a strong concept of structure. I’m at my best when drawing from the global history, philosophy, and spirituality of the sport, and putting that wisdom directly into practice. I suggest the principles to follow rather than tell someone what they should be doing all the time.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Peter Coe was ahead of the curve. He once said, “If speed is the name of the game, then never get too far away from it.” In other words, the quality of what you do is much more important than the quantity. Too much long, slow distance running creates long, slow runners. Why pound the life out of your legs when you can develop them with quality? This does not mean neglecting your easy days or aerobic development. That can easily be achieved through extensive cross country/trail running. The key sessions work around the lactate turning-point which trains the body’s transporters to utilize lactate as a productive energy source while removing lactic acid from the muscles.
A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO PACING
Every run does not have to be a programmed workout as long as you make every session count – even your recovery runs. A sophisticated training schedule might include 1-mile, 5K, 10K, half and full marathon paced training sessions, all designed to prevent the runner from settling into just one modicum pace. Varying the speeds at which you train not only helps you become more efficient, it reduces your chances of injury by breaking up repetitive-motion patterns. The precise coordination required to sustain even a slightly faster pace, combined with the corresponding changes in cadence and habitual stride patterns, alleviates the stress of running at the same pace mile after mile.