What do all the sessions mean we hear you ask? What is Fartlek or a Parlauf relay? How does a 7654321 session work and how far do I need to run to manage a tempo run? Why do we need to do intervals? All your questions answered here!
Interval Training - 2 mile/1 mile/1200m/800m/
600m/400m/200m reps and efforts
Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session. Your reps need to be run at speeds that are faster than race pace. By getting your body used to running at this faster pace, your race pace will feel easy when the gun goes off and so you will be able to increase the pace as the race goes on or even start more quickly. Interval training adheres to the principle of adaptation and leads to many physiological changes including an increase in cardiovascular efficiency (the ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles) as well as increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid. These changes result in improved performance, greater speed, and endurance.
If you attend an interval session we will separate into our 5 ability groups and using the expected race paces for each group the time for each rep will be set. Each group will do a different number of reps. for example group 2 may do 12 x 400m whereas group 4 may only do 8 x 400m but both at a quicker pace than predicted race pace. Mile reps tend to be nearer the actual race pace and 200m could be almost a minute quicker than race pace and all other distances somewhere in between.
Generally speaking the groups are broken down in to the following abilities;
Group 1 – Race pace of below 7 minute miles
Group 2 – Race pace between 7 and 8 minute miles
Group 3 – Race pace between 8 and 9 minute miles
Group 4 – Race pace between 9 and 10 minute miles
Group 5 – Race of 10 minute miles plus
While the true meaning of the term tempo run depends on who you’re talking to, the workout can quite simply be described as comfortably hard running for a prolonged period of time, usually at a set pace over a predetermined distance or at a perceived effort for a predetermined amount of time. The duration, intensity and frequency of the workout itself will depend on the event an athlete is training for, but extended efforts of 20 to 90 minutes in proper proportion to goal race pace will improve aerobic capacity, enhance efficiency and help develop the confidence to hold a challenging pace for a prolonged period of time.
When attending a tempo run session several much smaller groups than normal will form and they will each head off for a run around our usual training routes all working together to keep a constant pace throughout the whole run. Typical mileage for a tempo run including warm up and cool down will be around 4-7 miles depending on the group. This will be constant running for around 60 minutes.
The beep test involves running continuously between two points that are 20 meters apart from side to side. These runs are synchronized with a pre-recorded audio tape, CD or laptop software, which plays beeps at set intervals. As the test proceeds, the interval between each successive beep decreases, forcing the athlete to increase their speed over the course of the test, until it is impossible to keep in sync with the recording (or, on extremely rare occasions, until the athlete completes the test). Many people who test people using the multi-stage fitness test allow one level to beep before the person makes the line, but if the person being tested does not make the next interval then the most recent level they completed is their final score. The recording is typically structured into 21 'levels', each of which lasts around 62 seconds. The progression from one level to the next is signaled by 3 quick beeps. The highest level attained before failing to keep up is recorded as the score for that test.
A time trial is essentially a club race! We will all warm up together before heading off and running against the timer! A little bit of friendly competition between club members and a good opportunity for the coaches to see how well you are doing!
On a Friday morning Kylie leads a group of runners around the forest and in the evenings Sean & Simon do the same! Typically the distance is around 5-7 miles. No one is ever left behind, those at the front will loop back to the meet the slower ones. They are a good opportunity to get to know all the members better as this is often hard during interval sessions!
Meet and Greet
This is a fun but hard session and a good opportunity to meet other members. All club members line up fastest to slowest, the fastest then pairs with the slowest, the second fastest with the second slowest until eventually those in the middle will end up paired together. Starting at the same point the fastest runners head off in one direction and the slowest runs in the the other direction round a loop until they meet in the middle. When they ‘meet & greet’ they head back to the start. This is repeated several times.
This is another fun session where no groups are formed and all the club run together. Starting all at the same time we run out as far as we can go for 3.5 minutes, the whistle blows and we turn around and run back hopefully arriving back in 3.5 minutes. We then repeat for 3 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 2 minutes and so on. The idea is to go out slow and steady and race back not letting those fast ones beat us! In theory everyone should arrive back at the same time!
The idea of a handicap race is the runner with the slowest time sets off first with increasingly faster runners setting off afterwards according to either their estimated time, or previous race time. The time at which an individual sets off will be the difference between their estimated/actual time and that of the slowest runner. The logic being that there should be a near blanket finish. These are great fun and a good opportunity for slower members to be at the front. The sound of a faster runner approaching at speed is enough to get anyone running faster!
1 Minute 20 Hills
Interval training combining short hills are tough and challenging. They break your rhythm, make it harder to run a fast time and put an immense strain on your body. But hills are good for you and they’re good for your running. Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner. What’s more, the benefits are relatively quick to take effect. In as little as six weeks of regular hill training you can expect a significant improvement in your muscle power and speed.
At the start of a 1 minute 20 hill session each group will head off in search of a big hill! They will then start at the bottom together, run for 1 minute 20 up and then recover back down before doing it all over again! The idea is to reach the same point each time. This is usually repeated between 6 and 10 times depending on the group.
Fartlek is similar to a tempo run however instead of maintaining a constant speed throughout the whole run there will be times when speed will be increased for short sharp bursts. Usually between lampposts or trees! This works in the same way as interval training but without the slow recovery in between because pace will return to ‘normal’ rather than slow! As with tempo runs groups will be smaller than normal and groups will work together round the usual training routes.
Variations on a Hill
This is usually held at Boltons Bench in the summer training schedule. There are 3 sessions set out. One is pyramids up and down a hill, the other is running round the sand dunes and the 3rd is running up, down and around the main hill. All tough but fun and very good training!
We usually hold parlauf relays at Boltons Bench. A figure of 8 is laid out on the cricket field and club members are placed in pairs of similar abilities. One half of the pair (A) makes a start round one half of the figure of 8 whilst the second member of the pair (B) waits in the middle. When A reaches the middle they hand over the baton to B. B then heads off round the other half of the figure of 8 whilst A recovers across the middle. When B reaches the middle they hand over the baton to A, who then heads off round their half of the figure of 8 and B recovers across the middle. This is repeated for 15 minutes. After a short recovery run the figure of 8 is repeated for another 15 minutes but this time B heads off first on the other half of the figure of 8.
1600m Reps (groups of 4) Peleton Style
This is a fun team work type session. After a warm up groups of 4 similar ability groups are formed. Each group heads off in single file. The front member sets the pace. After 400m the person at the back sprints to the front and sets the pace for the next 400m. This is repeated until everyone has had a turn at the front. The set is then repeated a few more times. Usually 3-5 times depending on ability. This session plays on our mind. Its tough keeping the pace at the front but its equally tough keeping up from the back!
This session consists of running 1 x 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m and 2000m reps. The aim is to run each rep at a pace faster than your 10K pace but not flat out. Consistent pace is key. Jog 400m between each 3 or 4 minutes to rest fully.
Quads (with long recoveries)
6-10 x 400m reps depending on group. Accelerating over each 100m. So, the first 100m should be run at 10K pace, the second at 5K pace, the third at 1500m pace, and the fourth at 800m pace. Slow 400m jog (three minutes) to recover. .
Pit Bull K’s (and Reverse)
This is an intentionally tough speed endurance workout. Used to be used in some police force training sessions years ago. But there are long recoveries.
5 x 1000m: run the first 800m at 10K race pace, and then accelerate to 3K pace for the last 200m, with three-minute active recovery.
The reverse version is all about pacing control & recovery. 200 metres hard and then the rest slower. The idea is to help the runner understand and practice recovery at pace.
Stolen from Bart Yasso (US Runners World guy). The idea is that you run an 800 rep in the number of seconds your goal time is for a marathon. Adapted for Totton on the assumption that most would do a half in slightly less than half their full marathon time. Eg. A Yasso rep for a 3.30 marathon target would be 3 minutes 30 seconds minus a few seconds because our focus is a half.
Group 1 Goal Marathon Time – sub 3.00 – 3.15 Yasso Rep 2.45 – 3.10 Group 2 Goal Marathon Time – 3.14 – 3.42 Yasso Rep – 3.10 – 3.35
Group 3 Goal Marathon Time – 3.42 – 4.09 Yasso Rep - 3.40-4.05
Group 4 Goal Marathon Time – 4.09 – 4.37 Yasso Rep – 4.05 – 4.30
Group 5 Goal Marathon Time – 4.37 – 5.33 Yasso Rep – 4.30 – 5.30
Red Mist Hills
(30 minutes) x 1 Green hill - 1min 20 seconds focus on form alternate with Red hill. 15 seconds as far as you can. Full red mist required. No average pace. Short rest after each set of Green & Red.
6 stations marked by cones. Focus on downhill technique.
The same concept as normal 654321 but only the whistle blowers know which order this will be done in. Should aim for equal or slightly negative split. Tempo pace.