Picture: John Segesta
Maybe essentially the most usually misunderstood idea of coaching is cardio endurance versus velocity. As a result of it’s usually troublesome to “really feel” cardio endurance, it’s simple to assume that not having the ability to kick the final 800 meters of a race or not having the ability to race sooner at shorter distances is because of an absence of velocity. For this reason so many runners flip to the observe for lung-busting 400’s to assist them get sooner.
This problem stems from the truth that what you are feeling doesn’t at all times correlate with what is occurring physiologically in your physique. For instance, the heavy, cement-like feeling in your legs and arms on the finish of a 5K isn’t an indication of muscle weak spot or that you’ll want to spend time within the fitness center. Fairly, this sense is attributable to the discharge of hydrogen ions when racing past your anaerobic threshold, which creates an acidic surroundings within the muscle groups and impairs muscle contraction. For this reason runners are higher served hitting the roads for a tempo run than they’re hitting the load room in the event that they wish to keep away from fading on the finish of a race.
Sadly, you might be targeted on the fallacious weak spot and thereby not maximizing your coaching time or your exercise effectiveness.
How a lot velocity do you want?
In the event you can already run far sooner than your aim race tempo, the issue isn’t your velocity. It is advisable to focus extra on bettering your cardio endurance and lactate threshold.
From a coaching standpoint, velocity is never the limiting consider how briskly you may race, even for a distance as “quick” because the 5K. Let’s take a look at this concept in additional depth as the good coach Arthur Lydiard as soon as did when he popularized coaching 800 and 1500 meter runners with a gentle weight loss program of 100 mile weeks.
If you wish to run 20 minutes for the 5K, you’ll want to common 6:25 tempo per mile. Technically, which means the quickest tempo you want to have the ability to run is 6:20 per mile. In the event you’re a 21-minute 5k runner or a 3:25 marathoner (roughly the equal of a 21-minute 5K runner), I’ve little doubt you may run a 6:20 mile; you’re in all probability able to operating a mile shut to six minutes. Thus, the issue isn’t that you simply don’t have sufficient velocity to run a 20-minute 5K, it’s that you simply lack the endurance to run three 6:25 miles with out stopping.
Due to this fact, while you’re analyzing your coaching and figuring out your strengths and weaknesses, the obvious areas of enchancment are going to come back from bettering your cardio endurance and lactate threshold. In the event you can already run far sooner than your aim race tempo, the issue isn’t your velocity.
Cardio capability and lactate threshold, what operating coaches confer with as “energy” work, are the spine of your means to maintain a quick tempo for a protracted time period. In brief, the upper your cardio capability, the longer you may run close to your most velocity.
All runners wish to open up the stride and shut onerous the final 400 meters of race. Not solely does it really feel nice to cross droves of opponents, however ending robust helps inspire you for the following race. Nonetheless, precise velocity has little to do with how briskly a runner can end the final 400 or 800 meters of race.
As mentioned above, most runners have already got absolutely the velocity essential to fly by way of the ending shoot. A 20-minute 5K runner might be already doing a number of 400 meter repeats at about 5:30 tempo (60 seconds sooner than race tempo). Nonetheless, ending the final 400 meters of a 5K at 5:30 tempo might be subsequent to unattainable for that very same runner. Once more, the power to kick and end quick isn’t restricted by absolute velocity. Fairly, the limiting components are the power to run quick when drained or to hit the final 800 meters in a much less oxygen disadvantaged state.
Due to this fact, in case you’re a runner who’s making an attempt to enhance your ending velocity otherwise you are likely to fade over the past mile, your coaching time could be higher spent bettering your cardio capability, not essentially your absolute velocity. Tempo runs and cruise intervals are going to deal with your late race “velocity” weaknesses higher than a gentle weight loss program of 400 meter repeats.
What position does velocity play?
Definitely, velocity is a part of a nicely balanced coaching plan and it’s vital to incorporate velocity exercises to enhance your operating effectivity and V02max. In the event you fully neglect velocity altogether, or any power system for that matter, your efficiency will endure.
Maybe the most important position velocity performs is that it helps enhance your operating economic system and effectivity. In unscientific phrases, speedwork helps you run aim race tempo with much less effort.
Nonetheless, there’s a restrict to how a lot you may develop your absolute velocity. In some unspecified time in the future, your physique approaches its pure expertise level and dealing to enhance velocity offers diminishing returns. Fortunately, bettering your cardio capability is nearly limitless.
Due to this fact, when you’re in a position to run about 20-30 seconds sooner than your aim 5K tempo for a full mile, you’ve in all probability developed sufficient velocity to comfortably race your aim tempo. The main focus in your coaching ought to then be turned to bettering your cardio capability and lactate threshold, which is able to make it easier to develop the physiological health to race sooner and preserve a prime finish velocity for longer.
So, the following time you’re analyzing your coaching and trying to establish the areas you’ll want to enhance essentially the most, ask your self whether or not it’s actually your velocity that’s holding you again or in case you really must get stronger aerobically.
Initially printed January 2014