AMPT Training Series – Running with Purpose
Think back to your very first run; whether it was recently or many years ago and remember how it felt and how you got started. Did you decide to just lace up and run, or did you go out with a specific training plan in mind? If you are someone who just “laced up and ran”, there are many runners alike who started by just putting one foot in front of the other.
Now fast forward to today. Has anything changed with your training? If the answer is “no” or “sort of”, then you have the exciting opportunity to not only change the type of runs you do, but to also change the pacing that you run them with. Even if your training has already been modified to be a bit more specific, change is always a good thing in our sport, and it will help you continue to grow as a stronger and faster runner.
Either way, it is important to train with purpose and have a specific running plan, tailored to your distance and/or pace goals, if you’re looking to get your best results. There’s an old saying “if you do the same thing, you’ll get the same results” and it couldn’t be more accurate when applied to running. Running the same speed and distance every time, you train, will yield the same pacing/race results. The reason behind this is backed in science. In general, when you exercise it creates tiny micro-tears in your muscle fibers. After a workout is complete, the body works to repair these micro-tears and re-build the muscle back stronger than it was before. That said, over time as the muscle repairs these tears and gets stronger, more stress (in the form of physical activity) must be placed on the muscle for it to continue grow. Otherwise, the muscle gets used to the stress and is no longer going to have to re-build or repair anything, leading to a potential plateau in performance.
Because of this, the best way to prevent a plateau is by adding in speed, strength, and specific pacing in long runs/recovery runs which can all be game changers in improving overall pace and endurance.
With all this in mind, we’ll take an in-depth look at several concepts that will specifically help you train with purpose. Over the next few months in our “AMPT Training Series”, you can expect to learn more about the following:
- Speed: Training for speed through intervals, fartleks, tempo runs, and more can strengthen fast-twitch muscle fibers and train your legs differently than a long run or recovery run might. We’ll not only cover types of speed runs, but also how to find your pacing for each!
- Strength: This mainly includes hill training which strengthens the glutes and hamstrings differently than by running on a flat road.
- Long Runs: We’ll cover when to run them, how often, and even how to fuel leading up to, during, and after each long run.
- Recovery: Recovery is just as important as speed, strength, and even long runs. Recovery miles will keep your mileage up in a low impact way that gives muscles the ability to repair and recover so you can go out stronger in the next run!
In the meantime, you can start changing the way you train by taking inventory on how long you run and at what pace, each day of the week. Reflect on how often you change your pace, how many times a week you cross train or recover, and how many long runs you do per month. Then, stay tuned for our “AMPT Training Series” which will help you start fine tuning your workouts and train for a PR on your next in person or virtual race!