There are many different types of training runs that can appear on your training schedule. Today I'm going to answer your questions you submitted about different types of runs.

Stephanieruns Fitness

August 19, 2018 Newsletter

Your Questions on Training Runs Answered!

This week on social media I've been talking about the different types of training runs that can appear in your training schedule. I asked if anyone had any questions about different types of training runs and you guys delivered! The bulk of today's newsletter will be answering your questions! I love answering questions in my newsletter because I know lots of your have the same questions.

MJ @theMJkhronikos asks "What are strides and how can I do them without doing full on sprints?"

Strides are short sprints intervals. They can be anywhere from 50-200m but 100m would be the most common. Strides are a controlled fast pace which is different from a sprint. When you are sprinting you are going full on right to the finish. With a stride you will have a controlled fast speed followed by a deceleration prior to getting to the end. Using a fast but controlled pace with a deceleration will help you avoid going full on into a sprint.  Strides are very short in terms of duration lasting up to 30 seconds. After your strides it's important to give yourself enough time to recover. Walk back to your starting line and make sure you're recovered enough before you start your next stride. Recovery between strides is important! If you're just starting out with strides start with 3-4 repeats. You can work up to 6-10 depending where you are in your training plan.

One of my favourite stride workouts is to do a nice long warm up and run to a flat grassy straight away. I then take off my shoes and socks and run 100m stride repeats. Running barefoot on the grass lets you feel your running form and how your foot hits the ground. After my stride repeats I put my socks and shoes back on (you might want to bring an extra pair of socks) and go for a nice long cool down. 

BeAwesome @arleneschn asks "How long do the intervals on runs need to be? Does it matter? What perceived exertion pace should they be?

This is a question where the answer really is it depends. When you're doing a Fartlek workout, which means speed play there's no set rules for intervals. You could be running your regular running route and decide every so many trees or light posts you are going to add in an interval. If you're doing an interval workout the intervals will either be set by distance or time. Probably the most common intervals are 200, 400, 600 and 800m which lines up with being on a track. If you're doing strides your distance is between 50-20m repeats. The distance or time for the intervals you're doing depend on your training program and your training goals.

Generally the there's two ways to measure the intensity of your sprints. Either perceived exertion (RPE) or with a heart rate monitor. If you're using perceived exertion on a scale of 1-10 I would keep it between 7-9 RPE depending on the distance or time of your interval. The shorter your interval the harder you can run it. If you're running a longer time or distance in order to sustain the same pace you'll be probably closer to a 7-8 RPE. If you're using heart rate you probably know your heart rate zones. You'd be in zone 5 for intervals. Heart rate is a fantastic way to monitor and measure your intensity I highly recommend it.

Runbutterfly @runbutterfly1 asked "When going to speed work, is there a certain week over week percentage of improvement to realistically target to know you're having success?"

The trainer and coach in me never measures improvement on a weekly basis. There's a lot that can change week to week. I like to measure improvement over a 6-8 week period and sometimes even an 8-12 week period. I'm also a big believer in fitness assessments to measure your improvement. Depending on your fitness level and your training plan the percent improvement that you can expect will change. As your fitness level improves you're going to work even harder for smaller gains. 

If one of my athlete's had asked me this exact question I would have them wear a heart rate monitor for speed work and use heart rate zones. As you improve your heart rate will lower for the same effort. When this happens we can adjust your heart rate zones and keep going. Seeing your resting heart rate go down from running is in my opinion one of the coolest ways to measure your success. You have proof that your running has lower the load on your heart.

Sorry I can't give you an exact percentage, what's realistic for you won't be realistic for someone else. Setting SMART goals and regularly measuring your fitness will help you track your improvement. Sorry this isn't a straightforward answer runbutterfly but I hope this helps guide your speed work going forward.

Thank you for the awesome questions this week.  If you have any questions you want me to answer send me an e-mail or message. Email twitter: @srunsfitness

Weekly Challenge: Tempo Run

This week I'm giving you a tempo run challenge. I found this week you had a lot of questions about tempo runs. Your tempo run pace is the pace you race at for 1 hour, sometimes referred to as your 10k race pace. Look back on your racing stats to see what your tempo run pace should be.

This week I'm challenging you to run a tempo run as one of your running workouts. After a dynamic warm up run 3-5k at your tempo pace. Run 3-5 k based on your skill, ability and where you are in your training program. As always listen to your body. After cool down with a light jog, walk and lots of stretching.

The tempo run is a great run to have in your training program. It will help you with speed and pacing. Let me know if you try out a tempo run and what you think. Send me a tweet @srunfitness


Do You Take TIme for Yourself?

This can be an incredibly busy time of the year. The summer can be never ending get togethers, BBQs, pool parties and vacations. As September rolls around we have back to school, followed by Thanksgiving, Halloween and before we know it Christmas is here. Do you sit back and take time for yourself?

As runners sometimes we feel like the only time we get to ourselves are our runs, but it's okay to take time for ourselves. How amazing does a lazy weekend with no plans sound? We all need a break. We all need to rest and recharge. Taking time for yourself is not selfish. It lets you fill up your bucket and recharge.

So take this as a reminder that it's okay to take a break. It's okay to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. We all need a break sometimes and that's okay!

Tell me about your epic rest days!

As we head into fall and winter I will have a special training program to help keep your training on track as temperatures drop. More details will be available next week! Watch this space!

If you found this helpful please share this newsletter and encourage your friends to subscribe

Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.