Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unsolicited training advice

This is my response to Snowman's most recent post. At the risk of giving unsolicited advice, I'm offering unsolicited advice.

If you want to run faster then run more frequently, longer distances, and at a good mix of speeds. I just don't think changing nutrition or cross training is going to take you where you want to go. You have limited time away from family and the more time you spend on a bike (or roller skis!) the less time you spend running. Cross-training is great for overall fitness. Running is good for getting faster at running.

My recipe: 1. Run a minimum of 6X week. 2. Run a minimum of 6 miles per day. Do a double if you cannot do this in one shot. Take fewer showers and wear wool instead of funky synthetics. 3. Really, really try to avoid unplanned rest days 4. Run 3 miles on your rest day and see if you can run all 30/31 days in the month! 5. Run 2-3 uptempo runs which could be a progressive run, or a fartlek, or a "run to the barn" run (1/2M to M pace). 6. Run 1 fast tempo (15-20K pace) run/week. 7. Do speedwork at your peril. 8. Put hills in lots of your runs and run them fast during training (but slow down during a race!) 9. Easy runs need to be easy. 10. Strength training is hill bounding or hill repeats. 11. No upper body training other than double poling during ski season (I just don't see upper body training as adding any benefit but I know some disagree) 12. No stretching or core work. Stretching is useless for running. Core work is heavily promoted for avoiding injury but if the effect were anything larger than trivial, elite runners wouldn't get injured. They do. 13. Run in minimal shoes (Check out the Asics Tarther for road)
14. Long runs should be a small fraction of your weekly mileage. Consistency is more important than mileage on one run. If your major workout is a long slow run then you're training yourself to do long slow runs. 15. The more play you put in your runs the more fun they'll be. Run new routes, new trails, throw in a hill bound, run backwards, do flips, whatever. 16. The more you treat running as "training" instead of just running baby the less fun it will be.
17. Run with friends.


  1. Jeff, you would be one mean coach :-) But no doubt a good one! You certainly offer up some interesting thoughts and points. And obviously, they work, since you can not run all winter and still be a super runner come the spring! :-) Good luck at Exeter this weekend.

  2. Can I pick and choose from your list? I like your advice actually, especially the no stretching or core work; you just end up with more mass to have to carry when you run.

    Anton Krupicka doesn't take days off either. He is at 3000 miles for the year with 500,000 feet days off. I don't see him write about any workouts other than running.

  3. What? Mean? I told snowman to do back flips on his runs!

  4. I think I am doing my training all wrong!! No wonder why I suck lately.

  5. #16 had me confused..."The more you treat running as "training" instead of just running baby the less fun it will be". At first I thought running with Sam was part of the solution!