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3. Secret #3 Part 1: Work on Pacing

Jess Rojas finishes the Rino 5K on July 29th, 2017 in Denver, CO

Jess Rojas finishes the Rino 5K on July 29th, 2017 in Denver, CO

So far, I’ve discussed planning, goal-setting, and racing frequency and distance.

In this installment, I will discuss pacing as it applies to your overall season, conditioning runs, tempo runs, intervals, speed work, and racing.

Underlying pacing and training are my core values, beginning with health, optimum training, and running career longevity. What do these core values have to do with pacing?

First, my belief is that excessive training and racing may be harmful to your health and performance. As I discussed in my previous blog, I believe that frequent racing at the 5k distance is not necessary and does not contribute to effective peak performance. As far as pacing goes, planning your race strategy over the cross-country season and individual training sessions (whether they be conditioning runs, tempo runs, or intervals) are important because optimum pacing contributes to optimum performance.

Although peak performance implies some level of competitive effort, in my opinion far too much emphasis is placed on competition. My philosophy de-emphasizes competition and places more value on communication, cooperation, and collaboration, especially as these apply to teamwork. Personal goals are self-referential, and training is goal-specific, task-oriented, and progressive. This means that careful attention is paid to pacing in every aspect of a training program as opposed to high-exertion, competitive efforts.

Well-formulated goals allow the athlete and coach to recognize historical performance, improve trends, and current training quality. More important, the goal-setting process provides the foundation for the athlete and coach to communicate, design appropriate training programs, and refine goals in training according to individual progress.

With “health” as my primary goal value, I believe there is an optimum exertion level associated to produce the best performance results. To this end, I write “closed-end” vs. “open-end” training programs and racing schedules. Specific measurable “Training Parameters (Distance, Exertion, Pace, Heart-rate, and Rest Interval)” apply to the list below. Instead of encouraging athletes to “go all-out-all-the-time” from the beginning of the season, I provide specific exertion levels for each athlete as defined by the distance and pace run, the perceived exertion, and heart-rate, if available. By providing the specific training parameters, I can control the rate of progress and ultimately peak performance.

The chart below lists my major training components. These can all be quantified and the combinations specifically formulated at any point in the season. We can total the daily, weekly, and seasonal mileage for each individual, as well as compile other applicable training metrics such as interval times and rest periods.

In my next installment, I will discuss peak performance pacing in more detail.

Training Component, Training Parameters, Frequency, Exertion Level on 1-10 Scale

1. Total Miles Per Week (Weekly Distance), Weekly

2. Long Run (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate), 1 X Week, PE = 6-7

3. Training Runs (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate), 1-2 X Week, PE = 4-5

4. Tempo Runs (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate), 1 X Week, PE = 6.5-7.5

5. Pace Intervals (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate/Rest Interval), 1 X Week, PE = 7.5-8.5

6. Speed Intervals (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate/Rest Interval), 1 X Week, PE = 7.5-9.5

7. Racing/Time Trials (Distance/Exertion/Pace/Heartrate), 1 X Week, PE = 9-10

8. Resistance Training (Exertion/Technique), 2 X Week, PE = 6-8

9. Explosive Power (Exertion/Technique), 2 X Week, PE = 6-8

10. Range of Motion (Technique), 3 X Week, PE = 5

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