Thursday, October 8, 2015

Speed Kills... Literally (Not Really, But Sort Of)

Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.-- Muhammad Ali

Coaches since the 1800's have searched for the sweet, secret elixir of workouts. Particularly for running coaches, the search is for the balance of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Plainly stated, coaches search for the right amount of effort and when to give said effort.

The body can be conditioned to run everyday. That ability has a caveat. One must run at considerable less effort than max effort. Usain Bolt, the fastest human in the world, runs 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. Extrapolate that over the 1609 meters of a mile and he would run the mile in 2 minutes and 33 seconds. That number is highly unlikely. Hicham El Guerrouj runs the fastest mile at 3:43. Spread that out over a marathon and it would take 1 hour, 37 minutes and 27 seconds. Dennis Kimetto holds the world marathon record at 2:02:57. It's clear that top speed cannot be maintained forever.

Speed work,similarly, cannot be done daily. It takes a lot out of you. Many of the injuries that a reported 70% of runners will suffer are based on doing too much, too fast. Trust me, easy days may the most important part of your workout week. I mean let's face it, everyone love to talk about doing X miles at some fast pace. Who wants to discuss their long run at 12 mins/mile. Bravado is natural and so is insecurity. It's hard to run all week and most of your runs are well be below the speed of your max ability. Save that effort for your speed day. Go out there and crush it. There is no sport where max effort everyday yields desired results. If you've ever watched a professional football practice, you will marvel at how little they appear to do.. Their full speed day is game day. There are no Hall of Fame practice players

Speed work leaves you more spent than an easy 10 miler. You should feel spent after a work out but if there isn't enough time to recover, your gains will be temporary.

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