Hip Flexors, Poor Knee Lift, and the 90 Strides a Minute Myth

Let me say right up front that I really like Inform Running.  In fact, having regular access to their facilities and brain power in the U.K. is probably the only thing that could make me want to live in a place with weather that is even more miserable than my home of Seattle.  Today, they took on the Pose (and by association, the Chi) running methods.  I’m so glad that they did– someone has to dispel the myth that there is one perfect running form for everyone.  But, in typical Inform Running style, they did it with some real hidden gems that might help a lot of folks gain better running form.  Here are two key lessons from their excellent post earlier today.

Continue reading

Muscle Tension and Restoring “Pop” to Your Running

Over the summer, I’ve been filling in as the track coach for my team’s track workouts.  Every now and again, I have been adding in plyometrics, which I think are pretty essential for distance running.  I usually get some skeptical looks (particularly from the Ironman crowd) so I thought I would explain my thinking and also talk about my views about how to use plyometrics to get free speed in your running.

Continue reading

The Joys of Running Super Slow

Right now, I’m in a cycling build.  But that means that I still run easily just about every day.  Perhaps “easy” is an overstatement– these runs are positively lackadaisical.  I think my pace topped out at about 12:00 or 13:00 a mile (which is almost half my running pace in a 10K race).  All of this is fine by me because I’ve learned how to run slow to great effect.

Continue reading

Supercompensation and Timing of Training Effects

A few days back, I had a marathon weekend racing Duathlon Nationals and Seafair.  The next day (Monday), I was curled up in a fetal position on the couch and occasionally making cow-like sounds (memo to self: take such days as vacation or sick days).  I felt only slightly better on Tuesday.  A moderately hard (but failed) workout on Wednesday and an easy day on Thursday… maybe finally I’m ready to hit a hard workout.  And so that workout would be 2 x 30min at FTP or higher with 5min recovery.  I rode this one with my friend Mary.  Time escaped us and I was only able to get one effort in, but it was both comfortable and 10 watts higher than it should have been.  If I raced with this much energy on the weekend, I would have been unstoppable.  Obviously, at least for that day, anaerobic threshold (AT) was not my limiter.

So what’s going on here?  Simple, it’s just basic training effects and supercompensation.  According to Pete Pfitzinger, there are some basic rules to the timing of training effects. The bottom line is:

  • It takes 8-10 days to get benefits from any workout
  • It takes 8-10 days to recover from a maxVO2 workout
  • It takes 4 days to recover from lactate threshold and tempo workouts
  • Recovering from long runs takes the longest time

Continue reading