Greetings to all. A month ago, a friend posted me 2 questions. He needed some tips on working out/training. So I shared with him a few pointers. Below are the pointers which I shared with my friend, and now here at my blog with all of you. Hope you will gain some benefit through this read.
Q1 : ENDURANCE AND INTENSITY, WHICH NEED TO FOCUS AND BUILD FIRST?
Depending on which race distance you’re aiming, the endurance and intensity which you need to build up will differ in terms of :-
- how soon to start
- how long to build the endurance/intensity
- the amount of endurance/intensity involved
1. Endurance and intensity needs to be build GRADUALLY. Don’t push yourself too soon.You need to increase the fitness of your cardiovascular system to take the strenuous form of work out. Always start with jogging. Add about 10% (not trying to be so scientific or technical here, but this is the best way that I can help to guide you!) and hold that level for a week before you increase another 10%.
2.If you’re training for a marathon, or a half marathon, you should know that it is NOT necessary to undergo a lot of high intensity training (e.g., speedwork, hill repeats, entering lots of shorter races, etc.) especially when primary goal is to finish the race.
If you’re training for a 10k, speed training (part of intensity building) should be MORE frequent and intense. Weekly total mileage for the 10k program should be reduced about 60-75% of that of a marathon program to offset the greater demand of speed training. (that’s why it IS important to look up for a specific training program and not randomly run to your own/your running group’s accordance/preference).
3. Some simple training principle here :
a) A gradual increase in long run mileage,
b) Modest weekly mileage totals (vary your daily running distances. you can choose 1 day
per week for long runs (usually on Sunday).)
c) Injury prevention strategies. (warm up + stretching b4 doing a workout, sports massage, REST, hydration)
4.Know your training phases :
This is a general guideline for any (well mostly) training program, be it for running, cycling, duathlons or triathlon :-
a. Base building phase (It consists mostly of just running mileage. Don’t worry about structured hard stuff in this phase)
b. Strengthening phase (This is when you start to do hard running on a scheduled basis. The emphasis should be on structured hill repeat workouts and threshold sessions (cruise intervals and/or tempo runs). Make an effort to plan more of your “easy” runs on hilly routes, if your “regular” routes are mostly flat. And keep your mileage up to where it was in the base building phase….about 75% of your average marathon training mileage)
c. Sharpening phase ( Here’s where you get a bit of relief from mileage, but work harder in speed sessions. You should reduce mileage about 10-25%, depending on what “feels” right to you, to compensate for the more frequent and intense speedwork.)
d. Racing phase (of the most significant differences between 10k and marathon programs is in the racing phase.A marathon racing phase typically consists of a 2-3 week taper and 1 or 2 marathon races. However, a 10k racing phase requires a taper of only about a week, can extend for as long as two months, and should include several races.)
5. A few ways to increase running intensity :
– running hills
– running races
Q2 : FOR BETTER & SMOOTHER BREATHING, BREATHE THROUGH NOSE OR MOUTH ?
There is no 1 correct way of breathing. It pretty much depends on your comfort level and the way you can be most relaxed at the same time be able to maintain your endurance and speed. I personally breathe in through my nose and out through the mouth. I’ve used this technique for my running/triathlon/duathlon training AND races (Including Ironman).
Here’s and excerpt I found written by Perry Louis Field (a member of the US track and field team&federation):
“It is important to note that I breathe only through my nose, which as some of you may know filters impurities from the air and can help regulate body temperature. Only during intense track sessions or intense long runs will my mouth ever be open. Even during hard workouts and long runs, I breathe only through my nose for as long as possible. Then, right after a hard interval on the track, I close my mouth and force myself to breathe through my nose using “low breathing.” This helps me recover before I begin another interval, leaving my cells better oxygenated.
In beginning to work in this way I discovered that as the season progressed I was able to run my long runs at a six minute/mile pace (for those who don’t know this is a pretty brisk pace) for up to ten miles, with my mouth closed almost the entire time using “low breathing”! Though you may not be used to it, your body will adapt to breathing only through your nose.
By just breathing deeply through your nose, you are decreasing your stress and allowing your body to progress physically on its own. So each time you run or work out in this way, you will notice yourself progressing in your own proper and unique way. Many people have the tendency to over train, which can actually undermine their performance. By practicing breathing through your nose and the other techniques I have described in this article, you are allowing your body to improve its performance in a healthy way that won’t lead to crashing later on”
Hope you found the answers useful and will benefit from it !