Treadmill Running, Part II – Training Types

By Dr. Jack Daniels

There are really only two types of training a person can do: steady running and intermittent running. By steady running I mean a non-stop run at a consistent intensity. The intensity may be very easy, as at the beginning of a warm-up, during cool-downs or during recovery runs; or it may be moderate, as when running at Marathon pace or Threshold pace. Any intensity faster than threshold pace will usually be associated with intermittent running, as during Interval or Repetition workouts, types of training that stress the aerobic system or that work on mechanics, speed and economy.

Setbacks To Success

By Dr. Jack Daniels

We hear a lot about “overtraining,” whatever that is. Some people call it “staleness,” others just say you are in a state of “athletic depression,” or, that you are “over-worked.” Researchers all over the country; no, all over the world, are trying to figure out how to identify overtraining and how to reverse the process so useful training can begin.

I prefer to spend my training energy toward something more beneficial – avoiding overtraining, by devising long-range programs that lead to not-so-fast improvements, but do lead to continuous progress over the best years of an athlete’s productive career.

Treadmill Running, Part I – How Boring

By Dr. Jack Daniels

Most of us like to think that one of the advantages runners have over other athletes, or, more simply stated, running has over many other types of aerobic exercise, is the simplicity and freedom of the sport. You really can run just about anywhere, and for free. I remember coaching a sailor during the Gulf War, who was 6-4 and weighed 185 pounds, and he maintained an 80-mile-per-week program for most of a year.  This sounds reasonable enough for someone training for a marathon, but when you consider he was limited to doing all of his running on the deck of an aircraft carrier, treadmill running doesn’t seem quite so limiting after all.

“You Must Have Guiding Principles Of Training…”

Runners in the UK were treated last month to a little in-person coaching from Dr. Jack Daniels at his latest VDOT Coaching Clinic. One of our favorite takeaways from the weekend was this quote from Jack:

“You must have guiding principles of training, not copy what works for the best athletes.”

This is the essence of Daniels’ Running Formula. So many coaches in history are recognized for the incredible success of one or a few athletes. What about everyone else they coached? When utilizing the principles outlined in Jack’s book you see broad success, not just with a few individuals.

Dr. Jack Daniels: Utilizing The Treadmill To Help Prepare For Boston

[Editor’s Note:  The key to training effectively for the Boston Marathon is how well you strategically incorporate undulating terrain in your workouts. But what if you don’t have easy access to undulating terrain? We asked the master on how a runner can utilize the treadmill to help prepare for the course at Boston.]

By Dr. Jack Daniels

Most important is to not do too much or too steep downhill running as this really stresses the quads. I’d suggest only about 2% grade (both during uphill and downhill running on the treadmill. The speed will be about 10-12 seconds per mile faster than anticipated flat marathon pace when running downhill and about 12-15 sec per mile slower than flat marathon pace when running uphill.

What Pace Or Effort Should I Run Hill Repeats?

We get this question a lot from clients since we have a clear purpose/intensity behind our main training types (Easy, Threshold, Marathon, Interval, Repetition, Fast Reps) but not for hill repeats. We see hill training as Repetition work but with added resistance. Just like Reps, hill repeats help improve speed and economy.

In general, you should run hills at the same effort as Reps (current 1-mile race pace). They should not be sprints so you want to focus on running with good mechanics and make sure you’re not tightening up a lot near the top of the hill. Run hills fast but strong and relaxed throughout. Our concern with hills is always regarding the repeated downhill running between the work portion. Make sure to be soft/quiet on your feet running down the hill to reduce impact and ensure that you are taking enough time so you’re fully recovered between each.

The Lazy Response: “Your shoe should last 300-500 miles.”

Our good friends over at Brooklyn Running Co. have launched a new effort to educate runners on how to make better informed decisions regarding shoe wear durability. Getting into the right shoe is obviously very important but many runners get injured by trying to stretch the life of the shoe. From our experience, it’s a matter of education but also a simple reminder of when to get new shoes. But when to get new shoes is not a simple answer.

Get Your Heat-Adjusted Pace For Chicago This Weekend

Chicago Marathon organizers are expecting a high of 75 degrees this Sunday. Ideal marathon temps are generally in the mid-to-high 40’s fahrenheit, so it’s important to adjust your pace early to avoid a major meltdown (vicious pun intended) 😉 in the second half.

In the example pictured above, someone shooting for a 3:49 marathon would typically average 8:44 per mile. To avoid running a harder effort than you’re trained for in warmer conditions, if you click advanced features on the VDOT Calculator and add in an anticipated temp of 68 degrees (assuming mid-race conditions), the equivalent effort in those temps is about 7 seconds slower or 8:51 per mile. Over a 26.2 mile race that type of discrepancy in your pacing can make the difference between hitting the wall and losing lots of time in the last 8-10 miles and staying relatively steady throughout.

Use our running calculator (embedded below) to determine your heat-adjusted marathon pace and follow Dr. Daniels’ advice:

I’d go for the heat-adjusted pace for 15-20 miles, then if feeling OK, try picking it up a  little.  Much better to run a little slower than you would like to have done, and finish being able to say, “I think I could have gone a little faster,” than to end up saying, “I wish I hadn’t gone out so fast.”