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.

Canadian Running Interviews Jack

Canadian Running sat down with our very own Dr. Jack Daniels during the last VDOT Coaching Clinic in Toronto, Ontario. They discussed the recent doping scandals in our sport, his favorite shoe, the best performance he’s witnessed and more. Enjoy!

Part 1

How To Increase Your Weekly Mileage

Dr. Jack Daniels’ principles on increasing weekly mileage:

  • Increase weekly mileage by as many miles as the number of runs you do each week
    • Increase by 5 miles per week if running 5x per week
    • Never increase more than 10 miles
  • Stay with one amount of running for at least 4 weeks
    • Do not follow 10% weekly mileage increase rule
    • Let your body adjust to a certain amount of stress before increasing volume

More videos from Jack on YouTube.

What Is The Purpose Of Training At 5k Race Pace?

“I’m not against it, but I have a hard time justifying the physiological benefits of running at 5k or 10k race pace. Now for an excellent runner 5k race pace is right around Interval pace.” – Coach Daniels

For instance, if you’re a 23-minute 5k runner your race pace is 7:24 and your Interval or VO2max training pace is 7:13 per mile. To learn more about how each training pace compares to your 5k and 10k race paces and the physiological purpose of Intervals use the VDOT Calculator.

For more training advice join Dr. Daniels at the next VDOT O2 Coaching Clinic at GU Energy Labs in Berkeley, CA on August 8th.

Dr. Jack Daniels On When To Get A Blood Test

Listen to Dr. Jack Daniels in his element discussing hemoglobin levels, iron supplements and when to get blood work at the VDOT Coaching Clinic. Registration is now open for the next clinic.

“Best time to get blood work is when you’re really feeling great,” says Dr. Daniels. The logic being, everyone gets a blood test when they feel bad and then they have nothing to compare it to when they get the results!

Ask Dr. Jack Daniels: What Should I Do From Now Until Boston Marathon Training Starts?

Question:  What should I do from now until December when my training for the Boston Marathon starts?

Jack Daniels:  I’d suggest each person thinks about what total weekly mileage they may set as a PEAK amount (for during the final 18 weeks) and try to gradually build up to 80% of that amount by the start of about 18 weeks to go in December. Do not increase weekly mileage any more often than every 3rd or 4th week. You can also start getting used to a weekly Long run, which is 25-30% of each week’s total mileage.

If possible you should try getting used to a Long run on Mondays (the day of Boston), but Sunday afternoon can work as well. Also sometimes on Sunday morning so you are used to that time of day for long efforts. Get used to running during warm parts of the day, but not in real heat (stay around 60 degrees or less is best).

To customize Jack’s Boston Marathon Training Plan visit: http://runsmartproject.com/coaching/boston-marathon/

High School Summer Training Tips From Jack

The other day we announced that we now have available High School Summer XC Base plans from legendary coach Dr. Jack Daniels. We asked Jack for tips on how high school athletes should approach their summer training and what to expect from one of his summer personalized plans.

Coach Jack Daniels:  Summer is a good time to increase weekly mileage if an increase in mileage is desired for the year, but be cautious in your rate of increase. I recommend making an increase of about 7-10 miles every 3rd or 4th week, but not more often than that. Try to arrive at the mileage you will be using once school starts in the fall so you don’t have to go up during the cross-country season, when you will have enough stress with classes starting for the new year.

As for quality sessions in the summer I prefer a couple light repetition sessions (couple miles of 200s and/or 400s) each week, but speed should not be any faster than CURRENT (not PR) mile race pace, and recovery between the faster runs should be 2 or 3 times as long as was the faster run being followed. Reps keep your mechanics in tune so when you start some harder sessions once school starts you will not have trouble with stride rate. If you do hills for a rep session, add a couple 30-second flat runs after the hills to get into a nice turnover. Maybe one long run each week. Most important during summer is to get adequate rest, hydration and quality food, and take a day off if you’re feeling tired — rest is part of training, not avoiding training.