Lets revolutionize your running game!!

Lets revolutionize your running game!!

Do you consider yourself a slow runner?

If you're training for any endurance race or distance run, heck - maybe you're just trying to train your running in general, and you want to get faster, then maybe you need to run slower more often?

 Yup, you heard me right, if you're running "hard" every time you run, you may be sabotaging yourself, limiting your recovery, and setting yourself up for failure with your runs.

But we know every athlete is different, as the GRANDADDY law depicts, with the Law of Individual Differences, so what exactly is your "hard" or "easy" runs, and how much of your weekly mileage should be devoted to each type of training if your goal is to improve your overall speed?

Well I had this very same issue when I was looking at improving my training for my teams selection, (for those of you that know you know, if you dont - there is ALOT of running). Even later in my fitness career while training for various Spartan Races like (THE BEAST) I had to learn and implement a strategy that worked to allow me to train more effectively and most importantly perform more efficiently.

So what is this magical thing I implemented?

The 80/20 training rule. 

So what is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 training rule is pretty straightforward once you see it laid out: 80% of your training should be done at a low intensity, and the remaining 20% should be high intensity. BOOM - THERE IT IS!!! You're all set now. Go start training..... JK, keep reading and Ill explain how you can actually implement this to actually make you training better.

What is considered "EASY"?

Well lets use a visual first, so you get an idea of the scale we are comparing it to. 

Okay so now that you can see the lovely faces and how they relate to RPE and HR Zones. What is Easy??

Well simply put, training easy would be an RPE of 1-4, and having HR zones of ZONE 2 to a low ZONE 3. This is where we are going to get good activity in, but also where the body gets to recovery very easily while still adapting to the demands put on it. This training should be something that you can sustain for a longer period of time, something that you can have a good conversation (and maintain it) while training, and should feel like its less than 50% of your overall effort. 

I know you're sitting there asking, "How does that relate to my running?"

If you're used to running a 4:30-5:00/km pace, then running easy would be running at a 7:00-8:00/km pace and training that zone for increasing amounts of time. If for example I ran a 10K in 50min all out effort but I was unable to run further then that, great I ran a fantastic 10K but Im gassed at the 50min mark... 

However if I ran at a 7:00/km pace but ran for 90min on a training day, I would have accumulated 13km of running, and I would still have gas in the tank as I never pushed passed 50% of my max effort. 

There is a real benefit it training easy - but longer... Instead of going all out every day. Plus think about how your body can recovery when it never put out more then 50% effort vs 100% effort at every session. 

These easy runs should make up 80% of your entire training. So if you're training five to six days a week, then at least four of them should be "easy" training days.

So what is considered "HARD" then?


Well if we go back to the picture above, then HARD would be Zone 4-6 and RPE 7-10. This is where that remaining 20% is going to take place. This is where we have the dark place in our minds that we go to - we push to uncomfortable levels, and train to a HARD intensity. 

So how can we train at this intensity then..? 

Intervals, Tabatas, Chaos runs (AKA) "Fartlek", and Tempo runs. 


Simply put, short repeats of high intensity efforts that make your heart want to jump out of your chest like sprints, burpees, or even double unders. When we are talking about our running game Sprints or Tempo Intervals are the best at achieving this. 

Interval Sprints: I like E2MOM (Every 2 Minutes On the Minute)

Run a full speed sprint for 20-30 seconds - recovering for the remaining seconds time in that 2 min, continuing again - and again - for X amount of rounds. 

Another great option for Interval running is: Run at your desired 1.5mile, 5K, 10K pace for 1/2/3 minutes. Recover for double the time that you ran and repeat again for as many rounds as you want in the workout. Over the course of your training program - decrease the rest time while still running HARD and you will notice that you can increase your endurance from your effort running, and utilize your 80% effort to increase your recovery while walking..

Chaos Runs (aka Fartlek)

I call them Chaos Runs because Fartlek sounds icky when I think of running. I never trust farts when im running far from home... lol.

Fartlek training is a running training which involves random variations in speed and intensity, alternating between bursts of sprinting and slower 'recovery' jogging.

These are a great way to add variety into into your training, and they are nice because you dont have to think much about them. Its constantly changing times and durations with varying efforts. Although you are never walking to recover, there is now rigid template to how these types of runs need to go. You run fast for a short period of time, recover for a short period, run for a long period, rest for a short period, run short, rest long... so on - and so on. You get the idea. 

You just focus on your sets of, intense efforts. I like to pick a landmark and use it as a point to go HARD too. To the top of a hill, to the driveway with the truck, or to the knocked over garbage can. Then follow it up with a few minutes of jogging to recover and then get back at it. The only thing you have to watch with this run is how far you go running. A good rule of thumb is make sure you stick to the 20% rule and done run more then 20% of your weekly total whether that's distance, or time spent running. 

 So with that you can confidently say that its okay to run slow - as running slow will make you fast... And if whoever you are telling that to gives you a funny face and thinks you are mad for more then just enjoying running, then send them this way to give this a read so they too can transform their running routine with the 80/20 rule! 


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