Running Decoded Your DIY Training Program
Planning your run for the day can be a pretty daunting thing. With magazines, top coaches and elite athlete’s constantly throwing big fancy words around like “YASSO’s” or “FARTLEK’s” on social media, it can easily make you feel pretty overwhelmed… So much so that it’s a whole lot easier (and less time consuming) to just lace-up and head out the door without a plan than it is getting yourself lost up in a world of science and conflicting opinions. Yeah don’t worry, you not the only one who thinks like that!
Let’s remember that exercising is meant to be a simple, natural thing that our ancestors have been doing for thousands of years before us, with running ironically being the very most simplistic of them all! So remember all those big, fancy words describing some overly complex drills and workouts you’ve ever heard? Well forget them! To become a more well-rounded runner, there is only 1, very simple word that you need to remember from here on out, and that’s “FIT”!
Standing for “Frequency”, “Intensity” and “Time”, the FIT principle is the base of every workout, exercise program and training routine that you’ve ever read about. But now that you know about this little golden wand, you need to learn how to use it…
Firstly, we need to figure out how much “TIME” you have on your hands. Remember there is no such things as too little time to workout. If it’s only 15 minutes, then that’s totally cool – it means that you can add 15 minutes more worth of fuel to that big ol’ engine of yours!
Next up is “INTENSITY”. When we look at intensity with running, we look at speed. The faster you run, the higher the intensity and visa-versa. And as much as we wish this weren’t true, you can’t run at your fastest pace for the entire race. So we simply break it down, running at our fastest pace for a set time, resting then repeating, pushing what is known as your threshold higher and higher with each session.
Lastly, we look at “FREQUENCY”. A bit of a double-sided word, this relates to either the amount of intervals you are going to complete in a session OR, how often you want to complete these sessions. And as much as a bad-ass you think you are, you cannot run at your highest intensity each and every day.
Now here comes the rocket-science in this little formula of ours…
Time, Intensity and Frequency are integrated with one another. If either one of the 3 areas are very high, then the other 2 need to be compensated and reduced.
Put simply, “FIT” is like a pie. If you’ve only got a small amount of time for your session that day, then you taking out a very thin little slice from the pie, leaving you with 2 big, fat pieces of pie. Meaning that you can be greedy with your next 2 slices, taking a lot of intensity and frequency.
Here are some examples for you:
– You want to become a faster 5K runner:
To do this, we want to increase the intensity of runs and therefor need to reduce the time and frequency of the run to make up for this over-load and avoid any chance of burn-out.
So instead of running 5K’s every day, rather start by running 2K’s at your goal pace 3 – 4 times per week, gradually adding 1KM to your run each week.
– You want to progress from 5K races to 10K’s:
To get your endurance up, your intensity is going to have to take a step aside. Rather focus on slowing your usual pace down and increase the duration of your runs.
Stick to your current frequency of runs per week and progress by increasing the duration of each runs, starting at 6K’s per run and adding an extra KM each week.
– You’ve started a new job and don’t have as much time in a week to run:
If you looking at increasing your PB whilst juggling it with limited time, split your runs up into short 15 – 30 minute runs, with some high intensity sprints along the way.
As you progress, keep the intensity and duration of your runs up and add in an extra, short run to your weekly routine.
So there you have it, the golden wand to becoming a better athlete! I hope that you can use and apply this FIT principle into your lives to get you fitter then ever for your next big event this upcoming year. And if you’re really looking at making some major gains in your running this year, then be sure to have a look at my previous post “How to actually stick to those new year’s resolutions in 2016“. Good luck, have fun out there and remember, if you want to share your progress, tag me (@Trainer_Hinton) in your social media posts so I can follow along!