Race training!

So I just signed up for the Ragnar, kind of a last minute decision considering the Ragnar is a month away.  But I run every day so I don’t think I’m too far behind.  Usually I run between 3 and 4 miles daily… but the Ragnar consists of three legs of varying distances.  Since my legs will measure out to around 6 or 7 miles, I need to up the mileage in my training routine.  But I’m very competitive so I’m going to want a good time.  Right now I’m running 7ish minute miles and have been able to keep that pace throughout 4 miles.  I need to be able to keep that pace for 7 miles straight, during three different legs, within a two day period. How?  This is my training advice for anyone training for a 5K, 10K, Ragnar, or even a marathon.  Training for any race is relatively the same.

First, you just have to put the miles in.  It doesn’t really matter how fast or how slow.  Long distance days are a must in these kinds of races.  But on these days it’s okay to take it a little bit slow.  You can work on speed later.  You just have to make sure you can actually run the distance, which you may have to build up to slowly.  Start out with what you can handle, and slowly increase mileage from there each week.  Endurance comes first, speed comes later.  Eventually, by continuous running, the miles will get easier, which means you will increase speed solely by running.  By building your endurance you automatically get faster.

Second, you need to core train or condition.  The core is a very important part of running.  The Core is made up of abdominal muscles, back muscles, and pelvis muscles.   Its job is to provide stability and strength in movement; translation, the stronger the core, the stronger the runner.  Core conditioning can vary, but there is a way to tailor your core workouts to a runner’s needs.  It’s important for runners to work all different areas of the muscle.  This is called muscle confusion, you may have heard of this if you are hard core and have done P90X.  I like to do the Ab ripper X when training for races.  This routine trains every muscle in the stomach, some muscles in the pelvis, and even the back.  Ab Ripper X is very beneficial for runners.  It has definitely helped me shave time off my runs and can also help eliminate side aches… and has a power to make your abdominal area easier to look at.  Yoga is another great core workout.  It’ll work out muscles you never knew you had!

Third, speed training.  Speed training can involve many different techniques.  One thing is certain you will need to do intervals.  Whether they are mile intervals to 400 intervals you need to do them.  You’re goal when doing intervals is to keep your interval times the same.  If you run an 800 interval in 2:35, your second 800 time should be nearly the same.  Each interval will get harder, but you must push yourself and try to get the same time.  This trains you to run quick even you are tired, building speed as well as endurance.

Hill work is great for increasing speed.  You’re body has to work very hard to get you up that hill, making flat surfaces easier to handle at faster paces.  Heat acclimation is also very important when increasing speed.  The weather is continually getting warmer.  Running in the heat causes fatigue a lot faster than in cooler temperatures.  Training in the heat will cause adaption to heat so you don’t fatigue as easily when the weather is hot, causing running races early in the morning when it’s cool to be a lot easier.  The easier something is, the more capable you are of keeping up faster paces longer.

Well there is my so called advice for training.  I’ll let you know how successful it is after the Ragnar.  I did pay a lot of money for this race and wouldn’t mind doing well. Wish me luck!

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