Races During Last Four Weeks of Training

Many of our Lydiard Method training runners are now in Phase 4 which is called “Integration”. This phase is the bridge between anaerobic and peaking. Workouts within this phase are designed to simulate race conditions. Most of the hard work is done, and it’s time to start reaping the rewards, while keeping your target race top of mind. We had several runners jump into races on Sunday, either Quivering Quads or Creve Coeur Half Marathon. More on that in a few minutes.

While they all have 4 weeks until their target race, Time Trials and/or Progress Calibration Runs (PCR) are a great time to practice pacing skills, simulate race conditions, get used to racing flats and try different fueling strategies. PCR’s are controlled steady state runs done at faster paces and designed to push the second half of the distance. The runner generally finds they are performing these faster than expected as their fitness level is more fine-tuned now as they head into the tapering phase. These are strong but not full out or even 90% efforts. PCR’s can be done in a race if the runner is disciplined and doesn’t get tempted to “race”. They should also always feel that when finished they could have continued on. Time trials are actually done at around 90% of racing effort. These are best done by actually entering races to fully experience the entire process from pre-race through to cool-down. Be sure your warmup and cooldown appropriately for time trials or PCR’s and under no circumstances should one sprint at the end as this increases the likelihood of injury. Save it for the real target race! Also, one important hint, do not start out too hard in a time trial, work your way into it. And keep at 90% or below effort.

This past weekend we have two runners enter Quivering Quads. Both guys ran well, and their effort was well within their target pace range. They, as our other Lydiard runners, ran this on top of a couple harder workouts on Tuesday and Thursday prior at they are still in integration phase and not tapering yet. Chris finished 2nd overall and Tony placed 46th. Both excellent workouts, yes workouts, and part of the Integration phase process. At the Creve Coeur Half Marathon, Running Niche was well represented. Omar Abdi places 1st overall (personal best time), Michael Roy 11th overall (PR), Marie O’Leary 1st overall, Carolyn Baird 3rd overall (PR) and Jennifer Henderson 6th in her age group and well within her pace range for the workout. All these runners approached this as a workout and is part of the Lydiard training plan.

With GO! races 4 weeks out now, the timing is right to jump in a couple races as a part of your training. Do not “race” them and be sure you understand what is important to get out of the workout. Time trials are the closest simulation to actual race situations that you will encounter. If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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