Here is the third of the weekly training sessions for runners who want to maintain some structure to their running training during the period of restricted movement and social distancing.
For more details of the sessions see the introduction and Week 1.
This is a threshold session. The threshold being the intensity at which acidosis builds in the muscles at a higher rate than the body can clear it. Above this pace, maintaining speed becomes increasingly difficult as the muscles cannot find the oxygen they need to sustain the energy production at current levels.
Why train at threshold pace?
Training around threshold pace develops the body’s ability to clear acid from the muscles. In simple terms, we’ll be able to run at a faster pace before the physiological limits kick in.
How fast is threshold pace?
Threshold pace is not fixed to a specific race pace, but it is roughly equal to the pace at which a runner could run for one hour. For elite male runners, this likely to be around half marathon pace, for recreational runners, it could be 10k race pace or slower. You can get an approximation using the training pacing calculator.
As usual, do not get too concerned about nailing the pace exactly. Environmental factors and practical limitations mean it’s best to get a feel for (and run by) perceived effort. Running at this pace will feel manageable for 5 or 10 minutes, but outside of race conditions, it will become quite challenging for more than 20.
Warm up with 5-10 minutes of gentle jogging.
- Run 10 or 15 minutes at threshold pace (duration depends on current ability).
- Recover with an easy jog for 3 minutes.
Repeat 1 and 2
Cool down with 5-10 minutes of easy running.
Complete the lunge matrix from last week.
Perform plank for 1 minute. If this is easy, after 1 minute lift slightly each limb off ground in turn for 10 seconds. If that’s easy, repeat.