Running Junkies Training Group

Sports Coaching with David Coetzee

What exactly does Training Paces mean???? Part 2

What exactly is this about training at various different paces? What does it mean? Is it really beneficial for me?

Before going further one very, very important fact to note. If you do not train at the right pace you are accomplishing nothing. Irrespective of which school of training you follow, You HAVE to train at the right paces based on a current race performance and or test. Anything that you do that does not fit into your current fitness profile is junk.

By training at the wrong paces you are doing nothing more than further stressing a body that is already under pressure. Train smart and train don't strain.

Recap, last time we established that as a road runner the following was relevant to your training.

Bear the following in mind: A. you need a current race time to calculate training paces. B. For Heart Rate Maximum purposes You need to do an HR max test to establish HR max. Both of these will be covered in a separate article.

1. Easy run pace.

2. Marathon Pace.

3. Lactate Threshold pace ( A little slower than 10km race pace, although using 10k pace will suffice).

4. Vo2 Max Pace. (a little slower than 5km race pace, although 5k pace will suffice)

5. Repetition pace training.

We then Looked at Easy Run Pace.

This time we are going to look at 2 and 3. Marathon Pace and Lactate Threshold Pace.

Marathon Pace.

Firstly, a pace that does not really apply to most road runners, and a pace that i only really use for people getting ready for ultra's and comrades. However it is still a very handy training pace to use if you are looking for variety and a little change. Repeats by its very nature are long and tedious and seeing as it overlaps with Threshold pace, i Prefer to use Threshold Pace. You would look at long repeats here between 4km and 6km in length. Its purpose is generally to simulate race conditions in training and in some cases as an alternative for Long Runs.

This is quite literally what it says. You run at the pace that you can, or , expect to run a marathon at.

Marathon pace is the following. (Actual Marathon Pace)

  • based on a recent race performance, or what you expect to run a marathon in.

  • It can be based on your HR max. This is not crucial, race performance is.

  • Perceived exertion, you should be able to talk a little.

  • 75% to 84% of HR Max.

  • 80% to 90% of VO2Max. (Can be calculated with recent 5km time).

Lactate Threshold Pace.

As a road runner this is your staple diet pace. If you do nothing else as far as training at different paces is concerned then do this one type per week. It is obviously not the ideal training approach, you need to work at various paces to improve and progress, but it will be better than doing no pace work. The main purpose is to improve endurance.

This training is based on steady and prolonged runs or intermittent runs at constant pace. There are an absolute plethora of session that one can do at this pace they can vary anything from 400m repeats all the way up to 30 minute Repeats. Stock Standard would be 800m, 1000m, 1200m, 1600m repeats and even 2km repeats. Then one could combine these as pyramid type sessions as well. As an Example (please note that this is one session and was done after adequate build up): One of my staple Comrades sessions for two particular runners was 4 x 10minutes @ Threshold Pace With 1 minute rest then immediately followed by a 90 minute run at E/Marathon Pace.

Another interesting way to get ready for a longer race is to use a roughly 2/3's distance race and then break it up into block and running a section at Easy Pace, then the Next Section at Marathon Pace, then at Threshold pace and then finishing hard.

There are many ways to work at Threshold pace. The level of the athletes fitness, where they are in their build up and what race they are training for will dictate the types of session.

Lactate threshold pace is the following.

  • Derived and based on a recent race performance.

  • It can be based on your HR max. This is not crucial, race performance is.

  • Perceived exertion. Pretty intense but not unbearable. Comfortably hard. If you can talk at this pace you are either very gifted or definitely running too slow.

  • 88% to 92% of HR Max.

  • 83% to 88% of VO2Max. (Can be calculated with recent 5km time).

Lactate Threshold pace, or in Dr Jack Daniels Terms T pace, is a really crucial training pace in the road runners arsenal. However like everything else in life it needs to be understood and utilised correctly. Run too fast or use it incorrectly and you are facing many trips to the Physio and the Doctors.

Train Smart, when in doubt ask.

  • Happy Running Days.

  • Train, Don't Strain.

Coach "Ring Master" Dave

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