Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Running But Not Getting Anywhere?

Has your running become stagnate? Are you not the type to keep to a rigid training schedule? If so, try the "Hard-Easy Method." It's as simple as it sounds—run hard, run easy. Hard doesn't have to mean fast. A hard run can be a fast short run or it can be a long slow run. Both are working your body "hard." Easy Refers to a slow short run or a rest day. A basic rule-of-thumb with this plan is to never have two hard days back-to-back.

A Typical Hard/Easy week:
Sunday: Easy (Rest)
Monday: Easy (5-miler)
Tuesday: Hard (10-miler)
Wednesday: Easy (5-miler)
Thursday: Hard (8-miler; with some fartleks)
Friday: Easy (Rest)
Saturday: Hard (15-mile long run)

Mix and match. The schedule above has two longer slower runs, but one of those could easily be swapped out for a shorter harder run. It's entirely up to you. Bottom line, if you break up your week into different types of runs, whether they're really formal such as in the form of intervals, tempo runs, and long runs, or if you're just thinking "hard" and "easy," you'll begin to see improvement in your endurance and speed. Give it a try and let me know how it works!

Also another rule-of-thumb is to keep about 20-25% of your weekly mileage at speedwork, tempo-run, and/or race pace. So if your weekly mileage is 35 miles, then about 7-9 miles should come from faster runs.


Running Through Life said...

Sounds interesting. I have found myself in a little bit of a funk lately, maybe this can help me get out of it. Thanks for the plan.

ShutUpandRun said...

Great advice. I am wondering: do you subscribe to a certain marathon training plan? How about miles per week? I am trying to qualify for Boston and am running my second marathon in Nov. There are so many plans out there. I am mixing and matching and topping my mileage out at about 55 miles/week. Any thoughts?

Junk Miler said...

I wonder how good we are at assessing our effort levels, though. Few of my "easy" runs are that easy, and even fewer of my "hard" runs are that hard.

There's the rest of your non-running life to take into consideration. If you eat well, sleep well, avoid stress, give me lots of money in small, unmarked bills, and stay happy, I'd bet you could run "harder" more often.

I think it's also good to keep in mind the difference between effort and self-destruction. Is your hard run "hard" because you are tuckered out at the end, or is it "hard" because you're in pain from thousands of little injuries accumulated over time due to a masochistic running style? My guess is the latter requires more time to recover.

Running Through Life: Your form in your profile picture looks great! Hope you find a way to run happy again.

-Barefoot Josh

Junk Miler said...

Oh shoot. I just reread my post and realize it sounds like I'm accusing Runner Dude of having a masochistic running form. Not so! To my amateur eyes anyway, your form looks great.

I meant "masochistic" in the general sense, running hard enduring real pain they way we all do sometimes when our objectives don't match our abilities.

Chagrined Josh

M2Marathon said...

THIS is the kind of "training plan" that I can accomodate. Great tip!!!!!

Michelle said...

This is just exactly what I have been looking for!!!


RunnerDude said...

Hey Running Through Life!I really found when I mix it up, my running gets better. Maybe this simple plan will de-funk you. :-)

RunnerDude said...

Hey ShutUpandRun! I'm using the FIRST Plan from Furman University. It's where you run 3 times a week (intervals, tempo, long run) and 2 days of cross training. The book has a plan specifically for each qualifying time for Boston. It's a hard plan but it seems to be working. The book is titled Runner's World Run Less Run Faster. Hal Higdon also had excellent training plans. Hope this helps!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Southofthecliff! I think just maybe you overthought this one just a tad. :-)
Run easy. Run hard. Easy and hard are definitely relative, so just apply it to your own particular needs and lifestyle. Althought the lots of money in small unmarked bills does sound good.

RunnerDude said...

Hey M2Maraton! Great! Let me know how it goes if you try it out!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Michelle! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thx for the advice! Will do!