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Why You Don’t Need to Train Faster to Run Faster

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
February 24th 2023
00:16:28
Description

One of the most difficult concepts to master as a runner is that you don’t need to be running faster, longer or harder every time out to improve. 

In fact, sometimes running just below or sl... More

Hello fellow runners. I'm your host, Finn Melanson and this is the run to the top podcast. The podcast dedicated to making you a better runner. With each and every episode we are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner in every budget. This week we are back with another coach chat from Coach Jeff based on the feedback and download numbers from his previous episode. You guys are really loving this format, like in the last episode, this is also a recorded version of a live coach chat that Jeff held for the runners connect community in this lesson. Coach Jeff is going to dig into the science behind while you don't need to train harder to run faster and although the title may lend itself to a trashy magazine, the research in science he uses to help you understand this concept will make this one of the most informative podcasts you've listened to in a long time. Also as a note coach Jeff does reference a few visuals.

We've included these visuals in the show notes, as well as the episode description. If it doesn't appear in your podcast player, the link for this episode is runners connect dot net backslash 583. Let's pass the episode off to Coach Jeff. Do you find it difficult to hit the right spots when foam rolling or find it too difficult to control the pressure when you're on the ground. Then you need to check out mobility wall, the foam roller that mounts to your doorway, which makes the pressure much easier to control. I'll tell you more about them later in this episode, but you can check them out now at mobility wall dot com backslash. R T T T. He tones have been one of the most well researched chemicals when it comes to endurance performance. The only downside is that it typically takes two days to fasting for your body produce them in quantities. That would help your performance. But thanks to Delta G, you can boost your ketone levels to those seen after two days of fasting in just 20 minutes. learn more at runners connect dot net last Delta G. Everybody coach, Jeff back with you here today. What I want to talk about is really the basics of how to run faster and specifically, I want to talk a little bit more about training paces and why training faster or training harder more specifically, like training harder might actually not be better for you.

And if you followed runners to connect for a long time, followed our coaching, you know, we really preach that we really preach slowing down on your easy runs, keeping your easy days easy. And specifically talking about how that training harder is not actually training better. And I kind of want to explain some of the research and the science behind why that is that way you can apply it to your own training because I always find that that works a little bit better for me. So it's gonna be two sections. The first section, I'm going to talk about the foundation for how you progress fitness wise with running, like what's the most important aspect and why it's difficult to do. And then I'm gonna talk specifically about how running faster or harder isn't necessarily better as it relates to that foundational principle. So, to get started, the primary foundation of your running fitness or your running performance is going to be your aerobic system. And that's because for almost every race distance from the mile to the marathon or ultra, marathon is gonna rely primarily on the aerobic system as the primary energy system you're gonna need in order to run faster.

The stronger aerobic system, the faster that you're gonna be able to run, whether it be a five K or a marathon or an ultra. So The aerobic system is is primary importance. So that means most of our training needs to be focused on that. So, for example, in the marathon you're talking about 95-98% aerobic and that means you want a vast majority of your training to be order to touch upon that aerobic system in some way, shape or fashion. Now, the difficulty with training, the aerobic system is that it's very, very slow to develop. That means the the time it's going to take you in order to actually get fitter and see progress is going to take awhile. And part of that reason is that when we look at the physiological elements that contribute to aerobics fitness or gaining aerobic fitness we can see that they it's it's difficult to progress them. So I'm gonna give you an example. The mitochondria are really an important part of the kind of aerobic process.

They really are microscopic organelles that are found in the muscle cells that contribute to a A. T. P. Production. And one of the things with Um Mitochondria specifically we know from research that you really only realize about 50% of the benefits that you get in your weekly mileage. Um in in terms of that kind of how it's applied to your aerobic aerobic fitness. Um now obviously that's a little skewed since there's not The exact number there. But basically what I'm trying to say is that let's say that you ran 25 miles a week, you would get about 50% of the benefits from that in terms of the development of your mitochondria in terms of how long they take to develop and then how long they take the kind of cycle cycle in and out and then for the next week you will get another 50% of that benefit. So you might get about 75% of the benefits of running 25 miles a week and then 87% of the benefits of running 25 miles a week.

So you can see that there is, it's a long and difficult process to get from, to get to the point where even maximizing the benefits that you're getting from kind of developing aerobic system and this research in this chart is really just to show you how long it is, or I guess I should say how long you need to develop the aerobic system and how much work you need to put in in order to make gains. We all know how important foam rolling is for staying injury free and just plain feeling better for every run, but let's face it sometimes a foam roller just can't hit all the right spots, especially in the neck and shoulder area, where a lot of runners are tense and have pain that impacts their form. That's why I was so amazed when I saw the door mounted foam roller from mobility wall. The mobility wall device amounts to your door frame in just a few seconds and it's easy to move up and down the frame in just a few seconds as well. Not only does this get you off the ground and ready to foam roll in just a few seconds, it allows you to easily hit muscles in your neck and shoulders that aren't possible with a traditional foam roller if you suffer from tight shoulders or a stiff neck mobility wall is a game changer.

Also mobility walls free app provides video instruction to show you exactly how to get your neck and shoulders in specific recovery moves for runners. If you've been wanting to get more consistent with your injury prevention work this year, the mobility wall foam roller will be a game changer. Plus we've got a special offer for you. Just go to mobility wall dot com backslash R. T. T. T. Or enter R. T. T. T. At checkout for 20% off your first order. Once again that's mobility wall dot com backslash R. T. T. T. For 20% off your first order everyone, this is coach Jeff stepping in for Finn to talk about one of the products that we currently are super excited about. You may have read a lot about the last few years about the benefits of ketones for endurance performance such as mitochondria efficiency and glycogen sparing for those that don't know, ketones are a type of chemical that your liver produces when it breaks down.

Fats your body uses ketones for energy typically during fasting long periods of exercise or when you don't have as many carbohydrates. The problem is that you typically need to severely reduce your carbohydrate intake in order to take advantage of them, which is difficult to sustain even for the most dedicated runner. But thanks to Delta G. And collaboration from the U. S. Military and researchers from NIH and the University of Oxford, they've developed a ketone drink that can boost your ketone levels to those seen after two days of fasting in just 20 minutes. The academic literature on the effectiveness of ketones for running performance is more numerous than I could listen to podcast. But here's some quick data In 1995 study showed that when the heart was fueled by a mix of ketones and glucose, its efficiency increased by 28% compared to the heart fueled by glucose alone. A more recent study from 2021 demonstrated that the ingestion of delta g improved mitochondrial efficiency by 7%. Finally, a 2019 study concluded that using ketones significantly enhanced endurance performance while minimizing overtraining these are just some of the studies that have shown the numerous performances advantages of delta G ketones.

If you want to see more of the research head to runners connect dot net slash delta G plus use the code R. T. T. 20 when you do and you'll save 20% on any purchase you make again, that's runners connect dot net slash delta G. And use the code R. T. T. 20 to save 20%. Now we're gonna talk about the next step, which is what I call the continuum thresholds. So when we look at training and we look at the workouts that you're doing, if we know that the primary mechanism we want to hit is your aerobic system. We know that and we also know that it's gonna take a lot of time spent training your aerobic system then we know that the workouts that we do. We want to err on the side of doing more work on the aerobic system side. So what I'm gonna do now is actually put up an image on the screen and I'm gonna show you kind of how it works um using a graph. So we can see by looking at this graph that the different race distances require different contributions from, you know, kind of what we call the energy continuum or the energy spectrum. And we can see in the marathon that primarily we're talking about the aerobic system may be moving into a little bit of the aerobic threshold as you get further into the race and maybe at the end, maybe a little bit of lactate threshold as you're kind of finishing and kicking with the five K and 10-K.

We can see that it's a little bit you're still relying primarily on the aerobic system, but we're we are incorporating some of the other energy systems lactate threshold, anaerobic threshold and the anaerobic system as you're finishing that kick for a strong finish. One thing to note that is important with the spectrum and looking at this graph is that I think a lot of times when runners think about temple runs or lactate threshold, we think of them as finite points. So you move from I'm doing a lactate threshold run to I am doing an aerobic threshold run or I am doing an anaerobic workout. There's those energy systems aren't so black and white, it's not like you all of a sudden I'm running 9 30 pace. Now, I'm using all lactate threshold or and now I'm running 9 40 pace. And so it's all aerobic threshold or all aerobic system, that's really not how it works. There's kind of a blend or bleed into the systems depending on, you know what your ability levels are, but there's a blend into those paces. So 9 40 might be something that's primarily aerobic, but still incorporating a little bit of black.

Obviously you're producing some lactate as you're getting faster. So there's a little bit of a blend there. And that's why this chart has some shading that kind of tries to indicate that. And that's important because what we know is that first there is a much greater dependency on energy systems in the slower range rather than in the faster range. So take, for example, the half marathon, the race relies primarily on the lactate threshold zone with a large portion of the energy still coming from the aerobic system and very little is needed from the anaerobic anaerobic system. Now, that means that the predominance of your training needs to occur in these heavily used systems, the aerobic system and the lactate threshold zone. Now, if you missed the mark on a training session, it's better to miss running on the slow side rather than on the fast side. So, for example, with our training schedules, we always give you a range of places to run. So it may be something like go and do a run four miles at 10 minutes to 10, 10 or 10, 15 pace.

And I think we generally see athletes always wanting to run 10 minutes a mile if if that's what's assigned or maybe even saying I need to be 9 55 just to be a little bit faster. But as we can see from this graph in this chart of how these energy systems work, it's actually better if we assign you a pace to be 10 flat to 10, 10 to actually be 10, 10 rather than 9 55. And that's because 10, 10 is going to perhaps bleed a little bit more into the aerobic system Rather than 955, bleeding a little bit more into the anaerobic threshold where that's not the primary or it's not in much as much of a contribution to the overall performance of the half marathon as the aerobic system. So that's why running a little bit slower is actually might actually even be a little bit better. So I think this really comes into play in a couple of reasons. Um, I think primarily it's it's when we look at a workout and we stubbornly try to go out and hit or exceed our workout places that were assigned, whether it be your coach by runners, connect coach or not.

Um despite a being that that's being the upper, upper range of your pace assignments or it's not being or you're pushing harder than you might feel. So for example, you're just not feeling really good. So 10 flat pace for that day doesn't necessarily feel as easy as it should and you still try to hit 10 flat even though 10, 10 might be a little bit more of the effort that you were looking for. Um that's kind of where I I think the uh this continuum really applies to your training and why it's important to understand the science. So I know this is a little bit of a different video than we've done before because it's a little bit more technical. But I was kind of hoping that the idea with using these graphs and me kind of talking about it would help a little bit better explain what we mean by the thresholds and and the pace assignments and why it's not necessarily better to be training harder or, or training faster than it is potentially slower or a little bit easier. Thank you guys so much for watching.

It was a pleasure doing this and we'll see you soon. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Melanson and as always our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on instagram at Wasatch, Finn and the rest of our team at runners connect. Also consider supporting our show for free with a rating of Spotify and Apple podcast players. And, lastly, if you love the show and want bonus content behind the scenes, experiences with our guests and premier access to contests and giveaways. Then subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast until next time, Happy Trading.

Why You Don’t Need to Train Faster to Run Faster
Why You Don’t Need to Train Faster to Run Faster
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