Monday, February 15, 2016

MPR Workout Guidelines, Training Paces & Equivalent Race Times


Provided for you in this blog is a list of the basic guidelines for the workouts (stress workout and easy runs) that are a normal part of the training mix in Maximum Performance Running ("MPR") personal coaching and custom training programs for races between 5k and marathon in length.  These guidelines include the purpose, feel, heart rate and appropriate pace range for the run/workout.  All the information you will need (regardless of how you like to do workouts: by feel, heart rate or pace or some combination thereof) to make sure you are accomplishing the purpose of each run you do.  

Training Paces And Equivalent Race Times

Below are 3 different charts which show you equivalent races times and the training paces associated with those race times.  There are 3 charts to choose from based on the type of runner you are:

Neutral Predisposition:  for the well rounded runner who races all different distances and fares similarly against their peers at most distances from 5k through the marathon.  If in doubt which chart to use, use this one as the majority of runners will fall into this category.

Long Distance Predisposition:  for the aerobic monsters who tend to do better than their peers in the longer races (half marathon and marathon) and focus their training and racing there.

Short Distance Predisposition for the speed demons who tend to do better than their peers in the shorter races (5k and 10k) and focus their training and racing there.


Note: The equivalent race times on these charts show you equivalent times if you were equally as well prepared at each race distance (for your predisposition) and had a similar course and similar conditions.  Please note that a low mileage runner will not be as well prepared for a marathon as they can be for a 5k or 10k and a higher mileage runner who shy's away from speed work will not be as well prepared for a 5k as they might be for a half or full marathon.  Think of these equivalent times more as potential times that can be expected if training is scaled accordingly toward those distances. 


Workout And Run Guidelines

These workouts and runs are given in terms of duration but can easily be converted to distances is desired by choosing distances that fit within these time guidelines.  

Easy Runs
Category:  Recovery
Purpose:  promote recovery from stress workouts while maintaining or advancing cardiovascular fitness and adaptations to running
Workout:  20-90 minutes easy pace run
Feel:  comfortable and relaxed, can easily carry on a conversation with training partner, never pushing the pace
Heart Rate:  65-75% of Maximum Heart Rate
Paces:  see pace guide


Fast Repeats
Category:  Stress - Speed
Purpose:  improves speed, stride power and running economy
Workout:  Repeats of :30 to 2:00, totaling 15 to 21 minutes 
Recovery:  slow jog of 100% of repeat duration
Feel:  hard, quick, aggressive rhythm but never straining
Heart Rate:  N/A (not a good guide for this workout)
Paces:  Fast Pace - see pace guide

Example:   18 x 1:00 w 1:00 jog recovery

VO2 Max Repeats
Category:  Stress - Speed
Purpose:  improves maximum oxygen intake/utilization (VO2 Max) and stress aerobic power 
Workout:  Repeats of 2:00 to 5:00, totaling 21 to 28 minutes 
Recovery:  slow jog of 75% of repeat duration (up to 3:00 max recovery)
Feel:  strong, hard but smooth and controlled rhythm
Heart Rate:  98-100% of Maximum Heart Rate (after ramp up over first 60 seconds)
Paces:  VO2 Max Pace - see pace guide

Example:   8 x 3:00 w 2:15 jog recovery

Groove Repeats
Category:  Stress - Speed
Purpose:  improves body’s adaptations to running in a higher lactate environment and running at a high percentage of maximum heart rate for extended periods of time
Workout:  Repeats of 4:00 to 8:00, totaling 28 to 36 minutes 
Recovery:  slow jog of 50% of repeat duration (up to 3:00 max recovery)
Feel:  quick, hard groove; pressing but sustainable for moderate durations
Heart Rate:  94-96% of Maximum Heart Rate (after ramp up over first 60 seconds)
Paces:  Groove Pace - see pace guide

Example:  6 x 5:00 w 2:30 jog recovery

Hill Repeats
Category:  Stress - Speed
Purpose:  improves stride power and running economy
Workout:  Repeats of :30 to 2:00 up a hill, totaling 15 to 21 minutes 
Hill:  moderate hill of 4-6% incline
Recovery:  slow jog back down the hill
Feel:  hard, quick, aggressive rhythm  (effort of a Fast Repeats workout)
Heart Rate:  
N/A (not a good guide for this workout)
Paces:  see pace guide - pace will depend on incline but roughly Groove to LT pace

Example:  12 x 1:30 Hill with jog down recovery
Variation:  Do the repeats on a treadmill at 4-6% incline with slow jog at 0% incline for 100% of repeat duration as recovery between repeats

Lactate Threshold Tempos
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 24 to 30 minutes at LT Pace 
Feel:  strong, smooth rhythm; pressing but sustainable for extended periods
Heart Rate:  88-92% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Lactate Threshold (LT) Pace - see pace guide

Example:  27 minute LT Tempo Run

Lactate Threshold Repeats
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Repeats of 5:00 to 20:00, totaling 30 to 40 minutes 
Recovery:  slow jog of 20% of repeat duration (up to 3:00 max recovery) 
Feel:  strong, smooth rhythm; pressing but sustainable for extended periods
Heart Rate:  88-92% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Lactate Threshold (LT) Pace - see pace guide

Example:  3 x 12:00 w 2:20 jog recovery 

Lactate Threshold Progression
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 24 to 30 minutes increasing in intensity during the run 
Feel:  starts off as a comfortably quick rhythm and gradually ramps up in intensity until reaching a strong, hard groove by the end
Heart Rate:  starts at approx 84-88% and ramps up to 94-96% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Starts at Aerobic Threshold (AT) Pace and ends at Groove Pace - see pace guide

Example:  27 minute run gradually increasing from AT pace to Groove Pace

Lactate Threshold Wave
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves lactate threshold and efficiency at dissipating lactate; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 24 to 30 minutes alternating intensities every 2-5 minutes between 2 different intensities 
Feel:  alternates segments between a comfortably quick rhythm and strong, hard groove
Heart Rate:  alternates segments between starts at approx 84-88% and ramps up to 94-96% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Alternates segments between Aerobic Threshold (AT) Pace and ends Groove Pace - see pace guide

Example:  27 minute run alternating 3 minute segments between AT pace and Groove Pace
(if using distance, half mile to 1k segments are recommended)


Aerobic Threshold Tempos
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 48 to 60 minutes at AT Pace 
Feel:   comfortably quick rhythm; strong but smooth and controlled
Heart Rate:  84-88% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Aerobic Threshold (AT) Pace - see pace guide

Example:  54 minute AT Tempo Run

Aerobic Threshold Repeats
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Repeats of 10:00 to 40:00, totaling 60 to 80 minutes 
Recovery:  slow jog of 15% of repeat duration (up to 3:00 max recovery) 
Feel:  comfortably quick rhythm; strong but smooth and controlled
Heart Rate:  84-88% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Aerobic Threshold (AT) Pace - see pace guide

Example:  3 x 25:00 w 3:00 jog recovery 

Aerobic Threshold Progression
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 48 to 60 minutes increasing in intensity during the run 
Feel:  starts off as a brisk rhythm and gradually ramps up in intensity until reaching a strong, smooth pressing but sustainable rhythm
Heart Rate:  starts at approx 81-85% and ramps up to 88-92% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Starts at Brisk Pace Pace and ends at Lactate Threshold (LT) Pace - see pace guide

Example:  54 minutes gradually increasing from Brisk pace to LT Pace

Aerobic Threshold Wave
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:   improves aerobic threshold and efficiency at using energy sources; the ability to run at a quick pace for extended periods of time
Workout:  Continuous run of 48 to 60 minutes alternating intensities every 5-10 minutes between 2 different intensities 
Feel:  alternates segments between a brisk rhythm and strong, smooth, pressing but sustainable rhythm
Heart Rate:  alternates segments between starts at approx 81-85% and ramps up to 88-92% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Alternates between Brisk Pace and LT Pace - see pace guide

Example:  54 minute Run alternating 6 minute segments between Brisk Pace and LT Pace
(if using distances 1k to 1 mile segments are recommended)

Brisk Run
Category:  Stress - Stamina
Purpose:  improves the body's efficiency at using different energy sources; hardens the body and mind to longer durations at moderate intensities;
Workout:  Continuous run of 60 to 90 minutes at Brisk Pace 
Feel:   brisk rhythm at a moderate intensity
Heart Rate:  81-85% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Brisk Pace - see pace guide


Example:  80 minute Brisk Run

Moderate Rhythm Long Run
Category:  Stress - Endurance
Purpose:  improves glycogen storage capacity, improves energy usage efficiency, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body and mind to extended efforts
Workout:  Continuous run of 90 to 180 minutes at Moderate Pace 
Feel:   comfortably and relaxed but never lagging rhythm (i.e. moderate rhythm), just a hair quicker than easy pace runs
Heart Rate:  75-79% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Moderate Pace - see pace guide

Example:  150 minute Moderate Pace long run 

Steady State Long Run
Category:  Stress - Endurance
Purpose:  improves glycogen storage capacity, improves energy usage efficiency, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body and mind to extended efforts at a quicker intensity
Workout:  Continuous run of 75 to 150 minutes at Steady State Pace 
Feel:   steady state effort, somewhat comfortable but with some sustainable intensity added
Heart Rate:  78-82% of Maximum Heart Rate 
Paces:  Steady State Pace - see pace guide

Example:  120 minute Steady State Pace long run 

Tempo Long Run
Category:  Stress - Endurance/Stamina
Purpose:   improves energy usage efficiency at faster paces while in lower or partially depleted glycogen state, improves glycogen storage capacity, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body and mind to running at quicker paces while tired/depleted
Workout:  Continuous run of 75 to 150 minutes with the first 20-40% at an Easy Pace, the middle 40-60% at AT Pace or Brisk Pace, and the last 20-40% at Easy Pace 
Feel:   the first and last segment at a comfortable and relaxed rhythm with the middle segment at a comfortably quick or brisk rhythm
Heart Rate:  65-75% of Maximum Heart Rate during the first and last segments and 81-88% during the middle segment
Paces:  Easy Pace, Brisk Pace or AT Pace - see pace guide

Example:  120 minute Tempo Long Run  with the first 35 minutes at Easy Pace, the middle 50 minutes at AT Pace and the last 35 minutes at Easy Pace 

Fast Finish Long Run
Category:  Stress - Endurance/Stamina
Purpose:   improves energy usage efficiency at faster paces while in lower or partially depleted glycogen state, improves glycogen storage capacity, advances cardiovascular adaptations, hardens body and mind to running at quicker paces while tired/depleted
Workout:  Continuous run of 75 to 150 minutes with the first 60-80% at an Easy Pace, and the last 20-40% of the run at AT Pace 
Feel:   the first segment at a comfortable and relaxed rhythm with the last segment at a comfortably quick rhythm
Heart Rate:  65-75% of Maximum Heart Rate during the first segment and 84-88% during the last segment
Paces:  Easy Pace and AT Pace - see pace guide

Example:  120 minute Tempo Long Run  with the first 90 minutes at Easy Pace, the last 30 minutes at AT Pace 

Note: if using Heart Rate as your guide it is important to know your actual Maximum Heart Rate as tested in the real world and not based on a formula.  Heart rates can vary significantly from individual to individual of similar fitness and age.  Also it is important to have a accurate and reliable heart rate monitor.  It is recommended that heart rate, if used, be used in conjunction with pace or feel (or both).  

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