On this page, you will find weekly training tips written by our coaches. Stay tuned for new content each week to be posted on Monday mornings or sooner on occasions!
June 25, 2018
EVERY DAY HAS A PURPOSE
by Coach Amy Baker
It is important to realize that in your training program every day has a purpose. Together these days fit together to accomplish a something meaningful. Knowing the purpose of the day, will help you make decisions about what is most important and guide you to success.
The purpose of a workout is not about how many reps, how far, or how fast. The numbers are not what makes you fitter. Putting the right amount of stress on your system so it can make adaptations makes you fitter. A successful workout is not completing the number/pace/distance, but rather getting what you need out of it.
Workouts often have more than 1 purpose, but often one of the following is primary and should guide decisions about the speed and distance or the run. Many common purposes are listed below. Be sure to know the purpose of the workout each day and let it guide you.
- Recovery: This is a big one! Not every day can be hard. Fitness comes from adapting not from stressing, so take your recovery days easy.
- Speed: to improve running economy and speed, as running economy improves the effort the runner expends at all paces decreases.
- Anaerobic Capacity: to improve anaerobic capacity, the capacity of your muscles to fuel extra work anaerobically, without the aid of addition oxygen. Anaerobic is beyond that maximum where chemical changes occur in metabolism to supply the oxygen needed to supplement and deliver extra oxygen.
- Steady State: Improve your Aerobic Capacity or Maximum steady state. Aerobic training is within the body’s capacity to use oxygen. Everyone, according to his or her physical condition, is able to use a limited amount of oxygen each minute. With the right kind of exercise, you can raise your limit.
- Aerobic Conditioning: The under-developed parts of your circulatory system are enhanced; neglected capillary beds are expanded and new ones are created. This increases oxygen transportation and utilization. Your heart becomes bigger and is able to pump more blood with each contraction and to pump the blood faster. Your lungs become more efficient, with increased pulmonary capillary bed activity, which improves the tone of your blood, allowing you to get more oxygen out of each breath.
- Mental Prep: The purposes above are physiological, but we can’t neglect the mental training needed for race day. Many workouts may have both a physical and mental purpose. Some workouts may be meant to increase your confidence for race day, some will give you practice pushing through the discomfort, and some will help you practice the mental endurance needed for race day.
June 11, 2018
THE WHAT & WHY OF DROP WEEKS
At Rogue, every third week is a drop week. A drop week, aka down week, is an opportunity to allow your body a week of rest. We use three week cycle where we ask you to run two weeks at a higher mileage, & then drop down to a lower mileage for recuperation & recovery. This drop is recommended to be approximately 15% lower than your typical up week mileage & a key focus is on the Saturday long run distance. We want that long run to be shorter to facilitate recovery. Why? Because this drop week allows your body to consolidate the gains that you've experienced through the hard training & super-compensate through recovery.
June 7, 2018
TRANSLATING THE TIME TRIAL TO TRAINING PACES
So you've completed the Time Trial (TT) & have a current time for a 2 mile or 3200m hard effort. So what do you do now? We will walk you through a step by step process for taking the TT & creating current paces to use for your workouts. It is important to realize that this is the starting point. A current fitness data point that we will use to begin to dial in the appropriate paces for each athlete. We will be using the TT to determine our current paces for training. If you have run a recent race result (within the past 2-3 months) , you can also use this result as a data point.It is very important that you not use an outdated or unrealistic race result to determine your current paces. The greatest incidence of injury or burnout comes from unrealistic initial expectations & we assure you that with consistency & determination, we will get your current training paces to be very close to your goal training paces. Have some patience & please trust the process.
The McMillan Running Calculator
We believe the McMillan Calculator is the most effective & accurate pace predictor available. For more on the calculator & Greg's story, check out our podcast interview with him in the Running Rogue episode #75. The first step in determining paces is to run the TT & pug the time into the McMillan Calculator to give us a current date pace. Here are the steps below:
- Go to the CALCULATOR. Scroll a bit down the page & you will see a video & a whole bunch of boxes. We are only going to input two data points on this page: Step 1 - What Is Your Goal & Step 3: What Is Your Current Fitness Level?
- In Step 1, select the race distance you are training for & the goal time you want to run for that distance. You do not need to fill out the "b" section...leave it blank.
- Then scroll to Step 3 & input 2 miles or 3200m (whichever you ran) & input the time you achieved for the TT. You can skip the email address in Step 4. It is not required.
- Then hit the Calculate My Paces button.
Now scroll down the page to the columns titled, Current Times & Goal Times. We will be using Current Times for our training paces in the first weeks of our training program, but getting a reference for where we are compared to where we want to be, is valuable. For some of you the current time will be slower than your goal time. We realize this can be discouraging but trust in the process. We will only be suing these paces for the first few weeks of training & will soon adjust to a Three Pace System. Running at the appropriate pacs will ensure that you will stay healthy & motivated throughout the early stages of the program.
Referencing the Current Times columns, write down their 5K (5000m), 10K (10,000m), half marathon & marathon paces. These are the times we will be using for specific workouts.
So there you go! Easy peasy, right?
June 1, 2018
WHY WE RUN A TIME TRIAL (TT)?
We run a time trial at the beginning of each new program we start at Rogue Training. The purpose of the time trial (TT) is simply to help us determine the most currently accurate paces for each athlete to use for their training at the beginning of each training cycle. By running 2 miles at the best effort you can produce on that day, it allows us to help dial in the specific paces we'll be asking you to run in all the specific workouts. 2 miles or 3200 meters is an important distance because it simulates the point at which one reaches their maximum aerobic capacity. This is science-speak for the ability of the heart and lungs to get oxygen to the muscles. So it is a better measure than 1 mile, which is too short, & 5K, which is too long. This is why we choose the seemingly arbitrary 2 mile distance for the time trial.
You want to run the very best time you can for that distance. If you have no idea what that time should be, how do you determine what pace you should run the first few laps? That is a great question! I am glad you asked! Start out at a pace that feels challenging but you think you can run/walk for 15 minutes. We don't want to go out too fast (like how fast you could run for 1 minutes) or too slow (like how fast you could run for 30 minutes). Chris McClung likes to say, "If you miss; miss too slow.", because you can always pick the pace up after the first two laps. If you go out too fast you'll be very tired early & not be able to give your best effort. You can always pick the pace up as you go along. After the first four laps, you should start to feel like you are getting tired & it is hard to keep running that same pace...but keep running that pace & see how long you can last. If you can't make it the rest of the four laps, then slow down a little bit. Can you hold this new, slowed down pace? If so, then run that pace for another lap. If you feel better then try to push it a little faster the next lap. If it still feels too hard then slow down again. Then keep repeating this "slow down, then get faster, if you can" scenario to the finish of the TT. Don't worry too much if you mess up the time trial. As long as you give your best effort, the result will be a good place to start & we can adjust to faster times later in the program. For now, though, this time will help us set the right paces for the workouts later in the program.
Check out the Coaches Corner essay on How to Find Your Paces for how to use this TT to determine the paces we'll be running later.
MAY 28, 2018
RUNNING IN THE HEAT
Summer is officially here whether the seasons say so or not. Some things to remember for your running:
- Wear as little clothing as possible, and if you do where clothing, make it light colored especially as the long runs get longer. Our climate with the humidity doesn't allow for our sweat mechanisms to work. The sweat sits on our clothes/skin instead of evaporating off which suppresses the intended cooling mechanism vs. activating evaporative cooling. So the best answer is to let your skin breathe in whatever way you are comfortable.
- Be careful when you run (outside of Rogue times). If you must run in the heat of the day, then pick a shady route which will make a huge difference and make sure you are hydrating well.
- Bring a towel and change of clothes on Saturday. It's much more comfortable to do your post run stretching and rolling if you are dry!
- Cold water on your head can go a long way. Just a little bit on the very crown of your head can make a huge difference. You don't need to drench yourself. Just a splash of cold water on your head or the back of your neck will give you some relief.
- HYDRATE WELL WITH ELECTROLYTES THROUGHOUT THE DAY. This is the most critical tip. If you come into a workout at a hydration deficit, then you will feel more sluggish for sure. Make sure you hydrate well post workout and during the day with electrolytes (nuun, Skratch, salt tabs or electrolyte water) in order to absorb the water you take in and replenish the salt you lose through sweat. In the summer, I do twice daily Skratch servings to keep up. In general, about 1/3 of your fluid intake during the day should include electrolytes in order to keep the right balance. It will be a game changer, I promise!
MAY 21, 2018
If you have ever done a workout on a busy track, you'll know that it can often seem like a three ring circus, with people running at a wide variety different paces running in all lanes of the track. There are sometimes differing opinions on the most appropriate course of action when using a track, so below is a list of basic track "rules" to help you know how to approach your workout & hopefully make you more comfortable with the protocols.
- RUN IN THE CORRECT DIRECTION: Throughout the world the correct direction to circle a track is counterclockwise. This can sometimes vary based on the primary users of the facility due to a desire to "balance out" the biomechanical tendencies of running in the same direction for every track session. If you find this happening on a track you encounter, adapt. "when in Rome..." as they say. Whatever direction the majority of runners are running on a track is the "correct" direction.
- RUN IN THE CORRECT LANE: This can be a contentious issue occasionally, so I'll start with what we at Rogue believe is the appropriate action. The first lane (closest to the infield, aka Lane 1), is reserved for those running fast. The contentious part comes when there are varying degrees of "fast". In our opinion, if you are running a hard portion of an interval workout, regardless of you pace, then you have an equal right to lane 1. By staying close to the inside line of the lane, you allow faster runners to pass on your right. When everyone uses this protocol, the workouts run very smoothly. Problems occur when some folks fee self conscious about being slower & getting passed on the right & move out to lanes 2 or 3. this makes it even harder for the faster runners to thread the needle between those in lane 1 & those in lanes 2 & 3. If you are running a hard, quality portion of a workout, stay in lane one. It is important to note that you have the right to space your body occupies in lane 1, not to the entire 400 meters of the lane.
When you are running the recovery section of an interval workout, please move out to the outer lanes, like lane 5 through 8. Be careful when you switch from the hard to the easy, that you look over your shoulder to see if anyone is passing on your right so you they don't run into you.
Never stop or walk in lanes 1 or 2 or you will become a speed bump.
- DON'T STOP OR STAND ON THE TRACK: Never stand on the track. Get your gear all set before you step onto the track so you aren't standing there adjusting your earbuds, running watch, etc. If you feel a cramp coming on, need to tie your shoelace, or get a phone call, move off the track. If you recognize another runner you haven't seen in years, move off the track to have a reunion.
- PASS ON THE RIGHT: As indicated in rule two above, pass on the right whenever possible.
- RUNNING IN GROUPS: When you are running in a pack with more than two people, you need to be very aware of the space the group is taking up on the track. The groups should try to run in single file, so as to allow runners passing on the right the shortest distance to get by the group. It is absolutely inappropriate to run three or more abreast. When this happens the group will be running into lane 3 & causing all kinds of traffic issues. When this happens faster runners will try to dodge inside of the group, back into lane 1 & create even more havoc. Please limit all groups to 3-4 runners maximum & try to run in signle file.
- RESPECT THE FACILITY RULES & HOURS OF USE: Most tracks are the property of local school districts & colleges or universities. They have paid to build the tracks, are responsible for their upkeep & the liability that might be incurred in the case of injury or accident. Please be sure to look for posted rules outside or inside the track. If you have questions, call the school to check with the principle or athletic director to see what public use is allowed. My times tracks are closed to the public because of poor community use or liability. Please don't abuse the right to use a track.
- DOGS: Dogs should not be brought onto the track. There is minimal space on a track & whether leashed or unleashed dogs are dangerous in tight quarters. Plus, other runners should not have to deal with a dog's barking or waste. If you bring a dog to the track, expect a lot of dirty looks, if not outright hostility.
- KIDS: Children belong on the track but they need to be aware of track etiquette as well as adults do. Don't allow your child to stop or stand on the track. Check to see if you can use a jogging stroller on the track if you have little ones. While you might park your child in a stroller while you circle the track, be courteous if your child begins to cry. Especially, be alert so your child doesn't wander onto the track.