Improve My Training: Gearing Up for a Marathon After Injury –

We’re offering Active Pass and PodiumRunner Pass members the chance for a personal coaching consultation. Submit two weeks of your training and answer a few questions about your running history and goals, and we’ll publish selected logs along with three suggestions from an expert coach for improving your training. To be eligible to submit your training, sign up for Active Pass or Podium Runner Pass. If you’re already a member and would like your training evaluated by an expert running coach you

Most Famous 5K Run Workout: Prefontaine’s 30-40

In the world of elite 5K runners, very few workouts are as famous as Prefontaine’s 30-40 workout. With one adjustment, anyone can tailor this famous 5K workout to improve their running. For those who are unfamiliar, Steve Prefontaine is somewhat of a god with track nerds. Regarded as one of the best American distance runners ever, Pre (short for “Prefontaine”) set American records in every distance from 2,000 to 10,000 m before his life was cut short at the age of 24 in a car accident. Despite

Improve My Training: Add Doubles, Don’t Go As Long, Schedule a Break –

We’re offering PodiumRunner and Active Pass members the chance for a personal coaching consultation. Submit two weeks of your training and answer a few questions about your running history and goals, and we’ll publish selected logs along with three suggestions from an expert coach for improving your training. To be eligible to submit your training, sign up for Active Pass or Podium Runner Pass. If you’re already a member and would like your training evaluated by an expert running coach you can s

Spice Up Your Interval Training With This 'One-Minute Cutdown' Workout

Fartleks can be a fun, stress-free way to get really fit — and they require nothing more than a stopwatch. Whether you’re an ultra-runner, road racer, or track athlete, fartleks offer an effective training tool that you can do over any terrain. By design, fartleks aren’t prescribed with specific running paces. They’re meant to be run completely by feel. This lack of a strict designated pace allows you to really pay attention to how you feel, something I find a lot of runners lose when they get

Improve My Training: Optimize Timing of Strength Work, Tune-up Races and High Load Days –

We’re offering PodiumRunner and Active Pass members the chance for a personal coaching consultation. Submit two weeks of your training and answer a few questions about your running history and goals, and we’ll publish selected logs along with three suggestions from an expert coach for improving your training. To be eligible to submit your training, sign up for Active Pass or Podium Runner Pass. If you’re already a member and would like your training evaluated by an expert running coach you can s

This 'Legs of Steel' Workout Will Make You a Faster Downhill Runner

I learned very quickly it takes a lot more than a big aerobic engine to be a good trail runner — it takes legs of steel. These backward hill repeats are your ticket for rock-solid, downhill-running mountain legs. My running career originated in high school and college as a cross-country and track athlete. Running was purely competitive for me. After college, I started to enter more road races and occasionally ventured onto the local trails and state parks outside Philadelphia. At that time, tra

The Best Elliptical Workout for Runners: Rolling Hill Simulator

You may not believe me, but the elliptical can be a whole lot of fun if you know what to do. Read on and you may just want to hop on one today. When it comes to cross-training on the elliptical, most runners would probably rather watch paint dry. It’s a form of torture reserved for injured runners. But as boring as it may be, there’s no denying the effectiveness elliptical training can bring to maintaining or even improving a runner’s fitness without the hard pounding that comes with running.

Best 5K Run Plan: Rhythm Interval Training

Whether you’re looking to up your 5K time or need to prepare for the best race of your life, this workout will improve your pace. If you’ve read my articles on the alternating long run and tempo surges, you know I’m a fan of incorporating workouts designed to break up your running rhythm and make you feel uncomfortable. By incorporating surges or keeping the rest intervals at moderately quick paces, you’re prevented from falling into that space where you can settle in, zone out, and just cruis

'Float' Workouts: How to Become a Mentally Stronger Runner

If you want to improve your running, you must add a healthy dose of interval training. This is an undisputed fact. However, as a running coach, there’s one thing I don’t like about interval training: the rest. I’m not saying you shouldn’t include rests, and I don’t discount the value of traditional interval training. But I suggest including a different form of speed work, one where the recovery is not so much an actual rest, but rather a continuation of the speed interval. Most interval workou

'Igloi' Run Workout: Intense Sprints for Distance Runners

Once you understand how to manipulate pace, rep distance, recovery interval, and volume to solicit the type of training adaptation you want, the possibilities for running workouts are endless. The fun thing about being a running coach is the ability to get creative with workouts. You can think outside the box and create fun and perhaps extraordinary workouts for your clients. No other coach has understood this better than Mihaly Igloi, renowned Hungarian coach of Bob Schul, the 1964 Olympic 5,0

Distance Runners: Here's the Best Treadmill Workout You Can Do This Winter

Being stuck on the treadmill isn’t all bad news. Spend the winter months getting fitter and stronger than you ever have with this killer treadmill workout. ‘Tis the season — treadmill season, that is! As the days get shorter and colder, more runners are retreating to the treadmill for their running fix. And as a running coach, I get asked all the time how treadmill running compares to running outside. One study found that from a physiological perspective, heart rate and oxygen uptake are simil

Run Faster: Prime Your Nervous System With Power Hill Sprints

Brooks Johnson, the famous former Stanford track and field coach, once said, ‘It’s true that speed kills in distance running. It kills anyone who doesn’t have it.’ You will need it. Here’s how to get it. If you’ve ever watched a track event or elite-level road race, when two or more runners are together with 400 m to go, the race inevitably comes down to a short final sprint for the finish line. And the victor is the one who’s fastest in that sprint. This is not by accident. These elite-level

Some Love It, Most Hate It: The Best Running Workout You Can Do

Over my 5-year career as a runner at Villanova University, I must have logged over 500 interval sessions. Most have since left my memory, but there’s one workout that has been burned in my memory forever — threshold repeats. Once a week during cross-country season, we would jog over to a local high school and run grueling 1km grass repeats. The pace was determined from a VO2 max test but usually fell somewhere between our 8K and 10K pace. It wasn’t the pace that made it such a grueling workout

Hill Run Workout: The Secret to More Speed on the Vert

Hills can make or break a runner. Some love them, others despise them. When it comes to road or trail, the runner who trained on hills is usually the stronger, more prepared runner. The best way to boost your climbing legs and lungs is to add a healthy dose of elevation gain to your training. I’m talking hill repeats, long hilly runs, and vert-focused climbs — they’ll all do the trick. However, if you really want to crush your competition, it’s not only the hill you should train for, but also w

Spice Up the Your Run Workout: Tempo With a Twist

Of all running workouts, perhaps the most popular is the tempo run. It also happens to be one of the most boring workouts. We can fix that. Holding a steady pace that is often described as “comfortably uncomfortable” for 20 to 60 minutes can feel like a monotonous chore. However, there’s no denying that if done properly, tempo runs can help you run faster. They make you better because you maintain a pace where your lactic acid levels remain steady, so your body’s ability to deal with lactic aci

Long-Distance Running Workout: How to Go Farther, Faster

By adding some speed to Day One, you’ll get more from back-to-back long run days. Take a look at most marathon and ultrarunning training plans, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any run at — or even close to — your race distance. In most cases, the longest run you’ll find will fall somewhere between half and three-quarters the distance of your goal race. This is because at some point during long runs, there becomes a point of diminishing returns. The rate at which your muscles and soft tissue

The Best Marathon Workout: 'Alternating Miles' Long Run

Avoid hitting the wall with this twist to your weekly long run. Oh, the weekly long run — a staple of pretty much every runner. For those training for half-marathons or longer, long runs serve as the anchor to any sound training plan. They provide the groundwork for a better cardiovascular system by improving your body’s ability to efficiently deliver and process blood and oxygen to your working muscles. They also help strengthen your soft tissue, muscle, and bones. Combined, these changes mak

No Vert, No Prob: Try This Hill Repeat Workout for Faster Mountain Runs

Adding a tempo run before these ascending hill repeats turns any run-of-the-mill incline into a true mountain workout. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a mountain town, it can be hard finding consistent elevation gain to properly train for mountain races. If you don’t have easy access to tons of vert, this workout is for you. The workout has two parts: a short tempo run, followed by hill repeats that get longer with each rep. Most of the mountain races like the Cirque Series or Skyrun

How to Boost V02 Max: Billat 30-30 Interval Workout

Increase your V02 max — the maximum amount of oxygen your body is capable of utilizing — with this short, fun fartlek workout. I’ll be perfectly blunt: As a running coach, I’m not a fan of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for most runners. I don’t dispute its effectiveness in improving fitness. It’s just that short workouts at maximum effort, followed by short recovery, can be a recipe for injury or over-training if not properly structured and monitored. Mindlessly throwing yourself int

Workout of the Week: Yo-Yo Fartlek –

One of the first things I teach my runners is the importance of learning to manage their energy throughout a run or speed workout. The ability to accurately pace yourself to avoid slowing or hitting the wall during the later miles in a workout or during a race is an invaluable skill for runners of all abilities. The biggest culprit of mismanagement of energy throughout a race or workout is delayed fatigue. The first few reps or miles feel the easiest because you’re fresh, and the inevitable fat
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