I recently entered a new age group. With this new age group comes hopes for age group awards (at tiny local races only, of course) as well as an increased desire to stay healthy. The older I get, the more I think (and feel) about my body holding up. I am not a young runner and I do not recover as quickly as I did even a couple of years ago. My goal is not my next run or even my next race, but the run ten years from now.
Lately, I have been reading about injury prevention. I came across a great article and blog by Coach Jeff. He states that many of us over train by putting in high-intensity workouts before our body structure is ready. Our cardiovascular fitness (our “engine”) often progresses faster than our structural readiness (our “chassis”).
Building core and running-specific muscle strength through cross-training exercises is a good way to help strengthen the chassis. You also need to build up some endurance before focusing on speed. This is the methodology of RRCA training as well. RRCA training plans include a base-building phase followed by a sharpening phase. However, he warns that you shouldn’t go too long without doing some sort of speed work. Coach Jeff suggests including strides, hill sprints and fartleks into your training during the base-building portion of your training.
As many of us are training for fall races, we have to balance high-intensity training with the long slow distance runs. This article gives a good theory to support that need for balance.
Coach Jeff | Why Runners Get Hurt