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100 Secret Training Ideas For Runners

All Secret Training Ideas

Many of us have discovered training ideas which seem to work for us.  Some are more tested than others.  Best Road Races and The UjENA FIT Club is not endorsing these ideas but just sharing them with you.  Add your Secret Training Ideas here.  Include a photo when you can and be sure to name your idea.  Only do one idea per post and just use enough words to explain the idea.  Use examples of how it worked when possible.  Hal Higdon is offering his Tip of the Day!

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A Word about Strength Training
Posted Friday, October 31st, 2014
Strength training is important for both conditioning and injury prevention. I lifted weights and/or use exercise machines regularly in the... Read Secret Training Idea
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Losing my Edge by RIch Stiller
Posted Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
by Rich StillerI didn’t plan to stop racing. I just meant to take a break. In April of 1995 I... Read Secret Training Idea
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Eating Well for Running
Posted Thursday, March 6th, 2014
By Christine RosenbloomHeading to the gym after work for a quick workout? Out for a morning walk with the dogs?... Read Secret Training Idea
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How many Miles Should I run weekly?
Posted Monday, September 16th, 2013
by Hal HigdonWithin certain limits, the more miles you run the faster you can race. Double your training mileage from... Read Secret Training Idea

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Race for speed
Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Use your races for your speed work!
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by Rich Stiller  Speed work is really overrated for improving performance. I found out years ago that a runner can just as effectively race themselves into shape. The biggest issue is often balancing speed work and racing in the same week. Well, the answer is...DON'T. Let's say you are eight  weeks way from an important race. Rather than doing speed work every week pick 4-5 races and run those instead. You don't have to bash each race. Run 2-3 hard and the others as strong tempo runs. The benefits are that you'll have less chance of  getting injured plus your peak racing period will last longer.   I was most successful when I focused on getting in miles during the week and racing on the weekends.

My fastest 5k came off no speed work for three months prior. Just 3 or 4 tune up races. My best 2 miler came off of no speed work at all. I ran a 1500 meter on the track one week in 4:16, then ran a 3.5 mile club run in 18:22 and then ran two miles on the track in 9:44. This was a 14 second PR.  My one mile PR came from running the mile on successive weeks at all comers meets.  I went from 4:49-4:31 by running five one mile races. 

Does speed work have a place in a runners training schedule? Sure. Now and then run a speed workout on a non race week to get feedback on your conditioning. For example,  if I could run 3 x one mile in a 4:59 average, that told me I was ready to race. That didn't mean I had to go out and try to better that workout.  By the way, long time world class runner Mark Nenow rarely did speed work. He raced for speed. Joe Henderson wrote "Long Slow Distance" more than forty years ago. This was the main theme of his classic book.

Photo: Rich doing an easy training run with Bob, JoAnn, and Bill earlier in the year.

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Why the Long Socks?
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Improve blood flow and Performance
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by Ujena Fit Club coach Barry Anderson  “I see lots of runners wearing socks pulled up to their knees. Why the long socks?” Someone asked me this question not to long ago and I had to admit—I did not have an answer. I have also noticed that one of our members, Meb Keflezighi, often wears these long socks. There are many new “things” involved with running now that were not available in my days of running and coaching full time, and compression socks are one of them.

The principal of using compression socks for the lower legs is similar to the reason that fighter jet pilots wear compression suits—only at a much lower level. When you run, particularly long distances, blood will pool in the legs due largely to gravity…including blood that contains lactic acid. It is believed that the use of compression socks can help improve blood flow through pushing blood back towards the heart.

Photo: Meb finishing this year's Bay to Breakers

There have been several scientific studies with mixed results as to the overall benefit of improved blood flow and improved performance when these socks are worn during a race. One study that was reviewed did show slightly reduced lactate levels in the blood but could not rule out the psychological effect as also being a contributor to improved performance.

In the studies reviewed, there is agreement that there is a faster lactate recovery rate when compression socks are worn after exercise. There is also evidence of decreased muscle soreness. These studies did suggest that graduated compression socks—those with tighter compression at the ankle end than the knee end—performed better in all tests.

Give them a try if your haven’t already—particularly if you have tightness or soreness in your lower legs on a consistent basis. Maybe when Meb is not busy preparing for the Olympic marathon he can provide us with some of his thoughts on their use. Let us know your results if you have tried this training aid.

Comments and Feedback
run I have thought about trying these socks...I know that Ujena Fit Club member Meb swears by them...any other members wearing them?
Bob Anderson 7/2/12 12:12 pm
run I use mine every once in a while... Mostly if I have a long run along the highway.... I have also worn them to bed at night when my legs have been tired. Not sure if they helped more physically or mentally....
Shari Mernett 7/3/12 6:34 am
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