British Pentathlon - Performance

Running Training

The Structure of your Running Training byBernie Moss

Generally being the last event it is important to be able to cap your overall performance with a run that is going to move you closer to the top of the final results, rather than you finishing lower down than before the run. What you must appreciate is that you are involved with a programme that is taking the long term view of your performance and not looking only at short term gains. Therefore even as second year Youth A athletes you are by no means the finished articles.

Your approach to your running must be to develop your base endurance with regular running training at specific speeds. While track running will give you short term gains the longer term prognosis of too much track running too soon when young is not good. Training at too high an intensity has the potential for future health troubles. Speed development is important but not speed over 200-400 metres, but velocity of movement (frequency, agility, etc.). This is best achieved by short distance sprints (up to 50 metres) you are looking for maximum turn over without lactate production.

You should be aiming to run; Youth C three times a week for 20-25 minutes; Youth B four times a week for 30 minutes; Youth A four times a week for 35 minutes. The runs should follow the following pattern:

  • A RECOVERY RUN (really easy just to get your legs going)
  • A FARTLEK RUN (periods of fast running and a slower recovery all done as a continuous run e.g. 1 minute effort and 1 minute jog recovery; or pyramids of 1,2,3,2,1; or 5X2 minutes with 1 minute rest; or 30 secs hard with 30 secs recovery)
  • AN UNDULATING GROUND RUN (as a continuous run)

You can vary these runs as long as they follow this kind of pattern, so there is scope for being individual.

Each of these runs should last you for the time relevant to your age group. You need to build up to this and should take three weeks or so to do so if you have not been doing this type of regular running. You should not do two hard sessions back to back. Avoid a hard swim and hard run on the same day. If you can speak to your swimming coach and get them to understand what you are trying to do this will make it easier. You do not need to be doing lots of track work. You do not need to be spending an hour plus running (because you are not continuously running and if you are it is too much). You need to be developing your aerobic base for running. This entails getting your body used to the weight bearing exercise of running with the local muscular adaptation that this requires.

You need to be avoiding the situations that can lead to injury, which tend to come from too much track work too young. You should be looking to be on the programme and improving your performances each year for the next ten years, so now is the time for doing things at the right pace and not looking for championship performances tomorrow. You have time.... be sensible and take it.



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