Catching your shadow

Jason White
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Road race training tips for experienced runners looking to improve on personal best times

As promised in Saturday's edition of The Telegram, here is a program designed for those who have been running consistently over the winter and who have completed the Tely 10 two to three times.

So if you have done the Tely 10 in just over 100 minutes and are looking to beat that time, this program will help you get there.

As promised in Saturday's edition of The Telegram, here is a program designed for those who have been running consistently over the winter and who have completed the Tely 10 two to three times.

So if you have done the Tely 10 in just over 100 minutes and are looking to beat that time, this program will help you get there.

As I have already stated in the beginners program, please have yourself checked out by a physician. This is to ensure your safety as you look to increase the physical demand on your body's muscular and cardiovascular system. This program will have you running at a more intense pace than you may have followed before. I do want you to still try and stick with the MAX Heart rate formula (Max HR = 220 - (Age)) to ensure that you are training within your abilities.

The first thing that you will notice in this program is that the focus has shifted from time-based sessions to distance goals. Time is easy to keep track of because most of us have a watch with a stop watch function. Tracking distance can be more challenging if you don't like gadgets. Nowadays, there are many different electronic aids that can help you keep track of your running. From GPS units that are not much bigger than a watch, to a little pod that attaches to your shoe, you can keep track of distance quite easily.

If you don't like gadgets, there are many websites that you can get onto and map out your run beforehand (www.runningmap.com or www.mapmyrun.com).

The trail system around St. John's will have signage stating the distance of certain trails. I would encourage you all to utilize the trails for your running. They provide a soft surface on which to run as well as keeping you off the streets and away from traffic.

Now, a lot of runners know that doing hill repeats is a great way to strengthen your running specific muscles. So find a hill that isn't too steep, but will represent a good work-out for you. You will want to warm up with a 7-10 minute jog. Run up the hill at 80-85% of your maximum heart rate. After you reach the top, slowly descend to the bottom. Once at the bottom, turn around and head back up.

As you will learn, these work outs are not necessarily loved by runners while they are doing them. However they do look back at this portion of their training as a key component to success.

The program will also focus on more speedwork than the other program. Speed workouts are a great way to improve your running. They are to be run at 80-85 per cent of your maximum heart rate. So you would first warmup with a light jog for seven to 10 minutes. Once your warmup is complete, begin your first interval. After your interval time (or distance) is complete, then take half the time it took you to complete your interval as your active recovery.

For example, the first speed session is 4x3 minutes. After your first three-minute interval, jog around for 1:30 minute and then do the next repeat. Also, cool down afterwards for around seven to 10 minutes. You want to do this so that your heart rate comes back down at a safe rate. So do these intervals on as flat of surface you can find. I like Kent's Pond for my speed work. It is flat and almost 1600 meters around with plenty of shade against the sun.

The long runs on the weekends are done at an easy pace. Keep in mind that you should be able to have a conversation with your running partner. These runs will help you get ready for handling the Tely 10 distance. Bring water or plan a water stop on your route. As the temperature increases, so will your sweat rate. You don't want to become dehydrated. Try and use the cooler early morning air to get your runs in. This will also help you train your body to run at the same time of day as the race. Try and utilize some of the road races over the summer. They will really help you get the feel of racing before the Tely 10. They are also a great way to gauge your fitness level as you near the big day.

You will also be able to practice your pre-race morning routine and find out what works and what doesn't.

I hope this program gets you to the finish line faster than any other year. I look forward to seeing you over the summer on the trails.

Jason White is a personal trainer with GoodLife Fitness in St. John's.

Organizations: The Telegram, MAX Heart rate

Geographic location: St. John's

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