Guide to our training...

As you are aware the main purpose of the training at the moment is XC and the Hampshire Champs is our A race that we are concentrating on.


At the moment we are on phase 2 of 4 phase training programme.


Everything is designed to peak for Hampshire champs in Jan.


Phase 2, the phase we are in at the moment is on a mixture of tempo runs and fast reps.

We will switch to phase 3 the week of the 11th October and this phase is were the hard work is done and we will often see races as part of the training plan (e.g Hampshire XC etc)




Phase 3 will be more race specific and will involve a mixture of Tempo and Interval sessions


Why we do different sessions and running speeds?

Fast Reps.

The purpose of Fast Reps are to:

1 - Strengthen your heart

2 - Increase your anaerobic power

3 - To increase your speed.

4 - Improve your economy of running.

We are not looking to run at max pace, more like your 1500m pace, so the reps are 'fast' but not 'hard' as you will have enough recovery between reps to recover before your next run.


1 - Strengthen your heart

They strengthen your heart by increasing "stroke volume," which is the amount of blood that your heart pumps with each beat. The more blood per beat, the more oxygen you send by way of your bloodstream to your muscles.


However, the benefit occurs during the recovery interval, when returning blood creates an increase in pressure within your heart. This happens because your heart rate (the measure of the blood being pumped away from your heart) drops more quickly than the rate at which previously pumped blood returns to your heart—this stretches your heart chambers, which adapt by increasing in size, which in turn leads to an increase in stroke volume.

2 - Increase your anaerobic power

Short reps help build your anaerobic system, for the first part of a distance race, when you accelerate off the start line, your energy requirements increase immediately. Your

aerobic system can't increase its energy output as quickly. That's because you can't increase aerobic energy production until your lungs, heart, and bloodstream deliver a larger supply of oxygen to your muscles, this process that takes about 30–40 seconds. Until that point, you rely on anaerobic energy (energy produced within your muscles without using oxygen) to pick up the energy slack. Short reps combined with longer recovery intervals allow you to practice this 30–40-second anaerobic energy burn multiple times.


These reps help you get better at producing anaerobic energy, and you get better at buffering the fatigue-producing by-products that accompany it. You'll be able to charge off the start line without fear of running short of energy in the first quarter-mile or staggering to the mile mark when the by-products of un-buffered anaerobic energy production begin shutting down your muscles.remember the hydrogen ions!


3 - To increase your speed.

These short reps also recruit 100% of your available intermediate muscle fibres and about 80% of your fast-twitch fibres. This allows you to strengthen fibres that don't get used during either distance runs or longer repetitions, but which will be recruited in a 5K race.

The result is improved leg speed when you need it most longer distance races.


Understanding Threshold/Tempo Runs and Lactic Acid...

Why Lactic Acid isnt the problem....


The pace of a Threshold run should feel 'comfortably hard' which you should be able to maintain for a relatively long time.


The purpose of the Threshold Run is to improve your body's ability to clear blood lactate, i.e. teaching your body to deal with a slightly demanding pace for a prolonged period of time.


In essence, what we are trying to do is move on the point at which production levels of lactate starts to exceed clearance.


As long as the clearance of lactate is matched by its production, lactic acid is actually an an important source of fuel.


The purpose of this session is to try and acclimatise your body's response to an increase in lactate and therefore, your ability to work at higher intensities for longer periods of time.


There is a common misconception that is it is Lactic Acid that is to blame for post-race soreness and that Lactic Acid is bad.


The soreness is not Lactic Acid it is usually as a result of the micro trauma to the muscles in the session, hence why I don't like stretching as a cool down after sessions, why would you stretch a muscle which you have caused a micro-trauma too?


A lot of people say that they 'feel' Lactic Acid in their legs. This is also a myth.

Lactic acid is the byproduct that's created where we burn glycogen without oxygen when we run.

The faster/longer/more intense we go the more lactic acid is created in the blood, it breaks down into lactate and hydrogen ions. The lactate is processed and converted into fuel.


The problem is actually created by the excess hydrogen ions not an increase in lactate..


When hydrogen ions accumulate, it becomes more difficult for the muscles to contract, and it makes running feel harder.

So actually the problem is not the build-up of lactic it is the build-up of hydrogen ions.


Interval Sessions:

You don’t increase your oxygen supply by breathing in more air. You increase it by improving transportation of oxygen to your muscle fibres. While your heart and major blood vessels handle bulk transport of oxygen throughout your body, it’s the very smallest blood vessels, your capillaries, that deliver oxygen to muscle fibres themselves. Capillaries are so small that red blood cells, which carry oxygen, pass through them in single file. The only way to route more oxygen to a muscle fibre is to create more capillaries.


Once delivered, oxygen is used by each muscle fibres mitochondrial power plants to create energy. The only way to increase energy production is to create more and bigger mitochondria.


Bottom line: You need to create more capillaries and bigger, more numerous mitochondria. Otherwise, breathing in more oxygen is like pumping 20 gallons of gas into your car’s 10-gallon tank—lots of spillage, but no increase in available fuel.


It’s not the amount of oxygen you can breathe into your lungs that counts. It’s the amount of oxygen that your mitochondria consume to create energy.


For a VO2max workout to be effective (i.e., to stimulate the creation of lots of capillaries and mitochondria), you’ll need to run repetitions at a minimum of 90 percent of your current VO2max. Less won’t stimulate the improvement you’re after; conversely, working at greater than VO2max will leave you more fatigued without offering an increased benefit.


VO2max reps are best measured in minutes, not distance (e.g., a mile repeat), because it’s the amount of time at near-VO2max that counts, not the distance you travel at that effort.


VO2max repetitions should last a minimum of two minutes (it takes approximately two minutes of running for your aerobic system to reach VO2max), with a maximum length of 6 minutes). The recovery interval should be 2–4 minutes.


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