I once coached a college runner who ran 19 minutes for 5K and she told me she wanted to be trained like a 17:30 5K runner. So I told her to run a 17:30 5K and then I’ll train her like a 17:30 5K runner.
Races, which tell you your current level of fitness, dictate the speeds you use to train, not the other way around. Distance runners don’t do workouts to practice running faster; they do workouts to improve the physiological characteristics that will enable them to run faster in the future. This is a very important point that is missed by nearly all distance runners and coaches.
Think of an assembly line: If you want to make more products, the better strategy is to increase the number of workers (physiological characteristics) so you have more assembly lines to do the work, rather than increase the speed at which the assembly line workers work. The goal of training is to obtain the greatest benefit while incurring the least amount of stress, so run as slow as you can to meet the purpose of the workout.
If only Lucy and Ethel had more workers…
For example, to train your VO2max, do interval workouts at your VO2max pace, which is about 10 to 15 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace for good runners (with a greater time difference from 5K pace for recreational runners). Instead of running faster than VO2max pace, run more reps at VO2max pace. Running more volume at the right pace is better than running less volume faster than the right pace.
It’s been a productive week: Hosted two book launch parties for The Inner Runner on both sides of the U.S., taught the REVO2LUTION RUNNINGTM certification in New York, spoke at the ECA World Fitness Convention, and signed a contract from Skyhorse Publishing for my 8th book: 14-Minute Metabolic Workouts.
Reading the introduction from The Inner Runner at San Diego’s book launch party.
Signing books in New York.
My twin brother and I at the New York book launch at The View Lounge atop the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. It meant a lot to share this moment with him.
If you haven’t ordered your copy of The Inner Runner yet, what are you waiting for? I’m very proud of this book, which I believe is my magnum opus, and I want to share it with you. So please order your copy today and encourage your running friends to order it. After you order it, email me at [email protected] and I’ll give you a free gift. I hope the book deeply affects you when you read it in the same way as it deeply affected me to write it.
People often assume I drink lots of coffee. Truth is, I don’t like coffee. Never liked the taste of it. What gets me up in the morning is an intense drive to pursue my ambition. Sometimes, it gets so out of hand that I don’t eat lunch and I have to force myself to stop and eat before feeling like I’m going to fall over from hunger pains. I’m even hungry as I write this now. Since I have to go run soon, it’s time to eat. Happy weekend. Don’t forget to pursue your ambition, even if you need to drink some coffee to stay awake. And read The Inner Runner.