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Army March 3, 2011
THERE are some steps you
can take to increase your
pace and improve your
2.4km run results.
The two most common symptoms
when diagnosing slow run times are:
You run out of puff -- start well
then slow down, then walk.
Just can't run faster, but could
keep on running comfortably.
Run out of puff
If you do not have the aerobic fit-
ness to maintain a given pace, your
body must start working anaerobi-
cally. Although good for short, high-
intensity events, this system becomes
inefficient very quickly.
Solution: There are several training
methods, but here we'll cover the
two most common -- continuous run-
ning and Fartlek.
The most common form of con-
tinuous running training is long slow
distance (LSD) -- running continuous-
ly at a steady pace (which may mean
reducing your run speed). LSD is the
keystone for base aerobic fitness and
preparing for more arduous training.
Run session example:
Run continuously for 10 min-
utes, building up to 20 minutes
through several sessions.
Fartlek training involves manipu-
lating speed and distance to make
slow or fast distances and times
longer or shorter during the session.
Fartlek training is a progression from
LSD to increase your speed.
Run session examples:
400m slow pace, 100m medi-
um, 50m fast, repeat.
Three minutes slow pace, one
minute medium pace, 30 sec-
onds fast pace, repeat.
Just can't run faster
The potential cause of this sce-
nario is a lack of leg speed, often due
to always running at a given pace.
This in turn develops a motor pattern
for running, which is consistent and
efficient, but currently too slow.
Solution: The most effective means
of increasing leg speed is to practise
running at faster speeds.
Interval training is one of the
best options in this scenario. Interval
training mixes periods of fast run-
ning over short distances with
standing recovery. Interval training
is intense and should only be com-
pleted once every one or two weeks,
when free from injury and with a
solid LSD and Fartlek base. See a
PTI for more case-specific guidance.
Run session example:
Four 400m intervals. Build up
to six or add some 200m inter-
vals over several training ses-
sions. 1:2 ratio where stand-
ing recovery time is twice as
long as your run time. Target
run time for the 400m is 10
seconds faster than your last
2.4km time divided by six.
Progression and maintenance
To develop the conditioning to
run faster takes time, so several
weeks of continuous running should
be performed before introducing
Fartlek, which again requires several
weeks of adaptation before advanc-
ing to interval training.
Seek PTI guidance to mold these
solutions to your ability.
If you want to complete the 2.4km fitness test in a faster time,
Lt Rob Orr may have the answer.
Clock watching: Focussing training sessions on speed and intensity can
help improve run times.
Photo by Cpl Aaron Curran
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