Life in the Fast Lane
Often you will hear 'coach speak' about even splits (meaning running an even pace throughout a workout or race). This is great in theory and even works in certain instances if someone is looking to race to run a specific time on a manageable course in commensurate conditions. No argument from me here, no judgment and no issue....The reality for a racer is however,a very different reality....in racing, the essence of physiological superiority is the ability to attack and defend at a higher rate than one's opponent...the ability to surge be it on the flat, up a hill, down a hill, on a certain lap or at a certain point in a race with the ability to come off of that surge and recover 'on the move' faster than your opponent very often and most likely means the difference between winning and losing or at the very least winning the one on one battle you are entrenched in....this is the challenge and the high of competitive racing....
Yet it is not engendered in racing... the art and ability to surge and recover comes from the very nature of your training. Great pitchers keep great batters off balance by varying height, velocity and location of their pitches- they even have a name for a pitch, it is called the 'Change up'....so my advice this fine Friday is mix up your training with pre designed inefficient workouts to force your body to improve its recovery time I.e. Training adaptation. By making this adjustment to inefficient workouts, you will somewhat ironically become more economical and more efficient as a running machine and in the process you will increase the number of 'gears' you have in your racing arsenal- a beach cruiser is fun in the summer time here at the Jersey Shore but I would not want to enter the Tour De France on one.....bring thought and intelligence to your training and remember to be a better racer, you need to 'Change it Up' !
Eg....Instead of running 4 x 800 meters with a 400 meter jog between at 2.00 mins per lap....(run it this way when you want by all means) 'change it up' occasionally with this modification.....4 x 800 meters and within each 800, change pace at each 200 meter mark running 65-55-65-55 or enter the numbers that you reasonably want to try.....
I am not suggesting for a moment that you should adopt this style in all of your quality (up tempo) sessions, but rather pick your spots and use it as an added weapon to your overall program, a protocol to call upon when you need it to engender a certain adaptation physically and psychologically, so when you need add the ability to add gears to your skill set, change things up and add in the 'change up' workout !
Walk in peace and let the good times roll !