This week somebody was asking me about how to prepare for the Engadin Swimrun. A race I was doing this July of this year. And the person also added “I am not a very good runner but I can train hard…”. As a lot of athletes are doing wrong in this I am sharing my thoughts and experiences. Hard shouldn’t mean high in pulse but long in distance.
During the last 18 months I did a lot of good training. But over long periods I was too busy and did a lot of “panic sessions”. Trying to cope with the challenges ahead. I thought that long and hard training would make me harder, better and faster. The biggest lesson I have learned out of that is that the panic sessions (more than 75 or 80% of my maximal heartbeat) are nothing else than body punishment to make me feel like I did something great.
We have to store the power and build up the fundament we all need for long distance endurance sport. That’s why I am working now with a speed limit. Strictly. Even when young girls are overtaking me along the trails (which can be very positive) or old guys are rumbling by. In these moments my ego is at home in a closed room. “Speed limit” will generate a lot of power and stamina. And you will become faster. Our Coach Kurt Müller does so for years: 6 of his athletes qualified for Hawaii and even more for the 70.3 Championships.
In my plan there is actually one endurance key training per week to leave the comfort zone at 75%. This training gives me the feedback that I trained hard. But my body develops in the right direction. After 4 weeks of consequent speed limit I was able to increase my speed at the same heart rate. In my case it’s about 6 minutes per kilometer when running. When you do brick trainings (combining different sports within one long training) you prevent your body from getting hurt. Examples are run-spin-run or run-swim-run.
Today the training is about:
- 90 minutes of easy running with backpack to Zurich and then to speedy walk the +200m up to Zurich Irchel > 75%
- 90 minutes of spinning indoor in the group, with some short shots of less than 2-3 minutes > average 70-75%
- 90 minutes of chatting and running with the slower part of the group > 75%
- 30 minutes of cooling down while running downtown with backpack to take train back > 75%
Another good thing is hiking. Did you over take on your sports watch to monitor your pulse when going hard up? You might be surprised.
So then, I have to pack to leave the house soon for a long and consistent brick training.