Runner’s World September 2006
By Jeff Galloway
The Starting Line
Q: Can I do all my running on my local 400-meter track?
A: Tracks offer a flat, forgiving surface and a safe haven from
traffic. That said, doing all of your runs on a track isn’t
ideal. The boredom of going in circles can make it hard to stay
motivated, and the flat surface won’t develop leg strength
as well as running on hills. Running exclusively on a track also
increases your risk of injury because the constant turning puts
extra stress on the inside knee and hip. Mixing your track mileage
with runs on trails and roads will keep your motivation and strength
high and your injury risk low.
(Say What?) Running Jargon, Translated
Bonk: To be overcome by fatigue midrun. Bonking,
also known as hitting the wall, occurs when a runner’s glycogen
(energy) reserves become seriously depleted.
Stuck in a Rut? What to do when improvement slows down.
Runners naturally make progress for a while, then plateau as they
recover and rebuild before moving to the next performance level.
But sometimes there are reasons why performance stalls. If you are
slowing down, ask yourself these questions, and if the answer to
any is yes, then take the suggested action to make sure you continue
Q: Have you been increasing your running consistently over a period
of several weeks?
Action: Even if your increases have been conservative, your body
may just need a rest. For one to two weeks, reduce your mileage
by 50 percent and cut out all speedwork.
Q: Are you doing your long runs slowly enough?
Action: If you are doing your long runs too close to race pace,
you’re likely tearing down your body more than you’re
strengthening it. My runners get their best results when they keep
their long-run pace at least two minutes per mile slower than goal
Q: Do you run hard every day?
Action: Easy days and days off allow the body to rebuild after hard
efforts. Try running every other day, which gives the body 48 hours
to recover, even if you go hard on most of the runs you do run.
Q: Have you been racing or running long (or both) every weekend?
Action: Schedule an easy weekend-one without a long run or a race-every
two or three weeks so that your body is rested enough to perform
the quality workouts that ultimately lead to performance improvement.
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