After two years of training for gaining back speed, then increasing it, now it is time to calm down, rest the nervous system, add back some volume and train the aerobic means of my body. It took me around 20months of very hard training to start feeling the negative effects on my aerobic system. I ran mostly with guys preparing for 800 / 1500m races. That is fast for me knowing that my last big race was a 330km event in the Alps.
So at the end of this summer, despite many long runs, I started getting really tired, my heart rate started to increase for certain low speeds. Long races were not going well at all, like 15km or over. I had great time running 5 to 8km races and had good speed on technical and downhill terrain, but outside of a sprint finnish, I could not pull out high end endurance on the flats. This is not a problem at all as I was training for short distance speed and I got it and if wanted, could still greatly increase it. For instance my first 10 x 500 was completed around 1:30 on average with 1:30 recoveries. About 14 months after, we repeated to workout and I was down to 1:26 with the last 3 descending of 1:25 / 1:24 / 1:22 despite that the first run was completed in spikes and last one in flats. I also had my fastest K at around 2:58. I did not try to run faster, but I could do that 2:58 like three or four times with 4min rest. This is all just to say, that yeah, speed is greatly trainable, if you knew the means to it. It needs power development, elasticity, loads of neuromuscular actions and tons of technique. I had some key sessions what were repeated over and over and over. Short all out perfect technique hill repeats with sprinkled hill bounding inbetween. Short and medium length downhill running from 100 to 500m. Micro Plyometrics every day for lower leg bounce and core education. Millions of KB swings to reinforce knee drive and full Kettlebell routines.
Now I turn my attention towards a 100mile race, that I will decide to sign up for in a couple of weeks. I started from 40km a week, then 60, then 75, back to 60 and we will go on till I’m up to more than triple of that.
It is a very linear and easy progression. Running sub MAF heart rates till volume is up. One speedier session every 10 to 15days. Hill sprints once a week. Then when volume is over 100km a week, I start pushing into the MAF zone and do more and more of that, till near 80%+ of the work will be done at MAF. Easy !
All speed, lactate or any specific work will be done afterwards, most probably in order to prepare for a tune up race.