Tuning up for XTERRA Nevada with training intensity plan
Editorandamp;#8217;s note: This is the second installment in a two-part series focusing on running in preparation for the XTERRA Nevada triathlon.Once an athlete has invested a couple months building his or her running-specific endurance base andamp;#8212; and along with it an efficient, biomechanically sound technique andamp;#8212; the next tier of training is intensity.Training plans are effective when intense workouts take first priority in the week, followed by medium intensity, then endurance and specific strength workouts. Intensity workouts take place after rest days. After the initial base period, I would structure the first week of a three-week training block for a beginner or intermediate athlete as follows, and progressively build intensity time and overall volume.Mondays are easy or complete days off. Too often rest days are disregarded or under-appreciated. These are as important for mental as physical regeneration. You donandamp;#8217;t have to do anything on these days. The schedule is dictated by what the mind and body wants to do andamp;#8212; no physical activity is an option. Otherwise, this is an ideal day for yoga or Pilates, or very easy cross-training on the bike or swimming.Tuesdays are speed days. One example of a multitude of workouts is to perform six to 10, 100-meter runs on flats, with full recovery between efforts. Speed days offer another benefit andamp;#8212; these short efforts wake up the body following a rest day and do not tax the system, while also priming the body for Wednesdayandamp;#8217;s intervals.Wednesdays are interval days. Tempo intervals of six times 6 minutes with 25 to 50 percent work time as recovery are a good starting point. Perform one interval day per week on flat to rolling terrain and the other interval day of the week on ascents. Over the three-week training block, these intervals will increase in time, and over the subsequent training blocks, these intervals will increase in intensity and reduce in time.Thursdays are dedicated to building specific strength and technique, as well as endurance. Run two hours in hilly terrain.Fridays are repeats of Mondays andamp;#8212; easy or a day off.Saturdays are interval days on ascents, with the same format as Wednesdays. But the workout begins with an abbreviated speed session, for example, six to 10, 75 meter strides, as a warm-up for the intervals. Perform intervals on ascents for technique and specific strength.Sundays are endurance days, performed at a perceived exertion of 50 to 60 percent of maximum effort. This intensity level teaches the body to efficiently use fuels. Maintaining this low intensity takes discipline and diligence, and is an essential training building block andamp;#8212; a perfect day to incorporate cross-training on the bike, to build muscular strength and promote injury prevention.Besides training specific physiological systems, these workouts provide a defined period of time andamp;#8212; the interval duration andamp;#8212; to focus 100 percent attention on honing efficient technique and sustainable rhythm and pace. These are key elements in endurance endeavors.Stay tuned for the art of taper, race prep and strategy.andamp;#8212; Julie Young is a Truckee resident and owner of o2fitness. She is a former U.S. National Team member and pro cyclist who currently competes in triathlons and trail runs. Contact her email@example.com.