Progression runs are not only a great way to get a significant aerobic stimulus, they are also an indicator of your ability to run by feel. Let me explain.
Because a progression run has you running progressively faster throughout the run, you have to gauge your effort early in the workout. While you don’t want to run so slow to start this workout that you’re not being challenged, there is a tendency to run a bit too fast on the first segment of the progression run. You’ll have to speed up at three points in this run, so you have to make sure that in the first section you are being challenged, but running conservatively. If you are skilled at running by feel, this won’t be a problem, but if you’re still honing that skill then knowing what rhythm you can run and still be able to speed up three times will pose a challenge.
I really like a 50-minute progression run as the bread and butter version of this run. Do 20 minutes steady, 15 minutes a bit faster, 10 minutes a bit faster, 5 minutes fast but controlled. If you do a 10-minute warm-up and a 10-minute cool-down then you have 70 minutes of running. If you do LMLS before the run and SAM after the run then you’ll work out for 90 minutes, start to finish. This is a realistic amount of time to ask of even the busiest adult runner, let alone a high school or collegiate athlete training in the off-season. [Read more…]