If I had to choose a single word to refer to performance improvement, it would be the word ‘consistency’. If you run in the mountains, whether you are an amateur or a professional, The most important thing to achieve long-term health performance is how consistent you manage to be..
To be consistent week after week, month after month, year after year, it is vital that we know how to organize training well. For this, a very good strategy is look at the short term and define what I call ‘your winning week of training’.
The winning week is something individual for each person. It is a feasible structure for you, that is entertaining and that is aligned with the preparation of your objectives. It is important not to ask for more than what can be done.to avoid frustration and injuries.
Below I am going to detail a possible structure that may work. Don’t take it literally because, as I say, each person can design a different winning week. It will depend on the level, previous experience, sporting intentions, objective to be prepared, availability and finally, the enthusiasm and desire you have.
Monday – We start with what is important
After the weekend training, a good way to start the week is strengthening the body. We must know that strength and conditioning work is something that every human being should do, for long-term health and vitality. If you also run, strength training will allow you to perform better and prevent injuries.
Today you could work on mobility and strength with a functional vision, working on important movements for life and career.
Tuesday – Boost your engine with intervals
No one has ever told me “Manu, I want to run slower and for less distance.” On the contrary, they always tell me “Manu, I want to go faster…or further.”
To get faster, A very good way is to work medium and high intensity intervals.. High intensity is an intensity that allows you to say at most one word, while medium intensity allows you to say one sentence before having to take a breath.
If you run in the mountains, it is advisable to do these intervals uphill to reduce the structural impact and thus prevent injuries. In addition, by doing the intervals uphill, you will be working on specific strength for the race.
Wednesday – Keep calm
After a hard day like intervals, it is important to reduce the load the next day. Remember: long-term sustainability.
In this case, one option would be to do a soft and short running run, at an intensity that you can speak comfortably. Or take a quiet bike ride.
The idea is to accumulate minutes of low intensity, to promote recovery and work your aerobic base, which is essential for the sustainability of the training.
Thursday – Play with the terrain
After yesterday’s calmer day, today in principle you could do another medium or high intensity workout. Not always and not in all cases, but it could be done if you are in good physical shape.
A very fun workout is called fartlek., which consists of playing with the terrain. Look for a circuit with ups and downs. On the climbs, go intense, so that you start to pant, but without going to the maximum. And on the flats and descents, go softer to recover.
With these workouts, in addition to improving your speed, you also work on changes in the use of muscles when going up, down and flat.
Friday – Strengthen your structures
If on Monday we started the week with mobility and functional strength, today we are going to improve your maximum strength levels. To do this we will work with external loads. Or put another way: weight training.
This type of training, like Monday’s, helps you improve health, performance and prevent injuries. Which is essential if you want to continue running for many years.
Saturday – Emulate the adventure in easy mode
Today is the most anticipated day of the winning week: the long run. Choose a route, if possible, with terrain and profile similar to that of your next race. This way you can internalize sensations, so that on race day there are as few surprises as possible.
The intensity you should carry is gentle. A good long run leaves you wanting more at the end. If at the end you need three days to recover, you have gone too far.
Remember that it doesn’t kill the bullet, it kills the speed of the bullet.
Take advantage of these long runs to train your nutrition and hydration for the race. It’s also a good time to try different material options.
Sunday – Day of reconnection and disconnection
After Saturday’s long route, a good option is to rest. Remember that it is during rest when the body lets adaptations come to light.
Take advantage of this day to disconnect and dedicate it to family, friends or anything else that you like that is not sports.
Another good option is to reconnect with physical activity in a way that is not demanding for you. You can take advantage and take your partner, a friend or a family member for a simple walk along a short route and then have a picnic. This way you will be showing part of your world to a loved one and sharing a great time.
In short, in a good winning week:
– Strength training for two days and physical conditioning.
– Take a long run gentle.
– Do one or two medium or high work days intensity.
– The rest is gentle or active rest.
And above all, remember to take care of your social life, beyond sports.
You are not just a runner. You are a person who runs.
PERSON, who runs. In that order.