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 Running Slow to Become Fast 
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Post Running Slow to Become Fast
Running Slow to Become Fast
by: Dominique de Rooij

For many runners there is still so much to improve.

They do not realize that a different approach to their distance training could have incredible impact on their performance.

Because the fact of the matter is, many runners have a poor aerobic condition.

Ideally you will have a strong relationship between your race times at shorter and longer distances. E.g. there is a strong relationship between your 5k and your 10k and your half marathon time.

There are many calculators on the net that can help you find that type of relationship and tell you how fast you should run your half marathon based on your 5k time for example.

However, for many runners, their 10k-time is worse than what their 5k-time suggests. And their half marathon-time is even worse than what their 10k-time, let alone their 5k-time suggests. Their race times deteriorate as distance grows.

There are two main reasons for that:

1. Runners are not doing enough mileage,

2. The mileage they do, is done too fast.

The key to being good at long-distance running is a high lactate threshold. Your lactate threshold is the point at which lactic acid starts to accumlate in your legs. Go faster than your lactate threshold pace and within minutes you start feeling uncomfortable. Your legs start feeling heavier and heavier. In the end you just have to slow down or stop. When you do training specifically to increase your lactate threshold, then your "easy, comfortable" running becomes faster and faster over time.

Improve your lactate threshold and you will improve your race performances. To improve your lactate threshold you have to increase the mitochondria in your muscles.

The more mitochondria, the less lactate at every running pace. But mitochondrial

adaptation in each fibre type is very dependent on the intensity of your training.

So, what is the correct training intensity?

Surprisingly, you get the best results by doing just aerobic training.

So the key to improving your lactate threshold lies in training below your lactate threshold pace. Some sessions may be close to lactate threshold pace, but it needs to be stressed that your training should be slow, rather than fast.

The old adagium "No pain, no gain", ironically enough does not work!

In addition to this, a general increase in mileage would be good. This should be easier if you are one of those runners that train way too fast. Run slower and you will be able to do longer distances much easier.

When you apply this consistently for four to six months, you will find that your racing performance will improve significantly. Over time your lactate threshold will increase and it will become easier to run faster. Only when you have accomplished this important step, it would be time to see how you can further improve your race times by doing some speed work and conditioning work in the last few weeks of your training. So, jump on the band wagon and run slow to become fast!

About The Author
Dominique de Rooij is an avid runner and founder of

More information about this approach to distance training including full training programs can be found in the free report, available on

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This article was posted by permission.

Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:31 pm
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