Summer is approaching and this makes many runners’ hearts beat faster of joy: finally, we are able to run in shorts and T-shirt on roads and paths free of ice and snow. And we’ll even be able to get tanned. BUT, aside from all the advantages, summer also brings with it some disadvantages. The following tips should help you to handle those.
A lot of sunshine, high temperatures and long days often make you want to move a training session to a shady place, close to a lake or on top of a mountain. We are going to show you what kind of alternative trainings that are especially suitable during this hot time of the year. They can well be integrated into a runner’s usual training plan, as well as they have a positive effect on performance.
Advantages of alternative training
- In summer in particular, some alternative sports are especially suitable, as they can be executed more flexibly and also in the heat
- Alternative forms of training bring variety into your training
- Alternative stimulates different muscles and thus, has an additional training effect on your body
- By doing more alternative training, you can increase your weekly training amount without increasing the risk for injury
How to realise it
Every running session from the training plan can be replaced with an alternative training, the duration for which will be calculated for you for each sport automatically.
Here is an example of the duration of sessions required for different sports in order to replace a 60min steady run
Here are some specific inputs:
On the bike
Each running training (steady run, long run, speed and intervals) can very well be replaced with a session on the bike (road bike and mountain bike) in our training schedule. Steady runs and long runs should be longer on the bike, intervals and medium pace sessions should take about the same amount of time as by foot.
Speed and interval training
20 to 30 minutes warm-up
3×10 minutes of medium intensity (break: 5 minutes) – keep the same pace for each interval
20 to 30 minutes cooldown
20 to 30 minutes warm-up
10×60″ uphill (break: 2 minutes) – feel free to vary the number of rotations (RPM)
20 to 30 minutes cooldown
Replace a 90min long run with 2.5 hours of biking – the duration of the session can be found directly in the plan. Or combine both sports: for example, 45min of running followed by a 75min bike session (the order can be switched).
In and on the water
A running session can not be replaced with a swimming session with the same effect. The sports and their forms of movement are too different from each other. However, this very difference makes swimming an ideal compensation to running. The whole musculature is trained, while the musculoskeletal system is discharged, you can counteract dysbalances and you minimise the risk of injury. A swimming session can well be used as an addition to or as a replacement for an endurance training. Provided that your technique is good enough.
10min technique exercises
12x25m sprint (break: 2minutes)
A 90min long run can, for example, be replaced with a swimming session of 75min. If this is too long for you, you could even swim for 30 to 45 minutes and go for a 45min run afterwards (the order can be switched).
Aqua jogging is suitable for recovery, in case of injury, or for very high temperatures. Aqua jogging is easy on your tendons and ligaments and is thus suitable as an additional training session (to running). Each training unit in the training schedule can be conductet 1 :1 in the water. Expect for intervals, where the «trot break» should be only half of the time, because of the water pressure.
Stand Up Paddling
Why not borrow a stand up paddling (SUP) board once and do an exciting training on the lake? It enhances endurance, coordination and stability all at once, which makes it a great training for your whole body. Especially deeper muscules are trained that way. The pace can be varied and you can get quite sweatty. However, refreshment is always possible with a quick jump into the water.
In the mountains
A hike is a good alternative to a long run and it also does something for your strength endurance. A possible option: two to three hours of Crescendo – start with a steady run intensity (possible when it’s uphill) and increase the pace gradually during the last 30-40 minutes. Generally, steady runs and long runs are especially suitable to be replaced with hikes. You can find the according indications in the running.COACH training plan under «walking».
Replace your running session with a short strength session by the pool, on the beach or at a nice shady spot once in a while. Use your own body weight and bring your minibands (exercises with minibands). Such a session can always be done as an additional training session, too.
What alternative sports do you include in your training during this hot time of the year? We are curious!
While some love the heat and handle it well even in terms of running training, others suffer from it. We are going provide ten tips for those amongst you who belong to the latter group, but also for everyone else, in order to keep going with your training even during summer.
A lot of us have some big goals this Fall, whether it be a marathon or cross country season. It may seem far away but these next months of summer are an important part training. This is the time to build your aerobic base to allow for an easy transition into workouts and races in the Fall. While the training programs will continue with some “maintenance workouts”, this period of training is really about doing long slow distance. Yes! I am telling you to run slow!
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Depending on your location you are either having the nicest weather of the year or the worst. For those in the Southern United States you will be dealing with extreme heat and humidity. Becoming an early-bird and running early is one of the best ways to get your training done but don’t be afraid of that indoor treadmill either. Heat and humidity training is actually very beneficial but please be careful, stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and listen to your body.
Your running.COACH plan will give you safe weekly mileage goals adapting to your progress over the summer. A good general rule to follow for increasing your mileage is adding 10% each week. Once you have your first week of running complete, try and add 10% more to the next week. Example: If you start out at 10 miles comfortably, multiply that number by 1.1 [10mi x 1.1 = 11], next week go to 11, then next week go to 12+. After three weeks of increasing, back off and do one week at a lower mileage before resuming your buildup where you left off.
If you have a few years of healthy running you can start your first week with higher mileage but a max of 30mpw is about as much as you want to begin with. If the body is feeling good and strong keep increasing mileage but always listen to the body. It’s always best to take one day off than to be injured for the season.
Racing during the summer is a great way to experience new places while you travel, meet fellow runners, and keep in touch with your speed. Throughout Europe, Canada, and the cooler parts of America this is the most popular time to race. This is also a good time to experience the mountains and trails. If you have some goal races through the summer be sure to take enough time off between your Fall season or talk with your coach to plan so that your fitness can carry forward without burning out.
Another option that is growing in popularity is summer camps, usually run by elite athletes in exotic landscapes in small groups, it provides an opportunity to train like an elite for a week and learn from the best. A Google search should be able to find a destination for you. If you are junior high/high school athlete (sorry adults, this camp is just for the kids this year) there is an opportunity to join me and a number of world class coaches this summer in Reno/Tahoe July 16-20 for the Nevada Altitude Cross Country Camp it is a very educational and beneficial week of training with fellow high school athletes from across the country.
This blog post was written by Calum Neff, canadian born running coach in the U.S., 2:22h marathoner and Guinness world record holder for the fastest half marathon pushing a stroller in 1:11:27. Are you interested in a personal running coach? Click here.