Category Archives: Training

Streaking and Recovery

If the laws forbid it, you better be fast! There are some underground races where “running free” is encouraged.

The other “streaking” involves running a minimum distance every day (clothing optional). This may conflict with the runner’s ultimate goal of increasing performance. Everyone responds differently to training loads and recovery strategies (the alchemy of coaching runners). For most, “active recovery” is effective, but it may be something other than running. Consider yoga, cycling, hiking hills, walking, etc. where you are put through ranges of motion and get the heart rate up to an aerobic level. For others, their body and mind need a break from running and exercise. Remember that this is supposed to be enjoyable.

Your choice to run on recovery days may depend on the type of soreness you are experiencing.  I like the feeling of soreness from muscles that have done me proud. I don’t like debilitating pain. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) peaks at about 48 hours after the stress load. This is normal and for most, active recovery works best. If the pain is more in the connective tissues or joints, it might be best to give them a day off and if it continues, please see a professional. Pain is a great feedback system if you heed it’s warnings.

Stretching is hotly debated and the consensus: “do it if you like it”. Never take it to a level of pain (tearing of fibers) and static stretches on a cold body is risky (I prefer to perform a minute of dynamic stretches after a mile or so of running). Stretching while “streaking”… not pretty.

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Why hill repeats?

Many races advertise a “fast and flat” course however, this does not mean “flat as a pancake”. It is very common for courses to have rolling hills and if you have not trained for these elevation changes, you may feel like you are scaling a massive mountain every time you encounter a hill. Around Lethbridge you can experience rolling hills along 11th or 12th Street South, between 6th and 10th Avenue.

Hill repeats can make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner by:

  • Improving your leg muscle strength.
  • Quickening your stride (uphill).
  • Expanding your stride length (downhill).
  • Developing your cardiovascular system.
  • Enhancing your running economy.
  • Protecting your leg muscles against soreness.
  • Being a replacement for sprint workouts.

You can reap the benefits of hill repeats very quickly.  In as little as six weeks of regular hill repeats, you can expect a significant improvement in your muscle power and speed.

Here is a short video on the benefits of hill repeats:

Knowledge & Performance: Hills

Knowledge & Performance: Downhills