You’ve been putting in the mileage, you’ve been hitting all your steady state training, you even got some threshold work in. You have watched both my other videos, go watch those if you haven’t seen them yet. And now you’re wondering, what else can I do to get faster? I want to be a better runner. Well, I’m Jesse Funk. And on today’s episode of Runners High, I’m going to talk about what I often referred to as interval running or rep pace, a higher intensity than threshold.
If you watch my other two videos, you know that all those training zones occur 85% of your max heart rate and below. So, everything I’m going to talk about today is 85%, all the way up to completely maxing your heart rate out. It’s kind of like watching any movie with Ryan Reynolds, it’s a good thing. Working at this intensity is going to produce lactic acid faster than your body can get rid of it, which means that eventually, it leads to muscle failure and you’re no longer able to keep up this particular pace.
So, what are rep pace actually good for? First, let’s just say, don’t take on this kind of training if you’re not already somewhat comfortable doing the lower paced training. You can get injured much, much easier when you’re working near max capacity if you aren’t already trained through the lower intensities. There’s a few things you can gain from working at this rep or high interval pace. And the first of them actually is increasing your max power output. Since all of your running pieces are really a function of what your max speed is, this makes sense, right? You want to increase your max power.
I mean, if you’re racing it, whatever the race is, say it’s 80% of your maximum. Well then, if you increase your maximum, now you can race at 70% of your maximum or if you gain fitness, now 80% of your maximum, you’ve move back up is even faster than it was before. Running at these higher intensities, helps your body learn to run more efficiently at a lower pace. Basically, you’re improving the economy with which you move so that when you’re running at a lower intensity, you’re going to move more fluidly, more easily. Because a higher intensity, you learn to recruit all those muscle fibers and everything moves in line, assuming you’re keeping proper form at high intensity.
Interval and rep work is going to be high intensity. So typically, you’re going to be doing 800 meters and shorter for the kind of intervals you want here and rest is going to be very, very long. So, if you never done interval work before, I might suggest even just starting out with 100 or 200 meters, and trying that out, doing repeats of those to see how you feel. Rest is going to be much much higher than anything else we do. So because the intensity so high, you need that recovery time. Otherwise, just like anything else when we’re accumulating lactic acid, your body needs that time to reduce it. Otherwise, muscular failure becomes a problem much, much sooner.
A good example of one of these workouts was something I did in college with the other guys. So, keep in mind, we’re collegiate runners that sort of times reflect that a little bit. But we will be running 400 meter repeats, where we’d be coming in 67 to 70 seconds. Me in the back around 70 seconds because as I’ve mentioned before, my connection to force and force production sucks. You might say I’m a little bit like an over encumbered storm trooper; injured and doing his best to valiantly fight on but has no connection to the force whatsoever.
Between these reps, we would take two to three minutes of standing or walking rest. And because that intensity so high, like I mentioned, you need to have that extra time to clear out the lactic acid so you can continue to do these reps. Since your whole goal is both to increase max power and increase running economy at lower speeds, you don’t want to produce muscle failure early on. You want to continue to be able to do these reps over and over again. So, here we are at the end of my three part mini series within Runners High. As always, subscribe to the channel. But I’m wondering, what do you want to know about running? You know, what do you not know that you can’t seem to find an answer to? Let me answer it for you, and I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runners High.