The Method to the Madness

Since the beginning of the 9th grade (2009), I’ve conjured up my own training regimens for the upcoming season of racing. Some of the best moments each year occur when I do this, sitting down with a calculator, eraser, and a pencil to sketch out the specifics. I outline mileage, workouts, paces, and races, among other things. If I am to hold myself accountable, things NEED to be in written form, neatly, and with a purpose. I consider my training an extension of the work day. It is the work day. If I cannot complete my training sessions, the day is a waste. That is my mentality.

Over the years, I’ve been influenced by a number of coaches, scientists, writers, athletes, mentors, etc. Through research and inspiration, and plenty of trial and error, I’ve found what works best for me: VARITETY and CREATIVITY. Each season, however, the details continue to evolve, yet, the structure is mainly the same. I love the variety in my training. Along with an utterly dedicated soul, it’s what separates me from my competition. On my best day, I know I can beat anyone. I believe there are no limits to what I can do with my body and, come Hell or high water, I will never stop my search to find out.

All in all, I guess I’m just a big dreamer and meticulous preparer. I apply a surplus of training methods to my regimen, approaching training and racing as a profession. Below, I share my structure and creativity, a “rulebook” that I often refer to.


Structure

*I’m no robot. However, I try to follow this pattern as I prepare for any non-track/road race:

  • Start Week
    • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h, P90X
  • Rise
    • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h15m, P90X
  • Peak
    • M: T (CRUISE INTERVALS: 6 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • W: L (ADVENTURE), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h15m, 6s, P90X, XT
    • F: H (CLIMB w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Su: 1.5h, P90X
  • Peak
    • M: T (DOUBLE TEMPO RUN w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
    • W: L (RACE-SPECIFIC), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h15m, 6s, P90X, XT
    • F: H (CLIMB w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Su: 1.5h, P90X
  • Fall
    • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • W: L (R-XT-R), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
    • F: H (CYCLE w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h, P90X
  • Peak
  • Peak
  • Fall
  • Peak
  • Peak
  • Fall
  • Pre-Race Week
    • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
    • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
    • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Su: 1h15m, P90X
  • Race Week
    • M: 1h, 6s, P90X
    • Tu: T (CRUISE INTERVALS: 4 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
    • W: 45min – 1h, P90X
    • Th: 45min, P90X
    • F: 30-45min, 6s
    • Sa: RACE
    • Su: OFF

*On days that I’m scheduled a specific duration (like “1h” or “1h15m”), I’ll give myself a 5min “zone” on the back end, in order to make a specific route make sense, or to logically get back to my truck.

*When traveling and truck camping, I’ll usually ditch the structure, opting for an “Adventure Week”, which usually includes lots of long/exploratory trail runs.

*For post-race recovery, I follow this general rule:

  • >4h = 5 days OFF running
  • 1h – 4h = 3 days OFF running
  • 1mi – 1h = none

Sessions

L = Long

  • STEADY: 2h+ → “by feel”, runnable and rhythmic
  • ADVENTURE: 2h+ → a “new” route that’s intriguing
  • RACE-SPECIFIC: 2h+ → a route that mimicks the Race, periods of “uptempo”
  • R-X-R: 1h-1h-1h → run “by feel”, cross-train, run “by feel”

H = Hills

  • REPS: 12x1min OR 6x2min→ between 3.5-5% grade, strong efforts w/crisp and clean form, recovery jog downhill, a “nonstop” workout
  • CYCLE: 6x 5-8min OR 4x 10-16min → runnable hill loop, a “nonstop” workout, negative splits necessary!
  • CLIMB: hard effort (at least 10min) → to/from a summit, up/down a hill, or a round-trip

T = Tempo

  • CRUISE INTERVALS: 4 or 6x (5min ON : 1min OFF) → ONs @ current threshold pace or percevied effort, OFFs @ recovery jog pace
  • DOUBLE TEMPO RUN: 2.5mi, 5min, 2.5mi

R = Race

*Here are a few sessions that are in the playbook, but not always used:

  • TREADMILL “6×3”: 6x3min @8% (9-10.5mph, increasing each rep by 0.3mph) w/2:30 jog @0% (7mph)
  • STEADY TEMPO RUN: 5mi
  • MAX STEADY: 40min session (5min each segments) → 1st segment @1:30 slower than 10K pace, last segments @~10sec per mile slower than 10K pace
  • LONG RUN SURGES: 1min “surge” every 10th minute of Long Run
  • THE “2×7”: 7min @goal 5K pace, 5min, 7min @goal 5K pace
  • HALF-TIME FARTLEK: 31min session → 6-5-4min @current HM pace, 3-2-1min @current 5K pace, ALL w/half the “ON” recovery
  • MONOGHETTI FARTLEK: 20min session → 2x 90/90, 4x 60/60, 4x 30/30, 4×15/15…”ONs” @current 5K pace, “OFFs” = 1min per mile slower

Unstructured Structured Training

*Sometimes, my body gets “burnt out” from doing consistent focused run sessions. Usually, it’s because my training block is too long, my next race is many months away, or I’m just tired. During these times, I’ll trade in my go-to structured sessions for general “run by feel” runs, measured only by duration. Below, I outline these specifics:

“Short” = 30min – 1h

“Medium” = 1 – 2h

“Long” = 2h+

XT = 30min+


Marathon Training

(2Q: 18-week Training Program by Jack Daniels)

*6x20sec strides = 2x per week


Notes

  • Follow the scripted P90X3 program when training for any race other than a “specific speed distance” (trail, mountain, 50K, 100K, 100mi).
  • Follow my “customized” P90X3 program when training for specific speed distances (1mi, 5K, 10K, HM, marathon).

Published by Nick Arndt

Runner of dirt, rocks, and pavement. Live/work/train in the Adirondack Mountains.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: