Sunday, 17 November 2013

Week of training Sunday November 10th - Saturday November 16th. + LT training thoughts and questions.

Hello again,

Before I kick off this weekly update I wanted to talk about something I've been thinking about that's training related. I would love some feedback or even get a discussion going.

Lactate Threshold Training?

We know it's one of the most important energy systems to develop, but when training for primarily the 5km-10km distances how long is the optimal tempo? I mean there is always more then one way of doing things and achieving the same goal. But I feel that Lactate Threshold training is something allot of people see as confusing, myself included. The principal of the training being to improve our bodies ability to clear lactic acid accumulation while running. What I'm wondering is, for 5km-10km specific training what is the most effective sessions to use? For me this season, my tempo runs have been between 4-5 miles (continuous) at paces between 5:15/mile - 5:25/mile depending on the course and distance. But I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps longer tempos are necessary? I say this as I've been following some runners recently who have been training for the marathon and doing very long LT sessions during their buildup and they have run new personal bests over the 5km and 10km during their buildup so it has me doing some thinking. I'd love to hear what you all think and what works for you so leave a comment and let me know.

This Week in Training.

This week was excellent as I was able to do my quality workouts and long run with Kate and Peter Bazeley. Kate is one of the top female distance runners in the country and is a fellow Saucony Hurricane teammate. She is in a buildup now for her marathon debut and is really rolling. Her husband, Peter, is one of the top runners in the province and is super consistent, so having them there for the workouts this week was excellent and I think we all made some great progress. Hopefully we get more workouts in as the fall moves along. 


8 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM


10 miles easy - AM
10 miles easy - PM


Workout - 7.25 mile tempo run. (This was a great session done on the always hard mundy pond course. Peter and I started nice and controlled at about 5:40 pace then worked it down until we started running 5:20's. Our average for the tempo was 5:25/mile which I was very happy with. Kate had a great workout as well and ended up running faster then her prescribed pace).

13 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM


12 miles easy - AM
8 miles easy - PM


Workout - 8 minutes (3 minutes rest) 3X2 minutes (2 minutes rest) 8 minutes. (Very good workout as well. I don't normally do time based session but I really enjoyed this one. We did it on the Tupper Laurier loop. Peter and I talked about running the 8 minute segments @ 5:15 pace but we got a little jumpy and averaged 5:02 pace for the first 8 minutes, 4:47 pace for the 2 minute segments, then 5:06 for the last 8 minute segment. All in all great session)

12 miles with workout - AM
7 miles easy - PM


13 miles easy- AM
8 miles easy- PM


Long Run - Kate, Peter and myself got after a 35km/22 mile run out and back on the old railway bed. (We averaged 6:42/mile pace on the run, my legs felt tired coming back the last 3-4 miles. We got to run about 30 minutes with Colin Fewer mid way which is always a nice treat (the provinces top runner, 7 time tely 10 winner, fellow Saucony teammate and 30 minute 10km performer))

22 miles - AM
Off - PM

138 miles total on the week.


Tremendous week of training, plenty of miles and the workouts went without a hitch. That's one more done and written in the log. Time to regroup and get after it again next week. I'm going to be trying out the new Saucony Cortana 3's  this week for all my easy miles. So I will let everyone know how I find them. I'm looking to get into a more plush daily trainer as the majority of my miles will now be on the roads in the winter. I normally like to run all my miles in the Kinvara 4 but I'm going to try this out and see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Until next time keep your stick on the ice
Run happy


  1. Hi Dave,

    Below is a link to an article by Greg McMillan about the Stamina Quarters workout and how it challenges your LT zone for 5K and 10K specific training. As you know, this is not the continuous type tempo workouts that you are referring to, but it is an interesting way to develop your LT. Now that you mentioned it, I don’t recall seeing many 30min plus tempo workouts incorporated into shorter distance race plans, sometimes I see longer tempo interval workouts around 7mins with recovery. I know you’re a fan of McMillan running so you likely may have a ready see this article. Keep up the great work!!

  2. Thanks Lee!

    I'll have a look at this now. I just got your email about it! That looks fantastic. I'll give it a read through. Much appreciated. I do love me some McMillan training! :)

  3. Do a post on diet, Freake. Fitz needs to lose some weight.

  4. I'll do one of those for sure Adam! I'm trying to keep my diet in check as well so I'll post some strategies on peri workout nutrition, iron, macro-nutrient intake and all that good stuff!

  5. David, Tom Schwartz tends to prefer shorter faster tempo paces, say close to 12km pace for runners targeting 5km-10km races (
    This is partly because you get to run at close to race pace, and the faster tempo paces give you a bit of a boost to MaxVO2 as well as working your lactate clearing systems. He tends to prefer 1000m or 1200m reps with a 200m jog, at what he calls Critical Velocity (CV) pace.
    However no reason why you can't vary your tempo workouts, from continuous runs @ half marathon pace to reps @ CV pace. I was always a fan of longer tempo progression runs back in the day, say 13km with half of it at about marathon pace progressing to HM pace and finishing the last km @ 10km pace or a little faster. One coach I know in N.S. likes to tailor tempo workouts to the length of your loop: his runners have a convenient 4mile loop near their home track so they do 4mile tempos all the time.

    1. I really enjoyed reading about this! I like this idea of CV pace.

      I think mixing things up will produce the best results like you mentioned. I think the key will be to just monitor progress and know what effort are being put on in different workouts.

      I must say I do love the 4 mile tempo. Its a great way of comparing where your given fitness is at different times in the season.

  6. David, I agree with Tom that the best way to improve lactate threshold is by running reps. I found that 1500m reps with 60 recovery by walking the turn worked well for me. This workout also stresses Max vo2 . This type of training does not lead to a build up of lactate as the it is cleared during the rest. The brief rest prevents you from running either rep too quickly. The key element for me was that each one got progressively faster . I always counted the first rep as a continuation of the warm up so I kept the workout under control. Each rep was run about4-5 seconds faster and the workout was over when I felt that I couldn't improve on the last one. If one was slower than the previous rep the workout was over. The key of course is to be relaxed and comfortable while running at pace. I used to grade my comfort level on a scale of 1-10 every hundred meters. 10 being perfect I would not let myself go below an 8. Sample 1500meter times 5:15,5:08,5:05,5:01. 4:55,4:46 Done

    1. Thanks for the thoughts Mike!

      I really enjoy doing mile reps So I will give this one a go. I like how you talked about the important of being in control of the workout. I think thats one issue I have with running miles, and sometimes loosing track of where my pace is relative to 10km pace, and I'm working much harder then I should be.

      I will give this one ago 100%.

      Thanks :)