Way back when—think the 1970s—there were far more distance runners
capable of maintaining high speed than there are today. Sure, we’re breaking
records. But the depth just isn’t there. So what was their secret? Long and
slow, says the
1975 Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers and third place finisher Tom
Fleming were friends who trained together back in the day. Their goal: “To go
out and train more than anyone else.” They didn’t run crazy fast sets though.
In fact, they hardly ever trained at their top speeds. In fact, they typically
ran about a minute slower than their marathon pace. But boy did they run. At
their peak, they ran 210 miles a week—that’s 30 miles a day!
We’re not telling ya to go out there a break in a new pair of running
shoes every day. But if you’re looking to increase your speed, there’s a lesson
to be learned here. Whether you want to beat last year’s mile time or are
training to beat a personal track and field best, here’s a tactic to consider:
run slow, but run more. “Fitter equals faster,” says Fleming. “The speed will
come from running lots of miles.”
Why does it work? Well, when you try to run at your fastest speed 24/7,
you end up putting too much stress on your body. But when you focus more on
distance than speed, you build up your strength and aerobic capacity, which
allows you to run faster than ever when you really need to.
Are you a runner? Tell us your
personal best in the comments!
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/28/2014 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN fitness, get fit fast, workout dos and don'ts, how to run