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Training Paces

Training Pace - E (Easy):

Percentage of Max Effort: 60%

General Effort: The goal here is to run at a comfortable and sustainable pace.

Why: to improve heart, muscles, and cellular efficiency and simply put to keep the engine running smoothly. Running at an easy pace promotes better oxygen delivery to your muscles and develops a strong aerobic base. This enables the body to efficiently utilize oxygen which is important for all of the next paces!


Training Pace - T (Threshold):

Percentage of Max Effort: 82-88%

General Effort: Comfortably hard.

Why: Threshold running is when lactate accumulation stabalizes.. Regular threshold training (usually performed for about an hour) enhances endurance by improving the body's ability to clear and utilize lactate, delaying fatigue. This is important for all athletes, but crucial for athletes preparing for longer races and more sustained efforts, think 16/32.


Training Pace - I (Interval):

Percentage of Max Effort: 97-100%

General Effort: Hard, but not your hardest! (About 5 mins)

Why: This pace is performed to maximize aerobic power, focusing on elevating your VO2 max aka the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use in one minute. By strategically keeping efforts just below the maximum, and not actually reaching maximum, we can spend MORE time adapting... this way we improve oxygen utilization and overall anaerobic capacity. Aka we make gains.


Training Pace - R (Repetitions):

Percentage of Max Effort: max

General Effort: Your hardest, but it's fine because you get more rest!

Why: Rep training is hard efforts lasting about 2 minutes or less, followed by extended rest (2-3x what the work period was). This targets speed and improves running economy. The goal here is to really push yourself, but then to allow yourself to fully recover, so that you can perform another rep again, and again, and so on.

Bonus Note: most of our hill workouts fall under rep or interval training depending on when they happen during a training block and where they are happening. Hills improve speed and running economy, so they can still be utilized during track season, just not as frequently as in xc.


If you have not performed a timed test and received your customized training paces yet, please schedule immediately as your individual training plan depends on this key.

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