Dr. Jim Freim November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Discover the Fountain of Youth - Page 3

Pick Up the Pace

After you have worked up to five loops, the goal is to increase your pace per loop. A recent hard trail run or race indicates your potential pace for loop five. Using the example above for a 40-something, if your comfortable pace is 8 minutes per mile, but your race pace is 7 minutes per mile, on a two-mile loop, your ultimate pace goal should be loops of 15:00, 14:45, 14:30, 14:15 and 14:00.


Over time, you should notice that your pace on the first loop may become inexplicably faster, which means the negative time workouts are working their magic.

Adjust the time reduction based on your age, fitness level and repeat distance. Although you could do this workout every week, be conservative and do it every other week, adding them to your training about eight to 10 weeks before a key race or run.

You will think you have found the Holy Grail of trail running. You will be able to pace yourself and to run negative splits. You will have untold energy as you near the end of a race. And, once again, you will have recovered some of that lost youth.

A Case Study

When I worked as a trainer in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday nights, we ran decreasing-time workouts on a three-mile loop in a park. Loop one was 21 minutes (7 minutes-per-mile pace). Loop two was 20 minutes, loop three 19 and loop four 18. If you had energy in the tank, loop five was sub-18 minutes.

That summer, as an early 40s master with my much younger partner, we did the four-day Border to Border Triathlon team race in Minnesota. Day three was a 50-mile run where the two team members alternate running. we chose one-mile intervals. Completing the 50 miles in 5 hours 13 minutes, we averaged 6:15 minute miles—which we attributed to our training with decreasing-time intervals.


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