I am a fan of frequency training; my body seems to respond to it. The best gains I have main in strength have been when I lift heavy often and playing with the volume to make sure I am recovered enough for the next day. The best example of frequency training is squatting every day, working up to a heavy single each day but never pushing it too hard.
Frequency is how often you train, for example, three times a week. Frequency is increased by training a greater number of times each week. Intensity is how hard you train, for example faster, heavier, less recovery.BBC.com
Frequency training is challenging, and your legs are heavy every day. Often, you don’t know how you will feel until you warm up when your body just responds. The key to this high-intensity weight training is never to go too hard, never having to get excited to lift and stressing the nervous system too much. You just get in, warm-up, work up to a heavy single and then get out. It works with strength training, but does it work for running?
Middle distance runners such as milers in the preparation and races stages of the season seem to run hard every day. This is particularly true for intermediate runners at the high school and college level, where they run on the track most days of the week, making sure that they never push so hard that they can’t complete training the next day. Greats like Herb Elliot and Emil Zatopek ran hard each day and built world record pace. Emil Zatopek training famously focused around 200, and 400-meter repeats up to 40 times each but paced off feel and never all out.
Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.Emil Zatopek
I am going to do a block of running frequency training to get faster. I am taking the rough layout from an old Frank Horwill article of training for the mile.
The weekly layout will look like this:
- Monday: 3k pace, 2 x (1 x 400m + 1 x 800m + 1 x 300m)
- Tuesday: Tempo, half-marathon pace
- Wednesday: 4x 400m at mile pace
- Thursday: Intervals, 5k pace
- Friday: Recovery
- Saturday: maximal sprints, 1 x 350m, 1 x 300m, 1 x 250m, 1 x 200m, 1 x 150m, w/ 400m walking rests
- Sunday: Tempo, marathon pace
The volume and intensity for each workout will be adjusted by feel using the weekly layout as a guide. If I am not doing so well, the training will be replaced by a 35-minute recovery jog or, if really bad, some light 200 and 400m strides to just get the legs moving.
I will let you know how it goes.