Friday, March 23, 2012

My Dying Endurance

I am dying without working out or running. Dying. Shin splints you need to leave now because I can't take this - I'm stir crazy with only a little over a week before my race. I feel like I'm going to lose all of the endurance I've built up.
This is exactly how I feel.

Since I'm too paranoid to try anything right now while I still have these shin splints I thought I'd read up on endurance and think about how mine is quickly dying.

"Craig Beesley, a beginning runner, extended his longest run from 30 seconds to nearly 3 hours. " (source) That inspires me. The process of getting from virtually no endurance to running for 3+ hours amazes me. From reading an article about endurance on I finally see that there is no "one size fits all" method to improving endurance. We are all so different so it makes sense that each body may not respond the same. Runner's World recommends to try these 7 different methods for improving endurance:
  • Plan 1: Take one step at a time 
    • "What you should do: Whatever your present endurance conditioning, build it slow but steady. We like a program that adds 1 mile a week to your weekend long run, for example: 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles. Every 4th week, reduce mileage by skipping the long run. Rest and recover. The next week, start building again, 1 mile at a time: 8 miles, 9 miles, etc."
  • Plan 2: Run Yassos 800s
    • "With the Yasso system, you run 800-meter repeats on a track in the same minutes/seconds as your hours/minutes goal time for a marathon. (So if you're looking to run 4:30, do your 800s in 4 minutes and 30 seconds.) 
    • What you should do: Run Yasso 800s once a week. Start with just four or five of them at your appropriate pace, then add one a week until you
  • Plan 3: Run long and slow
    • "What you should do: Do most of your runs at 80 percent of the speed you could race the same distance. So, if you can race 10 miles at 7:30 pace, you should do your 10-mile training runs at 9:23. To convert a race pace to an 80-percent training pace, multiply the race pace by 1.25; for more details, visit Finke's Web site: To find a wide range of your equivalent race times, go to, and click on "race time calculator" under the calculators section. "
  • Plan 4: Make every workout count
    • "The 3-day training week. Pierce follows the usual advice to alternate hard days with easy days, but he takes it to the extreme. He runs only hard days--3 of them a week. On the other 4 days, he doesn't run at all, though he lifts weights several times a week, and also enjoys a fast game of tennis. In stripping his training program to its essence, Pierce runs each of his three workouts at a specific target pace and distance. One is a long run, one is a tempo run, and one is a speed workout. "I run at a higher intensity than some others recommend, but I have found that this program has worked well for me for many years," says Pierce. "It reduces the risk of injuries, improves long-term adherence, and still lets me enjoy the gratification that comes with intense efforts."
    • "What you should do: Pierce does interval training on Tuesdays, tempo training on Thursdays, and a long run on Sundays. For interval repeats, he runs 12 x 400 meters or 6 x 800 meters at slightly faster than his 5-K race pace. On tempo days, he runs 4 miles at a pace that's 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than 10-K race pace. On Sundays, he runs 15 miles at a pace that's 30 seconds per mile slower than his marathon race pace. You can easily adapt these workouts to your own 5-K, 10-K, and marathon race paces."
  • Plan 5: Do Plyometrics
    • "What you should do: You could always train with your local high school football team while they work out with the rope ladder. But if that's too intimidating, here's a simple alternative: Instead of running strides at the end of several easy runs a week, do a "fast-feet" drill. Run just 15 to 20 yards with the shortest, quickest stride you can manage. You don't have to lift your knees high; just lift them fast, and move forward a few inches with each stride. Pump your arms vigorously as well. Rest, then repeat six to eight times. Once or twice a week, you can also do 5 minutes of single-leg hops, two-legged bounding, and high-knee skipping, all on a soft surface such as grass or packed dirt."
  • Plan 6: Run Longer Tempo Runs
    • "What you should do: Do a tempo run once a week for 8 weeks. Start with a 20-minute tempo run at 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than 10-K race pace, and add 5 minutes to your tempo run every week. Be sure to take 1 or 2 easy days before and after tempo days."
  • Plan 7: Run Long and Fast
    • "What you should do: On your long runs, pick up the pace for the last 25 percent of the distance. Gradually accelerate to your marathon goal pace, or even your tempo-run pace. You don't have to attack your long run the way Khannouchi does, and you shouldn't collapse when you finish. But you should run hard enough at the end to accustom your body to the late-race fatigue of the marathon."

How do you work on and build your endurance?

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