If you want to run farther or increase your speed, especially over long distances, you must build up your running strength and endurance. These exercise programs below will help you maintain strong, powerful, even strides throughout a race.
All of the training programs on the previous pages include a base phase, then a specific phase, which includes running sessions to develop your strength endurance: long runs, hill repeats, tempo runs, and long interval runs.
Run your long runs at a comfortable, even pace aiming for a heart rate of between 70 to 85 percent or RPE of six to nine, increasing your distance by 10 to 15 percent each week.
SHORT HILL REPEATS PROGRAM
For this type of run, choose a hill with a gradient of 10 to 15 percent—any greater and your running technique may suffer. If you are a beginner to hill running, start at the lower gradient. Look straight ahead when running, not at your feet, so you concentrate on the hill.
LONG HILL REPEATS PROGRAM
For long hill repeats, choose a hill with a smaller gradient—5 to 8 percent is ideal. As with short hill repeats, start with the lower gradient if you are a beginner. Don’t do hill repeats more than once a week. Hill repeats can be used for speed training too.
SLOW- AND FAST-TWITCH MUSCLES
Muscle is made up of bundles of fibers. There are two types of fiber— slow-twitch and fast-twitch. The overall ratio of fast- to slow-twitch fibers determines muscle function and which sports an athlete is likely to excel at. Muscles with more slow-twitch fibers are redder, relying on a steady energy supply of oxygenated blood so have more blood vessels. Fast-twitch muscle fibers use oxygen to make ATP—a substance that transports energy within cells—to fuel them, and are better for generating short bursts of strength or speed.
TEMPO RUN PROGRAM
A tempo run should be comfortably hard rather than an all-out effort. You should ensure that you are fully warmed up before beginning. A 10–15 minute session before an easy run will be sufficient; perform a cool-down of the same length afterward.
LONG INTERVAL RUN PROGRAM
High-intensity interval training is one of the best ways to improve your race performance. These sessions are usually reserved for building strength for half- and full marathons. Running faster than your normal race pace for short periods of time helps build vital running strength endurance.
Taken From "The Complete Running and Marathon Book" -- OmRiyadat