Most runners do not run as far as they can every time they run. Most runners also do not sprint until failure during training runs. We mostly run at sub-maximal paces for varying distances. Some days we may run faster and some days slower, but we rarely go 100%. We definitely do not go as hard as we can every day.
These points seem obvious to even novice runners since most understand “training stress” should be varied. Exercise professionals call the varying of training stress “periodization”, and it is generally accepted some periodization model is necessary to obtain ideal performance results.
While “periodization” can take different forms, there is one stress many exercise professionals overlook and never include in a training program: life stress.
Life stress can definitely impact your training program and your racing performance. As a side note, elite level runners understand the importance of managing life stress so they may sleep up to 14 hours per day! Of course, this is not exactly realistic for most of us.
The challenge with placing life stress into a training program is it seems largely subjective and vague. Using objective standards to calculate stress seems like a daunting task. However, subjective measures are highly imprecise and often miss the mark badly- leaving the runner poorly trained and underachieving.
By using objective heart-rate readings as your training guide, the Race-Rx programs are able to incorporate life stress into your training program in an objective manner. When you are experiencing more stress or less sleep, your heart rate will likely rise more quickly than when you are feeling less stress.
When you are under high stress, your heart rate may jump up to 135 bpm while running 7 minute miles (just a hypothetical example). On a lower stress day, you may run the exact same pace and your heart rate may only get to 125 bpm. It is harder for you to run at the same pace when you are under significant stress.
Our programs understand life is going to bring you some stress, and this fact must be calculated as part of a training program. Since Race-Rx is an individualized program, training stress is varied to your individual life-stress response.
Contrast this with most generic magazine or “one-size-fits all” programs where training periodization is based purely on times and distances and no variation is offered when you are under greater stress.
These programs are overly simplistic and imprecise and do not consider the role life stress can play on training performance.
By utilizing an individualized heart-rate training program, our programs allow you to train at the level that is ideal for you on that particular day. During later days when the stress is reduced, the training stress can increase. This way your body is allowed to progress at an ideal level precise to your particular needs.
Since not many of us can sleep 14 hours per day, Race-Rx’s programs help maintain an ideal training program adapted for your individual needs.