Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six secrets of adaptive running

Every elite coach has a training philosophy. Brad Hudson's is called adaptive running. It is based on his belief that a responsive and creative approach is better than an approach that is too structured and formulaic. 

In chapter 6 of his new book Run Faster: From The 5K To The Marathon coach Hudson reveals his six secrets of adaptive running:
  • consistent moderately high running volume (balancing quality and quantity)
  • nonlinear periodization (all the training types are mixed together throughout the training cycle, except when sharpening)
  • progression from general to specific training (race-specific fitness requires race-specific training, but it's crucial to have a very high level of non-race-specific fitness first)
  • three-period training cycles (introductory, fundamental and sharpening)
  • lots of hill running (including 8-12 second steep hill sprints)
  • extreme intensity and workload modulation (two hard workouts and one long run per week).
Would you like to become your own best coach? Running Faster will teach you how. You can find this new amazing book in Paleo Runner's aStore. Please visit there now to find out more!


Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Thanks for this. We practice the last one sort of but should try some of the other components.

With your frequent ultras, have you adapted so that you no longer have temporary water weight gains (presumably due to cortisol) or other consequences? I'm hoping it will taper off eventually, but I think it would make an interesting post, talking about the changes you've observed over this past year.

Paleo Runner said...

Thank you for your interest. Regarding my weekly ultralong training runs, I have adapted and recover very well.

Due to a nagging ankle injury, I've kept my pace very slow, which helps me keep stress and cortisol levels low.

When I was a young beginner 20-25 years ago I was constantly under heavy stress, overloaded carbs, and frequently consumed caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Then I noticed that my weight loss stalled and I even gained some weight occasionally. Tons of cortisol must have been running through my body, and eventually I became sick and was forced to quit all stressful activities for a few months.

Nowadays I don't eat too many carbs and have cut out coffee and alcohol completely. I tend to feel super fine all the time, no matter how much I run. In preparation for 2009, I've recently dropped my weight considerably, and running feels so much easier. It will be interesting to see if I can improve my performance next year, when I will be following Hudson's program.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Thanks for the info. I think I just need more time with basic running training because increasing mileage and intensity at the same time is proving difficult. The lower intensity running you've been doing is probably much more healthy.

Paleo Runner said...

Yes I believe Dr Phil Maffetone is right in saying that almost everyone would be better off with strictly aerobic workouts. It's not really healthy to go anaerobic, except very short sprints (like 10 seconds) maybe.

I think decreasing weight through dieting makes it much more feasible for a runner to increase mileage or intensity.

Running is supposed to be joyful relaxation, not painful suffering!

primal runner said...

I agree that it's difficult to increase both mileage and quality of running at the same time while on a paleo/low carb diet.

From my experience it's easier to build up the mileage at low intensity (marathon pace and slower) and then add some quality but not too much quality as it generally wipes me out for a few days. To increase both mileage and intensity I find I need to have higher carb consumption.

So stick with the easy aerobic running until you are comfortable running at your mileage level and then gradually add the intensity.

Paleo Runner said...

Thanks primal, right on.

I've found out you can eat as many carbs as you like, even if you are dieting, as long as you keep on exercising. If you count everything, like walking to the supermarket, then it's quite easy to increase mileage.

I've also found out that if you lose a lot of weight, then you automatically tend to run faster because it feels so much easier and you'd feel cold in the winter running at the same tempo as before.