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Run Faster with Repetition

By Sergio Borges | Dec. 04, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)

One great way to improve your running is by repetition. By repeating certain training sets over a number of weeks, athletes learn to:

Improve motor skills
Via certain specific sessions using a flat treadmill (0% incline that helps you to move forward), you can work on increasing your stride rate thereby reducing the time spent on the ground and causing less eccentric load on your quads. You’ll literally program your red meat computer to perform the way you want.

Train concentration skills

By shifting emphasis from aerobic levels of effort to form, repetition encourages you to develop greater levels of focus and concentration that will help you in racing and increase effectiveness of your workouts.

Develop intuitive understanding

Over time, athletes who train with repetitions develop a keen ability to literally feel how they are doing on any given day.

Better anticipate training
For age group athletes especially, repetition is a predictable and structured routine that you can adhere to without compromising sound training principles, while making more efficient use of your time.

Track performance

With repetitions, athletes don’t need to undergo physiological testing or test themselves over race distances in training – instead, their training ensures that you can track their improvements in each sport every week.

Accurately gauge fatigue

The interactive process means you learn quickly to determine if on one of those days you are truly tired and need rest, or are merely off.

Build consistency

A few simple guidelines ensure that athletes come to accurately interpret their body’s signals over time and to better apply these to maintain training consistency.

Increase relevant strength

Triathlon is an endurance sport but like all sports, strength and power are required to perform at your best. With three disciplines to train for it’s difficult to find more time to concentrate on specific strength training, as everything seems geared towards building stamina and endurance. Surely all that training on its own is enough to build the strength you’ll need, right?

Sergio Borges is a USA Triathlon Level III certified coach.