Outdoor

‘Float’ Exercises: The way to Turn into a Mentally Stronger Runner

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Great interval workout shouldn’t just make you physically tougher.

If you want to improve your running, you need to add a healthy dose of interval training. This is an indisputable fact. When TreadmillThere is one thing I don’t like about interval training: the rest.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t include breaks, and I don’t see the value of traditional interval training. However, I propose to include some other form of speed work where the recovery is less of an actual pause and more of a continuation of the speed interval.

Most interval workouts are structured so that there is a work repetition (or speed interval) followed by a recovery interval. Typically, the recovery interval is done much more slowly so that you can catch your breath, take a mental break, and prepare for the next interval.

This tough, simple style run chops up the session, giving you a chance to rest at the end of each tough section and break the workout down into more manageable pieces. It also makes it easier to manage a difficult workout, mentally and physically.

The problem with this approach, however, occurs on race day. There are no breaks during a race – no slow recreational jogs, no mental stops to prepare for the next push. It’s time to start.

The best way to prepare for this kind of mental hardship non-stop – the hardness you need to run a race – is to regularly include some type of training called “float” training.

Float workouts for running

Float workouts are purposely designed to help you overcome discomfort while maintaining a fast pace. They do this by eliminating a simple recovery jog.

Instead, the recovery sections (“float” parts) are performed at a relatively fast pace that is still uncomfortable and insufficient to allow you to take a mental or physical break. In addition, with these continuous training sessions you will learn how to deal with moderate lactic acid levels and how to eliminate them.

Two of my favorite types of float workouts are alternating long runs and in and out.

Entry and exit can be done on the road or on the trail. They serve as a great early season Fartlek or quality session in the middle of your training cycle. I recommend repeating this workout every 3-4 weeks, adding a mile each time.

In and out workout

Float workout: getting in and out

  • Warm up 1-2 miles, starting at an easy pace, then gradually picking up on a moderately tough pace
  • Begin alternating half a mile at 5 mile to 6 mile with a half mile at marathon pace (or alternate between the low end of the pace and the high end of the steady pace with this calculator)
  • Repeat for 2 to 8 miles, depending on your ability
  • Cool off 1-2 miles at a light pace

A comfortable, fast shoe is a must

Such as Igloi 100sIn-and-outs can really put a strain on your feet. The pace is fast enough that you’ll want to wear a lightweight racing shoe or trainer. But because of the volume, you also want something very comfortable.

One of my newest favorites that is both super fast and extremely comfortable is the Saucony Endorphin Speed. It features a nylon plate embedded in the ultra-reactive PWRRUN midsole, and the 8mm drop prevents your calves from being overloaded.

Saucony endorphin speed

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