How Balanced Are You: Speed vs. Endurance

How Balanced Are You?

When I start working with a new athlete, I analyze how balanced they are between their speed and endurance. 

Just like the program in The Cool Impossible, at start up, I have my athletes perform two field tests:

  • 1 mile test
  • 20 min test.

This helps me design their speed and Heart Rate training zones for their coaching program, AND helps me detect strengths and weaknesses that will become a target in their training.  

For example:

one of my new runners from London clocked a 5:15 mile test and held an average pace of 5:50 for his 20 min test.  I then compare the two.

For a good balance between speed and endurance, based on his mile time, I would like to see his 20 min avg pace between 5:30-5:40 pace or approximately 92-95% of the one mile test time.

So he is almost there and a great starting point for us to improve on this with coaching.

November is a good time to check where your balance is.  

You are coming off the year fit, and now going into maybe some recovery before 2018.  So doing your field tests now will allow you to take advantage of all the run fitness you have built up thru the year, and also give you a benchmark for 2018 training.

Bring on a balanced 2018!

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Comment by Mark on February 13, 2018 at 6:00pm

Does this percentage need to be adjusted based on speed? For a person running an 8-minute mile, running for 20 minutes at that same pace would be only 2.5 miles. But for a person running a 5-minute mile, running 20 minutes at that pace would be 4 miles. It feels like 92-95% is reasonable for the 8-minute miler, but awfully difficult for the 5-minute miler.

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