On A Roll
Multiple Ironman champion and winner of Ironman Western Australia in 2008, Tim Berkel has spent time fine-tuning his training at altitude in Boulder, Colorado. Here, he shares a hill run session designed to build endurance.
Tim’s training session
Aerobic tempo / Run x 2 hours:
Aerobic over rollers and hills, preferably dirt trail
Keep cadence high
Focus even when running hills – hold range E1-E2A high on hills
Last 30 minutes E2B low/cadence as @ 90-93rpm – do this section on flats
By Sean foster
Why Should I do them?
The long run can be considered the most important run session of the week, especially for less experienced runners developing their endurance base.
The run builds endurance and efficiency through muscle capillarisation, and teaches the body to burn fat as a source of energy at lower aerobic intensities. Long endurance sessions should be gradually built up in your base phase, carried throughout the training year, and maintained during race phase to retain muscular endurance over a long race season.
It’s important to run at a moderate ‘steady’ intensity on rolling courses instead of surging. Running these workouts too hard or with a change of pace will overly fatigue you and increase your recovery time post session. Maintaining a moderate but even intensity will see you making most of the benefits above.
Tim increases intensity in the final solid 30 minutes of the run. This is great for simulating the fatigue you may feel in a run off the bike, especially in long course events. I would only recommend this for runners with good leg strength or those who have an easy start to the next training week to allow for added recovery time.
For less experienced runners, I would gradually build the duration of the run on flat terrain over time. Aim to incrementally increase duration from 1:45 hours to 2:00 hours before adding any tempo intensity or rolling to hilly courses.
It’s important to always do long runs to time, not distance, as this allows for days where you run slower due to more accumulated fatigue.