Almost everyone operates their life on a 7-day life cycle with work during the weekdays and personal time on the weekend. We also schedule our running on this cycle… but are longer cycles like the 10 day training cycle better?
Most runners haven’t given much thought to the duration of their training cycles. We typically think of training cycles as essentially “seasons” that are 10-20 weeks in length.
But today, we’re talking about the pattern of your running. Most of us follow a 7-day training cycle (often called a microcycle) that includes one long run, 1-2 faster workouts, and several easy runs. You may also include weightlifting, cross-training, or drills in your weekly cycle as well.
There is a very good reason why most of us follow a weekly pattern: that’s how the rest of our lives are structured! We have weekly appointments and responsibilities, favor the routine of running long on the same day every week, and look forward to the consistent pattern.
But some runners are interested in more complex training patterns (and there are some good reasons to consider them) that are simply longer. Whether that’s a 10 day training cycle, 14 day cycle, or Paula Radcliffe’s 8 day cycle, you must know the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches.
I recently wrote a piece for Runner’s World on whether a 10 day training cycle is right for you. I wanted to go deeper on this topic, so I reached out to coach Mario Fraioli for a deep dive on longer microcycles.
Mario Fraioli on 10 Day Training Cycles
Photo Credit: Matt Wright
He’s a leading voice in the running community, a former college competitor to me in the New England region, and someone I’m fortunate enough to call a friend. He’s joining us today for a deep-dive on longer training cycles.
We’re going into detail on:
- The nuances of longer training cycles
- The goals they aim to accomplish
- The practical difficulties of longer cycles
- Why most everyone sticks with a 7-day cycle
- The #1 skill you must learn if you adopt a longer training cycle
Links & Resources:
If you prefer video, check out a summary of our conversation here:
Thank you Elemental Labs
A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors.
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There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense.
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