Track training useful for road races

follow the training

“I start by saying that track or road… we always talk about racing. It is important to underline this, because often we almost think of two completely different activities, but this is not the case! » For Luca Fulgaro, sports trainer, personal trainer and athlete, track training is an excellent ally for improving our performance on the road. But let’s see together, in this first meeting, his advice.

Follow the training

Let’s get to the heart of the matter by analyzing the value of track training for road racing. Track training allows for more detailed racing control. The absence of unevenness, the regularity of the track, the most efficient terrain and numerous references along the circuit, that is to say the 400 meter ring, are the fundamental ingredients to achieve this objective. It is precisely this increased control that gives the runner the ability to grow and increase their perception of rhythm effectively. The latter, rhythm, is the main architect of positive or negative performance. In fact, how often does he start too strong or be overly conservative?

follow the training

Effective monotony

Training on the track is monotonous, but it is precisely in its monotony that it brings out the sounds and this blessed rhythm that remains engraved in us: it becomes ours and we never lose it! To use a metaphor, one becomes almost like a hamster in a cage, but not in a negative sense. The cage we have makes us become like gazelles experiencing a concrete feeling of freedom in an enclosed enclosure. Continuing the metaphors, we also think of a dancer rehearsing her choreography in a ballroom and then performing during a show. The space changes from intimate and small to chaotic and large, so the rider can enjoy the trail. Bold metaphor? Probably yes, because in the art of dance there is no monotony of movements, which rather happens in running as a cyclical sport. The affinity between the two disciplines must be sought in the flow which can be achieved in both and which must be pursued for everything.

The track does not work miracles, but…

In any case, as mentioned at the beginning, the race is one, so it is better to avoid thinking that the track is miraculous. One of the main advantages of training on the track is surely the speed of movement, which will always be slightly higher or in any case, with the same speed on the road and on the track, on the latter you will perceive greater ease of running .

The importance of having a coach

Another benefit of track training is the presence of a coach who can follow the training in more detail and help the athlete in carrying out his task. I experience it as an athlete, finding it a great advantage to be helped, lap after lap, to receive useful advice to improve my performance. At the same time, even as a coach, being able to see the athlete running allows me to help and correct him step by step.

Reps: a cornerstone of track training

Reps are part of track workouts that can help those who run most on the road. In this session, a certain distance is repeated with the aim of fragmenting the longer distance and gradually acquiring the rhythm and resistance to the same distance. To be clear, I want to prepare a 10 km, the work could be 10 × 1000 m.

The advantage of this training on the track is to allow the athlete to familiarize himself with the effort he will have to experience in the race, in a progressive manner, repetition after repetition. Personally I find it useful, especially for beginners, because at the end of the training session we can actually realize the real rhythm that we could maintain over the distance that interests us. In addition, thanks to a static recovery, I have the possibility of entering into direct contact with the athlete, talking to him and helping him to manage both his fatigue and his emotions.

Rhythm variations

For example, run a repetition of 3000 meters, alternating 1 hard km, 1 easy km and another hard km. The rhythm variation allows you to run at a slightly faster pace than expected for a classic 3000 the pushed parts, having the easy/slow variation as a recovery, concluding the test in line with our time. This mode is surely to be preferred only when one has become more skilful in managing “classic” repetitions.

Repetitions with active recovery

Another way to run the repeats is to use an active recovery, where at the end of the test, instead of statically waiting for the “rest” to conclude, I keep moving, doing the classic “jog”. For those who prepare for long distances, it is very functional to train like this. You get used to being on the move all the time and you manage to cover a higher mileage. To understand, if I run 10×1000m, I will run 10km in total, but if I run 10×1000m with 400m “jog” recovery, I will reach a total of 14km, a noticeable difference! Even in this case, however, it is useful to understand that initially it is better to favor repetitions with recovery from a standstill: having a solid foundation will help build better performance.

The metaphor of poetry

Returning to the metaphorical level, imagine having to learn a poem by heart. It will be good to memorize one chapter at a time, and only after memorizing it will we move on to the next. With the repetitions it’s the same, except that the sensations that we feel on this part of the race are memorized. I have often used the word emotions, a word that perhaps seems inappropriate in a context like this, but I am only saying that they are essential for knowing us and helping us during the effort.

Track training: the conclusion

But I want to remind you that, if we have the opportunity, running on the track is certainly useful for better running on the road, but let’s avoid thinking that if we didn’t have the possibility of training on the track we would have a bad result in activity on the road!

Who is Luca Fulgaro

“I am a sports trainer but also a personal trainer who accompanies people – adults, children, teenagers – who simply wish to improve their physical well-being, who have little sport practice or who have not practiced sport for a long time. I am also an athlete (1500m, 5000m and 1000m), and a new dad. In my work, knowing that each sport requires adequate physical preparation, I structure a specific and personalized training plan for each athlete, in particular through general physical preparation. For me, this is the basis for achieving results in any sport. I do my classes in fantastic places: STADIO DEI MARMI, VILLA GORDIANI and VILLA TORLONIA. I recently published a book on motor tales, “Virus in fabula”, because I like to maintain a multidisciplinary approach to psychophysical well-being.

By Luca Fulgaro (sports trainer, personal trainer and athlete) | Photo: personal archives

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