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The First Step

Welcome to the first step of the 12-week training program!

As previously mentioned, this training is based on the work of Jack Daniels, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and coach of numerous world-class runners. The basic idea is that a runner needs to include several different types of runs in a training week in order to maximize fitness and improve race times. Daniels has defined all these runs and provided a framework for determining what pace YOU should be running them. During the next 12 weeks, we will provide explanations of each of the running paces and how they should feel.

Before diving into the explanations of the paces, you should find your VDOT value. This is a calculation of your VO2 max (the volume of oxygen you consume in one minute) along with your speed and efficiency It’s not an acronym for anything, it’s the name that Daniels gave to this calculation. Your VDOT value will determine your training paces.

How to find your personal VDOT value:

Simply find your recent race time (or as close as possible) for one of the distances listed in the table below (conveniently, we will be doing a timed mile at our next Thursday practice, so if you don't have a time for any of the other distances, you can use that). Then, follow the line to the right to see your VDOT value.

Here's an example:

I ran 26:52 at Arnold Mills. When I find that time in the column titled 4 Mile and follow the line to the last column, I see that my estimated VDOT value is 47-48. You'll see how to use this value in the next blog post, for now just try to find your own value.

*(If you have a recent mile, 5k, ½ marathon, or marathon time, you should use that. Many of us ran the Arnold Mills 4-mile race and that IS NOT one of the distances Daniels used. I used a pace calculator to estimate VDOT based on a 4-mile race. Therefore, it’s not as reliable as the values for the other distances. I think it’s close enough, but use one of the other race distances if you can.)

Future blog posts will define the types of runs you need to know and you will use your VDOT value to determine what pace you should run.

Have fun, and don't hesitate to ask me any questions when we meet again!


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