Posted on 14/05/2020

About the Author: Jono (old man) Rumbelow is the familiar and friendly face at Run in Bree street. You may not know, however, that he is an experienced coach and learned athlete himself. He also has some experience singing in a choir, but let’s not get into that. 

Yes part 3 has been a long time coming but the world went crazy and everyone was wanting to run…..and then the Rona hit us!! I did promise in Part 2 that we would go over two concepts but given the length of this one section, I’m afraid we are only going to cover End-Gaining. Lets get straight into it as it’s going to be a long one sorry.


Life as we know it in the last 20 years, let alone the last 50, has become super fast paced. Gone are the days of family first, training later. Our lives have become time challenged and as such we have now got ourselves into the habit of working directly towards a goal or a result, regardless of the cost it takes to get there.

Goals have no longer become a planned and time scheduled thing. They have become something to achieve ASAP. In so doing we try to take short-cuts with our life, with our work and definitely with our training. And before we know it BANG… we injure ourselves and it hurts both our pride and our pocket I mean lets face it, physio bills are a biggy (no offence Physios).

Let’s take a gym for example. Next time you go, (if you have a gym membership of course) I challenge you to spend the first 10 minutes just watching some of the people training. Some are trying to “Win a Race” each day they train. Others are doing the exercises so wrong they might as well not be there… oh yes I forgot – it’s so that they can get the free  smoothie! My pet hate of course… the treadmills in front of the TV’s so that the boredom of training can be diminished.

When it comes to our top club endurance athletes, trust me end-gaining is everywhere. More often than not form is sacrificed for speed and so true potential is never gained. That’s like training with the brakes on. Too many people train at one pace and never get faster regardless of the speed they are running at. Think of driving a car in first gear… yep same thing.

Form is key and this needs to be practised regardless of the speed. Yes that includes your warm up and cool down. The advantage of this of course is that you learn so much about your style, how heavy your foot strikes the floor, the way your legs swings through, how much time each foot stays in contact with the floor, which muscles are tight (especially those arms and shoulders) and lastly what your posture and balance is like.

Yes everyone’s warm up pace is not the same but here a challenge; run with someone slower than you and practice form. Each time you go ahead it cost’s you a coffee. Once you have finished the warm up then you can start your training session. The speed of running can be broken up into 5 different levels. These levels are based on your best 10k time and so for example lets say yours is 40 minutes which equals 4 minutes per km.

The 5 different levels and their paces would then be as follows:

  1. Easy: 4:20 per km
  2. Moderate: 4:10 per km
  3. Comfortably Uncomfortable: 4:04 per km
  4. Race Pace: 4:00 per km
  5. FAST: 3:57 per km

Each section is based on that magical 10km personal best time. If you were able to achieve that time, then these paces should be easy to run at provided the 10k was done in the last 3 months. This of course can be further broken down to your fitness level. It goes without saying that the faster you run in a training session, the shorter the session and or interval will be and the recovery in the session will also be different.

Training at these different levels allows you to develop an understanding of pacing. Too many athletes start a training session or event at a pace that is not sustainable for the full distance and fade, sometimes dramatically, in the last third of the event. Those who do practice proper pacing have, in some endurance events, run the second half of a race faster than the first!

End-Gaining is about outcomes and while this is great to have, they are just a way of showing how you are getting on. Rely on this and you feel defeated when you don’t achieve what you set out to do. Albert Einstein once said on this approach that and I quote

“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts”   

Those who are competitive are the first people to judge their success by end-gaining rather than concentrating on the process by which you achieve true success. Soon you loose the enjoyment of running and you think you have failed.    

Until next time

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