Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Feedback Wanted for Tuesday's Paarlauf Session

Coach Mike would like to explain Tuesday night's change to the Paarlauf session, and would appreciate feedback and constructive comments from those who took part.

The original instructions to the runners was for a continuous 45 minutes session at a pace that they could maintain throughout the 45 minutes.

I advised everyone to pay attention to pace judgement, with good running form and  slow recovery jogs.  

After about 10 minutes of the original suggested 45 minute session, it became clear to me that nearly all the runners had gone off too fast, and would be unable to keep their initial pace for another 35 minutes.

After speaking to one of the other Coaches, I decided to reduce the session to 2 x 15 minute efforts, with a 90 second recovery jog between the 15 minutes. I felt this would result in the runners maintaining good running form, even pacing, and proper recovery.

I explained what I was doing and why to the runners, all of which was accepted as being a sensible
alteration to the original instruction.

I had this feedback at the time:
Several runners said they enjoyed the session, even though it was hard.

It was suggested that the direction of loop run be reversed after the first 15 minutes.

Also suggested that another Coach be located at bottom of loop incline to emphasis that runners should "drive" up the incline.  

Please put your feedback in the Comments box below.
In the 'Comment As' box select 'Name/URL' and type in your name.
Thanks, Mike.


  1. I thought at the start that 45 minutes seemed quite a long time, but attempted to pace myself accordingly. As one of the slower runners it was surprising that the fit, fast people were the ones complaining. Having said that I was pleased when the session was reduced to 30 mins.
    So well done for being pragmatic and changing the session, and do it again sometime.

  2. I enjoyed it (I like the paarlauf :-)). Hamstring playing up but otherwise would happily have done longer. Also would have liked a change in direction half way to even out the load on the body.

  3. I thought it a good session. The change to two reps of 15 minutes worked well. The relative short distance encourages you to go at a pace added to by the number of people around giving an element of competition. I'm not sure it would be as safe if done in reverse...

  4. I usually like a change of direction half way through the session but I'm not sure that it would work on that loop - I think the uphill should be long and gradual and the recovery on the downhill section should be shorter, as it was when we went anti-clockwise on Tuesday. I don't think it would do us so much good going the other way round.

    Re. everyone going off too fast, I think the fact that we're all a bit competitive is why we go off fast, not helped by the fact that we've just got used to this kind of session going on for just 20 minutes or so before a break.

    I wouldn't mind doing a 45 minute session another time but we need to all remind ourselves about pacing before we set off!

  5. Firstly, I didn't do the session as looking after a niggle. The coaching system in our club is amazing - well thought out and organised. Sarah is right we are all very competitive so it becomes a race - we all love catching and overtaking. Many set off before partner finished - more evidence of innate competitive nature overriding the need to train properly. Social training will always cause this. If we trained by ourselves we'd never work as hard. Tuesday sessions are busy and popular though because of the social side - Thursday runs are less popular as in effect you train by yourself or alongside a couple of others only - people can do that without coming to the club, and probably do. So Mike - if you want a social session - you can't do much about people going off too fast and working too hard - embrace it and work with it. For me (and I know I keep banging on about it) I'd prefer sessions with less resting and less sprinting - longer efforts of half and one mile - in my view these are more beneficial for racing 5k - 10k and above.

  6. Andy Bray liked your suggestion "Drive" up the incline" ! Tell him that doesn't mean 'in a car ' !

  7. Thanks for the comments, I'll take them into consideration when I'm next Coach of the Month, and I'm sure the other coaches will also bear them in mind when they are drawing up their monthly training sessions.