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The 4SPEED™ Method

Not getting faster despite seemingly best efforts in training? What hinders you from further progress is a weakness in one or many of the 4 physiological determinants of your race fitness – general endurance, lactate threshold, VO2max capacity, and neuromuscular power.


“A weakness in any of the 4 physiological determinants limits your potential.”


General Endurance: Your general endurance is your ability to run for extended periods at an easy pace. It requires a well-developed fat metabolism, large glycogen stores, and the resilience of your bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles to withstand the repeated pounding that is characteristic to running.

Lactate Threshold: Your lactate threshold (LT) is your ability to process and clear lactate from your system. This is of major importance for half marathon and marathon races. 5K and 10K races are run above your LT and therefore rely on lactate tolerance as well. A high LT lets you access a higher percentage of your VO2max at all distances.

VO2max Capacity: Your maximal aerobic capacity is your ability to supply your muscles with oxygen at a fast rate. It has the largest effect on your running speed for long-distance events. In fact, it determines your race pace by a staggering 80%. Adaptations occur at the heart, blood, and within the muscles itself.

Neuromuscular Power: Your neuromuscular power is your ability to generate force quickly. While you don’t have to clock the times of a sprinter to find success in long-distance running, your cadence, stride length, and running economy will improve significantly with more neuromuscular power.

The 4SPEED™ Funnel

As a dedicated runner, you're already familiar with long runs, lactate threshold runs, VO2max intervals and repetitions. But the art and science of training are not just about scheduling a balanced training week with those workouts. The real difference is in piggybacking one adaptation on another in the right sequence.

A new method that is popular with elite runners is funnel periodization. Here, the emphasis is initially on general endurance as well as general speed. This preconditioning sets the scene for faster VO2max and lactate threshold training, and ultimately a faster race pace.
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