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The Full Speed Process


Nick Zembruski

Full Speed Run Coaching

Tallahassee FL


The Full Speed process is my personal adaptation of the RRCA process. As a certified RRCA running coach I fully believe in their process, and it works extremely well without any of my modifications. Over time, and through my experience however, I’ve found that making some changes has benefited many runners. This is a description of the general Full Speed Process that you will be used as the basis that I will then personalize for your training plan.

Everything starts with your running base or as some people call it your aerobic base. A base is built by putting miles on your feet. These are the long easy runs where we are not adding any other specific workouts to your plan. Traditionally the base is viewed as the base of a pyramid the whole of which makes up your running fitness. However, I prefer to describe running fitness as a circle made up of concentric rings the outermost of which is the base. In the circle as you add rings, each ring can only ever be as big as the prior ring will allow. Therefore, your running fitness can only go as far as your base will allow, everything else simply fills the circle in and makes it more complete.

If you become ready to move past the base phase, next up is the strength phase. Strength, in this case, is not made up of spending hours in the gym, but instead specific types of running. For more on the different types of runs check out the article on the types running workouts. The strength phase will help you run faster for longer by increasing your lactate threshold and building the muscles used for running. One of the key differentiators of the Full Speed Process is that we maintain strength work throughout the training process even as we move on to the next phase.

After the strength phase come the interval phase. This can be made up of long and/or short intervals depending on your goals, distance, and experience. In order for you to run fast you have to practice running fast that is the purpose of the interval phase.

Lastly is peak phase, which along with base is the only mandatory phase that will be in every training cycle. Peak is made up of the taper where you decrease mileage and intensity leading up to your target race. While this may sound counter intuitive that your decreasing during the phase called peak, what it’s intended for is to allow your body to recover both physically and mentally so that you are at your peak performance level at the end of the taper.

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