Not everyone can be a sub-four-minute miler, but if you run, you know that you can learn a lot from someone who is. You also probably know that the biggest barrier between you and running for the rest of your life is injury.
We asked professional runner, and sub-four-minute miler David Torrence to share some of his tips on how you can run stronger, faster, longer and more injury-free.
Click the link bellow to watch the workout:
Read on for the full interview:
TRX: Most of the people reading this are not elite-level runners. What is some advice you would give them to help them a) get faster? b) increase their endurance? c) avoid injury?
DT: So this is kind of tricky and I’m going to answer all three in a roundabout way by saying this:
The number one way to get faster is to increase your endurance.
The number one way to increase your endurance is to keep your training consistent.
And the number one way to keep your training consistent is to avoid injury.
Injury is seriously the biggest setback to a lot of runners of any ability level, so avoiding injury is my number-one focus when it comes to training. Now that doesn't mean just run less, because you need the milage to get faster.
TRX: So what’s the trick?
DT: The trick is, there isn’t a trick. You have to work at it, strengthen your weaknesses, and stretch the spots where you’re tight. Having a consistent injury prevention routine that keeps everything running smoothly (pun totally intended), will lead you to better performance…. also, hill workouts are pretty kickass.
TRX: How do you use TRX for injury prevention?
DT: Since first being introduced to TRX, my use of the product has changed. I originally used it for high-intensity circuit training, but now I find myself using it for increasing hip mobility, as well as develop more functional strength in my stabilizing muscles. I usually get on the straps about three times a week.
TRX : How were you first introduced to TRX?
DT: I first used TRX a couple years out of college while training as a professional track athlete. My assistant coach had heard of it, used it, and thought it would be a great way to mix it in to our non-running conditioning and strength program.
TRX: What does an average week of training look like for you? What’s your milage like? How many hard workouts do you do a week?
DT: An average week of training would be running twice a day every day, except for Sunday when I do the longest run of the week. Most of my running is at an easy, recovery pace, but about two-to-three times a week I'll have a hard workout that can be anything from short fast intervals on the track, 800-meter hill repeats outside, or tempo runs on a trail.
TRX: What does your recovery look like? How and when do you fit in cross training?
DT: Recovery is easy, feel-good running. Can be as relaxed as ten-minute pace or as fast as 6-minute pace. I usually substitute an easy run with cross training when I'm feeling extra run down during intense training cycles. Either biking, elliptical or aqua-jogging.
TRX: What is your favorite post-workout meal?
DT: I'm a big brunch guy. After those intense Saturday morning workouts, or a tough Sunday long run, nothing seals the deal like some eggs, toast, and coffee.
TRX: What initially motivated you to start running?
DT: Easy; I wanted to break the 400 meter world record.
I went to an all-comers track meet when I was in junior high, because my dad thought I could be a decent runner (having seen me in other sports). We walked on to the track, and I thought, "That's it?! I can run a lap in 30 seconds easy."
My dad then explained to me that the world record was somewhere around 45 seconds, and I was like "Well then we're about to see that record go down."
I then proceeded to get about 4th place in around 61 seconds. Humbled, but determined, I knew I could do better next time, and I have been running ever since.
TRX: What are three big goals you hope to achieve in the next 5 years? Do you see TRX training helping you to achieve any of them?
- World Championship Medal 2015
- Olympic Games Medal 2016
- World Championship Medal 2017
These are the three championships and three major goals that are guiding my professional track career. And after learning from the trainers here at TRX, and implementing a program to clean up any power leaks, I feel very strongly that I am on the right path.
TRX: Have you ever been seriously injured? If so what did the experience teach you?
DT: I had knee surgery in January 2008, at the beginning of my last collegiate track season. I was in amazing shape and ready to make my bid for an NCAA championship, but a partial meniscus tear sidelined me and dashed that dream for the year. After getting arthroscopic surgery, I began the long and arduous process of physical therapy and rehab to strengthen the muscles that had atrophied and get me up and running again. Weeks and weeks and weeks went by, and there were times I nearly lost hope. But by having a clear and concise goal (I wanted to place in the top three at my last dual meet against our rival school), I was able to keep my head above water and stay focused. I eventually got healthy again, and was even able to still break four minutes in the mile a few months later. I ended up getting second at that dual meet.