How You Can Train Like an Elite Athlete

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-11-09-53-amWe can all appreciate the talent and dedication of elite athletes. From the world’s top runners to our own Atlanta Track Club Elite, it is impressive to watch the competition unfold at each race or meet. Not everyone can be considered a world-class athlete, but there are things you can do to make sure you’re performing at your personal best.

Put in the Time

Atlanta Track Club Elite trains 5-7 days a week. While this might not be feasible for everyone, increasing the amount of days you train and the miles you run gradually will improve your performance.


Try to build the following into each week:

  • 2 interval or tempo workouts
  • 1 long run
  • 1-2 easy runs
  • 1-2 cross training days

Because of all the miles you will be putting on your legs, consider doing a lot of these workouts on soft surfaces such as the Piedmont Park Active Oval, Cochran Shoals Trail or grass.

Push Your Pace

As mentioned, you should work in intervals or tempo workouts as part of your weekly routine in order to improve your race times. Here is an Atlanta Track Club Elite team favorite:

12/4 Pace Change

Start with a 1 or 2 mile warmup, then do the following workout 4 times:

  • 1,200m at race pace
  • 200m recovery jog
  • 400m faster than race pace
  • 400m recovery jog

The workout is not finished with the last interval – you should do a 1 or 2 mile cool down and then stretch out the leg muscles.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Training in groups or with a partner is a great way to stay motivated. There will be days that someone is having an off day but the support of their teammates gets them through the workout.

It’s also helpful to set goals. Come up with a personal goal and find a group that can keep you motivated to achieve them. The fall and winter seasons are a great time to become an elite version of yourself, so think about what you want to achieve, figure out a plan and lace up!

Amy Begley, Atlanta Track Club Coach

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