CV Running

What Is CV Running – A Quick Guide To Critical Velocity Training

Developing your aerobic capacity of fast-twitch muscle fibers is an important part of your running training.

In this article, we discuss what CV training (critical velocity training) is and how you can implement it into your training to improve your aerobic capacity of fast-twitch muscle fibers.

– What is critical velocity training?
– About Tom Schwartz
– Examples of CV running training


What Is Critical Velocity Training?

CV running or critical velocity training is a hard, but not too hard running pace, which focuses on improving your aerobic capacity of fast-twitch muscle fibers. CV running focuses primarily on improving your long-run pace and Type IIa muscle fibers.

Because many runners train too hard, CV running can help prevent you from neglecting aerobic-capacity development and your sustainable intermediate speed in your training.

CV training can also reduce the amount of mental and physical energy spent at the end of a training session, which can help speed up recovery between sessions and prevent long-term fatigue from setting in.

Critical Velocity (CV) was developed by coach Tom Schwartz an Assistant Coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He classes CV training as a “somewhat hard pace that can be sustained for half an hour”. He also states that this form of training primarily improves the aerobic capacity of Type IIa muscle fibers.

Critical velocity training can be utilized for any event above the 400m as it can also help develop runners kicking speed and average cruising speed during races.

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About Tom Schwartz

Tom Schwartz is the head coach of Tinman Elite, a widely known running group based out of Boulder, Colorado. This group is known for their performances as well as their social media presence and YouTube series “Inside Tinman Elite”.

During the 2019 season, Schwartz coached three athletes to the World Athletics Championships 5000m. These athletes, Sam Parsons of Germany, Jordan Gusman of Malta, and US runner Drew Hunter all surpassed the qualifying standard of 13.22.50.

Schwartz also coached American runner Morgan Caldwell Pearson a two-time team NCAA DI XC Champion and holds a personal best 5000m time of 13.32.

Schwartz also showed his pedigree as a triathlete coach by being the 20th-ranked triathlete in the world and the top American triathlete during the 2019 season.

So, it is safe to say that Schwartz is a well-recognized coach that has helped his athletes produce some fast times over the middle distance events.


How To Calculate Your CV Running Pace

To calculate your CV running pace, head over to Tom Schwartz’s website. Using this form of training can be an asset to any running training plan by reducing the amount of fatigue between sessions and developing their Type IIa muscle fibers.

It can also help improve ones kicking speed during the final stages of an event and their average cruising speed during races above 400m.



Examples Of CV Running Training

Below are some examples of CV running workouts developed by Schwartz that you can implement into your running training.

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Workout One
5 to 7 x 1km at your CV Pace with a 200m jog recovery. Plus 5 x 200m at Mile Pace.

Workout Two
If you don’t have access to a measured running track, you can also replicate the session by time. You can perform this workout by doing the following:

5 to 7 x 3 minutes at your CV Pace with a 1-minute jog recovery. Plus 5 x 30-45 seconds at your mile pace.

Workout Three
This workout is targeted toward a 5km runner that can cover the distance in 22 minutes. However, this can be adapted (based on your CV) to any 5 km time.

5 x 1km at your CV pace (4:30/ km or 7:14.52/mile pace for a 22-minute 5km runner) with a 200m recovery jog between each repetition, followed by 5 x 200 efforts at your 5 km pace with a 100m recovery in between each repetition. The final effort is a 800m repeat at race effort once you have completed all of the above.

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