Help! I'm Stuck. (Read 5105 times)


Feeling the growl again

    Not to be a bit sidetracked or anything.. but.. Nobby, you would suggest a 2 hour run for those of us running 5ks. Just making sure I've got this right. I only ask b/c my current program only outlines workouts (intervals and tempo runs) with the remainder of the week at "easy".

     

    I'm not Nobby, but I would suggest up to that, every week or two, except perhaps when you get into 5K-specific training.  I always did 16-milers (1:40-1:55 duration) for shorter distance race periods; I'd escalate beyond that for marathon.  FWIW my shorter races really seemed to improve when I got in the habit of doing this.

     

    That said, if you're only running 20-30-odd mpw you're not going to be able to do this.  Heck, to do it weekly you probably need to be north of 50 mpw.  It will suck up too much of your weekly mileage, you won't recover enough to hit your other workouts, and you will sacrifice consistency through the rest of the week.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

     

      The 2 hour long run would be the last thing I would add in for 5k prep, and only if I was strong enough to handle it in addition to two other weekly workouts. 90 minutes is enough for most runners.

        Back in the 1970s and 80s, there were tons of runners like me; ran 5k in 15, 16, 17 minutes; ran 2-hours every weekend at 7-minute pace...  Breaking 3-hours was a goal.  They may run 12-miles, maybe 15 for their long runs.  So some wise guy came along and said; "If you want to run a marathon, you may want to have at least three 20-milers under your belt..."  Makes sense.  Today, most people are 25-28 minutes 5k type of people; do their long run at 10-minute per mile pace; run a couple of times a week, up to an hour...  But somehow, 3 X 20-miler survived....

         

        This is a good point I think.

         

        The population of runners has changed. Back in the day the only people who ran were people who could do moderately well at it - if you couldn't run a 15 or 16 min 5k off a reasonabe amount of training then you wouldn't make the track team... so you wouldn't run. And a lot of the folklore about how to train has grown up with the implicit assumption that these are the kind of people that are being trained. The experience of coaches was all with this kind of runner.

         

        But now it's a completely different ball-game. There are very many runners who will never have be like that - whatever training they do; and the training that suits relatively talented runners may not suit them very much.


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          Sorry. I had to go back and add paragraphs to my "essay."  It was bothering me.

           

          For posterity:

           

          Mikey's "essay" was posted earlier in this thread, near the bottom of page 2, at 2008-09-19, and here is a link to it: http://www.runningahead.com/forums/post/900ddbd2232c4ee38ac5d6e06becb0f5#focus

           

          (The original version had no paragraph marks, and got quoted that way, but he's fixed the original to be more legible now.)

           

          It is a fun read.

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

            Actually the original had paragraphs but some upgrade Eric Smile made to the site at some point caused all the paragraph breaks to go away. I'm not sure if the breaks are in the same place they were when I originally wrote that minor treatise but hey at least it's easier to read.

            Runners run.

              Even though the phenomenon sometimes frustrates me, I totally get the obsession many--especially newer--runners have with the long run for marathon training. I really do. I mean for most of us, the marathon is the one distance we race where the race itself is longer than any (or at least almost any) training run we ever do. Just the distance itself is scary enough, let alone thinking about racing it. And when you do go out and botch a marathon and the final 25% of it becomes a brutal death march, it's really easy to say that the solution is more long runs--after all it wasn't until after 20 miles that the wheels came off, right?

               

              The thing is no matter what distance you're racing if you totally mess it up, the disaster won't show itself until about he final 25% of the race. I can't tell you how many times I've run 5K's that went 5:20, 5:38, 6:19-doing-the-funky-chicken. But when we do that we don't automatically look at that last mile as the problem the way we do in the marathon. We don't say, "Oh, obviously I need to do more runs that are longer than 2 miles because at 2 miles is where the wheels came off." Because all of our runs are longer than 2 miles, hell they're longer than the race itself. So we look at other things and say, "Well I need to do more speedwork," or "I need to do more tempos," or, "I need to run more hills," or if we're really clever we might even say, "I need to run more," or, "I need to stop overestimating my fitness and going out way too fast!"

               

              Long runs are very important for marathon training. In most training weeks, your longest run is your single most important run of the week. But it's not more important than all the other runs combined. And just because it's an important run doesn't mean it's a good idea to flog yourself for four hours. I like Nobby's recommendation to focus on time, more than distance. Although I log distance, I plan my training based on time. In marathon training, I try to do at least 2 single runs per week over 90 minutes, with one of them being over 2 hours. I never run longer than 3 hours and very rarely even approach 3 hours. But I do run every day and run relatively high mileage for a regular person

               

              Okay but I'm faster than the average person and that means I can run 20 miles in well under 3 hours so I can't possibly relate to the challenges of slower runners!

               

              Yeah, I've heard it before. But I've got plenty of experience working with slower runners, and my experience tells me the same thing Nobby's a thousand times more extensive experience tells him--that although it may be psychologically important for a newer marathoner to go over 20 miles at least once in training, it's probably not a good idea to go longer than 3 hours, regardless of distance, very often.

               

              We call training "training" and not "practice" (well most of us anyway) for a reason. It's because although there is some element of it that is mental and psychological practice for the stress of racing, really what we're trying to do is train our bodies. We're actually trying to make physiological changes to our bodies to make them better able to run fast and long--we're increasing our abilities to process and use oxygen, building capillaries, increasing blood volume, increasing aerobic enzyme activity, strengthening our hearts, our lungs, our muscles, our connective tissues. We're building neuromuscular coordination and becoming more efficient, quicker, smoother, lighter on our feet. We're developing more powerful, more efficient strides, we're...training.

               

              We are indeed also practicing--developing a raw toughness, an edge, a killer instinct, a detached ambivalence to our own suffering in favor of a laserbeam focus on The Task At Hand, an understanding of what we can and can't do, and a belief that we can do just a tiny bit more than what we've done so far. But all that mental practice doesn't mean a thing without the training, and really you couldn't have one without the other so the question is moot.

               

              These changes both physical and psychological can only happen a little at a time. That is, no matter how big of a workout or a run you do, you can only make so much progress from one effort. At some point, you've gotten all the training stimulus there is to get from a single run or a workout and you're just bludgeoning yourself needlessly, prolonging your recovery and compromising the next few/several days of training. The exact point is probably a bit different for everyone and the intensity certainly matters but for your run of the mill long run, 3 hours is probably a good rule of thumb. So it's really the sum total of all the little efforts that do much, much more of the work than a few Big Efforts, but the Big Efforts can put the finishing touches on a training cycle. That's why weekly, monthly, yearly, lifetime mileage is always much, much more important than the long run, but the long run is still important.

               

              Nothing magical happens at 20 miles. You don't suddenly switch to burning fat over carbs or any other such physiobabble. You're always burning both, and the mix depends on effort/pace, not distance. Run a lot of weekly miles at low intensities and you'll become damned efficient and using fat as a fuel source to spare your glycogen. "The Wall" is purely a function of outrunning your fitness level. If you run the first 15 miles too fast, you'll hit the wall no matter how many long runs you've done over 20 miles. And if you go out slow enough you'll never hit it even if your longest run ever was 10 miles.

               

              I guess what gets me riled up and why I've felt the need to write this novel is when you've consistently got the most experienced, most accomplished runners and coaches on this board saying that 20 milers are not the be-all-end-all and still there is vehement argument from people who've never run a marathon or have run one or two off of low mileage and long runs talking about the NEED for 20+ milers, as if there's no other option (I'm not specifically talking about this thread here, BTW). You'd think experience would count here. Nobby is, literally, a world renowned coach. Obsessor has run 2:30. Tanya is 47 and ran sub 3:40 this year at Boston. Jeff won his first marathon and has run 2:38. I'm nobody's idea of elite but I've shown an ability to improve through training--I ran my first marathon in 3:40, took a full 30 minutes off between my first and my 2nd, and have taken another 15 minutes out of my marathon PR since then, with hopes of more time coming off soon.

               

              When you consider the collective experience--the many tens of thousands of miles, the many hundreds of races, the many dozens of marathons--on the side of "Don't overdo the long runs," you'd think there might be something to it. Just sayin'.

               

              my word, that is beautiful

                The 2 hour long run would be the last thing I would add in for 5k prep, and only if I was strong enough to handle it in addition to two other weekly workouts. 90 minutes is enough for most runners.

                Potato...potato... ;o)

                 

                Whatever anybody else might say, we are representing Lydiard training.  I know some people don't buy it--you go to letsrun.com and you'll see a whole lot who criticize; some might even say building aerobic base first is stupid.  That's fine.  We don't.

                 

                I'm a bit surprised, knowing that (assuming people like yourself or Spaniel actually know) I do Lydiard to say something like "2 hour run...in addition to two other weekly workouts (I'm assuming you mean two other quality workouts...)".  Usually we don't mix things up like that.  You build up FIRST and THEN we'll add quality workouts.  Like I said, I believe getting up to 2 hours, or more or less 90-120 minutes, is probably the best way to get your fitness level high.  We even recommend high school runners, if they can get up, to run up to 2-hours to prepare for 2-mile or 5k.  You may think it's stupid; you may think that'll kill speed.  Well, here's an interesting read: http://japanrunningnews.blogspot.com/2012/09/kawauchi-runs-double-1500-m-and-5000-m.html

                 

                Lydiard training is based on Aerobic Conditioning, sometimes referred as "Marathon Conditioning".  30-minutes is not quite "Marathon" Conditioning.  If you get up to 90-minutes, well, might as well go a little further; I don't see that much of a difference.  Now, if someone who's training for a marathon goes beyond 3 or 4 hours, I think there's a huge difference between 2-hour long run and 4-hour long run--which is the whole point I've been trying to make here.  But 90 and 120 is not that big of a difference to me.  In fact, I'd think, if you go as far as 90-minutes, why stop there?  You're not going as long as 2-hours, you're not running as fast as an hour...  Kinda half a$$ if you ask me.

                 

                There are still some people who believe, if you want to run a good 5k, all you need is the ability to run 5001m.  Well, we don't.  We might lose a whole big market out there with providing a training program that would promote 2-hour long run; well, that's just something we'll have to swallow because we're promoting the Lydiard Way.  Of course, we're not telling people who could barely run more than 20-minutes to get out and run for 2-hours.  Our first goal is to get them up to an hour of NON-STOP running.  Then, if you can get up to an hour, then 2-hours.

                 

                By the way, Spaniel, yes, once you'd built up, you'll cut back all the long runs and volume as you introduce quality workouts.  That's the whole idea of Lydiard training.

                  Potato...potato... ;o)

                   

                  Whatever anybody else might say, we are representing Lydiard training.  I know some people don't buy it--you go to letsrun.com and you'll see a whole lot who criticize; some might even say building aerobic base first is stupid.  That's fine.  We don't.

                   

                  I'm a bit surprised, knowing that (assuming people like yourself or Spaniel actually know) I do Lydiard to say something like "2 hour run...in addition to two other weekly workouts (I'm assuming you mean two other quality workouts...)".  Usually we don't mix things up like that.  You build up FIRST and THEN we'll add quality workouts.  Like I said, I believe getting up to 2 hours, or more or less 90-120 minutes, is probably the best way to get your fitness level high.  We even recommend high school runners, if they can get up, to run up to 2-hours to prepare for 2-mile or 5k.  You may think it's stupid; you may think that'll kill speed.  Well, here's an interesting read: http://japanrunningnews.blogspot.com/2012/09/kawauchi-runs-double-1500-m-and-5000-m.html

                   

                  Lydiard training is based on Aerobic Conditioning, sometimes referred as "Marathon Conditioning".  30-minutes is not quite "Marathon" Conditioning.  If you get up to 90-minutes, well, might as well go a little further; I don't see that much of a difference.  Now, if someone who's training for a marathon goes beyond 3 or 4 hours, I think there's a huge difference between 2-hour long run and 4-hour long run--which is the whole point I've been trying to make here.  But 90 and 120 is not that big of a difference to me.  In fact, I'd think, if you go as far as 90-minutes, why stop there?  You're not going as long as 2-hours, you're not running as fast as an hour...  Kinda half a$$ if you ask me.

                   

                  There are still some people who believe, if you want to run a good 5k, all you need is the ability to run 5001m.  Well, we don't.  We might lose a whole big market out there with providing a training program that would promote 2-hour long run; well, that's just something we'll have to swallow because we're promoting the Lydiard Way.  Of course, we're not telling people who could barely run more than 20-minutes to get out and run for 2-hours.  Our first goal is to get them up to an hour of NON-STOP running.  Then, if you can get up to an hour, then 2-hours.

                   

                  By the way, Spaniel, yes, once you'd built up, you'll cut back all the long runs and volume as you introduce quality workouts.  That's the whole idea of Lydiard training.

                   

                  I think I wasn't clear. I meant to say that once a 5k runner felt like they could handle good mileage and a couple workouts a week and still had some room to spare in terms of recovery, then and only then would that runner think about extending the long run out longer.

                   

                  I didn't mean that the long run would be something to add at the end of a periodization cycle. I just meant that extension of the long run would be a "last priority" in terms of 5k training. I'm just basing this on my experience -- I ran my lifetime 5k PR before I ever ran 2 hours in training.

                   

                  But yes, early in the base phase a 2 hour run would probably be a good thing. More important in the base phase would just be a healthy volume of mileage, with some variation in pace and effort, and regular strides, etc. -- much as Lydiard described. The longer I run, however, the less necessary an "aerobic base phase" seems to me.

                    I know some people don't buy it--you go to letsrun.com and you'll see a whole lot who criticize; some might even say building aerobic base first is stupid.  That's fine.  We don't.

                     

                    Hmm, I can't say I have noticed mass criticism of Lydiard, or at least I get the impression that much of the criticism stems from ignorance of what exactly Lydiard training means. To me from reading there it seems the general consensus is: mileage is good, maybe not too much too fast though (not sure if that disagrees with Lydiard, but's its definitely different than no base) work on your speed, add some workouts at the end as you get closer to race time. 

                     

                    Sure there will always be some people who disagree, but then again its LRC...so there is always going to be someone claiming that the best way to run a good marathon is to sprint a few times a week and crossfit it up. 

                    They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

                    vegefrog


                      This article

                       

                      http://running.competitor.com/2012/09/training/a-short-cut-to-the-long-run_32317

                       

                      together with this wonderful thread have helped me mold my training plan back into some form of organized running schedule. I have my second marathon coming up in December, and I had altered my original 18 week training plan so much that it was unrecognizable and basically one giant mass of long runs. I think I started with a Hal Higdon plan, but I kept having things pop up and switching things around so that it no longer resembled much of anything. I think I have it back on track now...with one 20 miler done today and just one more closer to the marathon day.

                       

                      I love this thread and learning from all your different experiences.

                         that minor treatise

                         

                        I think that's the longest full post I've read here.  And I liked it.  Nice work!

                        There was a point in my life when I ran. Now, I just run.

                         

                        Well, fuckers

                        He still stands

                         

                        The Diary of a Once-ran.

                          Not to be a bit sidetracked or anything.. but.. Nobby, you would suggest a 2 hour run for those of us running 5ks. Just making sure I've got this right. I only ask b/c my current program only outlines workouts (intervals and tempo runs) with the remainder of the week at "easy".

                          Again, it's not like; "Oh, I'm running a marathon and it'll take me 4:30 to run one so I'd better train for 4+ hours..." or "I'm only training for 5k and it'll only take me for 30-minutes so I'll just run 30-minutes..."  I know you're not saying this but it's surprising to me (or amazing to me...) that so many think it that way.  Intervals and tempo--that's a prime example.  Well, I run 5k at 7-minute pace so I'd better do my intervals at 7-minute pace...  Well, somewhat true but not exactly.

                           

                          There are certain developments we all need to work on--if for some reason you happened to have it from birth, well, you may not need to work on it as much as others but you still need to have it developed.  First one, and the one most people seem to understand, is aerobic development.  This is why LHR training is so popular; this is what you develop.  Many people seem to misunderstand aerobic capacity as VO2Max.  VO2Max is one part of it but not everything.  This is why whenever we see an article about a workout like Tabata sprint comes out and says; "this workout improved VO2Max 20% better than an hour's easy running..."  Well, Tabata only takes 8-minutes a day so why not do it instead?  If VO2Max is a sole contributing factor for good performances, go right ahead.  But it's not.  To name a few, capillarization of working muscles (legs) would be one; size and number of mitochondria would be another...  And there had been many researches done saying that the duration of the exercise contributes more to these development.  In other words, 45-minutes run is better than 20-minutes regardless of the effort level.  1:30 is better than 1:00, 2-hours is better than 1:45.....  Well, so would 4-hours run better than 2-hours?  In a way, but then you'll be crossing the line of damage vs. benefits ratio.  Yes, for some benefits, 4-hours would be better than 2-hours; but most probably not every weekend!  

                           

                          So the point is; there IS a reason, and with good benefits coming with it, for someone training for a 5k to run over an hour, or 1:30 or 2:00 if you can.  I don't want to give any specific number but apparently there's a whole bunch of developments that happen when you approach 2-hours.  I said to Jeff 1:30 or 2:00 is like potato or potato... (;o)) but actually, personally, I feel there's a huge difference between 1:30 and 2:00.  I'm struggling with sciatica right now but I can hobble for an hour.  Last weekend I ran (jogged) for 1:20.  I know I can easily extend to 1:30.  To me, 2-hours is different.  To me, if I can get up to 2-hours, I know I'm in a good position.  Once I can get up to 2-hours, I feel very strong, I can handle a lot more workload...  I never really looked at it this way but perhaps I'm actually feeling all those physiological benefits.  But it's usually somewhere between 1:30 to 2:00, you'll start to gain a lot more physiological benefits that would allow you to do more race-specific training later.  You mentioned "intervals and tempo" workouts; those are absolutely essential if you want to race well (here, a key word being "race well").  But without all these wonderful physiological gains you'll obtain through aerobic training, you won't be able to manage those demanding workouts.  I know, some idiots may say, well, I do intervals 3 days a week with 2 days of tempo runs...and still improve! (sorry, but I see a lot of these comments at certain forums).  Remember "Super-Size Me"?  Your body's adaptation ability is so wonderful that it'll even allow you to survive eating garbage.  Same thing; you'll adapt and survive.  But not for long.  

                           

                          This is why you think of whole training cycle as a pyramid; a series of blocks and develop each and every elements before you move on to the next.  There's a need to develop your aerobic capacity; and this is why even middle distance runners (some sprinters) would train with marathon runners.  Some ball players run with distance runners.  Or swimmers or figure skaters.  So even a 5k runner would get up quite a bit more than one of those quick-fix training plan.  

                            I think I wasn't clear. I meant to say that once a 5k runner felt like they could handle good mileage and a couple workouts a week and still had some room to spare in terms of recovery, then and only then would that runner think about extending the long run out longer.

                             

                            I didn't mean that the long run would be something to add at the end of a periodization cycle. I just meant that extension of the long run would be a "last priority" in terms of 5k training. I'm just basing this on my experience -- I ran my lifetime 5k PR before I ever ran 2 hours in training.

                             

                            But yes, early in the base phase a 2 hour run would probably be a good thing. More important in the base phase would just be a healthy volume of mileage, with some variation in pace and effort, and regular strides, etc. -- much as Lydiard described. The longer I run, however, the less necessary an "aerobic base phase" seems to me.

                            Jeff:

                             

                            Thanks for clarifying.  That is quite a bit different from what I gathered from your earlier post.  Unless my foreigner's understanding came across first (;o)), I thought you said "2-hours is the last thing I would suggest to anybody training for a 5k race".  Like I said before, people look up to people like yourself or Spaniel.  If you come out and say; "2-hour run is stupid to anybody training for 5k", well, people will take it for the face-value.  So thanks for clarifying.

                              Thanks everyone for this discussion!  Thanks especially to Nobby for all of the good information at lydiardfoundation.org.  I've been needing a short-term non-race goal especially whilst nursing this damned hamstring and this has given me a lot to think about.

                              2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                                Jeff:

                                 

                                Thanks for clarifying.  That is quite a bit different from what I gathered from your earlier post.  Unless my foreigner's understanding came across first (;o)), I thought you said "2-hours is the last thing I would suggest to anybody training for a 5k race".  Like I said before, people look up to people like yourself or Spaniel.  If you come out and say; "2-hour run is stupid to anybody training for 5k", well, people will take it for the face-value.  So thanks for clarifying.

                                 

                                No problem. You can check what I said at the top of this very page. Smile