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Where does the fitness go? (Read 2290 times)

    OK, I think I've got it.  I have not been doing enough fast running, so I've been .... (drumroll) .... running JUNK MILES.  Partly junk miles, anyway.

     

    I'd like to run more miles, especially in summer, but my body won't let me do more 50 miles per week.  I can alternate 55 mile weeks with 45 mile weeks, though. 


    Feeling the growl again

      OK, I think I've got it.  I have not been doing enough fast running, so I've been .... (drumroll) .... running JUNK MILES.  Partly junk miles, anyway.

       

      I'd like to run more miles, especially in summer, but my body won't let me do more 50 miles per week.  I can alternate 55 mile weeks with 45 mile weeks, though. 

       

      Not junk, just over emphasis on the very slow miles. Not that they aren't doing anything for you our that the benefits of doing them won't show up once you add some faster stuff.

      "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

       

        I would just add that with your background I think you can afford to begin pushing the envelope a bit with your training. Most of the advice that you hear on the internet is geared toward runners who are getting into the sport. Run easy, stay consistent, and you will improve.

         

        The conservative approach is the best approach to establish the basic habit and avoid injury. Once you've got the kind of background that you have, there is no harm is being a little less conservative, pushing in some places, working not just to stay consistent and train a lot but GET FASTER.

          Well, I ran the Whistlestop Marathon yesterday in 3:54, a little over four minutes slower than last year.  Half marathon splits were 1:53:25 and 2:00:30.  Similar to last year, my quads started to give out, forcing some walking the last 4 miles or so.  Then my quads cramped 50 yards from the finish line.  Today I have some DOMS, mostly the quads.  I can walk downstairs, but it's not real comfortable. 

           

          My training this year was generally one 15 to 16 mile run per week, finishing with 3 to 7 miles at 8:30 MPM, then the last mile at tempo effort.  The last mile was about 7:45 MPM for the recent runs.

           

          My other quality run is a Sunday morning run of 11.5 miles to get the Sunday paper.  I finish those runs with 3 miles at tempo effort.  That tempo effort resulted in about 8:00 MPM pace toward the end of summer, but one good day I saw 7:47 MPM. 

           

          Last year my longest runs were 17.5, 18, and 18.8 miles.  This year I did a lot of 15 mile runs, plus some of 16 miles.  Total mileage was down this year at 1730 miles to date, vs 1820 miles at this time last year. 

           

          I'd like to do better next year.  My thoughts are currently along the following lines:

           

          More miles.

          Longer long runs, with more MP miles at the end (I like progression runs).  Maybe build up to 18 miles, with the last 10 at MP? 

          Add an intermediate run of 6 to 8 miles at about 9 MPM.

          Continue the tempo run at the end of the Sunday run.

           

          Thoughts?  Suggestions?


          Feeling the growl again

            You only run >5 miles twice per week.  You will get a lot more benefit from working up to longer runs throughout the week, than you will from continuing to lengthen the runs that are already long.

             

            If you still have the issue of only being able to handle 45-55 mpw, continuing to take miles from these already-short runs to add to your already-relatively-long runs is not going to help your balance.

             

            The rest of your thoughts sound like positive steps.  Long runs with MP/HMP/progression at the end, and relatively long "tempo" runs (~HMP) are the real strength workouts for the marathon.  Before you get into them, 4-6 weeks of shorter, faster tempo runs mixed in with hill workouts would help with speed and strength.

            "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

             

              Based on your long runs and your overall mileage according to your calendary I'd say you just missing one workout a week.  I'd add intervals.  Have you ever looked at the Hanson marathon plan?  Your current schedule would allow for just a slight adjustment to fit their plan.

                Long runs with MP/HMP/progression at the end, and relatively long "tempo" runs (~HMP) are the real strength workouts for the marathon.  Before you get into them, 4-6 weeks of shorter, faster tempo runs mixed in with hill workouts would help with speed and strength.

                 

                The DOMS was gone all day yesterday, so I went for a short run last night.  Light quad soreness after the first mile, slightly worse running downhill than on the level, no discomfort running uphill.  Is this an indicator of what to work on?  As in faster running on the level plus downhill work?

                 

                I like to run about 40 MPW during the winter.  Based on spaniel's comments, I should be better off doing two 10mile runs during the week than a 4 and a 16 mile run.  The longer runs to be progression runs.  I plan on keeping the 11.5 mile Sunday morning run, and the Friday off. 

                 

                Given the 11.5 mile Sunday morning run, is there a benefit to a longer run on Saturday? 

                  My reply won't answer your question, but rather asking questions. :-)

                   

                  Most training plans I read are up to 20 miles, then taper down. Many runners report around 22 miles in the race is the hardest time. Reading your logs, you seemed to have problem at the last 3 -4 miles.

                   

                  My stupid question is why the training plans don't include a 26 or 27 miles long run, so the runners would get used of the distance.

                  5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                    My stupid question is why the training plans don't include a 26 or 27 miles long run, so the runners would get used of the distance.

                     

                    A single over-distance run does not make up for under-training by not doing enough overall volume.  You will do better in a marathon by running an average of 55 miles per week with a longest run of 16 miles, than you will by running 30 miles per week and doing 20, 22, or 27 miles per week.  MTA - meant 20, 22, 27 mile long runs.

                     

                    The long run is important.  Just not nearly as important as people seem to think it is these days.

                    "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

                     


                    Feeling the growl again

                      The DOMS was gone all day yesterday, so I went for a short run last night.  Light quad soreness after the first mile, slightly worse running downhill than on the level, no discomfort running uphill.  Is this an indicator of what to work on?  As in faster running on the level plus downhill work?

                       

                      I like to run about 40 MPW during the winter.  Based on spaniel's comments, I should be better off doing two 10mile runs during the week than a 4 and a 16 mile run.  The longer runs to be progression runs.  I plan on keeping the 11.5 mile Sunday morning run, and the Friday off. 

                       

                      Given the 11.5 mile Sunday morning run, is there a benefit to a longer run on Saturday? 

                       

                       

                      If your quads were just recovering from being sore, it is not surprising that running downhill would bring it out again.  If you are going to run hilly races, a little beating up on the quads to toughen them up is not necessarily a bad thing.

                       

                      Don't totally quit running the 16-milers, just don't focus on that every week.  Variety is a good thing.

                      "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

                       

                        My reply won't answer your question, but rather asking questions. :-)

                         

                        Most training plans I read are up to 20 miles, then taper down. Many runners report around 22 miles in the race is the hardest time. Reading your logs, you seemed to have problem at the last 3 -4 miles.

                         

                        My stupid question is why the training plans don't include a 26 or 27 miles long run, so the runners would get used of the distance.

                         

                        Spaniel's reply to this question is a good one. The error in the question is assuming a direct relationship between stimulus and adaptation. 

                         

                        Many people begin thinking about training for a race by analyzing it along two lines: distance and pace. I want to prepare my body to run a certain distance (26.2 miles) at a certain pace (x : xx). So, then they think every week I need two types of training: a speed workout to develop pace and a long run to develop capacity for distance. Hence your basic marathon training plan: a tempo run for speed every week and a long run approaching the distance every week.

                         

                        This plan would be totally great except for the crucial fact that it is totally built around a race goal instead of around the body's natural response. It forgets the most important factor in training -- that you are training a human body, and that body responds well to certain things and not so well to others!

                         

                        So, we need to add in this last element -- What training gets the human body to respond best to develop the systems necessary for good running?

                         

                        The answer to this question is basically the best stimulus is the easy to moderate 45 to 90 minute run. We feed the body with this on a regular basis (up to twice daily) and the body will turn into a runner's body.

                         

                        The best marathon plan, then, prepares for race pace and race distance (the specific elements of training) but more essentially, it stimulates the body to lose fat, to develop networks of veins and capillaries, to connect up the brain with the legs, etc., etc. The body is the key site of training (duh!) and the best plans will be dominated by easy to moderate 45 to 90 minute runs to produce these adaptations while spending a little bit of time every week working on the specific adaptations for the race distance in question.

                         

                        tl;dr version: the training stimulus that produces a successful running body is frequent runs of 45-90 minutes in length. Even though these runs don't appear to have anything to do with race pace or distance -- they have everything to do with changing the body into a runner's body capable of covering the distance.

                          This plan would be totally great except for the crucial fact that it is totally built around a race goal instead of around the body's natural response. It forgets the most important factor in training -- that you are training a human body, and that body responds well to certain things and not so well to others!

                           

                           Indeed the training is an art. I like your comment about body's natural response.

                           

                          As a beginner, I don't know if my training is over or under. For example, I don't know if my last Sunday 7 mile run was too fast or not. I didn't feel my legs sore today (Monday), but when I did the 3 mile easy run, I could feel my hamstring a bit tight.

                            

                          The body is the key site of training (duh!) and the best plans will be dominated by easy to moderate 45 to 90 minute runs to produce these adaptations while spending a little bit of time every week working on the specific adaptations for the race distance in question.

                           

                          Does that mean the short speed training (such as 4 x 400) is not important? I found the speed training is not as pleasant as tempo.

                           

                          Spaniel, looking at your training log, it is very unconventional. Do you follow any training plan or it is your own plan?

                          5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)


                          Feeling the growl again

                             

                            Spaniel, looking at your training log, it is very unconventional. Do you follow any training plan or it is your own plan?

                             

                            Do what I say, not what I do.  Wink

                             

                            My very structured training days are 6-7 years in the past.  My training lately is dictated by work and fatherhood responsibilities.  But yes, whatever I do is my own plan.  FWIW much of the stuff that probably looks unconventional about my recent training was done for the 50-miler I attempted to race last weekend.

                             

                            A general plan I would TRY to follow, if training were higher up the priority list, would be:

                            Monday - recovery day, 8-10 miles

                            Tuesday - AM easy run 4-6 miles; PM interval workout of 4 miles of intervals, 8-10 miles total

                            Wednesday - Easy 10-12 miles

                            Thursday - Tempo run 12-14 miles total distance

                            Friday - AM 4-6 miles easy; PM easy 8-10 miles

                            Saturday - Fartlek, 10-12 miles

                            Sunday - long run with last 1/3 to 1/2 of it at a good effort, 16-20 miles

                            Total distance for week:  80-100 miles

                             

                            This would be pretty standard for anything from 5K to marathon, for me.  People with more natural speed gearing for 5K-10K may do more fast speedwork.

                            "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

                             

                              As a beginner, I don't know if my training is over or under. For example, I don't know if my last Sunday 7 mile run was too fast or not. I didn't feel my legs sore today (Monday), but when I did the 3 mile easy run, I could feel my hamstring a bit tight.

                                

                               

                              Does that mean the short speed training (such as 4 x 400) is not important? I found the speed training is not as pleasant as tempo.

                               

                              Everything is important -- speed, tempo, easy running, long running, strides, hills, days off -- but nothing is important in itself. Everything is important relative to a purpose.

                               

                              If you are a beginner, then you just need to be working on the first principle of all good endurance training: consistency.

                               

                              Once you've mastered consistency, i.e. getting out the door every day or so, then you can begin to play with the second principle of all good training: variety.

                               

                              Consistency and variety. Balancing these two concepts in some sort of dynamic equilibrium is the whole name of the game and it will keep you occupied the rest of your running career.

                              xor


                                Where did all my races go?
                                Long time passing
                                Where did all my fitness go?
                                Long time ago
                                Where did all my races go?
                                DNF walk-fest every one
                                When will I ever learn?
                                When will I ever learn?

                                I wish that was a joke post, but it kind of isn't. And I know this thread started way back in January.
                                Weird how time changes things. And focus and stuff. Do what you can. Some day 'can' will get redefined.

                                What I DONT know is why my font is smashy. (edit: whoa, it is only smashy in the editor. But it isn't handling cr/lf correctly)

                                 

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