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Pfitz Marathon Training: Terms & Confusion (Read 1082 times)


Interval Junkie --Nobby

    So, I'm looking at Pfitzinger's Marathon Training Plan and I'm a bit confused by some of the terms and recommendations because they are different from my last (first) training plan.  Specifically, he differentiates between "General Aerobic" runs and Recovery runs.

     

    General Aerobic Runs

    General aerobic runs include any run of ten miles or less that’s done at a steady pace. Faster runs of this length fall into the lactate threshold category, whereas slower runs are specifically for recovery. In other words, these are your standard, moderate-effort, putting-in-the-miles runs. The intention of your general aerobic runs is to enhance your overall aerobic conditioning through boosting your training volume; these runs improve your marathon readiness because many of the beneficial adaptations that improve endurance are related to the total volume of training.

     

    Recovery

    Recovery runs are relatively short runs done at a relaxed pace to enhance recovery for your next hard workout. These runs aren’t necessarily jogs, but they should be noticeably slower than your other workouts of the week.

     

    Which of these is equivalent to my normal "Easy" runs that are run at "conversational pace"?  Is the "Recovery" run slower than that?  And the GA faster than that?  What does "Steady Pace" refer to?  If I refer to McMillan's Pace Calculator (using a 19:00 5K as an example), recommendations are:

     

    Recovery: 8:30 - 9:05

    Easy: 7:35 - 8:05

    Steady-State: 6:43 - 6:54

     

    By these times I can see that Recovery is a bit slower than conversational, and Easy is a bit faster (by 15sec) than conversational.  Steady is more like a light-tempo run and not conversational at all.

     

    Do I have this right?

     

    Also, they make a rather weird statement:


    Lactate Threshold

    Lactate threshold runs are tempo runs in which you run for at least 20 minutes at your lactate threshold pace. This coincides closely with your current 15K to half marathon race pace. Tempo runs provide a strong stimulus to improve your lactate threshold pace, which leads to similar improvements in your marathon race pace. The lactate threshold sessions are done after a 2- to 3-mile warm-up. The tempo runs in this schedule are from four to seven miles long. Slower runners should run closer to their 15K race pace on tempo runs, whereas faster runners should run closer to their half marathon race pace.

     

    Is this correct?  Faster runners should be running at a slower pace (HM) than slower runners (15K pace)?  I guess that makes sense -- figuring faster runners might be more accurately closer to their LT at HM pace, than slower runners.  Wish he defined what "slower" and "faster"  meant.  I imagine a 19:00 5K is slower.

     

    Thanks for the help.  18 weeks until NYCM!

    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

    Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Jeff Gaudette seems to have a slightly different intepretation

       

      Steady State Runs

      Steady state runs, or runs done at or in close proximity to your marathon race pace, are a great way to build aerobic strength, which is the foundation for your best performances from 5K to the marathon. From a pacing perspective, steady state runs are completed anywhere between 10 seconds faster and 30 seconds slower than your marathon race pace. That’s quite a pace range, which is just another reason why learning to run steady runs by feel is important.

       

       

      So, that would put a steady state run at: 6:55 - 7:35 (considering 7:05 is the marathon pace)

       

      Wow, now I'm confused.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

        Did you buy the book (Advanced Marathoning) or are you working from that link?

         

        If you haven't bought the book go buy it. Many of your questions might be answered within. It's just $10 on kindle.

        xor


          .

           

            If you are going to try and follow a training plan verbatim, it's really not a good idea to try and mix language from Pfitz with McMillan with Gaudette.  Pick one and stick with it.

             

            That said, General Aerobic and Recovery are both what I would put in the Easy bucket.

             

            LT pace is roughly your 1 hour race pace so that's why it's closer to HM pace for fast runners and closer to 15k or even 10k pace for slower runners.  Note this is not the same thing as saying that faster runners are doing tempo runs at a slower pace than slower runners.

             

            Steady State is NOT General Aerobic, it's more like MP running or tempo.

            Runners run.

              Did you buy the book (Advanced Marathoning) or are you working from that link?

               

              If you haven't bought the book go buy it. Many of your questions might be answered within. It's just $10 on kindle.

               

              BTW, I wasn't trying to be flip. I followed (as best I could) Pfitz' plan twice with good result. Having the book always on my phone to answer such questions was reassuring. I probably read it four times. He goes into detail about training before he finally lays out the plans. I can't imagine just working with just the link you provided. 

                I can only give you my experience from using Pfitz for my last marathon. my goal pace was 7:27 for a 3:15 marathon (which i failed miserably at but that's a different thread):

                 

                Recovery run - 8:45 - 9:30

                GA - 8:15 - 8:40

                Long and mid-week longish runs - 1st third around 8:45 - 9:00, second third, 8:20-8:40, last third 7:50 - 8:15

                Tempo: 7:05 - 7:25

                 

                I didn't think too much about it. I just ended up there. Pace would vary depending on how I felt.  I didn't care about pace, I went by effort. He describes a GA run as you posted above. it's your normal, base training pace. I classify it as an easy run. But it is faster than a recovery run. But sometimes, not by much. Again, depends on how I'm feeling that day.  It would conform pretty closely to the pace during the early/mid part of a long run. 

                 


                Interval Junkie --Nobby

                  BTW, I wasn't trying to be flip. I followed (as best I could) Pfitz' plan twice with good result. Having the book always on my phone to answer such questions was reassuring. I probably read it four times. He goes into detail about training before he finally lays out the plans. I can't imagine just working with just the link you provided. 

                   

                  Oh, I understood that.  The book is already on order.  Just waiting for Amazon to deliver the goods. Right now I'm just going off that article [because that's all I have in front of me at the moment.]

                   

                  MikeyMike: It sure would be nice if the popular authors/coaches could standardize their language.  If GA (General Aerobic) and Recovery are both "Easy" what do you think the likely pace for the two are?  Are they both "conversational" but the Recovery is just "very easy"?

                  2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                  Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.


                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    I can only give you my experience from using Pfitz for my last marathon. my goal pace was 7:27 for a 3:15 marathon (which i failed miserably at but that's a different thread):

                     

                    Recovery run - 8:45 - 9:30

                    GA - 8:15 - 8:40

                    Long and mid-week longish runs - 1st third around 8:45 - 9:00, second third, 8:20-8:40, last third 7:50 - 8:15

                    Tempo: 7:05 - 7:25

                     

                    Okay, that makes sense.  So GA is "easy" and Recovery is just "easier".  Thanks for the clarification.

                    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                    Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

                    xor


                      Easy is not a pace.  It is a perception of effort.

                       

                      My easy runs some days are faster.  Other days slower.  Depends on weather, what I ran yesterday, health issues, and "I have no idea" stuff (collectively known as "martians").

                       

                      Don't lock into your garmin and your watch for what "easy" is supposed to be.  If you do that, you may find some days that you are laboring to keep up with this supposed 'easy' pace and that your run is no longer, in fact, easy effort.

                       

                      BTW, I don't really separate 'easy' from 'recovery'.  I run them both, well, easy.  But on a recovery day (like today, the day after a 50k) I am slower.  Because anything faster would not then be easy.

                       

                        Oh, I understood that.  The book is already on order.  Just waiting for Amazon to deliver the goods. Right now I'm just going off that article [because that's all I have in front of me at the moment.]

                         

                        Cool. Is NYCM really 18 weeks out now? Damn. I'm glad I'm not doing a fall Marathon.

                         

                        In my experience with Pfitz I got the most return on my training effort from the the mid-week medium-long runs and the MP runs. Both were hard but for different reasons.

                         

                        Good luck and be flexible with it.

                          In my experience with Pfitz I got the most return on my training effort from the the mid-week medium-long runs and the MP runs. Both were hard but for different reasons.

                           

                          +1.  I followed Pfitz's 18/55 plan last year for my 2nd crack at the CIM.  The year before I followed a plan similar to Pftiz's with the medium long run being the main difference between the two plans.  The first plan I had didn't call for a medium long run.  I improved my marathon time by approx. 25 minutes.  I owe most of that improvement to the mid week medium long run.


                          Interval Junkie --Nobby

                            Easy is not a pace.  It is a perception of effort.

                             

                            My easy runs some days are faster.  Other days slower.  Depends on weather, what I ran yesterday, health issues, and "I have no idea" stuff (collectively known as "martians").

                             

                            Don't lock into your garmin and your watch for what "easy" is supposed to be.  If you do that, you may find some days that you are laboring to keep up with this supposed 'easy' pace and that your run is no longer, in fact, easy effort.

                             

                            BTW, I don't really separate 'easy' from 'recovery'.  I run them both, well, easy.  But on a recovery day (like today, the day after a 50k) I am slower.  Because anything faster would not then be easy.

                             

                            I wasn't looking to match some pace -- I was looking to set bounds for estimated effort and differentiate between RA and Recovery which both sounds like "Easy".  Mostly, I'm interested in the question: "Am I running this too fast?"  But I get your point that what is "easy" is highly variable.

                             

                            This article, addressing just this topic, seems rather timely.

                            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                            Current Status 06/19: Pelvic stress-fracture = 6-weeks of no running.

                              For me, recovery runs are slower than regular easy runs by virtue of being a.) shorter, and b.) the day after (or sometimes the same day as) a hard workout or race. I don't generally choose the pace for recovery runs--the pace chooses me.

                               

                              Recovery runs presume that you have something to recover from.  So you might not do any if you are in a base phase and not doing any hard workouts or races.

                               

                              And generally the shorter the run, the slower my average pace since the first couple/few miles of any run tend to always be my slowest.

                               

                              At any rate it all goes in my log as "easy".

                              Runners run.

                              xor


                                I wasn't looking to match some pace -- I was looking to set bounds for estimated effort and differentiate between RA and Recovery which both sounds like "Easy".

                                 

                                See my last paragraph. 

                                 

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