123

Getting fast before going long (Read 368 times)

    Frankly I'd also like to get revenge on the marathon after it beat me so badly last year.

     

    Yes.  It has a way of goading us to come back and get whipped again. Wink

     

    For a slightly contrary point of view. one advantage of focussing on the marathon might be that it's obvious that it requires lots and lots of training miles.  That isn't so obvious for shorter races, but mileage is key for them as well (it has proven so for me).  Therefore, training for a marathon may be the best way to make yourself do the miles necessary to get fast in your 5K or whatever (especially if you are your own coach).  And before everyone piles on me, I'm not saying the training regimen should be the same for both.

    Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

      I had about 7 years running before my marathon.  I was glad to have it.

       

      If you're dying in the last 10K, speed might not be the hindrance to your goal.

       

      I like long distances better.  Short distances are stupid hard.  The intensity.  I don't care if it's over faster.

       

      But people do rush into the marathon.  Like I said, I'm glad I didn't do one in my first year or two of running.  Even as is, I don't think I had all the short distance development that would have given me the best headstart.  But, I doubt I would have ever gotten it if I didn't move up  to the marathon.

      LedLincoln has a point that a lot of people will do a lot less, not just a lot different, when training for a shorter distance.  The boogeyman distance helps them.

       

      I'm trying to work on short distance now without giving up long distance because I'm addicted... and from that perspective, I say, do it now while you have a chance!  Just do it right. Smile

      Current Weight: 160 lb

      Goal Weight: 130 lb

       

      Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700

         

        Yes.  It has a way of goading us to come back and get whipped again. Wink

         

        And before everyone piles on me, I'm not saying the training regimen should be the same for both.

        I'll say it: The training regimen should be (pretty much) the same for both.

        Runners run.


        Fast is better than long

          This, and what Jeff said and Lincoln.

           

          Speed helps distance racing because the faster you can go at a shorter distance the more tolerable running slightly slower at a longer distance becomes. If it hurts to run 8:00mpm then try running 7:50-7:40 so that 8:00 does feel 'ok'.

          Distance helps speed because it ups the aerobic and endurance required to sustain running on the edge further into a race.

           

          To me (my opinion, so go scratch)

          Training to race a marathon differs from training to race anything less than a marathon because you never (very rarely) train at a distance greater than the race. There's some theory that the human body can't hold the ~3-4 hrs. effort very often.

          However, training to run anything less, I love that my training runs and many hard workouts are longer than race distance, because it instills confidence during the race that I can go the distance.

           

          I think the two are complementary, and both should be a part of teh training program.

           

           

          What's your annual mileage? More likely your performance curve indicates that your weakness is aerobic endurance--as it is for most of us. Most normal people don't run enough mileage for their marathon times to be of similar quality as their 5k/10k times. There are exceptions but that's usually true.

           

          I jumped into marathons (my only goal was to qualify for and run Boston) but I later took some couple year stretches where I didn't run any marathons and just focused on shorter distances. Doing so definitely helped my marathon times when I went back to the 26.2 distance, for a lot of the reasons Jeff mentions above.

          2014 Goals: 2500 miles / sub 2 800m / 4:30 mile / sub 16:30 5K

           

          Give a man a fire and he'll be warm the rest of the night;
          Set a man afire and he'll be warm the rest of his life.

          What in the Jehu?

          MJ5


          Chief Unicorn Officer

            I was a runner for 14 years before doing a marathon. Started running in 1994 on the junior high XC team and ran competitively until graduation, when I played a different sport in college, still running recreationally and doing the occasional race. I've become much more into racing over the last 5 years.

             

            I tend to disagree that training for a marathon makes you faster at shorter distances, as KL Duke said--I think this is true if you are fairly a beginner and still in the stage where more miles equal improvement. There comes a time where you level off and the long slow miles aren't goin to give you improvement anymore. To be truly good at shorter distances you have to work ad stress those systems you use to race, and a marathon and a 5K (or a mile, or a 10K, etc.) obviously stress very different systems of the body at different intensities.

             

            I don't think racing the shorter distances has necessarily made my "respect the marathon" more. I think running a few marathons has made me realize how much work, focus, and effort has to be put into a short race to excel at it--it's NOT just about logging miles.

            Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

            J-L-C


              I've been running for two years and have never raced longer than a 10k.I just don't think I'm ready for it.

               

              I am planning on doing my first half next year when I'm up to 80-90 mpw. To me it just seems that racing longer is so much harder and requires such greater fitness than what I currently have. Honestly the thought of trying to race a half still seems a bit intimidating and I genuinely can't imagine racing a full marathon at this point in my running career.

               

              If I do a full it won't be for another 2-3 years. Racing flat out for 2+ hours just seems super-human to me at this point.

                J-L-C, I kinda disagree. You could race a half this month and do pretty good. Regardless how fit you get there will always be a differential between your 10K and half (or marathon) effort. The half would especially surprise you since it's not really half the punishment on your body as a full. I'm sure if you went at the correct pace you could push the whole way.

                  Yeah I kind of feel like the half marathon is the most forgiving distance in a couple of ways.

                   

                  For one thing, if you go out too fast (or too slow) it's long enough (but short enough) that you can recover and still salvage a decent race--if that makes any sense.

                   

                  It's also the distances we can race best off of pure base training. With either the 5k or the marathon, you want some serious race specific work going into it--which means intervals at 5k pace or long MP runs respectively. When you're in base mode and just doing mileage and tempos, you the distance those workouts are most "specific" for is the HM.

                  Runners run.


                  Feeling the growl again

                    To the OP, I think the real issue is not what distance you are racing but the training you are doing.  Because you were doing a marathon, you jumped into training you were not prepared for.  Newer runners who focus on shorter distances give themselves and their bodies time to adapt and get strong before they start throwing 15+ mile runs in.  So yes, I typically recommend people run for at least 2 years before thinking about a marathon.  There is plenty of fun to be had in shorter races...and HMs are twice the fun with a quarter the pain.

                     

                    There is a rationale behind going for fast before long when it comes to the marathon.  It is a long race, and if you can't get say your 5K pace past X, then you won't hit Y for the marathon no matter what you do.  It does really help to improve your short distance times before trying to extend over the marathon distance.

                     

                    Now, you mention Rupp and Farah and moving up.  With them you have to realize they are already likely doing at least 90% of the total training they would do to run a marathon...unlike the typical recreational runner.  It is apples to oranges.

                     

                    However even at the elite level, there is rationale to do fast before long.  Build the speed and then focus on the strength to extend it with marathon-specific work.

                     

                    But mostly, you need to give yourself time to get to a level where you can handle adequate marathon training plans (the 18/55 is adequate) without just the volume pushing yourself to the limit.

                    "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'll say it: The training regimen should be (pretty much) the same for both.

                       

                      True for me.  My PR's are within a few weeks before the marathon (during taper/sharpening) or a couple of weeks after. After spending a  year at lower volume ( about 1800 miles the couple of years I ran the marathon, 1500 last year) but relatively faster stuff, the needle has not moved much.  So this year planning to get the miles back up as if training for a marathon, but keep the faster stuff, will see if that makes a difference in the shorter races.


                      And in the end...

                        Part of the answer has to include an assessment of what you enjoy most.  I know a lot of distance runners who just love the marathon and really dislike 5ks.  They are so different in terms of physical impact.  Racing a 5k builds to a "THIS HURTS BAD" experience, but it's over quickly.  Marathons build to a "damn this is really uncomfortable" feeling.  I'm not saying a marathon race cannot HURT BAD.  Clearly, it can.  But there is such a difference in terms of pain level and threshhold.

                         

                        I went from smoking cigarettes to running marathons.  My 1st marathon was a 4:23 at 37 years old.  It was my first running race ever.  Over the next 2 years I worked my time down to 3:19 to get my BQ.  I also ran a whole lot of marathons 'just for fun'.  Mostly, just a social thing.  I eventually got under 3 hours.  Over 7 years I've completed 50 marathons, and in that time I've raced 2 official 5ks and 1 half-marathon.  I've also done some corporate challenge track and field from 100m to the mile.

                         

                        The point is, I like distance running.  While focusing on racing shorter distances could improve my marathon time, I'll never be an elite runner, so I lean toward doing what I enjoy.  If that costs me a couple of minutes in my marathon times, so be it.

                        ------------------------

                        The GITM is moot.

                          You write about whether all those long slow miles put too much stress on you, and that you want to train to run shorter distances “seriously”. But really, there won’t be a big mileage difference in training for either, just a focus difference. So it won’t take “less time” to train for the shorter distances which is what it reads like you’re implying.

                           

                          A lot of folks get faster at shorter distances during marathon training because in a marathon plan they are doing more mileage than “usual” (ie not marathon training). Probably the key to getting faster at shorter stuff is to keep “marathon training” mileage with shorter stuff specific workouts.

                          Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                          We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                            I think Naderalfie's log since around 1/2012 is a good demonstration of some of this (I'm sure there are others, BadDawg also comes to mind).  He'd have to speak for himself, but he was a pretty good runner before and ran some marathons.  But starting towards the beginning of last year, he sort of broke it down, started over and changed the focus of the running.  The end goal may have been a better marathon time in the future, but to accomplish that he became faster at shorter distances.  Some of the stuff was the same, but there was less focus on accumulating miles and more on quality shorter runs, doubling to get mileage, fewer LONG runs and much more racing.  He could handle the racing because he wasn't killing himself in training.  His 5K time has gone from mid 20s to mid 18s over that time, and I'd say whenever he decides to run a marathon he's only about 10 good weeks away from being completely ready.  At least that's my armchair perception of the whole thing.

                             

                            He also needs to learn to pee himself while racing, but that's not really instructive for this thread.  

                             

                            drifter


                              How long do you think of focusing on short distance? I typically train for short distance to accommodate my Sunday soccer play in Spring, then train for marathon in fall without soccer. The rotation worked out well for me.

                                Part of the answer has to include an assessment of what you enjoy most.  I know a lot of distance runners who just love the marathon and really dislike 5ks.  They are so different in terms of physical impact.  Racing a 5k builds to a "THIS HURTS BAD" experience, but it's over quickly.  Marathons build to a "damn this is really uncomfortable" feeling.  I'm not saying a marathon race cannot HURT BAD.  Clearly, it can.  But there is such a difference in terms of pain level and threshhold.

                                 

                                I went from smoking cigarettes to running marathons.  My 1st marathon was a 4:23 at 37 years old.  It was my first running race ever.  Over the next 2 years I worked my time down to 3:19 to get my BQ.  I also ran a whole lot of marathons 'just for fun'.  Mostly, just a social thing.  I eventually got under 3 hours.  Over 7 years I've completed 50 marathons, and in that time I've raced 2 official 5ks and 1 half-marathon.  I've also done some corporate challenge track and field from 100m to the mile.

                                 

                                The point is, I like distance running.  While focusing on racing shorter distances could improve my marathon time, I'll never be an elite runner, so I lean toward doing what I enjoy.  If that costs me a couple of minutes in my marathon times, so be it.

                                 

                                Great post but I disagree that the 5k is over quickly. It goes on forever...

                                Runners run.

                                123