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How to get faster (Read 358 times)

stshipley


    You seem concerned on a day-to-day basis what your pace is.  I don't know if this is the case, but I bring it up as a classic mistake is to race every workout, worried about the pace.  This is actually counter-productive.  It will also hinder your ability to add miles and more runs per week.  Most of your runs need to be at a comfortable pace where you could hold a conversation with a running partner.  If you want to do one tempo run per week where you push it comfortably fast for 20 minutes, or feel good on a particular run and accelerate over the last couple miles, go for it.  But each run should not be a time trial to see what your average pace is.

     

    Typically when I run outside, I don't even check my pace until I enter it in my log.  It just doesn't matter.  It is the volume of the miles, not the speed of them, that will make you faster over time.  After you make some progress there you can more seriously consider a real faster workout schedule.

     

    This is awesome advice. Variety - it's the spice of life.

    sport jester


    Biomimeticist

      getting faster can only be accomplished by one thing; changing the way you run.

       

      And if you want to get real picky, I'd openly ask if you know what your WTR speed is.

       

      And if you don't know what your WTR speed is, then you're following the running advice from people with nothing more than

      a barstool level of education...

       

      To improve your running speed, requires not only knowing but understanding that your skills as a runner are first measured by your skills as a walker. And WTR stands for Walk to Run, which is the speed at which you can no longer walk, but have to transition from walking to running speed.

       

      Most people are anywhere from 3.5 to 4MPH whereas they have to stop walking and start running. Do you know where you are on that scale? Because if you don't know your transition speed, then you have no clue to what it means to be a faster (read more efficient) runner.

       

      Oh and for reference, I've been documented in walking speeds of 9MPH....

      Experts said the world is flat

      Experts said that man would never fly

      Experts said we'd never go to the moon

       

      Name me one of those "experts"...

       

      History never remembers the name of experts; just the innovators who had the guts to challenge and prove the "experts" wrong

      snapa55


         

        I just took a quick look at your training log, and your pace is nowhere near a 9mm...some weeks under an 8mm. (that's awesome!) I don't really think I'll ever get there, but for my own curiousity...have you always been a runner? And how long did it take you to run a sub 8 mm?

         

        This is going to be a fairly lengthy post, so bear with me!

         

        • My running career started in May 2012.  Prior to that, I was fairly lethargic to exercise, aside from my weekly table tennis league (it's more intense than it sounds).  By 2011, I was in bad straights.  Self-esteem was low and my weight was up, 180 pounds to be exact.  That's when I decided that things needed to change.  After a year of doing bootcamp classes 3-6 times a week, my weight was down to 160.  That's when my cousin suggested that we do a Warrior Dash together.  I had zero concerns about the obstacle course, but I knew that the 5K distance would pose a huge problem.  In my younger days, I played soccer throughout most of my life and was a mediocre sprinter in high school.  I was never a fan of long distances.  
        • I started training for the Warrior Dash, a 1 or 2 miles here and there.  I had to "teach" myself how to run long distances.  I was never able to just run, it seemed so complicated.  A few Youtube video sessions later, I started mid-foot striking.  That pretty much changed everything.  Running became fun!  Every week was exciting because I'd break a weekly mileage or single run record.  
        • After the Warrior Dash, I entered in my first 5K the very next week.  After that, I was hooked.  I enjoyed pushing myself every week, seeing what I was capable of.
        • I ran my first half marathon in August 2012, using 3 days of running and 3 days of cycling as my training.  My calves didn't quite agree with my new love for running, so I had to scale things back to the running/cycling mix.  In hindsight, if I just ran at slower paces, my body would have been better off.  I was too concerned with pushing my pace, trying to be faster.  I didn't have the necessary base.  While I finished the half marathon with a decent time, I left my calves in shambles.  Miles 11-13 were plagued with constant calf pains, on both legs.
        • Once the half marathon was over, I was a bit lost.  I didn't have another goal lined up to strive for.  By October, my long runs started to get longer and longer.  I figured, I might as well start training for a marathon at this point.
        • November was a mix of cycling and running.  By December, I fully dedicated myself to running.  I had another calf/achilles injury bout, but I was able to put in some decent mileage.  I used a very abbreviated version of the Hanson Marathon Method.  If you look at my Dec 12 / Feb 13 calendar, you'll see that my pace fluctuates a ton.
        • The marathon was fairly successful, although I had to change my goal from 3:30 to 3:40.  I ran into calf problems again at mile 24-26.  With each step, I felt like either of my calves would seize up.  This was due to me being under-trained, lesson learned.  After that I decided to really dedicate myself to being prepared.
        • I targeted another half marathon in May 2013.  I put in 8 solid weeks of training and ended up running a 17 minute PR, without any calf issues at the end.  Even by the end of this half marathon, I had less than 1000 miles on my legs.  At this point, I dropped to 140lbs.
        • July - September was completely dedicated to cycling.  This is when I realized how much consistency mattered in endurance sports.  I was cycling 120-200 miles a week, and getting stronger with each ride.  But apparently not strong enough, because I bonked on the Palomar Mountain climb, 11.6 miles, up 4200ft, during my Gran Fondo.  I went out too hard and didn't want to reign it in.  I paid for it dearly for the last 40 miles of the ride.  During this training, I was able to drop to 135lbs.  
        • Oct - December was dedicated to running a sub 19-5K.  Trying to run after months of cycling was brutal.  It was a complete re-learning experience for me.  I used a lot of easy runs, a weekly long run, and a sprinkling of interval training to finally achieve a 18:43.
        • And right now, I training for a BQ at the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon.  I'm training to get back to race weight, the holidays weren't kind to me.  I feel like the consistency in the later half of the year has really helped my injury problems.  My body is finally adjusting to the training.  

        The Hanson plan really broke things down my week:

        • 3 days of easy running
        • 1 day of intervals
        • 1 day of tempo
        • 1 long run

        My 5K PR progression has gone from:

        23:06 > 20:54 > 19:49 > 19:15 > 19:11 > 18:43

         

        My HM PR progression has gone from:

        1:49 > 1:32 > Whatever my March HM will be (Hopefully!)

         

        My advice is to run more consistently.  Every mile will make you stronger, no matter what the pace.  If you need advice on pacing, the Hansons Marthon Method really helped me out in that respect.  It gave me targeted paces for each of my runs.  Build up your body, speed will come later.

        5K: 18:43 (12/13) 10K: 42:50 (12/12) HM: 1:30:10 (3/14) M: 3:34:46 (5/14)

        Runslowalksalot


          The "aerobic fat burning zone" is not a myth, it's a fact.   The lower one's heartrate, the greater percentage of fat that is being burned.   At a person's aerobic threshhold (Aet), that ratio is roughly 50/50 fat-carbs.   As heartrate increases, that ratio is skewed in favor of carbs until one approches their max heart rate where there is virtually no fat being used for fuel.   I had a treadmill VO2 max test last year that included a chart that showed my fuel souce at any given point based on the amount of CO2 I was exhaling.

            So while running faster at a higher heartrate burns more calories overall, it uses less fat for fuel, explaining why some people just can't seem to lose weight.   And a HRM is not by any means necessary, the talk test is fine.

          pedaling fool


            Everyone needs a good base before they work on speed; this means a lot of easy long run with no real concern about pace. This is what Mark Allen says anyway....  http://www.markallenonline.com/maoArticles.aspx?AID=4

             

             

            Excerpt:

             

            "You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower, or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

            There are many factors that will influence your racing. Nutrition, tapering, speed work, rest, and mindset are some of them. But the biggest physical factor is the base you build in the beginning of the season. A good base period when you develop your body¹s ability to burn stored fat for fuel is what determines the size of the internal engine that the other things have to work with.

            A well-designed base period enables you to take good nutrition, speed work, rest, and positive thoughts and transform them into your best race possible. The choice is yours. You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

             

            The catch is that most people do not have the patience to build a base correctly. The reason is that for the first 12 weeks or so of your season, you will have to strap on a heart rate monitor and put your ego aside. What the heart rate monitor will signal to you is when you are working out at heart rates that are aerobic (fat burning)."

             

            I had a feeling I'd get "jumped" for linking something that mentioned HR monitors. I agree that a HRM is not needed; I became a very good cyclist without using one, because I've put in thousands and thousands of miles, i.e. built up a massive base. And basically that's what I'm saying about building speed in your run times...first comes the base and the stronger your base (putting in miles and miles) the easier it is to build speed; don't shorcut this process and you do NOT need a HRM to do that.

             

            However, nowadays I do find HRM's not only fun to use, but also a learning experience in how your body reacts to certain levels of exercise.

               

              I had a feeling I'd get "jumped" for linking something that mentioned HR monitors. I agree that a HRM is not needed; I became a very good cyclist without using one, because I've put in thousands and thousands of miles, i.e. built up a massive base. And basically that's what I'm saying about building speed in your run times...first comes the base and the stronger your base (putting in miles and miles) the easier it is to build speed; don't shorcut this process and you do NOT need a HRM to do that.

               

              However, nowadays I do find HRM's not only fun to use, but also a learning experience in how your body reacts to certain levels of exercise.

               

              Mind if I crash the convo?  I am trying to come out of a long endured foot injury/arthritis that has seriously hampered my training and race times.  This winter I'm starting all over again and it's hard to know what to run as I have to throw all my old paces away.  I started with HR monitor training.  I'm going to check out the article as I still find myself push the HR to go up and see if I can hold on.

               

              "These are in the lower training zones well below your maximum heart rate. The higher heart rates are anaerobic (carbohydrate burning) and shouldn¹t come until your base has been built. The reason is that the improvement you can get in performance from developing your aerobic fat burning system is huge compared to the improvement in performance you can get from doing the high-end anaerobic carbohydrate burning workouts. And our bodies cannot develop both systems very well at the same time. Which means that to build a base properly, an athlete has to have the patience to work the aerobic system exclusively for a huge block of time. "

               

              Must go back to patience if there's a chance this season...Thanks for sharing!

              Runslowalksalot


                Agreed, I use one but it's not absolutely necessary.    I'm doing my base training right now and it is helpful to keep my Heartrate at my designated zone, right now that's between 137 and 143.   As the miles go by, I must slow down a bit to keep it there.   I've notice in the last month of basebuilding that my mile split times have dropped while keeping in in that zone.   I'm staying there at least 2 more months, probably  more.


                Feeling the growl again

                  The "aerobic fat burning zone" is not a myth, it's a fact.   The lower one's heartrate, the greater percentage of fat that is being burned.   At a person's aerobic threshhold (Aet), that ratio is roughly 50/50 fat-carbs.   As heartrate increases, that ratio is skewed in favor of carbs until one approches their max heart rate where there is virtually no fat being used for fuel.   I had a treadmill VO2 max test last year that included a chart that showed my fuel souce at any given point based on the amount of CO2 I was exhaling.

                    So while running faster at a higher heartrate burns more calories overall, it uses less fat for fuel, explaining why some people just can't seem to lose weight.   And a HRM is not by any means necessary, the talk test is fine.

                   

                  Just by your own post quoted above, the "aerobic fat burning zone" is a myth.  You burn fat at any pace, the percentage just changes.  There simply is no magical zone where you are burning fat, and just a bit faster and you are not.  Within normal, sustainable run paces, the percentage of fat being burned is not a whole lot different.  Couple that with the fact that when you slow down you must now run longer to burn the same number of calories, and the effect is lost in the noise.

                   

                  Also, it does not explain why some people can't lose weight.  Running a mile burns 70-130 calories, depending on your weight and efficiency.  It does not matter whether you are burning carbs or fat while you exercise.  The major source of carb fuel when you run is glycogen; once you stop running, unless you eat a bunch of extra calories that glycogen will be replaced by breaking down fat.  If you're burning fat, if you eat a bunch of extra calories it will replace the fat.  Calories in = calories out.  The conversion between storage forms means very little.

                  "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

                     

                     

                     

                    "These are in the lower training zones well below your maximum heart rate. The higher heart rates are anaerobic (carbohydrate burning) and shouldn¹t come until your base has been built. The reason is that the improvement you can get in performance from developing your aerobic fat burning system is huge compared to the improvement in performance you can get from doing the high-end anaerobic carbohydrate burning workouts. And our bodies cannot develop both systems very well at the same time. Which means that to build a base properly, an athlete has to have the patience to work the aerobic system exclusively for a huge block of time. "

                     

                    Is this more Mark Allen stuff?

                     

                    There is no "anaerobic carb burning zone".  Carbs can be burned both aerobically and anaerobically.  There is also no "aerobic fat burning system".  There is an aerobic system and and anaerobic system, that are both being used to various extents depending on the intensity of exercise.  The anerobic system burns only carbs but the aerobic system burns both fat and carbs....and, at most of our easy running efforts, the majority will be carbs.

                     

                     

                    This image shows carbs (glucose) being broken down into pyruvate in glycolysis.  If energy is needed rapidly, this pyruvate can be made into lactate (shown here as lactic acid) and release a small amount of ATP (4) right in the cytosol.  But this is inefficient and cannot continue long, which is why we can't hold top speed very long.  Anaerobic metabolism is limited.  And yes, it is fueled by carbs.

                    This above is the Krebs Cycle, the major energy-producing biochemical pathway of aerobic respiration.  You can see the pyruvate coming in the top from glycolysis.  This is now occurring in the mitochondria (see prior image).  If pace of effort and presence of oxygen allows, the aerobic pathway will be preferred and net you a total of 36 ATP from the same glucose molecule that only got you 4 in anaerobic respiration...way, way more efficient but slower and requiring oxygen.  All those little NADH's and FADH2's feed the electron transport chain to produce the ATP and consume O2 at the end.  So while anaerobic IS carb-burning, aerobic isn't just fat-burning -- percentage of fuel coming from carbs will usually be in the majority an non-race paces.

                     

                    Fat, on the other hand, is broken down to the point that it enters the Krebs cycle as acetyl-CoA.  So this does require oxygen.  And it takes a lot longer to break the fat down and transport it through your body to the site of consumption.

                     

                    I don't know why he chooses to mix terms with the energy system being used with the fuel being burnt, it needlessly confuses the issue.  He is correct that there is far more room for improvement of your aerobic system than your anaerobic system, and that base builds your aerobic system.  But it has little to do with carbs and fat.

                     

                    Regarding applying this to weight loss, look at it this way.  Using this little random internet fat burning calculator.  I go for a run at a VERY easy pace, HR 130, I get 42% fat burned, so say 100cal/mile X 10 miles or 420 calories from fat.  Compared to if I do a more solid effort still not rising to tempo effort, say 150 HR.  That's 20% fat, or 200 calories for the same run.  So in that run, 220 calories difference in fat burned.  Say a pound of fat is 3500 calories, that's 16 of these runs...160 MILES...to lose a pound of fat from this adjustment in pace, if it really worked that way (which it doesn't, calories in = calories out, more or less).  Plus you're going to have to add time to your schedule to get the same distance in at the slower pace.  Smile

                    "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

                     

                        Is this more Mark Allen stuff?

                         

                        Spaniel

                        Yes - that was from the Mark Allen Article.  My concern is not with weight loss, but I'm still going to read your reply in depth.  I'm coming off a year of inconsistent training and finding a starting point that leads to getting faster again.   Starting marathon training for scratch, I'm lost on where to start.  I'm beyond Couch to 5K, but I also can't start where I left off 12 months ago.   I'm hoping by starting off building a base and using HR will get me back to decent times.

                         

                        From Mark Allen.  "But slowly, over those next 12 weeks, my body would develop the enzymes necessary to break down stored fat for energy and my pace would speed up. And by the time it came to do my interval training, I was able to run close to a 5:30 mile at my aerobic maximum heart rate of 150!"  

                         

                        My goal is to run efficient and not have my HR crank high when I'm not running that hard.  I ran a half marathon in the past two weeks and the effort wasn't taxing, but I couldn't keep my heart rate below 150.  My longest run prior was 10 miles with a few 20 min temp.  I ran the distance with an avg heart rate of 157.   I thought with the effort I put forth would be more 145 - 150.

                         

                        It's hard for me to keep my HR under at the recommended rate (137-43) for easy days.   I mean it's easy to do but feels too easy and then I second guess myself and run with more effort thinking it will give me more benefit.   One would think after all my years of running and racing, I'd get it.   On the contrary this time around I'm struggling because I want to progress consistently and not be stupid and run into another chronic condition.

                         

                        Thank you Spaniel for so  much detail to your posts.


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

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


                          Feeling the growl again

                            Spaniel

                            Yes - that was from the Mark Allen Article.  My concern is not with weight loss, but I'm still going to read your reply in depth. 

                             

                            Sorry.  I quoted you but then kind of went back and addressed several things.  Apologies for any confusion.  Smile

                            "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

                              Even prettier photo here on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Citric_acid_cycle_with_aconitate_2.svg

                               

                              I just about had an anxiety attack going back to all of the hours holes up with a dry erase board repeatedly re-drawing the entire pathway along with enzymes, products, chemical structures, and free energy associated with each reaction back when I was in Biochem II.  Thanks for that.  

                              "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 just about had an anxiety attack going back to all of the hours holes up with a dry erase board repeatedly re-drawing the entire pathway along with enzymes, products, chemical structures, and free energy associated with each reaction back when I was in Biochem II.  Thanks for that.  

                                 

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