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What are the effects on pace by doing long run on very slow terrain? (Read 203 times)

hectortrojan


    This is how most of my runs are:

    5-6 mile runs at little slower than 9 min/mile for easy runs on flat

    6-7 mile runs at little faster than 8 min/mile for speed work on flat

    9-10 miles at around 15 min/mile for long runs. I do long run every other week and have been doing long runs on this terrain for last couple of months

     

    What if I keep doing this for long time? Would this make me slower on runable terrain for HM and longer distance race?


    Feeling the growl again

      Is it slow because it is hilly?

       

      Then you are building strength which will help you on the flats.  But if your race is on a flat course then I would mix up where you do your long runs.

       

      Is it slow because it is technical and/or trails?  Then you are strengthening stablizing muscles which will both help your form and help prevent injury.

      "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

       


      Latent Runner

        This is how most of my runs are:

        5-6 mile runs at little slower than 9 min/mile for easy runs on flat

        6-7 mile runs at little faster than 8 min/mile for speed work on flat

        9-10 miles at around 15 min/mile for long runs. I do long run every other week and have been doing long runs on this terrain for last couple of months

         

        What if I keep doing this for long time? Would this make me slower on runable terrain for HM and longer distance race?

         

        About half of my mileage over the last year was on a difficult trail, difficult due to both the technical aspect of the surface (rocks, roots, ruts..., all of those "R" words), and also because it is very hilly.  The other half of my running is on a relatively flat rail-trail, and all of my running is long and slow, slow as in I rarely go faster than 9:00 per mile, and often as slow as 15:00 per mile.  That said, when I race, I'm pretty darned quick for a fat old man; my most recent race is a good example, I ran a 5K on a difficult (due to hills) road course and managed to finish with a 21:57 which works out to a 7:04 per mile pace.

         

        Long story short, long and slow training doesn't mean you'll be slow when you're racing.  Smile

        Fat old man PRs:

        • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
        • 2-mile: 13:49
        • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
        • 5-Mile: 37:24
        • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
        • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
        • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

          I do about 75% of my running on hilly routes (a little less this very cold winter) and beginning right around now I run trails as much as possible. Both I think have helped with speed and avoiding injury, and I don't feel have made me slower at any distance. Trail surfaces are ever changing and you just can't expect consistent pacing over the course of the year, which helps you to learn to run by intensity, not according to your watch. And similarly regular hill running on or off trail will make you stronger like speed work but with less pounding. In both cases, faster paces on flat start to feel easier to maintain for longer distances. ymmv.

          11/1 - Mendon Trail Run - 50k

            What's the effort or perceived exertion on those long runs?  Is it any different than a long run on flat surfaces?

             

            I think that the benefits of the long run come from maintaining that effort for the duration, typically over 90 minutes. The feel is different running/hiking up a 3000 ft elevation gain mountain, but I think we are still getting the benefit of a long workout.  Different benefit maybe (working all the different stabilizing muscles), but the variation is likely a good thing.  Like Spaniel says if your race plans include racing on flat courses, then more long runs on flat courses would be better, at least closer to your race.

              I can't comment on the overall effect of doing a long run almost 6 minutes slower than your easy runs on flat but I do frequent long runs on trails at a slower pace than flat roads/bike trails but usually when training for a trail race.  Typically my road pace is around 7:30 for up to 20 mile runs vs 9:00-9:30 for trail runs 20-40 miles.  Overall I don't think it has hurt my speed and helps in hilly road races.

               

              That said, I wouldn't consider a 9-10 mile run a long run and if you were to run those 9-10 miles on a flat course I would expect that you could run it at the same easy pace as 5-6 miles on the same terrain.  It does seem pretty unusual to slow down almost 6 minutes per mile because of the terrain.  At that pace it seems like you would probably be running 50% of the time and walking 50% of the time.  So either you are running on a wickedly steep and technical trail, or you are running slower than you need to.   For me, even my slowest 50 mile race on what is considered one of the toughest midwest ultras was still below a 12 minute pace but we are less than 2 minutes difference in pace for easy runs.

               

              What kind of terrain are you running on?