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On base building (Read 350 times)

MrNamtor


DON'T TREAD ON ME

     

    This article helps explain it.

     

    http://running.competitor.com/2012/09/training/whats-the-real-benefit-of-recovery-runs_130

     

    I have a problem with the experiment cited in this article.  It says that group A did a run each day, while group B did a run and recovery run each day, followed by a day of rest. So the difference between the 2 groups was two variables (recovery run and a day of rest), not one. That being the case, how could it be concluded that the increase in fitness was due to the addition of a recovery run and not the day of rest?

    Julia1971


       

      I have a problem with the experiment cited in this article.  It says that group A did a run each day, while group B did a run and recovery run each day, followed by a day of rest. So the difference between the 2 groups was two variables (recovery run and a day of rest), not one. That being the case, how could it be concluded that the increase in fitness was due to the addition of a recovery run and not the day of rest?

       

      I'm not a science-type, but I think what you're missing is that it's not Group A and B.  I think it's just one group where each individual somehow exercised one leg one way and the other leg a different way.  (I'm guessing it's easier to get grant money in Denmark).

       

      And, for your other question, I think the article is saying that recovery runs are recovery for the tired muscles but no so much for the fresher ones...

       

      Additional research has shown that when athletes begin a workout with energy-depleted muscle fibers and lingering muscle damage from previous training, the brain alters the muscle recruitment patterns used to produce movement. Essentially, the brain tries to avoid using the worn-out muscle fibers and instead involve fresher muscle fibers that are less worn out precisely because they are less preferred under normal conditions.

      You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
      Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


      A Saucy Wench

         

        Yet the article linked by dan moriarity contradicts this. That article seems to imply that "recovery" is a misnomer, since the purpose of the recovery run is not recovery at all, but added stress (another run after a hard workout) to promote growth.

         

        Hey do what you want.  You said you didnt understand why anyone does one and I told you why I do one.  It makes an enormous difference for me.  And the more beat up and worn out I am the bigger the difference.  A day of rest leaves me sorer and stiffer.  A super easy I cant believe I am running this slowly and still calling it running makes it better.

        I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

         

        "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

        MJ5


        Chief Unicorn Officer

          I'm a believer in recovery runs. I don't know, it wouldn't make sense to me to have to take full days off after an interval workout, a tempo, a long run. Not that all of the in betweens are necessarily recovery, but a lot of times they start out that way. If a full rest day seems to work for you, then to each his own! Personally I feel better running more (plus I'd never meet my miles per week goal) and I can't explain the science behind it, but it seems to work.

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

            I'm a believer in recovery runs. I don't know, it wouldn't make sense to me to have to take full days off after an interval workout, a tempo, a long run. Not that all of the in betweens are necessarily recovery, but a lot of times they start out that way. If a full rest day seems to work for you, then to each his own! Personally I feel better running more (plus I'd never meet my miles per week goal) and I can't explain the science behind it, but it seems to work.

             

            same here...and sometimes the longer (and slower) the better.

            MrNamtor


            DON'T TREAD ON ME

               

              Hey do what you want.  You said you didnt understand why anyone does one and I told you why I do one.  It makes an enormous difference for me.  And the more beat up and worn out I am the bigger the difference.  A day of rest leaves me sorer and stiffer.  A super easy I cant believe I am running this slowly and still calling it running makes it better.

              Oh believe me I'm not saying you're wrong. I don't know jack squat. I'm just trying to sort things out, and just like every other issue in running, if you ask 3 people you get at least 4 answers.

              MrNamtor


              DON'T TREAD ON ME

                 

                I'm not a science-type, but I think what you're missing is that it's not Group A and B.  I think it's just one group where each individual somehow exercised one leg one way and the other leg a different way.  (I'm guessing it's easier to get grant money in Denmark).

                 

                And, for your other question, I think the article is saying that recovery runs are recovery for the tired muscles but no so much for the fresher ones...

                 

                Additional research has shown that when athletes begin a workout with energy-depleted muscle fibers and lingering muscle damage from previous training, the brain alters the muscle recruitment patterns used to produce movement. Essentially, the brain tries to avoid using the worn-out muscle fibers and instead involve fresher muscle fibers that are less worn out precisely because they are less preferred under normal conditions.

                 

                You're right it wasn't group A and B, it was leg A and B. But even so, my question is still valid. LOL about the grant money in Denmark.

                 

                Not sure about the other point you make, you might be right, but it still sort of defies the general idea of what most people think a recovery run does. Or what most people seem to think it does. Or what I thought it does anyway. Something like that.

                   http://running.competitor.com/2012/09/training/whats-the-real-benefit-of-recovery-runs_130

                   

                  Evidence of the special benefit of pre-fatigued exercise comes from an interesting study out of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In this study, subjects exercised one leg once daily and the other leg twice every other day.  The total amount of training was equal for both legs, but the leg that was trained twice every other day was forced to train in a pre-fatigued state in the afternoon (recovery) workouts, which occurred just hours after the morning workouts. After several weeks of training in this split manner, the subjects engaged in an endurance test with both legs. The researchers found that the leg trained twice every other day increased its endurance 90 percent more than the other leg. 

                  First of all, Dan, I'm not directing this at you.  I thought Fitzgerald guy was decent but I'm actually quite disappointed by this article.  It seems to me that he just slapped this together to write something that might appeal to the audience (siting some bogus research).  First of all, I'd be quite curious to see just exactly how this "study" was done.  It would be rather awkward to "exercise" one leg at a time...  It's hard to know without much specifics; if each leg was "exercised" 15-minutes at a time, 30-minutes would be "double"; but that's only 15-minutes difference.  I wouldn't know how they "measured" endurance but, as Nator had pointed out, there are more than a couple of variables involved here.  For one, when it comes to endurance, the total duration does make a difference.  Let's say they actually did a bit longer than 15-minutes, say, 30-minutes.  So we're looking at 30-minutes vs. 60-minutes (per day).  Twice-a-day workouts were done "just hours" apart.  I wouldn't make an assumption but I'm not quite sure if that kind of "workout" is considered "recovery".  In fact, it seems to me that, while you're exercising twice-a-day, you're doing "warm-up" routine followed by a real workout; whereas, one workout may never even get to that state.  90% more endurance...well.  That's interesting but I feel that this study is full of flaw it seems to me.  Another thing is the fact that they used the same person; different body.  They probably thought it was a cool idea; eliminating the individual differences...  What they seem to miss, in terms of PHYSIOLOGY is the fact that the person (subject) has the same heart.  So it seems to me; this person is working out everyday AEROBICALLY (because he/she was working out with elevated heart rate everyday); and one leg got to do twice as much workout one day while conducting "cross training" (the leg itself wasn't doing the work; but, as the article suggests, it's being pounded in every other day, at somewhat "pre-fatigued" state.  So that leg (twice a day every other day) got significantly more endurance...that's not surprising.  I'm a big fan of doubles; and I'm a big fan of running everyday.  And this "study" actually shows absolutely nothing useful to me.

                   

                  Personally, I never do "recovery" runs. If I need to recover, I just don't run that day. I don't think i really even understand what the recovery run is or why anyone does one.

                   

                  If anyone can explain this or correct what i said above, please, you have my blessing in advance.

                  When Fitzgerald "scoff" the idea of "flushing out lactic acid", yes, that's is sort of a myth.  I think he was talking about this article posted at letsrun.com several months ago, written by Dr. Matthew Goodwin.  I happened to have written to him and exchanged e-mails, asking him some questions directly.  Yes, it's not lactic acid--we pretty much understood that part; then lactate?  Well, it really doesn't matter one way or the other. It's the lowering of pH level in the system that you'll need to get rid of; or, I guess more precisely, bring back the pH level up.  Easy jogging, I mean, real easy, will elevate your heart rate; and by doing so, increase blood flow to the working muscles.  The body temperature goes up and loosens up tired (tight) muscles; and also, light exercise actually massages your muscles.  When my calves get tight, sometimes the best way to loosen up is to go for a light jog.  Basically, this is more or less "warm-up" jogging.  If you ever seen athletes warming up, you'll see what it means.  It's by the way not so much of "pace".  It's the effort.  For an elite runner who can easily run sub-5 minute pace aerobically, 8-minute pace is very easy.  Someone running 4-hour marathon, 8-minute pace is a tempo run.  Easy pace is more like 11-minute pace...

                   

                  Hey do what you want.  You said you didnt understand why anyone does one and I told you why I do one.  It makes an enormous difference for me.  And the more beat up and worn out I am the bigger the difference.  A day of rest leaves me sorer and stiffer.  A super easy I cant believe I am running this slowly and still calling it running makes it better.

                  At the end of the day, I'd say screw research (I know many people here don't want to hear that).  The problem with research is that, unless you really understand what they're saying, you'll get misled.  This is a good example.  I actually have no idea what Fitzgerald was trying to say.  But, if you go to letsrun.com and read some of Malmo's comment on doubles, he'll tell you that "doubles is always better than single" and I agree with him.  Why?  It goes like this;

                   

                  I had suffered with a bad case of sciatica this past summer/fall.  It took me 5 months to finally sort of get over it (it still bothers me a bit).  My lower bad was out of whack, lumber area hurts and my right leg collapses...  It was pretty nasty.  Now I'm finally getting over it and I'm now trying to get back in shape.  My goal right now is to get as many hour's runs as possible and get 1:30+ on weekend (right now at about 1:45).  I'd do an hour on treadmill (when it's nasty cold) a few days and then I'd take an easy day...  But I'm getting to the point where I would like to do an hour almost everyday.  So I'm not getting back to doubles.  When I was in New Zealand and stayed at Arthur Lydiard's; he would go to US for a lecture tour and, when he came back, he would complained how tired and out of shape he was.  "Oh, well...once I start running twice a day, everyday, up to 100 miles a week, I'll come right..."  It may surprise some people here but, I've done it several times since but it works every time--the more you run, the stronger you'll get.  And whenever I throw in a very easy jogging ("supplementary running" as Lydiard used to call it) in the morning, or in the case of weekend long run in the morning, in the evening; I always come back and do the following workout BETTER.  As Ennay said, I'd say screw research or whatever Fitzgerald is trying to say in this article; I'll have NO hesitation suggesting people to do doubles; if not doubles (two-a-day), do as much "recovery" running as possible.  In fact, the BIGGEST advantage of this is that you're still working out while recovering.  You ARE developing some elements while pumping more oxygen and nutrients to the tired muscles.  Toshihiko Seko, Japanese marathon legend, once said that the key to successful marathon training is to develop the ability to "recover while jogging 90~100 minutes".  Of course it wouldn't have to be 90~100 minutes for us.  And, again, Arthur Lydiard was right; "even if it's only 15-minutes, you're still winning."

                    Dude, that article. So a leg exercised more than the other leg ends up fitter? Color me shocked. I bet you anything this study was funded by Brussels.

                     

                    Anyway, just another pro-recovery-run voice here. Whatever the actual physiological mechanism, my legs feel so much better when I do these. I used to run five days a week but 6 or 7 - with 1-2 runs as "jogs" (so slow you question why you bothered) is just better for me  - I can even feel the difference while simply walking around. My legs feel springier, with fewer random aches and pains. And it hasn't made me more injury prone or run down.

                     

                    It may be important to include a caveat, though, that the overall plan or training arc (or whatever you call it - I need more coffee) has to be balanced, every run with its own purpose, and the easy runs have to be really easy. No cheating. I say this because I know so many runners who are bordering on compulsive.overexercising who will never ever give their poor bodies a rest, often under the guise of "well everyone knows days off are pointless." No. if you just did a sprint triathlon followed by a long run followed by four hours of power yoga and a swim and now your hip is barking....you need a day off. Or three.

                     

                    Sorry to get off topic from the op.

                    Julia1971


                       

                      You're right it wasn't group A and B, it was leg A and B. But even so, my question is still valid. LOL about the grant money in Denmark.

                       

                      Not sure about the other point you make, you might be right, but it still sort of defies the general idea of what most people think a recovery run does. Or what most people seem to think it does. Or what I thought it does anyway. Something like that.

                       

                      Yes, I think there are two competing ideas about recovery runs do - flushing out lactic acid vs. what this article talks about re taxing other muscles.  I guess it could do both.  I do them because I find I usually feel a bit stale the workout after an off day.  I feel like recovery runs keep my legs feeling sharp, which is ironic.

                      You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                      Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                      Julia1971


                        A question on base building. When one tries to increase the mpw during base building (not moving toward sharpening or later training phases due to not having a goal race), should one focus on increasing just the amount of easy runs, or also proportionally increase the amount of other hard runs? For example, I've been running about 40mpw last year, with 1 or 2 hard runs in a week (always a long run plus sometimes an interval or a tempo run). I'm working on getting up to 50 to 60 mpw again (tried that a couple times last year but didn't succeed in staying at that mileage for long), and am wondering if there's a need to do at least 3 harder training runs a week, or should the focus mostly be just time on feet? And on a somewhat related topic, my simplistic understanding of easy run is that its purpose is to allow recovery during supercompensation after hard trainings, and causes the body to grow stronger during that phase. So if the frequency of hard-easy runs increase from added trainings in a week, the period for recovery/supercompensation must decrease, so what actually enables the body to decrease the recovery time? Is it just more running? I can't get my head around this chicken and the egg thing, I know someone can straighten me out here. Thanks.

                         

                        During a base building phase, I would say you should just focus on increasing easy runs.  The purpose of this phase is to get your body used to running more, not necessarily fast.

                         

                        I don't think the purpose of easy runs is "supercompensation".  (I've never heard of that term before.  Did you read this somewhere?)  I think the point of easy runs during a base building phase is, again, to get your body used to running more mileage overall.  Over time, your body adapts to this mileage by doing all kinds of physiological things that I don't really understand - building or strengthening muscles, making new blood vessel pathways, etc. - and needs less recovery time to run the same amount of mileage.  Once the body has become more efficient at running, the idea is that you're in a better position to focus on speed.  That's how I understand it anyway.  In a nutshell.

                        You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                        Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                          And on a somewhat related topic, my simplistic understanding of easy run is that its purpose is to allow recovery during supercompensation after hard trainings

                           

                          No, the primary purpose of easy runs is to build aerobic endurance over the long term. A side benefit of easy runs is they are done at a low enough intensity that you can still recover from hard efforts while doing them.

                           

                          In base building, the emphasis should be on volume, not intensity.

                           

                          There is a lot of over-analysis and pop physiology being spouted in this thread. I thought the Matt Fitzgerald article was either poorly written or poorly edited to fit into Competitor's easily consumable format but he's basically right. To me, recovery runs are just easier versions of easy runs that you do after a hard workout--the point isn't purely recovery as much as getting in some running on beat up legs. The fact that I usually feel better after a recovery run is nice, but that doesn't mean the only thing I accomplished was recovery.

                           

                          What enables the body to decrease recovery time is fitness. You increase fitness by RUNNING MORE.

                           

                          In the immortal words of Crash Davis, "Don't think; it can only hurt the ballclub."

                          Runners run.

                            I don't think the purpose of easy runs is "supercompensation".  (I've never heard of that term before.  Did you read this somewhere?)  I think the point of easy runs during a base building phase is, again, to get your body used to running more mileage overall.  Over time, your body adapts to this mileage by doing all kinds of physiological things that I don't really understand - building or strengthening muscles, making new blood vessel pathways, etc. - and needs less recovery time to run the same amount of mileage.  Once the body has become more efficient at running, the idea is that you're in a better position to focus on speed.  That's how I understand it anyway.  In a nutshell.

                             

                            Julia:

                             

                            The term "super-compensation" is a common term for the concept of adaptation.  When you "workout", it actually lowers the current fitness level because workout is actually "breaking-down" process.  As you "recover", it'll come back again and it actually surpasses the (previously) "current" fitness level and it goes beyond that.  THAT is super-compensation; in other words, training effect.

                             

                            All due respect, however, Wings seems to like slapping fancy terms together to make a simple matter a hell of a lot more complicated, I don't know, to make it sound fancier or to make himself look sophisticated...  I don't think too many runners, or even coaches, look at the actual workout and go like; "Ooooh, I'm going beyond my previous fitness level...I must be super-compensating...!"  Besides, it's not much of something to "manipulate" like "If I workout 3 times a day, that would speed up my super-compensation time..."  THAT, as a matter of fact, is how many of us get in trouble.  "IF we speed up my runs, I'll get faster..." "IF I increase the duration of my fast runs at goal marathon pace, I can reach that goal..." "IF I systematically increase my long run, 26-miles will become easier..." "IF I keep lifting a baby cow, some day I can lift up a full-grown bull..."  It doesn't quite work out that way.  In fact, I've seen a very nice chart, done by a German physiologist, showing how long it would take to recover (hence, reach this super-compensation state) for different workouts at different energy systems...  The concept actually becomes rather important when you think about the optimum training effect; because, after time, it diminishes and goes back down to "previous" current fitness level--meaning, you'll lose training effect.

                              No, the primary purpose of easy runs is to build aerobic endurance over the long term. A side benefit of easy runs is they are done at a low enough intensity that you can still recover from hard efforts while doing them.

                               

                              In base building, the emphasis should be on volume, not intensity.

                               

                              There is a lot of over-analysis and pop physiology being spouted in this thread. I thought the Matt Fitzgerald article was either poorly written or poorly edited to fit into Competitor's easily consumable format but he's basically right. To me, recovery runs are just easier versions of easy runs that you do after a hard workout--the point isn't purely recovery as much as getting in some running on beat up legs. The fact that I usually feel better after a recovery run is nice, but that doesn't mean the only thing I accomplished was recovery.

                               

                              What enables the body to decrease recovery time is fitness. You increase fitness by RUNNING MORE.

                               

                              In the immortal words of Crash Davis, "Don't think; it can only hurt the ballclub."

                               

                              That's an interesting way of thinking, Mikey.  I guess I take "recovery" run as "recovery" but that's pretty much only in the morning (or evening in the case of a weekend long run); in other words, my secondary runs.  Of course, I take it as "warm-up" (or "cool-down") and nothing much more.  Unless, of course, I'll get to Seko's level when I could do this "recovery" jog for 100-minutes.  Then, yes, its purpose is not simply to "recover" but "add on to it".

                               

                              By the way, I thought it was Bruce Lee who said; "Don't think!  Feel...  It is like a finger pointing away to the moon...!"

                                 

                                Hey do what you want.  You said you didnt understand why anyone does one and I told you why I do one.  It makes an enormous difference for me.  And the more beat up and worn out I am the bigger the difference.  A day of rest leaves me sorer and stiffer.  A super easy I cant believe I am running this slowly and still calling it running makes it better.

                                 

                                This.

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