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Purpose: Tune up races? (Read 997 times)


Interval Junkie --Nobby

    [1] I don't think srlopez is claiming that the predictive value of tune-up races is their primary purpose, only that that is one of the many benefits. And if he is claiming that, then I will respectfully disagree.

     

    [2] To me the primary value of tune-up races is as workouts in and of themselves. The second biggest benefit, as I stated earlier, is just in practicing racing. The predictive value is a nice side benefit.

     

    [3] Yasso 800s have about as much value in predicting your marathon as max pushups or how many donuts you can eat, by the way.

     

    [4] You seem fairly determined to rationalize skipping tune-up races for this go-round, which is probably fine. You are in such a different space fitness-wise from your last marathon that we're really probably talking about details you don't need to worry about at this point: if it's not a hundred degrees or snowing and you just stay upright you are likely going to PR by a large margin. But just know that as your PRs get faster and it gets tougher and tougher to keep improving, the details will matter more.

     

    Re: [4]: Then I've mis-represented myself.  I'm not looking to rationalize skipping tune-up races.  I am trying to determine their purpose, and whether I should trade something else in the training plan for a tune-up -- and if so, what should that be.  I wouldn't for example, want to trade a very important workout or something that is only a confidence builder (if that's not what I need).  But since I'm relatively new at this, I don't know how to evaluate the different types of workouts.

     

    For example, I have a "Time on Feet" (22mi @ AHR) workout coming up this Saturday.  I was going to start another thread to ask what the purpose of this is in order to figure out if it's worth swapping for a Tune-up race.  Or the week after that I have a "recovery week" -- is it worth racing in that week instead of doing a true "step-back"?

     

    [3] Gotcha.  Okay, now that I know two workouts that are not equivalent, could you provide one that is?  Or is a tune-up sui generis? Except for [2]'s second biggest benefit.

     

    [1] Sorry, my misinterpretation.

    2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

      A 10k at 10k pace is not much like an 8x1mi (at tempo pace... so a bit slower than 10k pace for me) workout.

       

      Anyway, of the various goodnesses that can come out of a successful 10k "tune up" race, one is a number that you can then plug into a variety of charts or calculators (Jack Daniels' charts, the McMillan calculator, the work of good ol and dearly departed jim2, etc)... this will give you a bit of a check-in on your current fitness and, as you approach your goal race, a valuable data point to help you pick an appropriate goal for that goal race.

       

      But I suck at training threads so I will shut up.

      I agree with this, that it can help you to pick an appropriate goal.  I do not think (and you did not say) that it will give you a goal.  

       

      I put much less stock in the McMillan calculator as a predictive tool, than do others on this board. I think it is cool to look at and fun, post-season comparison tool. But, for the stage we're at, stadjak, I do not think it will tell us much.  

       

      That goes for rules of thumb such as "marathon time is approximately half-marathon time x 2 + 10 minutes."  I was walking back to the car yesterday, with a runner/coach I respect a lot. He gave me that formula and said "But if you are training hard, then less than 10 minutes..." How much less? What does that have to do with the price of bread?  

      I think you suggested the real value, in your opening post: "I realize, that since I'm training, I might as well use these legs for something other than one big race." That's it for me. Had a "tune up race" yesterday that really blew me away. Really grateful for how it went. It was way better than any calculator would have predicted (I haven't plugged it into a calc., so I could be dead wrong). I don't think any calculator can really tell me what I will run on 11/18. And, frankly, I don't want to know.  That's another experience for another day.  

       

      Happy running, man. You're progressing fantastically.  

      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


      Closed for repairs

        I think you suggested the real value, in your opening post: "I realize, that since I'm training, I might as well use these legs for something other than one big race.

         

        This is a really good point. 

         


        Interval Junkie --Nobby

          Stadjak: All due respect, you seem to be an interval junkie.  A while back, you did 13-mile worth of intervals at 6:10 pace but that kind of workout doesn't seem to have reflected on your marathon performance.  In other words, you seem to have plenty of speed but haven't been able to put them all together for one continuous effort--a race.  I'll bet that there are plenty of high school kids who can do 5 X 400m in 60 seconds around the county.  There are very few, if any, who can break 4-minutes for the mile.  I can see why you'd rather substitute "tune-up" race with some form of intervals--it's because you're good at it.  Unfortunately, there's no such event as 8 X 1 mile race.  And what you NEED is to practice continuous effort.  

           

          * italics mine

           

          Nobby, this made me laugh out loud.  Thanks for the morning chuckle.  Interval junkie; finally have a moniker.  I certainly enjoy intervals.  And I completely agree with you that persistent effort is more of a challenge for me.  To be fair, I don't seek out the interval workouts, I'm just doing what my coach has prescribed for our group.  My proposed substitution of 8x1mi wasn't expressing a desire, just an incorrect equivalent in fitness benefit.

           

          I'm trying to find a good Tune-Up right now, but as mentioned, I'm wondering what kind of workout I'd trade.  My training plan is available for review if you have suggestions.

          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

            I'm trying to find a good Tune-Up right now, but as mentioned, I'm wondering what kind of workout I'd trade.  My training plan is available for review if you have suggestions.

             

            This is a question for your coach.

             

            My answer would be: I would trade any of them because your fitness is totally there to run a huge PR, so pretty much all of your workouts are gravy at this point. You can't really screw up your training fitness-wise. The only way you can screw up your race would be through a racing error or by going crazy and training way too hard or something like that. If I were you, I'd try to fit two races in before the marathon -- one longer (10 mile to 25k) and one shorter (5k - 10k).

              [3] Gotcha.  Okay, now that I know two workouts that are not equivalent, could you provide one that is?  Or is a tune-up sui generis? Except for [2]'s second biggest benefit.

               

              I don't think there is another kind workout that is truly equivalent to a race but the ones that come the closest would probably be long tempos. As Nobby indicated, any kind of interval workout will be fundamentally different than the kind of sustained mental and physical effort needed in a race.

               

              As for the the other parts of your question, now you're getting into dangerous territory in swapping one workout on the plan for another...not my game. I'm a big believer in the fact you can't "make up" for lost workouts, all you can do is keep moving forward.  On the other hand I don't generally follow training plans that are etched in stone: I make adjustments based on what I think I need. My comments in this thread have been about the value of tune-up races--a topic on which I have some opinions--but if you want to decide what other workouts to pull out of the plan and replace with a race, that's a whole separate deal.  Whatever plan you are following, my guess is it is laid out the way it is for a reason. If you are going to tinker with it then you have to do it based on what you think you need most to be able to prepare for your goal race (maybe in consultation with your coach or someone who's a lot closer to you and your training than the people on this board.)

              Runners run.

              xor


                Okay, the 8x1mi tempo was a shot in the dark about an equivalent workout, but not the thrust of the question.  Since srlopez claims the primary purpose of the tune-up is to help estimate your fitness to plan a more accurate MP, perhaps Yasso 800s are a better equivalent.

                 

                Would other agree that this is the main value of a tune-up race?  To assess fitness level, rather than to affect fitness level?

                 

                I did not claim that.

                 

                Didn't happen.

                 

                  It's also about preparing psychologically. When you race your push yourself beyond what you normally do in training... and getting used to that feeling of going beyond what you'd normally tolerate is valuable.

                    I don't think there is another kind workout that is truly equivalent to a race but the ones that come the closest would probably be long tempos. 

                     

                    Case in point: BadDawg.  He has raced 14 times and run 9 interval workouts since July 19. Tempos? Zero.

                     

                    This thread couldn't ask for a better object lesson than BadDawg. 

                    "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                      This is a question for your coach.

                       

                      That's what I would have thought too... I think he runs the risk of having too many coaches if you listen to all but follow none.

                      2014 Goals:

                      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                       

                         

                         

                         Unfortunately, there's no such event as 8 X 1 mile race.  

                         

                         

                         

                        Actually, there are races similar to this. They're called Hokum Karen. Two people teams normally running 1 mile at a time in alternating fashion.

                          * italics mine

                           

                          Nobby, this made me laugh out loud.  Thanks for the morning chuckle.  Interval junkie; finally have a moniker.  I certainly enjoy intervals.  And I completely agree with you that persistent effort is more of a challenge for me.  To be fair, I don't seek out the interval workouts, I'm just doing what my coach has prescribed for our group.  My proposed substitution of 8x1mi wasn't expressing a desire, just an incorrect equivalent in fitness benefit.

                          Glad I made your day! ;o)  I guess I misunderstood how you plug in your log too.  I thought you were doing 11-13mile worth of intervals; I guess the distance includes warm-up, cool-down or recovery jog as well???  But you still had 8km worth of intervals at your 5k race pace.  I can name a handful elite runners who ran their intervals as slow as their 10k pace or even slower and run races fast--or even broke 4-minutes for the mile.  Name one elite athlete who would do almost double of fast sections as his/her 5k race time.  My point, again, is that you've got plenty of speed to run a good race.  Why continue to work on your speed by doing tons of volume of interval training?  You seem to know your weakness (persistent effort).  Why work on that?

                            Actually, there are races similar to this. They're called Hokum Karen. Two people teams normally running 1 mile at a time in alternating fashion.

                            Oh, shut up!! ;o)

                              And how close to the marathon should these be? I have an opportunity to do a half 3 weeks before my marathon.

                              Good idea, or not?

                              Joe; I responded to your e-mail.

                                Joe; I responded to your e-mail.

                                 

                                Yeah, good thing because I am (or perhaps used to be) the wrong person to ask. I once raced a half all out 3 weeks before my goal marathon and got chewed out by Nobby because I totally nuked my marathon lead in. I haven't made that mistake twice.

                                 

                                MTA: Other's can do this just fine. Running seems to be a constant process of learning to know thy self.

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