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anyone use Pfitz advanced marathon training for running a half ? (Read 612 times)

skygazer


    I was thinking about Lydiard's 800 runners, too.

     

    I'm with the long run for half training doesn't have to be very  long, but not as short as 10 miles, unless you're a truly novice beginner (apparently you're not after running 4 marathons). But I do think 20+ milers won't hurt you given that your physiological condition is up to the task. I like to have my long runs top out at 17 for HM training if it's not in a marathon training cycle. But I always like to blend it in in a FM training cycle as I'm reluctant to spend lots of time and effort to just train for shorter races.

      The only thing I would change is, perhaps for less conditioned runners, capping the long runs at 16 miles.  Not that going out to 20 cannot be beneficial, but if you are only racing 13 I would rather see that energy put into running higher quality in the 16...like doing the last 6 at a faster pace.

       

      I'd be on board with that subtle change--in fact that's basically my plan for my spring goal race. I may go as long as 18 (or even race a 30k) but now we're splitting hairs.

      Runners run.

         *in general* people training for an HM have less to gain from a long run that those training for a marathon.  An optimal HM training program for a given individual will tend to have shorter long runs than a optimal training program for that same individual embarking on a marathon training schedule.

         

        Based on what? And how much shorter?

         

        I tend to disagree unless you're talking about single digit percentage points, which would be a significant moderation of your original post that half marathoners might not benefit from going longer than 10 miles (I completely disagree with that.)

         

        If I was training for a half marathon as my goal race (hey wait, I am actually doing that) and I was forced to choose between following a Pfitz advanced marathon program to the letter, or following a plan that caps the longest run at 10 miles, I'd choose Pfitz by a huge margin.

        Runners run.

          Based on what? And how much shorter?

           

          I tend to disagree unless you're talking about single digit percentage points, which would be a significant moderation of your original post that half marathoners might not benefit from going longer than 10 miles (I completely disagree with that.)

           

          If I was training for a half marathon as my goal race (hey wait, I am actually doing that) and I was forced to choose between following a Pfitz advanced marathon program to the letter, or following a plan that caps the longest run at 10 miles, I'd choose Pfitz by a huge margin.

           

          Right, but that's not the choice we have is it?

           

          You've already said above that you're "on board" with the idea of reducing the length of the long run from the Pfitz program. I agree that it's hard to know where the right distance is. That'll vary according to all sorts of things. I certainly agree that for people used to doing plenty of miles then only 10 miles is too short. But for novices preparing for an HM for the first time it could be that there's little to be gained by going further - especially if they're pretty slow.

          skygazer


            I think Nobby is giving a very good perspective on recovery that most new runners are not familiar with or haven't given it much thought. As a runner gets more conditioned it takes less, a lot less, to recover from hard workouts. It's been my experiences too. Just an example, every game I played in the RW running contest (usually ~ 1 month long), I came out with ~100% higher weekly mileage than I started out (w/ my usual weekly mileage). I'd struggled the 1st couple of weeks but would be quite comfortable near the end.

              You've already said above that you're "on board" with the idea of reducing the length of the long run from the Pfitz program.

               

              Yes I'm on board with the caveat that I quoted, "perhaps, for less conditioned runners." And I'm talking about a small change to a few long runs. That's quite a bit different than your original position that following Pfitz advanced for a HM is not a great idea, or that 10 miles is a meaningful long run for an experienced marathoner looking to focus on a half marathon. 

               

              But for novices preparing for an HM for the first time it could be that there's little to be gained by going further - especially if they're pretty slow.

               

              Yes and novices preparing for their first HM have never followed Pfitz advanced for their last four marathons so now you're just posting to post.

              Runners run.

                I think Nobby is giving a very good perspective on recovery that most new runners are not familiar with or haven't given it much thought. As a runner gets more conditioned it takes less, a lot less, to recover from hard workouts. It's been my experiences too. Just an example, every game I played in the RW running contest (usually ~ 1 month long), I came out with ~100% higher weekly mileage than I started out (w/ my usual weekly mileage). I'd struggled the 1st couple of weeks but would be quite comfortable near the end.

                Most people think logic first.  You keep moving the garage door up and down and up and down...it goes bad fast.  You have only so many opening and closing of the refrigerator door that you have (this is the one my friend's dad used to say to him).  The more you run, the more tired you get.  Longer and harder you run, the more recovery you need...  That sounds logical.  Unfortunately (or luckily), human body is not like that.  The more you use it, the stronger it gets.  Some people take it literally and over-use it but you get the picture.  That's what training is all about.  You can't train a garage door or a refrigerator door.  We can train our body.

                  Most people think logic first.  You keep moving the garage door up and down and up and down...it goes bad fast.  You have only so many opening and closing of the refrigerator door that you have (this is the one my friend's dad used to say to him).  The more you run, the more tired you get.  Longer and harder you run, the more recovery you need...  That sounds logical.  Unfortunately (or luckily), human body is not like that.  The more you use it, the stronger it gets.  Some people take it literally and over-use it but you get the picture.  That's what training is all about.  You can't train a garage door or a refrigerator door.  We can train our body.

                   

                  But there are two different things we're talking about here. The immediate effects of any one workout mean that the harder the workout the more recovery you need. On the other hand the long term effects of doing lots of running (or any other kind of exercise) mean that you can better tolerate that in the future and so will be able to run with less need for recovery than if you hadn't put the training in.

                   

                  These are two different things, are not contradictory and are, broadly speaking, both true.

                    But there are two different things we're talking about here. The immediate effects of any one workout mean that the harder the workout the more recovery you need. On the other hand the long term effects of doing lots of running (or any other kind of exercise) mean that you can better tolerate that in the future and so will be able to run with less need for recovery than if you hadn't put the training in.

                     

                    These are two different things, are not contradictory and are, broadly speaking, both true.

                    Now you're talking.  Yes, THAT is why you do all the Marathon Conditioning Training FIRST so you won't have all these ups and downs.  Now you'll see a pyramid of training cycle...  That's the Lydiard training.

                    skygazer


                      Most people think logic first.  You keep moving the garage door up and down and up and down...it goes bad fast.  You have only so many opening and closing of the refrigerator door that you have (this is the one my friend's dad used to say to him).  The more you run, the more tired you get.  Longer and harder you run, the more recovery you need...  That sounds logical.  Unfortunately (or luckily), human body is not like that.  The more you use it, the stronger it gets.  Some people take it literally and over-use it but you get the picture.  That's what training is all about.  You can't train a garage door or a refrigerator door.  We can train our body.

                       Before his retirement, my adviser showed me his PhD dissertation in that he's trying to design a valve for artificial human heart (he majored in fluid dynamics). He told me that they couldn't find a material as good/strong to replace the human  heart valve. Well, I just said it's not that human heart valve muscle is stronger, but that it is always regenerating, new cells replace old/dead cells (in the sense that's what training is all about, destructing and rebuilding). The artificial material that are known back then (1970's) don't  have this capability.

                       

                      Logical thinking is good but often comprehensive logical thinking is the key.

                        Yes and novices preparing for their first HM have never followed Pfitz advanced for their last four marathons so now you're just posting to post.

                         

                        I'm just trying to point out, by way of illustration, that it'll depend on the individual circumstances. There are lots of things that matter and ultimately none of us know for sure what the perfect preparation is. We know what people tend to do, we know that different individuals become very successful at particular events off quite different training regimes.

                         

                        Everyone seems to agree (except perhaps Nobby - I'm not exactly sure) that there's no need to do the long runs  as in Pfitz's marathon schedule). I agree that for someone who's experienced that 10 miles is probably too short. But I can't say in the middle where the right distance is. There's probably not a single correct answer. Some people will do better off faster shorter stuff, others will thrive on longer.

                         

                        For myself I just wish I could get through a few months of decent mileage without picking up an injury :/

                          Everyone seems to agree (except perhaps Nobby - I'm not exactly sure) that there's no need to do the long runs  as in Pfitz's marathon schedule).

                           

                          It depends on what you mean by "need." I fundamentally don't agree that there's no benefit for a half marathoner doing long runs as long as those in Pfitz' marathon schedule.

                           

                          I think most people who have done 4 marathons using Pfitz advanced will definitely benefit more from doing 20 milers in training for a half than from not doing 20 milers training. It comes down to priorities and time management. Clearly a 20-miler is not as race-specific a workout for the HM as it is for the marathon but that's not to say there's not a significant benefit (for all the reasons Nobby mentioned and more.)

                           

                          As an experienced marathoner and half marathoner who regularly handles 60-70 mpw in training, I can say with confidence that if time was no object I would DEFINITELY, include 20-milers as a fairly regular part of my training for 5k-HM. But given the preciousness of time in my life, that's an area I am willing to compromise given that I rarely race over 13.1 miles.

                           

                          So I go back to my original reply to the OP, based only on what I know about him/her from the two-sentences he/she wrote: I think using Pfitz advanced for a half marathon is a great idea.

                          Runners run.

                            It depends on what you mean by "need." I fundamentally don't agree that there's no benefit for a half marathoner doing long runs as long as those in Pfitz' marathon schedule.

                             

                            I think most people who have done 4 marathons using Pfitz advanced will definitely benefit more from doing 20 milers in training for a half than from not doing 20 milers training. It comes down to priorities and time management. Clearly a 20-miler is not as race-specific a workout for the HM as it is for the marathon but that's not to say there's not a significant benefit (for all the reasons Nobby mentioned and more.)

                             

                            As an experienced marathoner and half marathoner who regularly handles 60-70 mpw in training, I can say with confidence that if time was no object I would DEFINITELY, include 20-milers as a fairly regular part of my training for 5k-HM. But given the preciousness of time in my life, that's an area I am willing to compromise given that I rarely race over 13.1 miles.

                             

                            So I go back to my original reply to the OP, based only on what I know about him/her from the two-sentences he/she wrote: I think using Pfitz advanced for a half marathon is a great idea.

                            This has been very interesting and it really made me realize how backwards so many people are thinking (not you, Mikey, it just happened your comment was above mine...).  

                             

                            When you look at so many successful marathon runners in history, be it Frank Shorter, Rod Dixon, Steve Jones, Geb...  It's not like they woke up one day and thought; "I want to run a marathon," and started running 20+ miles.  While they were a track runner, be it 10000m or 5000m...or in the case of Rod, even 1500m, they all had been running 20-miles in training.  So when they decided to run a marathon, they didn't really change much of their training (a bit).  It is not that they were training for a marathon that they started doing long runs; they'd been doing long runs all along because it's beneficial.

                             

                            By the way, the only thing that I may disagree with other knowledgable folks is to go by distance; be it 16 miles or 18 miles or...10 miles.  I think anybody would benefit from a 2-hour run, whatever the distance that you carry yourself within that time frame.  1:30 is fine.  2:00 is better.  Anywhere between 2:00 and 3:00, you'll get tremendous physiological gains (and I don't want to go in detail with this--I think other thread had taken care of that).

                               

                              By the way, the only thing that I may disagree with other knowledgable folks is to go by distance; be it 16 miles or 18 miles or...10 miles.  I think anybody would benefit from a 2-hour run, whatever the distance that you carry yourself within that time frame.  1:30 is fine.  2:00 is better.  Anywhere between 2:00 and 3:00, you'll get tremendous physiological gains (and I don't want to go in detail with this--I think other thread had taken care of that).

                               I am a new runner and trying to learn as much as I can. What is the other thread, so that I can keep reading?

                               

                              I am running my first marathon in a month (houston). I am on a low mileage plan (i will not hit 50 miles in a week). I would like to build on the gains that I have and build a base that will help me in the future. I plan on running about 40 miles per week until I start a better plan for the marine corps marathon in late October.

                               

                              Thanks for all the info that each of you are sharing.

                              ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

                              “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

                               

                              Tomas

                                 What is the other thread, so that I can keep reading?

                                 

                                I think Nobby means the recent Science of the Long Run thread.

                                Runners run.

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