Running with the sub-3s -- ut oh (Read 2031 times)


I'm back!

    FWIW, when I am training for sub-3, my general aerobic pace (flat roads) is 7:30-8:00. I would have a hard time sticking with those guys through a training plan.


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      Damn, these guys are fast.

       

      So, I'd characterize my training so far as: "not recommended".  Diametric oppositions hover around my every workout:

      • Keep running with those guys and you'll definitely get faster
      • Keep to your Aerobic Heart Rate and MP recommendations for optimal improvement

      To do the first, I must violate the second . . . by a lot.

       

      There are two quality workouts where I run with these guys: the Wednesday track workout, and the Saturday long run/tempo run.  Of the two, the track-workout is the easier to manage.  I just run faster than I should, but I can keep negative splitting the workout just by working hard [than I'm supposed to].  For example, this morning's workout was 4x800@MP, 4x800@HMP.  Should translate to (3:37) and (3:30) (for 3:10 MP goal). [of course, we could also get into Daniel's recommendation to run your current pace, not your goal pace, but that would make things very complicated].  Instead, my workout looked like this: 3:14, 3:18, 3:20, 3:21 then 3:16, 3:14, 3:12, 3:00.  Nothing really wrong with the workout (I think), as long as I can recover in time for Saturday.  

       

      I'm adding more sleep (9.5hrs, when I can get it) and Ultragen, to help recovery.  Trying to keep my recovery/easy runs no faster than 8:35.  And making sweet love to my foam roller.

       

      More of the problem is the Saturday long runs.  Tempo runs aren't too bad.  I can hang onto the tail for 80% of the workout.  But for Long run, I really suffered last week. 16-18mi goal.  Went out with the guys for the first 7mi@7:40 pace.  But then hit a water stop and my legs had trouble with 8:40 after it.  A few miles later I picked it up to 8:10 for three, but then had to walk a bit, run a while, walk a bit [wash,rinse repeat] for the rest.  Decided since the pace was such a FAIL, I'd at least hit the mileage of 18mi.  Sure it was hot (82F), but not that hot.  More than anything, I think it was 25% a failure of body, 75% a failure of Willpower.  I wasn't well recovered after the week's workouts and was sleepy through most of the miles.

       

      I'm having trouble figuring out if I'm a wimp and just need to HTFU, or whether I'm being sensible.

       

      I think for the next 18miler I'm going to go at my recommended pace and not run with these guys.  The goal will be to keep my pace for the whole run -- including water-stops (trying not to cheat my pace by stopping my watch for what turns out to be hidden-rest).  That might give me a better internal picture of where I am, compared to these "go out hot, come back walking" runs.  Though, it's unclear to me the cost/benefit of both approaches.

       

      In then end, I find that I'm more interested in being able to keep up with this group than in actually hitting my season's marathon goal.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

        For example, this morning's workout was 4x800@MP, 4x800@HMP.  Should translate to (3:37) and (3:30) (for 3:10 MP goal). [of course, we could also get into Daniel's recommendation to run your current pace, not your goal pace, but that would make things very complicated].  Instead, my workout looked like this: 3:14, 3:18, 3:20, 3:21 then 3:16, 3:14, 3:12, 3:00.  Nothing really wrong with the workout (I think), as long as I can recover in time for Saturday.  

         

        Just curious, what was the purpose of this workout? It doesn't seem fast enough to be working on speed (if done as designed), or long enough to be working on LT. Interested to know what the coach said.

         

        Beyond that, you're certainly flirting with danger in extending yourself here. Seems pretty high risk/reward. Interesting watching anyway.

        Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
        We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
        DoppleBock


          That is why I do not like running with a group - Someone always starts pushing the pace and everyone follows ...  

           

          Yeah, they rolled at 7:10 up a long hill.  One guy looked down at his watch and said, "looks like we're a bit fast," without any real concern in his voice.  Meanwhile my head was screaming, "Jesus Christmas, 7:20 was 'a bit fast' -- you guys trying to kill me!"

           

          Ah, well, I think I have my "Once A Runner" season ahead of me.  Feels like being a freshman trying out for the team.

           

          Miles of trials.  Trial of miles.

          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

           

          DoppleBock


            Only think I can think of is if you are not taking very long breaks (60 seconds) you could keep stressing v02 max

             

            I would prefer 4 or 5 minute intervals for that 

             

            Just curious, what was the purpose of this workout? It doesn't seem fast enough to be working on speed (if done as designed), or long enough to be working on LT. Interested to know what the coach said.

             

            Beyond that, you're certainly flirting with danger in extending yourself here. Seems pretty high risk/reward. Interesting watching anyway.

            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

             

              Stadjak, first of all, I love this thread.

               

              Two observations:

               

              I am normally a fan of pushing the envelope a little on workouts where the runner is given leeway.  But if, for whatever reason, splits are ideally 3:37 and 3:30 and you are going 3:14, 3:18, 3:20, 3:21, then 3:16, 3:14, 3:12, 3:00, that seems way faster to me.  

               

              Also, did your coach recommend you go back out with those guys, after last week?  I know you're not going, but if he did, then I'd question that judgment. 

               

              I think FAIL is a little strong.  

               

              I am all for pushing the limits a little in training, but I wonder if he/you is/are pushing the envelope a little far. 

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

                More of the problem is the Saturday long runs.  Tempo runs aren't too bad.  I can hang onto the tail for 80% of the workout.  But for Long run, I really suffered last week. 16-18mi goal.  Went out with the guys for the first 7mi@7:40 pace.  But then hit a water stop and my legs had trouble with 8:40 after it.  A few miles later I picked it up to 8:10 for three, but then had to walk a bit, run a while, walk a bit [wash,rinse repeat] for the rest.  Decided since the pace was such a FAIL, I'd at least hit the mileage of 18mi.  Sure it was hot (82F), but not that hot.  More than anything, I think it was 25% a failure of body, 75% a failure of Willpower.  I wasn't well recovered after the week's workouts and was sleepy through most of the miles.

                My guess is you hadn't recovered from the too-hard WED evening track workout -- only ~60 hours between ending that one and launching the SAT morning brisk run.

                 

                I'm not highly credentialed, but I firmly believe in training workouts having purpose, which must be customized to the runner.  If "fun" or "challenge" is your purpose, go at it and enjoy.  To me, though, the challenge of trying to hang with the Fast Crowd isn't worth compromising my long-term running goals.

                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                DoppleBock


                  I always thought I did pretty good whn the fastest and slowest was 5 seconds or less apart and you were pretty close until the last one when you hammered.

                   

                  3:14, 3:18, 3:20, 3:21, then 3:16, 3:14, 3:12, 3:00, that seems way faster to me.  

                   

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   

                    I always thought I did pretty good whn the fastest and slowest was 5 seconds or less apart and you were pretty close until the last one when you hammered.

                     I meant that these splits were way faster than what was believed to be ideal (i.e., 3:37s and 3:30s).  Makes me wonder whether the ideal is slow or that workout was killer hard.  

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

                      Sounds like you're falling behind the recovery curve.  Not good.  I think it's wise to take a break from the hammerdogs this weekend and go at your own pace.

                       

                      "In then end, I find that I'm more interested in being able to keep up with this group than in actually hitting my season's marathon goal."

                       

                      Heh.

                        Sounds like you're falling behind the recovery curve.  Not good.  I think it's wise to take a break from the hammerdogs this weekend and go at your own pace.

                         

                        "In then end, I find that I'm more interested in being able to keep up with this group than in actually hitting my season's marathon goal."

                         

                        Heh.

                        I agree.

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


                        Interval Junkie --Nobby

                          Sounds like you're falling behind the recovery curve.  Not good.

                           

                          I agree with your assessment.  I came to a similar conclusion after Saturday's run.  Specifically, I think there were three problems leading up to Saturday that contributed to this:

                          1. Thursday and Friday I got short-shrift on sleep (6.5hrs and 7hrs).  I woke up Saturday tired and wanted to take a nap through most of the run
                          2. On Friday I went out for 7 at lunch.  It was a great run.  But I had to pick the pace up a little to get back to work on time -- also more hills than I had estimated for the planned effort with a time-box.  So much for a recovery run.
                          3. Tempo runs on the previous Saturday followed by one on Monday probably wasn't smart - I wasn't happy with the Saturday workout, so I did the tempo on Monday at the "correct" pace for me.

                          So, my remedies are the following:

                          1. Get more sleep - again, trying to keep to 8.5 - 9hrs minimum.  To do this I've stopped running at 5:30 am, for 6:30am, since also I've had trouble getting to bed/sleep at 8:30.
                          2. Because of the hour less in the morning, I'm doing shorter (6.5mi) doubles when life allows.  (There seems to be conflicting info on whether this helps recovery, or impedes it compared to 1 long run.)
                          3. Taking Friday off completely
                          4. Ultragen - (I'm not relying on this actually doing anything)

                          This Saturday we have 4x2mi repeats at MP.  3mi jog between.  Total 13mi.  I'll probably join the group for this.  But the 19mi next Saturday I'm going to go solo and at my own pace.

                           

                          As for the point of the 800 repeats: the only stated goal was to "get the feel for MP".  Which, obviously, I completely ignored.  I was working at "very comfortably hard".  Not the "conversational" everyone else was running.  But I considered it a very easy workout.  The 3:00 last lap was because my pacer dropped out and I just felt good.  I was way over pace, but I wasn't really hammering.  For the last rep @2:43, in 8x800m, was hammering for me last time (that was killer). 

                           

                          The funny thing is, I'm currently free from the one or two injury-warning niggles that were bugging me earlier this Summer.  My right hamstring tendon (behind knee) was giving me issues where I could feel it give when walking down stairs.  Now, the only time I feel it is when doing the hurdler stretch.  Stopping speed workouts was probably the key -- the track we used had tight-turns which may have contributed to this.

                           

                          Regarding Coach feedback/input: I'm going to see if I can talk to him this weekend.  Really, I just don't have time to stop by his shop in the work-day.  And I'm scared of the telephone.  But I've probably dropped the ball here on doing my part of helping him assess my training.  Part of me fears being kicked back down to the minor leagues. [I'm not defending any of this as rational.]

                          2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                          Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


                          Future running partner.

                            I agree with Nader about pushing yourself just enough. Running with this faster group to me sounds a little over the top. What else comes to mind is that the Coach was seeing you perform on the track and basing his judgement on that. Does he also observe how you do on your long runs? How much does he know about your history as a runner? Reason why I ask, is that I read something from one of Coach Mcmillan's papers in how each of us is build differently. There are those of us who love the long runs and can run blistering paces for miles on end. The same person may dislike intervals or repetitions and have a hard time keeping up. Someone equally as fit, may be the opposite, they can run crazy fast intervals, much faster then a pace calculator would suggest but has a hard time with the long runs. I think I fall into this category myself, when i do intervals and repetitions the paces suggested by mcmillan's calculator or by Daniels tables seem to be too easy for the training affect I am supposed to get. I think based on what I have read you might be like this yourself. Evident in the fact that you really struggle with this group on the long runs, tempo runs not as much, and track work feels right on. Points being that you may be able to run with these guys on the track but for your long runs it may be better to stay within yourself to get the right training affect you are supposed to get from a long run. Also, I think your coach may be basing his assesment of you on not enough info.


                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              Okay, lots of progress this week.  I took Friday off so I could meet with Coach.  His assessment was pretty much the same as yours.  I wasn't recovering fully from my hard mid-week speed work.  He said that I'd likely make a lot of progress until about 3weeks before the Marathon, then I'd just get slower and slower, and I'd hate getting out to run.  Basically 'over-trained'.  Funny, he said, "and that would be it for the season -- you can't really recover from that in a short time-frame."  Interestingly, he didn't feel there was much risk of injury associated with the approach because I have a good base and I'm really dogging my recovery runs.  He noted that if I ran my recoveries with the sub-3s, I'd be on the road to the injury list.

                               

                              He told me to keep running with these guys, but don't try to keep up with him.  At first I thought this was contradictory, but I think he means meet up, do the warmup/cool-down with them, but don't try to keep pace when they start rolling.  He advised me to pick a workout or two every few weeks to "kill it" with the guys, but otherwise, I should ease back my pace to something more reasonable for my fitness level.

                               

                              He also echoed Jeff's advice to me a while ago: Coach said, "It's too bad you're training for a marathon.  If you weren't you could keep going out there killing it and you'd get a lot faster much quicker.  But preparing for the marathon . . . it's too much science [by which I believe he meant, there wasn't room for dicking around.  The path to a good marathon has defined parameters for prep]."  Jeff told me to skip the Fall season and work on speed -- then kill it in the Spring.  Good advice.  If I didn't have a bib for NYC . . . nah; I'd still take the less optimal path -- just can't support it with Reason.

                               

                              So, I followed my plan today: 19mi.  My own AHR pace (7:50/8:00).  Maybe go for MP for the last 3.  Keep the water stops short.  Get sleep the night before (there's a lot going on in my life right now, so this was difficult).  And make the full trip w/o bonking (also, no gels as per Nobby's advice).

                               

                              The weather cooperated: 72F 100% humidity, but at least "cool".  I took off with the guys and let them go when they dropped it under 7:40.  I kept a pretty good pace throughout.  7:45-8:10 depending on hills.   Avg of 8:00 pace + 5min of water stops (which was mostly due to logistics, rather than need).  Mile 10 it started to get hard.  But at mile 15 I stopped for 2min and poured lots of cold water over my head and neck, dropped 3 electrolyte pills and pounded some gatorade.  Felt great after that.  7:40s to wrap it up with a pair of 7:20s(~MPG).  Felt strong.  Finished 20mi.

                               

                              This was the right thing to do -- if for nothing else: confidence.

                              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                              Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                                Fascinating thread. Thanks for sharing.