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"ideal" weight - fact or fiction? (Read 2545 times)

    Agree. I've come to that realization the past few years. Especially if you keep tabs on how you are recovering. That will usually dictate your schedule. You might create a lofty schedule of a 20-miler every week, but your body might tell you soon enough that every other week, or every  3-4 weeks might be better for you.

    Have to follow the body.

     

    --JimmyCool

    Dead on!!

     

    I was talking to one of the board members of Dallas' White Rock Marathon this morning.  I was telling her about our Recovery Indicator Index program.  Even our Running Wizard program means nothing if you don't employ Recovery Indicators, if not everyday, regularly.  I told her that far too many people pick a training plan, not according to their level of fitness or background of training.  They pick a training plan based on what they think they want to do--say, 4-hour marathon.  It's exactly what Greg McMillan said this past spring.  He said, having worked with Dr. Rosa and Kenyan runners, he knows what kind of training is needed to coach his runners to run 2:05 marathon.  But that won't mean a thing.  As a coach, his job is to bring his runners to the level where they can handle training such as that.  That's for elite runners.  Now we're here talking about hobby runners.  They think; "Well, so-and-so around the corner had run 3:50 marathon.  I play racquetball once a week so I should be easily able to do that in 2 months!!"  So they pick "a 4-hour marathon training program" and force themselves to do that.  

     

    There are no other workouts that's misinterpreted than 3 X 20-milers and Yasso 800s.  Yasso 800s was designed to predict what your marathon time might be.  Instead, so many head out to the track, without the faintest ides of what kind of fitness level they are and try to force 10X800m in 4-minutes because they "think I should be able to run 4-hour marathon..."  That's, what you say it?, putting a cart in front of a horse???  Training plan should be developed based on what you can do right now; not what you think you want to do at the end of the program.  You WILL be better prepared IF you can do 3 X 20-milers.  But if you're not quite ready, you will only hurt yourself by attempting.  Trying to run 20-miles regardless will only risk you to become the fittest runner to cheer on the runners on the course.  Or, at best, dead tired and end up running SLOWER in the race than that long training run.

      By the way, I have no idea why we are talking about training plan on "'Ideal' weight" thread...???

         Another one is intervals.  You're training for 5k race???  Why do you continue to increase the VOLUME of intervals way beyond 5k?  Unless 5k is merely a stepping stone to 10k or half marathon later on, why not increase the speed of those intervals?

         Then maybe I'll just stick with 6 400m repeats w/ 400m recovery in-between; that's approximately the distance of a 5K anyways... 

         

        Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions - after reading some of them, I'm thinking of scratching the set-in-stone schedule and just

        trying to hit a target mileage every week...if my times improve, then I'll know I'm doing something right. And I will definitely try to find a book.

           Then maybe I'll just stick with 6 400m repeats w/ 400m recovery in-between; that's approximately the distance of a 5K anyways... 

          Don't you think it makes better sense to do 12 X 400m so the HARD EFFORT RUNS total would be approximately 5k? 

            That would be the ultimate goal, yes, but for starting out, I'll at least hit the brakes between 400m intervals...i.e., slow my pace

            by 1:00 or so.If I was to run every 400m "hard", then I might as well just make the workout a time trial, AKA race effort. By alternating

            intervals slightly faster than my current pace, in theory, I should be able to either reduce the recovery intervals or speed them up over time,

            and run a faster 5K in the process.

             

            For instance, my best 5K pace right now is around 6:30-40. I might run the first 400m at 5:45-6:00 pace, then run another

            400m at 6:45 pace, and just repeat this for a total of 4800m. It'll just take some trial and error to determine what is too fast right now.

              That would be the ultimate goal, yes, but for starting out, I'll at least hit the brakes between 400m intervals...i.e., slow my pace

              by 1:00 or so.If I was to run every 400m "hard", then I might as well just make the workout a time trial, AKA race effort. 

              ???

               

              So when you say 7km intervals, that means 7km TOTAL of fast runs AND recovery runs in between as well?  Yeah, you might want to read some books and get some "principles" of workout and, especially if you ask others opinions in public, you might want to get some terminologies straight.

               

              With interval training, you have 4 variables (didn't Spaniel explain all this somewhere else?); you have the distance of fast runs, how fast you run them, how many you run them, and what/how interval (recovery) do you do.  You can make them even more complicated by trying to define recovery part (how long, how fast, walk/jog..., etc.).  What you have described (5:45-6:00 pace followed by 6:45 pace "recovery" when your actual 5k pace is 6:30-6:45...wait!  If so, wouldn't your interval total time comes out FASTER than your race???) sounds a lot like what we call "windsprint", which is a form of interval but your recovery is merely "float".  Australian marathon great, Rob de Castella used to do that; 8 X 400 with 200 "float" in between.  It is also a type of time trial race simulation workout.

               

              Most coaches and runners USUALLY describe "interval" workout as a fast run at near 5k race pace followed by RECOVERY of either easy jog or walk.  If you're doing near your 5k race-pace (6:45 vs. 6:30), then the workout would have a totally different nuance.

               

              Usually, there are two approach to it, if you want to do it this way; you do the fast section at your target race pace but start out with less volume.  For example, you can do your 400s at 6:20 pace (by the way, if your current 5k pace is 6:30, I would NOT recommend you try 5:45 pace for intervals) and do it 6 times and gradually you increase it to 12-15 times.  OR you can start out with 12-15 repeats but at much slower pace, say, 7:00, and without increasing the volume, you gradually increase the pace.  Again, you can make it more complicated by introducing another approach of cutting down the recovery phase (Frank Shorter did that).

               

              USUALLY primary purpose of interval training is; (1) to teach your body to withstand oxygen debt and all the associated physiological hardships the body would have to face in such situation and (2) perhaps also to learn to run faster than currently used to.  The recovery becomes important because that's where your body takes a break so you wouldn't have to go through actual racing stress every time you do this.  If you are thinking about making it even tougher by making your recovery "jog" so fast that it's almost approaching your race pace, it might be even better if you just do race-simulated time trial but starting out half the race distance and gradually increase the distance.  I still wouldn't recommend that either, particularly when you are already doing another tempo run during the week.  But the way you're constructing your interval training, I kinda feel like saying; "Why even bother to 'slow-down' if you're not slowing down enough to recover?  All you're doing is to teach your body to take a break when you're running at a good speed which you most likely don't want to do during the race.


              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                Wow, great post, Nobby.  I've just been introduced to intervals in my marathon training program.  You help contextualize the workout with purpose.  Would you care to elaborate on what "float" means?  I couldn't really gather a definition from your post.

                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

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

                  ???

                   

                  So when you say 7km intervals, that means 7km TOTAL of fast runs AND recovery runs in between as well?  Yeah, you might want to read some books and get some "principles" of workout and, especially if you ask others opinions in public, you might want to get some terminologies straight.

                   

                  With interval training, you have 4 variables (didn't Spaniel explain all this somewhere else?); you have the distance of fast runs, how fast you run them, how many you run them, and what/how interval (recovery) do you do.  You can make them even more complicated by trying to define recovery part (how long, how fast, walk/jog..., etc.).  What you have described (5:45-6:00 pace followed by 6:45 pace "recovery" when your actual 5k pace is 6:30-6:45...wait!  If so, wouldn't your interval total time comes out FASTER than your race???) sounds a lot like what we call "windsprint", which is a form of interval but your recovery is merely "float".  Australian marathon great, Rob de Castella used to do that; 8 X 400 with 200 "float" in between.  It is also a type of time trial race simulation workout.

                   

                  Most coaches and runners USUALLY describe "interval" workout as a fast run at near 5k race pace followed by RECOVERY of either easy jog or walk.  If you're doing near your 5k race-pace (6:45 vs. 6:30), then the workout would have a totally different nuance.

                   

                  Usually, there are two approach to it, if you want to do it this way; you do the fast section at your target race pace but start out with less volume.  For example, you can do your 400s at 6:20 pace (by the way, if your current 5k pace is 6:30, I would NOT recommend you try 5:45 pace for intervals) and do it 6 times and gradually you increase it to 12-15 times.  OR you can start out with 12-15 repeats but at much slower pace, say, 7:00, and without increasing the volume, you gradually increase the pace.  Again, you can make it more complicated by introducing another approach of cutting down the recovery phase (Frank Shorter did that).

                   

                  USUALLY primary purpose of interval training is; (1) to teach your body to withstand oxygen debt and all the associated physiological hardships the body would have to face in such situation and (2) perhaps also to learn to run faster than currently used to.  The recovery becomes important because that's where your body takes a break so you wouldn't have to go through actual racing stress every time you do this.  If you are thinking about making it even tougher by making your recovery "jog" so fast that it's almost approaching your race pace, it might be even better if you just do race-simulated time trial but starting out half the race distance and gradually increase the distance.  I still wouldn't recommend that either, particularly when you are already doing another tempo run during the week.  But the way you're constructing your interval training, I kinda feel like saying; "Why even bother to 'slow-down' if you're not slowing down enough to recover?  All you're doing is to teach your body to take a break when you're running at a good speed which you most likely don't want to do during the race.

                  Nobby,

                   

                  Thanks for your helpful post. If I understand correctly, what you are telling me is that the interval pace need be only SLIGHTLY faster than the current event pace, i.e., if I want to reduce my 5K time by 30 seconds, reduce the pace that I run intervals at  by about 10 seconds.

                   

                  In terms of the practicality of this training for racing, this is what I gathered from your post: I can either increase interval pace A at a constant volume of intervals B, increase volume of intervals B while keeping pace A (target) constant, or keep both interval pace A and intervals B constant while gradually reducing recovery phase C. The point of using intervals, I assume, is that it is easier to manipulate variables A, B, and C gradually as fitness improves. I hope this makes sense.

                    Nobby,

                     

                    Thanks for your helpful post. If I understand correctly, what you are telling me is that the interval pace need be only SLIGHTLY faster than the current event pace, i.e., if I want to reduce my 5K time by 30 seconds, reduce the pace that I run intervals at  by about 10 seconds.

                     

                    In terms of the practicality of this training for racing, this is what I gathered from your post: I can either increase interval pace A at a constant volume of intervals B, increase volume of intervals B while keeping pace A (target) constant, or keep both interval pace A and intervals B constant while gradually reducing recovery phase C. The point of using intervals, I assume, is that it is easier to manipulate variables A, B, and C gradually as fitness improves. I hope this makes sense.

                    Well, actually, in terms of the actual "pace", it really don't matter what pace you do your intervals as long as you "make yourself tired with speed".  As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the biggest mistakes people make; to think you have to be at or faster than your target race pace when you do interval training.  First of all, I'm assuming, if your target race is, say, 8 weeks from now; I'm assuming your speed, or stamina for that matter as well, is not quite as good as you'd hoped 8 weeks from now.  It is only natural that you'd be most likely running slower BUT feeling just as hard (effort-wise).  The whole idea actually is, say you're starting out at 6:30 pace in your first day interval, 4 weeks from now, you should be more accustomed to 6:30 pace and that (running whatever the total distance you had decided to do at 6:30 pace) should feel quite comfortable 4 weeks from now.  So, at this point, it's almost irrelevant whether or not you start doing the intervals at 6:30 pace or 7:00 pace or whatever.  

                     

                    Now, I'd have to apologize, your thinking in terms of per mile pace for 400m repeats threw me off a bit; I guess if you're only doing 400m, 6:00 pace is not that hard.  I'm assuming you're more of a speed-type.  6-minute-mile pace is 90-seconds per 400m and, if you feel quite comfortable running 400m in 90-seconds, I guess there's no reason why you need to slow down too much.  It's when people start doing a mile-repeat at 5:30 pace or whatever, then most likely there's a problem of that workout being way too hard.  

                     

                    The whole idea of doing interval training is to teach your body to withstand buffer against extreme oxygen debt state.  Anybody who's run 400m all-out can relate to this; when you get oxygen debt, you're literally sucking oxygen and your legs just won't move the way you want them to.  You get this burning sensation in your thighs; basically, I'm not sure if I can spell it correctly off the top of my head, you're getting rigor mortis.  What causes this is excess production of hydrogen iron in the working muscles, due to running above and beyond your body's capability to take in, transport and utilize oxygen.  Basically, when you're operating beyond this capacity, aka your Maximum Oxygen Uptake Level, or VO2Max, your body is heading into over-drive and, during this process, hydrogen iron is produced that would eventually upset your body's smooth operation due to the lowering of blood pH level, yaddi yaddi yadda...  Some other people may be able to explain that more easily but basically, if you're running at the speed beyond your body can comfortably utilizing oxygen, you'll get that stage.  Now, this ability has limits.  You're getting what we call Oxygen Debt; and there's a limit to how much debt you can get before the bank or IRS come after you.  Same thing; so there's a definite physiological limit to how much "speed endurance" you can gain from doing lots of fast stuff, thinking you're teaching your body to go beyond this limit.  

                     

                    Same thing with the bank analogy; you have a limit to how much debt you can get; so, in order to be able to spend more money without getting too much debt, what would you do?  You try to get more money in your account.  Developing your aerobic capacity, or your body's ability to take in, transport and utilize more oxygen than before is like putting more money in the bank.  And the best way to do that, as you might have heard this phrase many times here, is to go longer at easier pace.  There's a whole bunch of physiological explanations that goes with it but I won't waste your time--I'll leave it to when you finally get some suggested books and read fundamental chapters!! ;o)  You run some and you'll notice you can now go further and even more easily at the same speed that was a bit of a struggle before.  Your run more and you can go further and faster without hurting as much.  This is how elite athletes train to get to the point where they are running sub-5 minute mile pace and they are not even getting beyond their ability to take in oxygen; in other words, they are running at 5-minute pace and totally aerobic.

                     

                    You get out on the track and run at, say, 80 second per lap pace.  You try to keep that pace for as long as you can.  If you're a speedster and have enough raw speed, 80 seconds is not that difficult.  What's difficult is, after about 2 laps, you start to suck more air, your breathing gets heavier and throat burning and your legs won't take any order from your brain.  At that point, you can do one of two things; you can either try to work on more speed so 80 seconds is totally piece of a cake and you can easily run 65 seconds.  You hop on a track again at that point and start running 80-second pace once again...  With added speed, you may be able to run 2.5 laps but you still start to suck air and throat burning.  At that point, you wonder what all the hard training to get you to run 65 seconds comfortably meant at all...  The other approach is; you know you can run 80 seconds at ease.  So you develop your ability to run further and further.  You still want to continue enough leg=speed work so 80 seconds won't feel like a full sprint.  But maybe you'll get on a track once in a while and run 100 seconds per lap but do it for 20-minutes this week...then 30 minutes next month...and maybe 40-minutes the month after that...  All along, you make sure 80-seconds won't feel like sprinting.  Now you hop on a track and start running 80 seconds per lap.  Now you know your ability to hold the steady pace is much better...  Do you think you can make it to 4 laps this time?

                     

                    Interval training is polishing work.  It's not the core of training.  "Icing on a cake" one might say.  To think you can make it faster and faster and faster...or keep the target pace and do them more and more and more...or to cut back the recovery time shorter and shorter...  All these are based on the principles of, what you call it, Miro or Milo...  The guy who went out to the barn when a calf was born...he would pick him up on the first day...and everyday, he would go to the barn and pick him up...  After a while when he's a full-grown bull, weighing 2 tons (I don't know how much those guys weight...), you think he could still go out there and pick him up?  It just don't work out that way.  I'll give you a few anecdotal stories:

                     

                    There was a young promising runner way back in the 1950s by the name of Ron Clarke.  He was a junior mile champion and on the verge of breaking 4-minutes for the mile.  He would go out and did 10 X 400m in 60-seconds every week, thinking he should be able to break 4-minutes for the mile.  He never did.  There was another guy whose friend was the first New Zealander to break 4-minutes for the mile.  So he would try to train a little bit faster and little bit longer than him.  The other guy might do 12 X 400 in 65 seconds so he would go out and did 15 X 400 in 62 seconds...  In 10 years, he beat the other buy once.  So he decided to move up the event and started training for 5k and 10k.  He would jack up the volume but slowed down his intervals so now he's doing 20 X 400m in 75 seconds.  All of a sudden he broke 4-minutes.  Lastly, this buddy of mine was a 1500m champion until this younger and faster guy came up from 800.  So, once again, he decided to move up to 5000m.  All of a sudden he improved his 1500m time by 4 seconds.  We're talking about getting it down to 3:37 so 4 seconds improvement is not too shabby.  Go take a look at what time some elite runners are running; and check out how fast they're doing their intervals.  Compare that with yours.

                     

                    Bottom line; your training plan is just a convenient weekly schedule slapped together from the air and the only goal you seem to have is to get it more and more and more each week; and get it faster and faster and faster each week...  Like I said, most probably it just ain't gonna work out that way.  You need to think about certain development each week; how long it may take to develop and what type of workout best serve that purpose...  Then put all the different DEVELOPMENTS into perspective and put them all into a macro cycle, leading up to your target race.  If you don't have any idea which race is your target race; and have no idea what your strengths and weaknesses are; and just slap all workouts crammed into the week, thinking you'll get faster and faster at more and more volume is, well, here I go again, "crap shooting".

                      Wow, great post, Nobby.  I've just been introduced to intervals in my marathon training program.  You help contextualize the workout with purpose.  Would you care to elaborate on what "float" means?  I couldn't really gather a definition from your post.

                      "Float" means incomplete recovery.  If you run 300m at your 5k race pace and then next 100m at, say, half marathon pace, you're not getting much breather at all.  That's "floating".  If you run 200m at your 5k pace but next 200m is at your warm-up pace and really taking time to recover, that's recovery jog.  You can write down a workout, exactly the same in number, say, 8 X 400m with 200m in between, whether you do it with float or recovery jog would make it a whole different workout. 

                       

                      We have a workout called 100/100.  That's 100m full sprint with 100m FLOAT.  We tell people to do this 10 times.  That's only 5 laps around the track, or 2k.  If done correctly, it'll really kill ya!!  If you feel like you can do it for 20 laps, you're not doing it correctly.  We even get it down to 16 X 50/50; that's only 1 mile.  I've seen a fit young girl who dropped out after 3rd lap because it's so damn tough.   

                        Well, actually, in terms of the actual "pace", it really don't matter what pace you do your intervals as long as you "make yourself tired with speed".  As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the biggest mistakes people make; to think you have to be at or faster than your target race pace when you do interval training.  First of all, I'm assuming, if your target race is, say, 8 weeks from now; I'm assuming your speed, or stamina for that matter as well, is not quite as good as you'd hoped 8 weeks from now.  It is only natural that you'd be most likely running slower BUT feeling just as hard (effort-wise).  The whole idea actually is, say you're starting out at 6:30 pace in your first day interval, 4 weeks from now, you should be more accustomed to 6:30 pace and that (running whatever the total distance you had decided to do at 6:30 pace) should feel quite comfortable 4 weeks from now.  So, at this point, it's almost irrelevant whether or not you start doing the intervals at 6:30 pace or 7:00 pace or whatever.  

                         

                        Now, I'd have to apologize, your thinking in terms of per mile pace for 400m repeats threw me off a bit; I guess if you're only doing 400m, 6:00 pace is not that hard.  I'm assuming you're more of a speed-type.  6-minute-mile pace is 90-seconds per 400m and, if you feel quite comfortable running 400m in 90-seconds, I guess there's no reason why you need to slow down too much.  It's when people start doing a mile-repeat at 5:30 pace or whatever, then most likely there's a problem of that workout being way too hard.  

                         

                        The whole idea of doing interval training is to teach your body to withstand buffer against extreme oxygen debt state.  Anybody who's run 400m all-out can relate to this; when you get oxygen debt, you're literally sucking oxygen and your legs just won't move the way you want them to.  You get this burning sensation in your thighs; basically, I'm not sure if I can spell it correctly off the top of my head, you're getting rigor mortis.  What causes this is excess production of hydrogen iron in the working muscles, due to running above and beyond your body's capability to take in, transport and utilize oxygen.  Basically, when you're operating beyond this capacity, aka your Maximum Oxygen Uptake Level, or VO2Max, your body is heading into over-drive and, during this process, hydrogen iron is produced that would eventually upset your body's smooth operation due to the lowering of blood pH level, yaddi yaddi yadda...  Some other people may be able to explain that more easily but basically, if you're running at the speed beyond your body can comfortably utilizing oxygen, you'll get that stage.  Now, this ability has limits.  You're getting what we call Oxygen Debt; and there's a limit to how much debt you can get before the bank or IRS come after you.  Same thing; so there's a definite physiological limit to how much "speed endurance" you can gain from doing lots of fast stuff, thinking you're teaching your body to go beyond this limit.  

                         

                        Same thing with the bank analogy; you have a limit to how much debt you can get; so, in order to be able to spend more money without getting too much debt, what would you do?  You try to get more money in your account.  Developing your aerobic capacity, or your body's ability to take in, transport and utilize more oxygen than before is like putting more money in the bank.  And the best way to do that, as you might have heard this phrase many times here, is to go longer at easier pace.  There's a whole bunch of physiological explanations that goes with it but I won't waste your time--I'll leave it to when you finally get some suggested books and read fundamental chapters!! ;o)  You run some and you'll notice you can now go further and even more easily at the same speed that was a bit of a struggle before.  Your run more and you can go further and faster without hurting as much.  This is how elite athletes train to get to the point where they are running sub-5 minute mile pace and they are not even getting beyond their ability to take in oxygen; in other words, they are running at 5-minute pace and totally aerobic.

                         

                        You get out on the track and run at, say, 80 second per lap pace.  You try to keep that pace for as long as you can.  If you're a speedster and have enough raw speed, 80 seconds is not that difficult.  What's difficult is, after about 2 laps, you start to suck more air, your breathing gets heavier and throat burning and your legs won't take any order from your brain.  At that point, you can do one of two things; you can either try to work on more speed so 80 seconds is totally piece of a cake and you can easily run 65 seconds.  You hop on a track again at that point and start running 80-second pace once again...  With added speed, you may be able to run 2.5 laps but you still start to suck air and throat burning.  At that point, you wonder what all the hard training to get you to run 65 seconds comfortably meant at all...  The other approach is; you know you can run 80 seconds at ease.  So you develop your ability to run further and further.  You still want to continue enough leg=speed work so 80 seconds won't feel like a full sprint.  But maybe you'll get on a track once in a while and run 100 seconds per lap but do it for 20-minutes this week...then 30 minutes next month...and maybe 40-minutes the month after that...  All along, you make sure 80-seconds won't feel like sprinting.  Now you hop on a track and start running 80 seconds per lap.  Now you know your ability to hold the steady pace is much better...  Do you think you can make it to 4 laps this time?

                         

                        Interval training is polishing work.  It's not the core of training.  "Icing on a cake" one might say.  To think you can make it faster and faster and faster...or keep the target pace and do them more and more and more...or to cut back the recovery time shorter and shorter...  All these are based on the principles of, what you call it, Miro or Milo...  The guy who went out to the barn when a calf was born...he would pick him up on the first day...and everyday, he would go to the barn and pick him up...  After a while when he's a full-grown bull, weighing 2 tons (I don't know how much those guys weight...), you think he could still go out there and pick him up?  It just don't work out that way.  I'll give you a few anecdotal stories:

                         

                        There was a young promising runner way back in the 1950s by the name of Ron Clarke.  He was a junior mile champion and on the verge of breaking 4-minutes for the mile.  He would go out and did 10 X 400m in 60-seconds every week, thinking he should be able to break 4-minutes for the mile.  He never did.  There was another guy whose friend was the first New Zealander to break 4-minutes for the mile.  So he would try to train a little bit faster and little bit longer than him.  The other guy might do 12 X 400 in 65 seconds so he would go out and did 15 X 400 in 62 seconds...  In 10 years, he beat the other buy once.  So he decided to move up the event and started training for 5k and 10k.  He would jack up the volume but slowed down his intervals so now he's doing 20 X 400m in 75 seconds.  All of a sudden he broke 4-minutes.  Lastly, this buddy of mine was a 1500m champion until this younger and faster guy came up from 800.  So, once again, he decided to move up to 5000m.  All of a sudden he improved his 1500m time by 4 seconds.  We're talking about getting it down to 3:37 so 4 seconds improvement is not too shabby.  Go take a look at what time some elite runners are running; and check out how fast they're doing their intervals.  Compare that with yours.

                         

                        Bottom line; your training plan is just a convenient weekly schedule slapped together from the air and the only goal you seem to have is to get it more and more and more each week; and get it faster and faster and faster each week...  Like I said, most probably it just ain't gonna work out that way.  You need to think about certain development each week; how long it may take to develop and what type of workout best serve that purpose...  Then put all the different DEVELOPMENTS into perspective and put them all into a macro cycle, leading up to your target race.  If you don't have any idea which race is your target race; and have no idea what your strengths and weaknesses are; and just slap all workouts crammed into the week, thinking you'll get faster and faster at more and more volume is, well, here I go again, "crap shooting".

                        Once again, I thank you for your professional advice.

                         

                        I've since scrapped that schedule, but if it means anything, it was originally modeled after some suggestions that were given to me earlier in this thread (see the post by MrH on the previous page)...and on a combination of training plans found on the Hal Higdon website. In any case, I'm not sure if you are advocating more volume or more speed, because you mention that a combination of both is unsustainable as a long-term training plan. I've gotten many different opinions about the intervals - some have told me to run 10x 400 at mile pace, some have told me to run, say, 6 400s at slightly slower than 5K pace.

                         

                        The only reason that I run "time trials" frequently is because I like to keep my goal distance in mind. For example, doing 2 400m intervals at a very past pace will be great if I plan on racing that distance, but it just seems more practical to run approximately the distance of the particular event in the workout itself.

                         

                        If I am training for a 5K, I at least have one constant - the distance that I have to run, 5 kilometers, or 5000 meters. That does not change. The speed at which I run this distance is a variable,  but I can't simply run that much faster to get my desired time; as you say, at my current level, I would go into severe oxygen debt within the first 1-2 miles.  The only solution I can see is to train to improve one particular variable per workout -speed, endurance, strength. I have been told that the overwhelming majority of my runs should be aerobic. But then, I feel that I have runs where I am running 75% aerobic, 25% anaerobic. Or runs where I am running 50% aerobic, 50% anaerobic. Some have told me that tempos are completely aerobic. Some of told me that tempos are partially anaerobic. What I do know is that the more frequently and faster I run distance A, the less difficult it becomes to maintain target pace C over that time period. Once in a while, I will run distance B (farther than A) at slightly over pace C, but the RATIO between pace and distance does not remain constant - resulting in a slightly harder effort. This probably sounds overly abstract, but it's the best way I can explain how I see this.

                          Runnerdave, here's a plan for you. Run 8 miles a day, do 5-8 60-100m strides twice a week. If you feel good 4 miles into the run, let 'er rip over the second half. If you feel bad, run jog it in. You will probably be able to run under 18 minutes after 6 months or so of just doing that. 

                           

                          All due respect to Nobby (he knows way more than I do about running), but where you are in your training, it won't take rocket science to improve. Just steady work. 

                            You know what? That sounds like a plan. Over-intellectualizing this is making my head hurt...

                              Runnerdave, here's a plan for you. Run 8 miles a day, do 5-8 60-100m strides twice a week. If you feel good 4 miles into the run, let 'er rip over the second half. If you feel bad, run jog it in. You will probably be able to run under 18 minutes after 6 months or so of just doing that. 

                               

                              All due respect to Nobby (he knows way more than I do about running), but where you are in your training, it won't take rocket science to improve. Just steady work. 

                              Jeff:

                               

                              I totally agree with you!  But if I say that, I'd be out of business!! ;o)

                               

                              Years ago they had a running clinic in Australia, my buddy, Dick Quax was there along with the legend, Ron Clarke.  Somebody asked Ron what kind of training he did.  He stood up and said; "When I felt good, I ran hard.  When I didn't feel good, I didn't run as hard..." and sat down.  18 world records.  But then again, one might argue, as Lydiard did too, Clarke won one Olympic medal--bronze.  Okay, I won't go there.  It's not a fair comparison; had 1968 Olympics being held at sea level, no doubt he would have one a few more medals at least.

                               

                              I guess I fall somewhere between Ron Clarke and Alberto Salazar. ;o)  Surely, it is NOT rocket science.  Yet, why then so many people are lost and get hurt and not being able to improve their performance?  We've been saying, and in his book, Keith Livingston actually says it out-right.  It's so simple!  Lydiard put them all together in such a simple format; yet, the trend seems to be; trying to make it more complicated.  Screw LT pace or this or that...  You build up, then do some hills, do some intervals, taper and don't over do it, and viola; you'll PR.  Forget, even, 3 X 20-milers!!  And, you know what, now we have it available on-line!!  You don't even have to think about what you need to do to put together your training plan...  That, actually, is the very reason why we put that together.  Idiot-proof Lydiard.  Even interval training pace is well-defined and suggested!

                                Absolutely, that's why I recommended that Dave read a book--or certainly go to your website!

                                 

                                There is something about the "medium" of message boards that leads training discussion into quibbling or noodling over relatively insignificant details. Really, message boards are not the best place to learn about training. But they are great places to meet folks like Nobby to ask specific questions and maybe end up in a coaching relationship. Or great places to meet like-minded folks who won't think you are crazy for running 50+mpw!

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