12345

Feeling discouraged yet again (Read 1568 times)

    Oh boy, I am scared to open up this can of worms, but I need to know.  And yes, I already did some poking around other threads using the search option before I dared post this.  Here goes....

     

    I am currently training for my second HM.  I am not fast.  I am not a long-time runner. (Just 5 years).  I am still learning new things every day about running.  My first HM was a dismal 2:55:00 - for the most part, my plan was a run 3 min/ walk 1 minute until I finished. And to keep my HR mostly below 170 for as much as possible.  My approx maxHR is 191-195.  My time sucked so much due to a poop issue right off the bat, and numerous stretching breaks throughout the race.  (both of which were due to inexperience, and arrival to the race later than anticipated).   Alas, the main reason I am even attempting this race again is to simply improve my time.  I'm pretty sure I can do it in 2:25:00 if I dont have issues again. 

     

    So here's the deal:  Lets assume my maxHR is correctly tested at 191.  Let's also assume my approximate LT HR is about 168.  Please dont ask how I tested, and the specifics.  Lets just assume that's what it is.  Also, a couple of weeks ago I decided to change my running form and pay closer attention to better mechanics - I am trying to forefoot strike more, lean slightly forward, and keep my knees below my hips.  Natually, this will lead to faster turnover (not quite 180, but higher than what Ive been running previously) and even more naturally, a HIGHER heart rate!  Thus my greivance.......my LT HR sucks as it is.  Being that I have to run/walk just to keep me as aerobic as possible, how the hell can I possiblly change my form, i.e. increase my turnover, and still be able to stay below 170-ish?   Its impossible.

     

    For instance, a 12mm mile run for me will very quickly shoot my HR up above 168....probably around 171-172ish.  So already, I am above where I want to be.  When I do speedworkouts, my HR is definitely 185 - 195.  I am damn near puking.  When I do my "tempo" runs (I am not even sure what that means for my level of fitness anyway), I am trying to keep my HR in the mid 170's - lo 180's.  But I have no idea if this is optimal.  Oh yeah, and I'm STILL  RUN/WALKING for all of these.  Its almost as if my HR will NOT stay below 168 unless I am solely walking.  Anything less than a 12mm is painful for me and obviously I can't maintain proper form

     

    I want to improve my LT HR, so my Ironman athlete friend told me I should do more speedwork to push my body to the limits and let it get used to it.  Is this right?  What do I need to do in order to get past this run/walking thing?  Do I need to see a cardiologist, is something wrong with my heart that it shoots up so quickly?  

     

    Oh, and please dont tell me to run by feel - I am still too much of a newbie to even know if what I "feel" is too much, too fast.  What I seem to think is an acceptable out-of-breathness is what everyone else would say is faster than "conversational pace"  I've learned over the years that I was consistently running in Zone 4 and 5 for ALL of my runs, even though I "felt" ok during them.   

     

    I know there are alot more questions I have, but I can't think right now. 

      I want to improve my LT HR, so my Ironman athlete friend told me I should do more speedwork to push my body to the limits and let it get used to it.  Is this right?  

       

      It's late and so this is the only question I'll address: no.  Based on your log it looks like you're currently running <10 mile/week.  I don't know when the appropriate time to add speedwork is (if I had to guess, >40 miles would be a start) but you're not quite there.  To improve the perceived effort at any pace, you need to work on running more.

        I'm followoing a training plan,  it goes like this:  1 day of speedwork,  1 day of long run, 1 day tempo run, 1 day easy recovery.  I am still in the early stages of it, basically only week 3 or 4 of 16.  I wont get to >40 mpw.   I guess I should re-iterate that I'm not an athlete, and I'm not looking do anything but get a better time on the HM.   Getting to about 25 mpw is about the best I am going to get. Maybe ever.


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          You do a day of speedwork, then immediately the next day you do a long run? Then immediately the next day you do a tempo run?

           

          Or are there rest days in-between?

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

            If you've been running for 5 years, you're not a newbie. But it does sound like you've been reading too much and running too little. HR? LT? Tempo? Zones?

            I'm pretty much going to tell you exactly what you said you didn't want to hear. You say you don't want to be told to run by feel. But that's exactly what you need to do.

            Forget the heart rate. Let your breathing determine your pace.

            Forget speed work. You're not running enough miles. You can do some strides, though.

            Forget purposely trying to change your form. Forget that forefoot strike crap unless you naturally land that way. Your form will become more efficient naturally with more miles.

            Run a little more often. Lengthen some of the runs a little. Run a little faster than normal once every week or 10 days.

            Ten miles a week will barely get you more fit than if you did nothing. Double that and you'll be able to run your HM much better.

            Other people will probably have other advice, but that's mine.

              Oh boy, I am scared to open up this can of worms, but I need to know.  And yes, I already did some poking around other threads using the search option before I dared post this.  Here goes....

               

              I am currently training for my second HM.  I am not fast.  I am not a long-time runner. (Just 5 years).  I am still learning new things every day about running.  My first HM was a dismal 2:55:00 - for the most part, my plan was a run 3 min/ walk 1 minute until I finished. And to keep my HR mostly below 170 for as much as possible.  My approx maxHR is 191-195.  My time sucked so much due to a poop issue right off the bat, and numerous stretching breaks throughout the race.  (both of which were due to inexperience, and arrival to the race later than anticipated).   Alas, the main reason I am even attempting this race again is to simply improve my time.  I'm pretty sure I can do it in 2:25:00 if I dont have issues again. 

               

              So here's the deal:  Lets assume my maxHR is correctly tested at 191.  Let's also assume my approximate LT HR is about 168.  Please dont ask how I tested, and the specifics.  Lets just assume that's what it is.  Also, a couple of weeks ago I decided to change my running form and pay closer attention to better mechanics - I am trying to forefoot strike more, lean slightly forward, and keep my knees below my hips.  Natually, this will lead to faster turnover (not quite 180, but higher than what Ive been running previously) and even more naturally, a HIGHER heart rate!  Thus my greivance.......my LT HR sucks as it is.  Being that I have to run/walk just to keep me as aerobic as possible, how the hell can I possiblly change my form, i.e. increase my turnover, and still be able to stay below 170-ish?   Its impossible.

               

              For instance, a 12mm mile run for me will very quickly shoot my HR up above 168....probably around 171-172ish.  So already, I am above where I want to be.  When I do speedworkouts, my HR is definitely 185 - 195.  I am damn near puking.  When I do my "tempo" runs (I am not even sure what that means for my level of fitness anyway), I am trying to keep my HR in the mid 170's - lo 180's.  But I have no idea if this is optimal.  Oh yeah, and I'm STILL  RUN/WALKING for all of these.  Its almost as if my HR will NOT stay below 168 unless I am solely walking.  Anything less than a 12mm is painful for me and obviously I can't maintain proper form

               

              I want to improve my LT HR, so my Ironman athlete friend told me I should do more speedwork to push my body to the limits and let it get used to it.  Is this right?  What do I need to do in order to get past this run/walking thing?  Do I need to see a cardiologist, is something wrong with my heart that it shoots up so quickly?  

               

              Oh, and please dont tell me to run by feel - I am still too much of a newbie to even know if what I "feel" is too much, too fast.  What I seem to think is an acceptable out-of-breathness is what everyone else would say is faster than "conversational pace"  I've learned over the years that I was consistently running in Zone 4 and 5 for ALL of my runs, even though I "felt" ok during them.   

               

              I know there are alot more questions I have, but I can't think right now. 

              This is actually quite interesting to me.  This actually sort of confirms what I've been thinking for quite some time.  The ability to run at a decent pace requires certain amount of oxygen.  This oxygen requirement goes up pretty quickly as you quicken the pace.  So, for example, if you are running, say just to make it easy, at 10-minute mile pace, and you pick up the pace to 9:30 pace, that's roughly 5% speed increase.  I'm going to make up some bogus number here so it's not accurate at all but I'm just trying to make a point; so for this 5% increase of speed, you probably need more than 10% increase of oxygen requirement.  Now if you try to get it down to roughly 9-minute pace, that's, from 10MM, 10% increase in speed.  You probably need 20% increase of oxygen requirement.  If you try to get it down to 8:45, the oxygen requirement would probably be more like 30%.  It won't go along a linear line; it shoots up very rapidly.  So if your base level (whatever you want to call it, LT or whatever) is low, you will get into oxygen debt at relatively slow pace.  The pace that's too fast for you is not so much minute-per-mile pace but more to do with relative HR.  You said you don't want to tell us how you got your Max HR and LT HR; that actually shows me that the method was probably crappy and inaccurate.  If the point of reference is determined "crappily", there's no point of trying to follow it.  I don't believe, at the age of 31, your Max HR is 191.  And I don't buy your LT, or your target HR, being upper 160 when your fitness level seems to be so low.  And you seem to be missing one very vital factor which is your Resting HR.  You can be young and your Resting HR can be high, indicating your base fitness level is very low.  And, in that case, you shouldn't be targeting your workout HR to be so high.  As someone else indicated, you probably shouldn't be doing any tempo run as yet and "speed training" is out of question.  You are not fit enough as yet to even consider incorporating it.  

               

              Five years of running is hardly "new runner".  But in a way, chronological period may not mean much at all when you're thinking about, as someone else pointed out, if your weekly mileage is, say, 10-15 miles per week or if you're only running 3 or 4 days a week; then, compared to someone who's running, say, 30-miles a week, 5 to 6 times a week.  Your actual "training" period is as good as this person's 2 years of running "career".  

               

              I have come across a few people in the past who is very slow, yet they seem to be able to go the distance--2 or 3 or 4 hours at a time--and their HR being VERY high for someone who's trying to as long as they do.  This has been a mystery to me for a long time.  Usually, from my experience, if you go as long as 2-hours, your fitness level will improve very rapidly, your "aerobic" pace comes down naturally, now you're running FASTER at EASIER effort.  And your HR comes down very quickly; usually these fit people would have resting HR of about 40 (in general; there are some exceptions and I don't know why).  But I'm convinced that, particularly this run-walk method hinders development.  It allows people who are not adequately developed to go ridiculously long distance.  But you just don't seem to get the, what do you call it, dong get the bang for the buck???  Some very long distance running does have its merit; but I will bet someone who runs 2-hours every weekend would probably have much better, and quicker, aerobic development than someone who run-walk for 3 or 4 hours frequently.  Apparently there's been some study done and, supposedly, if you stop running (exercising), your capillary beds development stops within 15-20 seconds.  It'll of course start up again when you start running again but it's just not a continuous development.  

               

              Another thing I'd check is your so-called "speed training".  Like I said, if your fitness level when you start doing speed training is so low, you will get into oxygen debt, in other words, anaerobic state, at relatively slow speed.  So, in other words, if your HR is shooting up to 170s at 12-minute-pace, then your speed training, depending on what kind of speed training you're doing, is probably no faster than 11-minute pace and that's hardly a "fast" run.  At that speed, you're probably not getting much "stress" on your legs to develop leg muscles.  I don't know how you're trying to work on your form but working on your form would probably not mean much at all if your body is getting deprived of oxygen at such low speed.  

               

              You can do, whatever it may be, 5 hours a week of running but you can put together workouts wrongly and you don't get benefits effectively at all.  It appears to me that there are a lot of irresponsible training programs out there available.  They say do this and do that, do a long run of 2-hours, and tempo run to work to push yourself and intervals to work on speed...  Sounds logical and legit.  But all those things would have to be taken into consideration of YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT and FITNESS LEVEL.  It's like building a beautiful car, painting nice and pretty and polishing it...but totally ignoring the engine and pumping in some cheap gas, never changing engine oil...

               

              Training would have to follow physiological and mechanical fundamentals.  It shouldn't just follow numbers.  Schedule won't mean a thing if it's not tailored to your own level of development.  

                hey cewickbe,

                 

                here's a couple of half training plans that actually talk about breathing and also have incorporated run/walking right into the program. But both programs actually encourage running mostly by time rather than by mileage. Obviously the 20 week would be a better choice but if you've already signed up for your race, then the 14-week is a great alternative!

                 

                20-week: http://www.runvictoriamarathon.com/pdf/HalfMarathonGotheDistanceProgram.pdf

                 

                14-week: http://www.runvictoriamarathon.com/pdf/HalfMarathonJustinTimeProgram.pdf

                 

                Either way, congratulations on continuing your way to a healthier life! One day, it'll click and feel good and you'll be happy Smile

                 

                If it's any consolation, I've never been able to hold a conversation during a run and I started racing when I was 12! (much, MUCH older now Dead)

                  Just a few thoughts:

                   

                  + "don't question my HR info" -- part of troubleshooting is questioning every premise.

                   

                  + "conversational pace/running by feel" -- when I first started running again, what I thought was easy pace turned out to be 10k race pace.  If I'd had a running companion or talked to myself out loud, I'd have quickly discovered that.  Do you run with anyone?

                   

                  + "jog/walk mix" -- I found it takes me a little while to get settled into a run, and the first handful of minutes always feel the worst.  This is especially the case when I was doing jog/walk mixes.  Any chance you too feel bad because your running portions never get out of this early-feel-like-crap phase (because you switch to walking and then have to start the engine all over again)?

                   

                  + I agree with denrunner: forget the footstrike stuff and the intervals.  At 10mpw, your biggest gains by far will come from just trying to gradually double your time spent working out and building your aerobic capacity.

                   

                  + "my HR won't stay under 168bpm unless I'm walking" -- either get a new HRM or check that your clothing isn't producing some static interference that's making your HRM read high (yes, it's a common thing).  What's the HR if you just walk briskly (no running at all)?

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

                    One other thing that might help if you have the time, is 'cross training', take the stress out of running and walk/workout on a elliptical on the days you normally take off. These could be as short as 20-25 minutes and you'll see improvement in your fitness by working out almost everyday while also helping you recover from the running.

                    Scout7


                    CPT Curmudgeon

                      Firstly, you have a negative attitude towards your running.  No wonder you're struggling with everything.  "Fast" is a relative term, as is "slow".  Secondly, you seem overly fixated on numbers, and somehow improving those numbers.  I don't really think that's a good goal right now.  They are what they are.

                       

                      The very first thing you should do is stop worrying so much about how fast or slow you are, and just try to focus on making running a habit.  Leave the watch and the monitor behind, even if it's once a week, and just go around the block a couple of times.  Run as much as you want, as hard or easy as you want, and just play around with it.

                       

                      The second thing you should do is smile.  Every.  Single.  Run.  Research has shown that even a fake smile will create a positive association with whatever task you are doing, and will therefore make the overall experience more positive.  Plus, it makes other people wonder why you seem so damned happy.

                       

                      After that, I think you need to just focus on being consistent with your running.  If you run 3 days a week now, try to run 4.  Even if it's as simple as running around the block once or twice, do it.  Relax, enjoy the runs.

                       

                      As for a goal...  Don't focus on making numbers move.  Focus on seeing how consistent you can be with your training.


                      Tomorrow will be worse

                        I'm actually not all that different from you, though I made a point to dedicate a lot of time to running when I chose to start. I've only really been running regularly since November. I started off then much like you, grabbed a marathon training plan, picked a goal race, and off I went. I think I lasted about 2 weeks (and only 1 interval session) before it became very apparent that at that stage of fitness, any speedwork was making aerobic work too difficult: ie speedwork was knocking me on my ass for the next couple days because I lacked the fitness to recover from it (not to mention that I probably was going out too hard).

                         

                        My solution was to cut speed/stamina work almost entirely (strides only for a couple months), and I've worked my way up to now where I'm consistently between 40-50mi/week. All easy runs and long runs until the past 2 weeks, for me (when I actually wear the HR monitor) I rarely exceed 150bpm. I do strides now and then, which are mostly stoplight fartleks (I hate stopping to wait for the little walk guy to come back at the crosswalk), and even with a full marathon coming up (my first) at the end of May, I'm only just now adding some stamina work in, as much as I feel like I can handle it, and my thinking now is that speedwork (ie intervals) is pointless, and probably actually detrimental since I won't be recovered for the next day. It took a while to figure out that I'm better off taking it easy enough to run 6 days/week than working my butt off and taking an extra day or two off because I felt like I was grinding my legs to a pulp (which I was, because I was over-taxing myself and wasn't allowing the muscles to heal)

                         

                        Summary: my minimal experience (grudgingly) agrees with what almost everyone on this forum says over and over again: run slower, run longer, run more often. You'll get faster as you get fitter.

                          What all the others said is great.  What jumped out at me, and I think is the simplest answer, is that you need to run six times a week, even if they are only 2-3 miles each, and slow.  Avoid the walking.  Your log shows only three runs/week.

                          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                            Firstly, you have a negative attitude towards your running.  No wonder you're struggling with everything.  "Fast" is a relative term, as is "slow".  Secondly, you seem overly fixated on numbers, and somehow improving those numbers.  I don't really think that's a good goal right now.  They are what they are.

                             

                            The very first thing you should do is stop worrying so much about how fast or slow you are, and just try to focus on making running a habit.  Leave the watch and the monitor behind, even if it's once a week, and just go around the block a couple of times.  Run as much as you want, as hard or easy as you want, and just play around with it.

                             

                            The second thing you should do is smile.  Every.  Single.  Run.  Research has shown that even a fake smile will create a positive association with whatever task you are doing, and will therefore make the overall experience more positive.  Plus, it makes other people wonder why you seem so damned happy.

                             

                            After that, I think you need to just focus on being consistent with your running.  If you run 3 days a week now, try to run 4.  Even if it's as simple as running around the block once or twice, do it.  Relax, enjoy the runs.

                             

                            As for a goal...  Don't focus on making numbers move.  Focus on seeing how consistent you can be with your training.

                            I was thinking about this thread while shoveling the snow this morning...  And I came back and saw this post from Scout.  He is absolutely correct.  Nothing that he had said is incorrect at all.  However, telling a basketball team "Don't lose!" in order to win is not going to do much good.  Of course, I didn't give any constructive suggestion either!

                             

                            I think, over the years, we've been promoting "Feeling-based" training and, yet, we came up with such detailed training plans (Running-Wizard); it is because we have also realized that majority of people, when we tell them to "train by feel", they can't.  We tried to create an educational tool and that's why we included pace, heart rate and RPE all together.  Ideal course of action is to follow the pace (probably the easiest one), but also check HR and RPE and get the hang of what 10-minute-mile pace feels like, or what 150bpm HR feels like...  I can fairly accurately guess my HR while running though often the pace comes out all over the place because my running pace seems to be quite inconsistent.  But that's actually better that way--I don't care if I'm running 14-minute-mile pace or 9-minute pace as long as my HR is 130, that's an easy recovery jog.

                             

                            So, as for the OP, if she prefers to get some numbers, that's what she feels comfortable with and she should work with it at least at first.  With her 32:30-5k, her predicted half marathon time is 2:28, which I think is probably within the range of what she feels as her capability at this point.  However, it is probably best if she run one more 5k or what I'd personally prefer is to get out on a local track and run 4 laps to get a mile time.  Particularly for a beginner, their "race pace" tends to be very close to their training pace simply because they just don't know how to push themselves to race, or peak for a race, and the calculation to assess their training pace could be off because of that.  Next thing that's important is the duration she could COMFORTABLY run WITHOUT STOPPING (walking break).  I have no idea what this would be.  Obviously, she "runs" 2+ hours in training but I'm not sure if it's run-walk or continuous run...  Again, run-walk is a good practice INITIALLY but we believe that's not something should be continued unless there's a good reason for that like preparing for a 24-hour run.  Next thing is her resting HR.  Depending on that, her target HR for workout would be different but I'd say the highest is somewhere around 160.  This COULD be higher IF her resting HR is like 70+ which really shows lack of good fitness level.  She should practice CONTINUED running.  Supposed she can run, say, 40-mintues continuously, her training pace (aerobic pace) should be somewhere around 13-minute-mile pace, HR between 130-145-ish, conversation "easy" to "challenging but still in control".  

                             

                            I saw that (cookie-cutter) training program for Victoria Marathon.  Decent, but, to prescribe 6-8X100m "strides" for someone who can "only" run-walk for 30 or 40 minutes, it's like intervals.  I saw it first hand by running besides a lady whose 1-mile all-out run is like 16-minutes.  After 20m, she was gasping for oxygen...!

                              What all the others said is great.  What jumped out at me, and I think is the simplest answer, is that you need to run six times a week, even if they are only 2-3 miles each, and slow.  Avoid the walking.  Your log shows only three runs/week.

                              ...Or LedLincoln actually said it so simply and accurately and, in a way, a lot more practically! ;o)

                                 

                                 

                                The second thing you should do is smile.  Every.  Single.  Run.  Research has shown that even a fake smile will create a positive association with whatever task you are doing, and will therefore make the overall experience more positive.  Plus, it makes other people wonder why you seem so damned happy.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                This is highly underrated, or maybe rarely mentioned, but so very true.  Learn how to enjoy yourself out there or why bother.  I'm already mentally preparing myself to 'have fun' on my noon-time run today given the fact that it's about 40 deg and drizzly rain - some of my least favorite weather to run in.  But I will get out there and I will find a way to smile at the stuff I experience today.  And, darnit, people like me!  Smile

                                12345