McMillan's "new" paces (Read 598 times)

     

    MTA: McMillan is fun for comparing and predicting race times, but I am not going to use that calculator for my training paces.

     

    I do. I'll find out on March 17 whether it gets me a kick-ass marathon time or just an ass kicking.

    runninglurker


      Thank you all for responding, interesting discussion.

       

      Years of lurking on RWOL taught me that "easy" is a perception of effort, not a pace, and that overall mile volume is key in marathon training. On a whole, I usually shun speed in favor of volume (save some marathon paced miles with my faster-than-me running buddy during my long runs), but after a disappointing marathon 2 weeks ago I'm wondering if I have fallen into "survivors shuffle" for most of my easy runs and maybe I should push harder. I know I would benefit from weekly tempo runs, which I mostly gave up because I was too danged tired from the volume of miles. Plus, as I previously stated, I'm lazy unless I'm racing. Smile

       

      As an experiment, I went out and ran 9 miles last night at McMillan's perscribed easy pace. It was a little uncomfortable, but not OMG-I'm-dying.  This morning, however, I could hardly squeak out 12 min miles for my 4 mile recovery run. Does that mean I pushed too hard last night? Or maybe I'm still recovering from my half-assed marathon? Who knows. At any rate, I appreciate everyone's input.

       I use to do a little but a little wouldn't do it, so the little got more and more. I just keep trying to get a little better, said a little better than before.

        I have an old McMillan printout from sometime in 2011 - well before these changes. It is based on a (for me at the time hypothetical) 1:30:00 half marathon time. I'll post a few of the old suggested workout paces alongside the new ones. They are faster but not outrageously so for me. I will let others do the dissecting.

         

        Endurance Workouts Pace/Mile

        Recovery Jogs

        Old 8:45 to 9:15 New 8:24 to 9:06

        Long Runs

        Old 7:45 to 8:45 New 7:24 to 8:38

        Easy Runs

        Old 7:45 to 8:15 New 7:20 to 8:20 (lower end of new is actually slower!)

         

        Stamina Workouts Pace/Mile

        Steady State Runs

        Old 6:52 to 7:05 New 6:48 to 7:06

        Tempo Runs

        Old 6:35 to 6:52 New 6:30 to 6:46

        Tempo Intervals

        Old 6:30 to 6:43 New 6:27 to 6:40

         

        For my easy runs I very, very rarely ran below 8:00 minute miling (I still don't) although I do a fair amount of miles. Something must have worked as my PB is now 1:28:01.

        2013

        3000 miles

        Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

        Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

        Sub 88:00 for HM

         

          I kinda want to explain my perspective, where it comes from, and hopefully also qualify it since I was unclear before and being a little silly/oversensitive.

           

          I'm not really sure what McMillan himself is thinking about the faster easy paces, but I have an idea. Training trends come and go, and they tend to correct each other. I think over the last 5-10 years, training philosophy has been dominated by the idea of high mileage. This was mostly due to the internet as folks became aware of how the best runners have trained through the years and they all realized that a common denominator was volume. This way of thinking was also a reaction to the 90s training philosophy (which I was a child of!), which emphasized quality over quantity.

           

          The lesson of the last 5-10 years: if you want to get faster, quit worrying so much about pace and quality and Run Miles!

           

          This mileage approach brought big results, but I think lately coaches have become more and more aware that volume is not the answer to everything, and there has been a slight shift of the pendulum towards moderating volume and building in more quality on a regular basis. It's not a return to the hard interval training of the 90s -- the emphasis is still on aerobic development -- but I think that coaches are starting to look at returning to "strong aerobic paces" as key to that development. My guess this is the thought that is motivating McMillan's tweaking of the algorithm.

           

          The new lesson: become more well rounded, be careful not to overdo mileage, still focus on aerobic development, but don't be afraid of using the pace of runs to aid that development.

           

          In my own experience as a young runner, I had very good results in a base season, running a lot of moderate length runs at strong aerobic paces, so that's where my own experience colors how I read this change. In season, these runs would slow a bit, but we would still "get after it" every now and then on easy days. 

           

          Of course, the experience of a talented and well-trained runner built for long distances is certainly not translatable to all situations -- or maybe not even many situations. Every runner needs to assess what works for them. 

            Well, maybe but I think McMillan probably just figured out that the only people actually looking to his calculator for guidance on easy pace were low mileage noobs for whom easy pace approximates marathon pace.

            Runners run.

            J-L-C


              Is there a bit of a paradigm shift going on with regards to easy paces?

               

              I just read through this thread about McMillan's paces and a few days ago I watched a very interesting video from Salazar. http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=77612

               

              Basically he says he thinks some people run their easy runs TOO slowly on their easy days and you can run moderately hard and still recover if you build up to it gradually. He says that you're supposed to be tired while training but you can run moderately hard on your easy days and he doesn't think running too hard on your easy days causes injuries.

               

              http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=77613

              This is another video addressing the subject where he mentions someone running 5min miles for a 5k shouldn't be running slower than 6:40/mile for easy pace, so around ~1:40 per miles slower than 5k pace. He also says training should be hard and you're supposed to be tired and that it doesn't matter how you feel on easy days as long as you're hitting workouts. So basically it seems like it's okay to push it in easy runs and feel rough (and break through it, as he says) as long as you're still hitting your workouts. And he also says it'll take about six weeks to break through that increased pace (on easy runs) where you stop feeling so dead all the time.

               

              The faster easy days idea also falls in line with something I read from Canova a while back that says in a well-developed runner, ALL paces should be increasing, not just workouts, tempo, etc. Easy paces need to increase proportionally as well.

               

              However, when looking at some logs or reading people's training weeks on forums, many people seem to more closely adhere to a "an easy day is as easy as necessary to allow me to hit a workout" and sometimes people are running really, really slowly. And quite often at that. I do this myself sometimes, running 2:30 minutes a mile slower than 5k pace if I'm feeling particularly done-in. However I'm been pushing my easy runs (overall) faster and faster in the last few months and I think it's paying off. I've noticed that those super "done-in" days are decreasing a little, too, so that I only really focus on slowing down and keeping it very easy if I have a race or it's a matter of actually getting all the mileage in for that day.

               

              So anyway, some questions I've been thinking about over the last week: should we maybe start pushing a bit harder on our easy days? Are we wasting time if we're always running too easily on easy days? Should we "stay tired" throughout our training, only consciously backing off a lot out of pure necessity? Definitely seems to be a very, very fine line between pushing it a bit more every day and pushing yourself into a hole.


              A Saucy Wench

                I gotta say though on the marathon pace = easy pace thing.  Possibly because I always did them fairly tired, but I have never had a mp run that wasnt HARD.  Really Hard.  WTF makes me think I can run this for 26 miles when I cant even run it for 5 miles hard.

                I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                 

                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                  I gotta say though on the marathon pace = easy pace thing.  Possibly because I always did them fairly tired, but I have never had a mp run that wasnt HARD.  Really Hard.  WTF makes me think I can run this for 26 miles when I cant even run it for 5 miles hard.

                   

                  This is confusing to me because the easy runs in your log before Boston 2010 were the same pace as your marathon...


                  Feeling the growl again

                    Is there a bit of a paradigm shift going on with regards to easy paces?

                     

                    I just read through this thread about McMillan's paces and a few days ago I watched a very interesting video from Salazar. http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=77612

                     

                    Basically he says he thinks some people run their easy runs TOO slowly on their easy days and you can run moderately hard and still recover if you build up to it gradually. He says that you're supposed to be tired while training but you can run moderately hard on your easy days and he doesn't think running too hard on your easy days causes injuries.

                     

                    http://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=13&do=videos&video_id=77613

                    This is another video addressing the subject where he mentions someone running 5min miles for a 5k shouldn't be running slower than 6:40/mile for easy pace, so around ~1:40 per miles slower than 5k pace. He also says training should be hard and you're supposed to be tired and that it doesn't matter how you feel on easy days as long as you're hitting workouts. So basically it seems like it's okay to push it in easy runs and feel rough (and break through it, as he says) as long as you're still hitting your workouts. And he also says it'll take about six weeks to break through that increased pace (on easy runs) where you stop feeling so dead all the time.

                     

                    <<snip>>

                     

                    The issue here is that Salazar is not talking about average runners.  He's talking about 15:30 5K runners and faster!

                     

                    Yes, if you are a 15:30 guy (been there) you are going to consider anything easier than 6:40 to be true recovery pace.  Back in the day when I WAS a 15:30 guy I made that exact statement, word-for-word.  And I trained that way.  But people doing that kind of training and running at that kind of speed are in a WAY different spot than your average runner and you can't just lift what they are doing and copy it.  It's a recipe for disaster.  People like that are likely recovering way faster than the average runner could dream of.


                    And as for the whole "Training should be hard and you should be tired...." yes that is true.  But it's a fine line and it's tough to do unless you really, really know yourself.  When I was in my best shape I was tired every day.  But I knew just how much I needed to slow down on my easy runs and still recover, and while I'd start most workouts tired I would get into it and hit them, rinse and repeat.  But that takes a lot of experience on the part of either the runner or a coach.

                     

                    So in short(ish) I don't disagree at all with Salazar.  But you need to be careful how you interpret it, and it's going to be tough for a lot of people to implement.  Despite my experience and conditioning, the second-best conditioned cycle of my career ended in massive over-training, and the best-conditioned cycle of my career ended in a race-induced injury.

                     

                    If you want to get to where he is describing, you need to be mentally tough enough to take the lumps on the way there.  There is going to be a learning curve and you are going to screw up and over-reach.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                       He's talking about 15:30 5K runners and faster!

                       

                      Try 13:30 and faster.

                       

                      To be clear, we're a bunch of hobbyjoggers arguing over possibly the least important aspect of our training (how fast to do our easy runs.)

                      Runners run.


                      Feeling the growl again

                         

                        Try 13:30 and faster.

                         

                        To be clear, we're a bunch of hobbyjoggers arguing over possibly the least important aspect of our training (how fast to do our easy runs.)

                        "This is another video addressing the subject where he mentions someone running 5min miles for a 5k shouldn't be running slower than 6:40/mile for easy pace, so around ~1:40 per miles slower than 5k pace"

                         

                        This is where I was getting it from.  Honestly I haven't watched the video.  I can type and yell at my kids at the same time but not watch a video.  Wink

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                           

                          Try 13:30 and faster.

                           

                          To be clear, we're a bunch of hobbyjoggers arguing over possibly the least important aspect of our training (how fast to do our easy runs.)

                           

                          Speak for yourself!

                          I'm not even a hobbyjogger.  On my run the other day, I got a, "Keep it up!  You can do it! Just stick to it!"  from another runner on the trail. I dream of the day I'm a hobbyjogger Wink

                          Current Weight: 160 lb

                          Goal Weight: 130 lb

                           

                          Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700

                          J-L-C


                            You guys are certainly making some valid points. And while the majority of my post was devoted to Salazar, he doesn't seem to be alone in this advocation of faster easy paces. That's sort of what I was trying at; almost a shift in thinking regarding easy pace.

                             

                            Like I said, first I read it from Canova, then Salazar, and now McMillan has changed easy paces, too. Perhaps there's something to all that. I've read a few people say Daniels' easy paces can be a bit too fast, too.

                             

                            And yeah, we might all be hobby-joggers and all, but do you really think the same principles don't apply?

                             

                            Salazar said Rupp (iirc) avg 4:20 pace for 6 miles (close to 10k, and close to 4:11 5k pace) and runs 5:40 pace easy days, maybe 6 min pace on days he's really tired. So ~1:40. For 15:30 pace guys he says, still, 1:40 pace at the slowest. So even extrapolating that to 6 min or 7 min 5k pace would be... ~1:45-1:55 max slower (I'm really bad at math, so that's just an assumption)?

                             

                            I don't really agree that easy runs are the least important part of training. The vast majority of our runs are easy runs. Probably 50-70% or more for most of us. If we're doing those at a pace that doesn't elicit the appropriate training response, perhaps we are wasting our time? It can be tough to get all these runs in so maximizing all of our training time seems fairly important.

                             

                            With that said, I do agree it'd be tough to implement. And for those with families, working, studying, etc., it's probably not even worth it except for a few specific build-up periods. I don't particularly want to walk in to my classroom exhausted at 9am with 30 kids looking at me. So in that sense, yeah, perhaps ratcheting up the easy paces is a bit of a moot point.

                             

                            I find the idea very interesting, though, and slightly at odds with the maxim I've always heard of keeping easy days easy so you can keep your hard days hard. At least in the upper echelons of the sport that doesn't seem as applicable any more.


                            Mmmmm...beer

                              That's interesting J-L-C, never thought about it that way, but my easy runs are around 1:30-1:40 slower than my 5k pace.

                              -Dave

                              My running blog

                              2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                                 4:11 5k pace) and runs 5:40 pace easy days, maybe 6 min pace on days he's really tired. So ~1:40.

                                 

                                Let's see.... his easy pace is 69.7 to 73.8% of his 5K race pace.

                                 

                                For a 7 minute per mile 5K runner, that equates to a 10 minute to 9:29 easy pace.

                                 

                                For an 8 minute per mile 5K runner, that equates to 11:28 to 10:50 easy pace.


                                ...depending on how you look at it.  Wink

                                 

                                 

                                For a 8 minute per mile 5K runner...

                                RRCA  [Coaching Certification Manual]  =   10:31-11:27

                                Daniels [Daniels Running Formula] = 10:35

                                McMillan [McMillanrunning] = 9:10 - 10:09 easy, (10:16-11:11 recovery)

                                 

                                For a 7 minute per mile 5K runner...

                                RRCA = 9:12-10:01

                                Daniels = 9:17

                                McMillan = 8:03 - 9:06 easy (9:12 to 9:53 recovery)

                                Current Weight: 160 lb

                                Goal Weight: 130 lb

                                 

                                Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700