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On base building (Read 347 times)

    The term "super-compensation" is a common term for the concept of adaptation.  When you "workout", it actually lowers the current fitness level because workout is actually "breaking-down" process.  As you "recover", it'll come back again and it actually surpasses the (previously) "current" fitness level and it goes beyond that.  THAT is super-compensation; in other words, training effect.

     

    Nobby makes a good point here, even if we are getting more technical than most of us need to. The super-compensation (a.k.a. training effect) that he's talking about here happens from all workouts, even easy runs. It's just that with easy runs, the recovery period during which super-compensation happens takes place in under 24 hours (maybe as little as a few hours for really fit runners) whereas from hard workouts it can take a couple/few days--or more if it's too big a workout. As Nobby said this super-compensation happens at different rates for different energy systems and for different types of stress. The way you keep building fitness is by timing workouts so the next one is near the peak of the super-compensation curve, not waiting until your body as over-recovered and gone back to previous fitness.

     

    This is why training can feel like such a grind at times--you never really feel great because just when you're about fully recovered from your last workout, you hit yourself with another one. If you are doing it right, you spend most of your time in a sort of half-fatigued recovery state. This is also why most of us can't train hard year round without burning out--you need some periods during the year to just relax mentally and physically and run when you feel like it, or not.

     

    And I never thought about it but it's entirely possible that Crash Davis "borrowed" that quote from Bruce Lee.

    Runners run.

      With 25 years of experience and mistakes, I'm closer to learning my lesson.  The lesson is to listen to your body.  Everyone's body tells them different things.

       

      After a day like yesterday (long run that came out ahead of pace because I felt great) when waking up with tired legs, I know an easy run is better than nothing.  If I take the day off I may still carry some soreness into tomorrow and I will have done no good for myself.  If I can get in an easy 40-45 minutes tonight, I will feel great tomorrow.  The hardest part is putting on my shoes and taking the first 10 steps out the door.  If I can't hold myself back today for some stupid reason, I'm going to be more sore tomorrow and probably should take the following day off...that's the part I've had trouble learning.

       

      Some people have to build mileage and back all the intensity out of their training to do so.  Some seem to be immune and can still carry the tempo and intervals forward with the increased mileage while suffering no ill effects.

       

      Part of my issue is that I don't think I do enough miles yet and the harder workouts affect me more than if I was doing more mileage overall.  I am trying to build my average/week slowly.  My experience is I have to back off the intensity some when I do so because I will either burn out or get hurt if I don't.  More often its because I start to see the improvement, get excited, and over do it.  I've done this correctly just once in my life and it resulted in a lifetime best at a surprisingly short distance - 3000m.

         Nobby makes a good point here, even if we are getting more technical than most of us need to. The super-compensation (a.k.a. training effect) that he's talking about here happens from all workouts, even easy runs. It's just that with easy runs, the recovery period during which super-compensation happens takes place in under 24 hours (maybe as little as a few hours for really fit runners) whereas from hard workouts it can take a couple/few days--or more if it's too big a workout. As Nobby said this super-compensation happens at different rates for different energy systems and for different types of stress. The way you keep building fitness is by timing workouts so the next one is near the peak of the super-compensation curve, not waiting until your body as over-recovered and gone back to previous fitness.

         

        Mikey:

         

        According to this particular "study", for example, Intensive Anaerobic Training (such as interval training) takes 32 hours to recover (back to previous fitness level) and the peak of Super-Compensation occurs 48 hours after the workout.  Stands to reason it's a good idea to do it every other day, not every day or once a week (or course, it just won't work out that simple in real life...).  Intensive Aerobic Training (such as long runs) takes 12 hours to recover, 24 hours for Super-Compensation to occur--here my argument actually is that, if it takes more than a day to recover from your "long run", then it's above your head (which, so happens, is the same argument as Peter Snell), which, of course, we know a lot of today's marathon runners having to take 3 or 4 days to recover from their long runs...  Extensive Aerobic Training, which this guy terms as "regeneration" workout which is probably considered as recovery run, takes 6 hours to recover (it's kinda funny to talk about recovering from a recovery run...), 12 hours for Super-Compensation.  The only question I'd have with this study actually is; supposedly, the time they do all these workouts, it's supposed to be "near maximum exertion" of that particular workout.  I'm not sure what it means as "maximum exertion" of recovery run...???  But I think you can get the idea.


        And in the end...

          I love the sig line on a friend's account at another message board... "That's all training is. Stress. Recover. Improve. You'd think any damn fool could do it." I'm another passionate advocate for recovery runs (specifically doubles). In a peak training cycle I'll typically run doubles of 4-7 and 7-15 miles. So, anywhere between 11 and 22 miles per day. The runs between 4 and 7 miles are just light jogs but the pace varies based largely on what I ran the run before (or what I am planning to run next). The 7 to 15 mile runs are whatever mixture of easy / hard I decide to do. Some days, I start a 4-7 mile run and my legs feel like cement, but by the end they are "lighter" again. For me, those shorter jogs are necessary. Specifically to the OP's question, I advise runners to never increase quantity and quality at the same time. That to often leads to burn out or injury. Just add the easy miles now and keep the same amount of speed work. Another thing I notice is that many runners do way more speed work than necessary to accomplish their goal(s). I see no reason to ever have 3 hard efforts in a week (I'm not counting a long run as a hard effort).

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          The GITM is moot.


          Joggaholic

             All due respect, however, Wings seems to like slapping fancy terms together to make a simple matter a hell of a lot more complicated, I don't know, to make it sound fancier or to make himself look sophisticated...  I don't think too many runners, or even coaches, look at the actual workout and go like; "Ooooh, I'm going beyond my previous fitness level...I must be super-compensating...!"  Besides, it's not much of something to "manipulate" like "If I workout 3 times a day, that would speed up my super-compensation time..."  THAT, as a matter of fact, is how many of us get in trouble.  "IF we speed up my runs, I'll get faster..." "IF I increase the duration of my fast runs at goal marathon pace, I can reach that goal..." "IF I systematically increase my long run, 26-miles will become easier..." "IF I keep lifting a baby cow, some day I can lift up a full-grown bull..."  It doesn't quite work out that way.  In fact, I've seen a very nice chart, done by a German physiologist, showing how long it would take to recover (hence, reach this super-compensation state) for different workouts at different energy systems...  The concept actually becomes rather important when you think about the optimum training effect; because, after time, it diminishes and goes back down to "previous" current fitness level--meaning, you'll lose training effect

             

            Thank you Nobby for all the explanations in the thread. As someone trying to improve from being a novice runner, I'm am prone to reading and picking up terms and concepts I have no complete understanding of and asking silly questions about them (ie "make a simple matter a hell of a lot more complicated", or the other way around). If I knew what I was talking about, I wouldn't be asking the questions. Smile Thanks again!

              ...The hardest part is putting on my shoes and taking the first 10 steps out the door.  If I can't hold myself back today for some stupid reason, I'm going to be more sore tomorrow and probably should take the following day off...that's the part I've had trouble learning.

               

              The best thing for this, if you can get to it, is to get decent running shoes with velcro "lacing".  Here's the one I have from Japan:

               

              As you know, the best (or worst?) time to convince yourself not to go run is when you sit down on the steps, lacing up your shoes.  At least with me, that's when I talk myself out of it.  With this kind of shoes, you won't have time!! ;o)


              A Saucy Wench

                 

                The best thing for this, if you can get to it, is to get decent running shoes with velcro "lacing".  Here's the one I have from Japan:

                 

                 

                As you know, the best (or worst?) time to convince yourself not to go run is when you sit down on the steps, lacing up your shoes.  At least with me, that's when I talk myself out of it.  With this kind of shoes, you won't have time!! ;o)

                 

                huh.  for me the time I talk myself out of it is when the alarm goes off and it still has a 4 as the first digit and it is dark and I can hear the rain pounding on the roof.  If you have some shoes that will physically drag me out from under the covers THOSE would be worth their weight in gold.

                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

                  Not my intention but so many times I'd fall asleep on a couch while checking my pulse on my wrist...  Many times my wife would come home from her run and find me lying on a couch, holding one of my wrist sleeping, drooling...

                   

                  huh.  for me the time I talk myself out of it is when the alarm goes off and it still has a 4 as the first digit and it is dark and I can hear the rain pounding on the roof.  If you have some shoes that will physically drag me out from under the covers THOSE would be worth their weight in gold.

                  One of my all-time favorite TV commercials is that of Nike years ago...Joan Benoit gets up and gets ready for her morning run.  She opens the door and it's pouring outside...  She closes the door...and her rain gears are hung behind the door.  Anything to eliminate excuses...

                     

                    The best thing for this, if you can get to it, is to get decent running shoes with velcro "lacing".  Here's the one I have from Japan:

                     

                    As you know, the best (or worst?) time to convince yourself not to go run is when you sit down on the steps, lacing up your shoes.  At least with me, that's when I talk myself out of it.  With this kind of shoes, you won't have time!! ;o)

                     

                    Don't you need to be under 12 or over 70 to wear velcro?  Big grin

                    Julia1971


                      I'm glad I asked about "supercompensation". (It still sounds like something Wall Street executives ask for rather than something running related). Thanks Nobby and Mikey for explaining it.

                      Run the mile you are in.

                        This is a fun thread.

                         

                        Base building is building your foundation. It's really hard to understand what's going on in base building if we look at what's going on from run-to-run, which is sorta what folks have been doing in this thread. Yeah, who knows what's going in in the body in 24 or 48 hours? I certainly don't. It actually doesn't matter, especially not in the base phase. Trying to understand the base phase in this way is like trying to build a house while looking through a magnifying glass. You are seeing knots in boards and grain in wood instead of lumber and bricks and ceiling tile.

                         

                        If we want to understand base training, it's better to look at it in 6 week chunks. That's the way to understand bodily changes in training, seems to me. Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy. You want to build your base: think about the runner you want to be in 6 weeks. Think about the foundation you want to have. And then just start laying bricks.

                         

                        The body is a complex system, and while the training-breakdown-supercompensation model is somewhat instructive, I think we all know and feel in training that the body tends to "snap" into shape and kinda leap from plateau to plateau instead of taking a linear progressive line. We want training to be a ladder, but it's a crazy spiral. Or, like Nobby said, a finger pointing away to the moon.

                         

                        That's why, to me, the most important thing in base building is not the type of runs that you do, but the attitude that you take toward them. The very best goal you can set for yourself in base training is run with a little bit more focus. Don't just run, BUILD. What that means for each runner will be different. For some it will be about getting more focused about your schedule so you can do more running. For others it will be snapping out of the slog they've been practicing for years. For others it will be about consciously building in new types of workouts. Pick one thing you want to accomplish and build it.

                         

                        The crazy thing about your body is that it really wants to be fit. Just feed it, move it, believe in it, and it will do good things for you.

                          The body is a complex system, and while the training-breakdown-supercompensation model is somewhat instructive, I think we all know and feel in training that the body tends to "snap" into shape and kinda leap from plateau to plateau instead of taking a linear progressive line. We want training to be a ladder, but it's a crazy spiral. Or, like Nobby said, a finger pointing away to the moon.

                           

                          The thing that is fascinating to me is that different systems improve at different rates.  Some like muscles improve rapidly, others like building capillaries takes a very long time.  And the interactions of the different rates of improvement can affect your training.  I have been told that muscles improve faster than connecting tissues like ligaments.  The imbalance in the early buildup phase can cause injuries like pulled or torn ligaments.   Because your muscles are stronger, you feel like you can do more than your body is actually ready for.


                          Mostly Harmless

                            Thanks to this thread, I just had a few light bulbs go off over my head.  Thanks!

                             "Address the process rather than the outcome.
                            Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp

                            MrNamtor


                            DON'T TREAD ON ME

                              Thanks to this thread, I just had a few light bulbs go off over my head.  Thanks!

                               

                              make sure that's not a seizure. Because I had one midway through the thread.

                              zonykel


                                 

                                The best thing for this, if you can get to it, is to get decent running shoes with velcro "lacing". 

                                Velcro? No, I don't think so.

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