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Advice on speedwork for upcoming 10 miler in 10 weeks (Read 1004 times)


Feeling the growl again

     But, the training plan just says "1200m or mile".  I used to read the "or" as a choice - like, if I could gut out the miles, I should do them.  But after finally reading the book, I realized he meant someone as slow as I am should be doing 1200s instead.

     

    One way to look at it is time-based vs distance-based.  At one point (no longer!!!) I had no issues doing 4Xmile in 4:55/mile.  If someone running mile repeats in 9:00 were to see that and say "hey, that's a good workout" and do it themselves, they'd really be running as almost as long each interval as I would for a 3000m segment...and I'd only do 2-3X3000m for a workout, and would take much longer recovery!  So be careful to consider your speed relative to others when you pick workouts by looking at plans or other peoples' training.  This principle applies to tempo workouts too.  Your body cares about effort level and time at that effort....it does not have an internal odometer for distance.  In fact doing time-based intervals on the roads instead of trying to get to a track is perfectly acceptable (some people call these fartleks).

    "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

     


    Prince of Fatness

      One way to look at it is time-based vs distance-based.  At one point (no longer!!!) I had no issues doing 4Xmile in 4:55/mile.  If someone running mile repeats in 9:00 were to see that and say "hey, that's a good workout" and do it themselves, they'd really be running as almost as long each interval as I would for a 3000m segment...and I'd only do 2-3X3000m for a workout, and would take much longer recovery!  So be careful to consider your speed relative to others when you pick workouts by looking at plans or other peoples' training.  This principle applies to tempo workouts too.  Your body cares about effort level and time at that effort....it does not have an internal odometer for distance.  In fact doing time-based intervals on the roads instead of trying to get to a track is perfectly acceptable (some people call these fartleks).

       

      This is another reason that I switched to doing intervals by time, it allows me to scale workouts suggested by the faster folks.

       

      In spaniel's example above say that he is doing 4 x mile.  For argument sake he is running them at HM effort, and for him that is 5 minute miles.  So each segment is 5 minutes.  I would switch that to run 4 x 5 minutes at HM effort.  So we each are running 20 minutes at HM effort level with basically the same recoveries.  In theory as my fitness improves I would be running further in those 20 minutes.

       

      It's not perfect and I would need adjust sometimes but I found doing this a great way to get my feet wet with new interval workouts.

      Semi-retired.


      Feeling the growl again

        This is another reason that I switched to doing intervals by time, it allows me to scale workouts suggested by the faster folks.

         

        In spaniel's example above say that he is doing 4 x mile.  For argument sake he is running them at HM effort, and for him that is 5 minute miles.  So each segment is 5 minutes.  I would switch that to run 4 x 5 minutes at HM effort.  So we each are running 20 minutes at HM effort level with basically the same recoveries.  In theory as my fitness improves I would be running further in those 20 minutes.

         

        It's not perfect and I would need adjust sometimes but I found doing this a great way to get my feet wet with new interval workouts.

         

        FWIW that was somewhere between 5K and 8K pace at the time....the fitter you are the higher intensity you can manage and still have it be a non-overtaxing effort.  Starting out at HM pace and working your way up is an excellent strategy.

        "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

         

          Nobby, it's possible to promote your product without pretending that the majority of runners don't know what they are doing. There was one poster who posted some workouts that were on the hard side, but his intent was reasonable. Everyone else on the thread posted reasonable workouts. Thank god that Milk Truck posted something a little out there so that we could have some training talk on this board for a change.

           

          If you are thinking like a coach, you would drop the sarcasm and the outrage. Also, I disagree; I don't think it's possible to take the "guess work" out of coaching. The "guess work" is the creative side of the sport. Training is not a science.

           

          Finally, you rip everyone for giving advice on speedwork when that's what the OP asked for. I checked the OP's log, and I didn't see anything there. I didn't make any assumptions that the OP knew -- or didn't know -- what he was talking about. Mikey basically answered the question as fully as you can on a message board, but since some of us like to geek out about training we chimed in with a bit more specificity. All of the "taboo" that you talk about, how people don't want to talk about getting faster -- well maybe it has something to do with the tone that you are taking right now towards people who are just looking to learn something.

           

          Jeff:

           

          So are you criticizing my actual advice or my tone?

           

           

          And here's to Spaniel:

          1)  If people don't know how or why they are doing interval training, is it really safe to assume that they can accurately gauge effort the way you want them to?  That's exactly WHY it becomes a race field.  It helps to have a starting point so they don't start off WAY too hard with them...

           

          I don't understand your argument here??? 

          2)  OK, so it's wrong to use formulas to determine interval pace...BUT...

           

          I never said it's wrong to use formulas; we all have a formula.  You have a formula, I have a formula, Jeff has a formula...  It sounds "zen" to say, well, coaching is an art or we're all individual...  It is so true.  But so what's your point?  What are we doing here then?  Aren's we all giving our formula here?  I said I don't like "add 20 seconds per mile to your current 5k race pace" which I believe is probably the most commonly used "formula" just like "do 3 X 20-miler" formula.  I don't like these formulas.

          3)  ....now you suggest a formula?  Huh?  As Jeff said, you can't "take the guesswork" out of it.  That is why people have coaches.  There is no formula; everyone is different.  Formulas only provide a starting point to figure things out.  Any coach that says their formula will tell a given runner exactly what they should be doing is not a good coach, IMHO.  I agree with the "start at a lower effort and work your way up" completely.

           

          ...but here our formula is better! ;o)  Well, we all feel that way, don't we?  Again, it's easy for us, any of us, to say, well, it's an art form, it's not science...  Well, that pretty much sums it all up that we can't do anything about all those poor unfortunate soul who lurk around the internet forum because we can't give them any formula or advice based on our own experience...  I happen to believe there are the right formula and the wrong formulas.  We put together this "formula" that we happen to believe work best and we had worked the last 5 years trying to put them all together in the web format.  It's still somewhat cookie-cutter formula; I admit that.  And that's WHY we still need a coach to modify some.  But we still believe this is far better than most number-based "formula" that would tell you, someone who runs 100 miles a week and can run sub-5 minute pace for 5 or 6 X 1 mile intervals and try to give the SAME formula to someone who runs 20 miles a week at more than twice slower than you.  If you think giving someone 80% of their longest run in the past few months as their tempo run, go ahead and do it.  I don't think it's right and I don't bite my tongue to sugar-coat it.  I'm sorry if I sounded "mad" or "outrage" but I feel it's despicable to give such a "formula" to someone who tends to run their training even faster than his race.

          4)  Adjusting interval paces and recovery times can change a singular workout (say, 8X400) into very different things.  Depending on your goal, you may work towards different things by adjusting the pace and recovery in the workout.  The conditioning and capability of the runner may also affect the need for recovery.  The goal of an interval isn't always to just "run them faster", if that was the case we would always take long recoveries.  In your 800m example why not take 1200m recovery so you can run even faster?

           

          I'm not sure if you're seriously asking this question.  To be honest with you, I feel all I'm getting from you and Jeff lately is argument for the sake of argument.  Training-wise, I don't see much different from what you or Jeff would say.  So are you actually suggesting having 1200m recovery for 800m interval is better IF you want to run them faster?  I thought you had that whole thread about intervals and I thought you did a pretty darn good job explaining.  But I'm now not sure if you understand the whole principles of intervals, asking such a question.  I just had a 2.5-day Lydiard clinic in Boulder a few weeks ago and we had a whole hour to talk about interval training.  I don't intend to do this here so I put it in a form of "formula" because I personally felt far too many people "feel good" by cutting down recovery intervals.  I had a whole discussion about this with Peter Snell a few years back.  If you believe cutting your recovery is better, fine, go ahead and do it.  You can just spill it out and say, "Nobby, you're wrong.  It's better to shorten the interval recovery..."  

          5)  Intervals do not equal form training.  Intervals can actually cause people to cement bad form as you typically accumulate fatigue and this often leads to the use of bad form.  The type of "speed training" which best helps people with form issues is drills/strides/accelerations, where you practice running fast and smooth with good form over distances short enough that fatigue doesn't muck it up.  Perhaps you are using those terms interchangeably and that is why I am confused?  Putting your last two posts together it appears you are using a very particular definition of speed training in this thread, but are assuming that is the only one.  It is an ill-defined term; IMHO one can't leap to conclusions on what is meant when the term "speed training" is thrown out there as it can basically mean any sort of faster-than-tempo, intermittent training depending upon context.  (This is part of the reason for the tread MrFinn linked, to help people think of the multitude of things "speed training"/intervals can be used for)  MTA:  In context of the original question, 2.5 months to train for a 10-miler, I would argue that your idea of "speed training" is not really what was being asked.  This is the perfect time for high-end aerobic training...shorter recovery intervals.

           

          Where did I ever say to do interval training for speed development?  Again, we had a whole page of presentation telling the audience that "Interval training is NOT speed training".  Listen, you're absolutely correct (see, here I'm just baffled because I really feel you, or Jeff, and I have pretty much the same thinking on training and I just don't understand why you seem to enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing...); "Intervals can actually cause people to cement bad form..."  Why is that?  When would that happen?  WHEN PEOPLE DO TOO MUCH INTERVALS TOO FAST, wouldn't it?  So are you suggesting it's a good idea to have someone whose longest run is 10-miles to do 5 X 1 mile intervals at "20-seconds per mile slower than 5k race pace" type of interval workout?  Or starting to cut down recovery intervals?  So by the time he would start the next rep, he's still be exhausted?  So if the OP asked for "speed training" on here, what are we talking about?  Are we talking about interval training, which I actually won't quite classify as "speed training" for the very reason you're arguing here; or sprint type training, such as 5 X 200m I had suggested in my earlier post?  So then what about advising this guy to do 80% of his longest run as tempo run?  Is it "speed training"?  What is YOUR point here?

          ...Jeff and I have 5K PRs in the same neighborhood.  We used vastly different means to get there.  If either of us had followed the other's formula we would have done much worse as we are very different runners who respond to different training stimuli.  So to a generic request we may give very different answers....neither is wrong, honestly we don't know who is right until the runner themselves figure out which applies best to them.

          Here, again, I feel like both Jeff and you are saying there's no hope of any of us to come here and give any advice because "coaching is an art form" and "everybody is different so we can formularize anything"???  

            So, ultimately though....if you haven't been running your whole life and can just know by looking at a workout on paper that it is right for you, the best way to get an appropriate workout is to sign up with something like Nobby's Running Wizard so you can get taylored plans to your fitness level and ability? Basically, I'm asking if there is anything that would help a person like me be able to say, "oh wow....5xmile repeats is way over my head, I'd better cut it down to 3"  I think that I am a runner who tends to not really know exactly how far to push myself, I do think that for interval work I should feel a bit of discomfort! So I have a hard time deciding when I am just working hard or when I pushing myself to far.

             

            I am loving this thread discussion though! Probably one of the best for threads that I have read to be able to personally apply. Thanks to all of you!

            Here's my "formula" I would give to someone like you.  I'm probably pretty much like you; who tend to run my intervals too fast.  Try ladder.  Go to the track (doesn't have to be but track works best).  After warming up, run 2 X 100m with 100m recovery (1 lap around the track) + 2 X 200m and take a full lap recovery after the second 200 + 2 X 400m with a lap recovery jog but take 2 lap recovery after the second 400 + 2 X 800m with 2 lap recovery jog + 2 X 400m + 2 X 200m + 2 X 100m (same recovery as before).  You want to get going fast and you can run 100 fast without overtaxing yourself.  Then the distance would double so go easier...  2 X 800 would be a tough one but only 2 of them so hang in there.  And as the distance comes down, you can start to run faster again if you want.  Top it off with a good "feel-good" 2 X 100m and finish the workout feeling good.  You'd be running total of close to 3-mile (fast part).  If you want, refer RW's interval pace chart for all these distances except for 100.  Chances are, you'll go a bit faster side but it shouldn't be overwhelming psychologically.

              +100.  I have utmost respect for Nobby and I hope after all these years that he knows it.

               

              Most of us have made posts we wish we had phrased differently or came across a way other than intented (I know I have).

              Thanks but you don't need to try to patronize me.  Like I said, I think you and Jeff, along with Mikey, are probably the most experienced and knowledgeable people here.  But lately from you and Jeff, I feel I get argument for the sake of argument without yes or no.  People here look up to you guys.  I wish sometimes you guys just come out and say, "Nobby, you're wrong!"  That would take care of things a lot better than throwing some bogus question like "So doing 1200m recovery is better?" or "purpose of interval is not necessarily running them faster..."  Cut the crap and just spit it out.  Sure, I know sometimes I come out as an a$$hole or "outrage" but, surely, I cannot be as sarcastic as someone like Srlopez or Trent!! ;o)

               

              By the way, besides above those 3, I think Ennay and Zoomie are some of the wisest people.  Just to add to the list...

               

              PS: And DoppleBock!!

                If I am having to take a walk recovery instead of a jog, am I running my intervals too fast?  I can run them at consistent pace at recovery greater than or equal time to faster running, but with the recovery at a walk. I've heard it being argued both ways as to how you recover does not matter as long as you do (walk/stand around/jog/pick flowers), and others saying recover at a jog. 


                an amazing likeness

                  H-Feet,


                  Here's how one of the experienced RA folks who was giving me some advice on intervals described the recoveries:

                   

                  "...recovery means recovery.  Like, jogging just enough to keep moving and get keep the blood clearing the crap out of your legs and no faster.  Looks like your recovery jogs were at 8min pace?  As an example, even though I USED to do those at sub-5 pace we'd only cover 1/4 mile during the 3min recovery....12min pace..."

                   

                  My approach is that if I'm not recovered from the last interval before the next one, I either didn't do the recovery slow enough, or over ran the previous interval beyond its intended level of effort.

                  Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

                    Jeff:

                     

                    So are you criticizing my actual advice or my tone?

                     

                     

                    Pretty much just the tone, but these things can't be separated absolutely.

                     

                    I guess I think that most people aren't trying to take shortcuts or do less with more or "show off" with big workouts. Sure, that happens sometimes. But mostly people are trying to do things the right way but don't know how. So, that's why they get too excited and want to brag when a workout goes well -- and maybe too disappointed when it doesn't go well. I guess as a coach -- and Lydiard being a prime example here -- the most important thing is to work with the athlete. Sometimes that means giving the athlete a kick in the ass and saying: "Quit trying to make a great log and worry more about getting from A to B." Sometimes it means taking a gentler approach. I thought you came on too strong here.

                     

                    As for the art of coaching, certainly there is some epistemological space between absolute certainty and not being able to say anything at all! As the great coach William James once said, the empirical attitude says that we can know, but we can never know that we know. Is that zen enough for you?

                     

                    Certainly Running Wizard -- from what I know about it -- is built on solid principles, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an excellent start for thinking about how to train. But it really would have to be a Wizard to take all the guess work out of it! I think we agree on this, and probably I should have been so picky on the way you phrased this.

                      If I am having to take a walk recovery instead of a jog, am I running my intervals too fast?  I can run them at consistent pace at recovery greater than or equal time to faster running, but with the recovery at a walk. I've heard it being argued both ways as to how you recover does not matter as long as you do (walk/stand around/jog/pick flowers), and others saying recover at a jog. 

                      HappyFeet:

                       

                      Actually, there IS a workout that would call for a loooong recovery or standing still/laying down recovery.  Then it becomes more of "repetition" such as 3 X 3k with 20-minutes REST.  The idea of "interval" actually is incomplete recovery.  You need to start the next fast run BEFORE you're completely recovered.  A good gauge, I'm sure you've heard of this before, is when your HR comes back down to 120bpm (I personally seem to do well even if it's 140...).  If it's not back down, you are not quite recovered and you should just call it a day.  The advantage of jogging recovery is that you're actually flushing all the waste products out of your system and oxygenating your body while recovering.  Walking, while it feels like more rest, won't do that.  My argument about run-walk program is that, while walking, their HR comes down quite a bit more than they think--too much.  In other words, it's not really don't your body much good.  

                       

                      My rule of thumb (formula?) is that, as long as you can do the fast segments well, it probably won't matter that much whether or not you jog or walk but you probably want somewhere around 2-5 minutes of recovery.  Anything beyond 5 minutes, your lactate level comes down too low and it won't be as effective--the purpose of interval training is to get your body used to over-flow of lactate.  If you're using a longer distance such as a mile, you probably don't want to use longer than 5 minutes recovery because it won't affect your buffer system as well if it takes longer than 5 minutes particularly you're not running them too fast.  I would take more than 2 minutes because, anything less than that would be too taxing.  If you ARE taking less than 2 minutes, as Spaniel had said, then the purpose of the workout could be different.

                       

                      Other indications to know when you've done enough (this is why I came back to this thread) is, if you're timing yourself, when you feel the good form is going out the window while the time had started to fall.  In other words, if you're feeling a struggle to maintain the same speed, it's time to stop.  Maybe one second or 2, if it comes back the next time without much effort, should be fine but if it really start to fall and you need to keep it up by gritting your teeth and clinching your fists, stop it.  You want to continue this type of workout (intervals) for 20-50 minutes including recovery jog in order to achieve training effect.  If you run them too fast, or recovery is not adequate, that you have to finish up (or above mentioned is happening) in 15-minutes, you're above your head.  Slow down.

                        Pretty much just the tone, but these things can't be separated absolutely.

                         

                        I guess I think that most people aren't trying to take shortcuts or do less with more or "show off" with big workouts. Sure, that happens sometimes. But mostly people are trying to do things the right way but don't know how. So, that's why they get too excited and want to brag when a workout goes well -- and maybe too disappointed when it doesn't go well. I guess as a coach -- and Lydiard being a prime example here -- the most important thing is to work with the athlete. Sometimes that means giving the athlete a kick in the ass and saying: "Quit trying to make a great log and worry more about getting from A to B." Sometimes it means taking a gentler approach. I thought you came on too strong here.

                         

                        As for the art of coaching, certainly there is some epistemological space between absolute certainty and not being able to say anything at all! As the great coach William James once said, the empirical attitude says that we can know, but we can never know that we know. Is that zen enough for you?

                         

                        Certainly Running Wizard -- from what I know about it -- is built on solid principles, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an excellent start for thinking about how to train. But it really would have to be a Wizard to take all the guess work out of it! I think we agree on this, and probably I should have been so picky on the way you phrased this.

                        Good; that's what I thought.  Not that I wouldn't like your love (not that I need it from you either!), I was more curious if you're against my training "principles" or not.

                         

                        Yes, that's zen enough for me and, also to add one last thing, in your last post, I totally agree that this thread sort of brought us back to "training" talk, didn't it? ;o)

                          Thanks MT and Nobby, that was very helpful.   

                           

                          Never did any interval longer than 5 minutes and I think the recovery for that was 4 minutes . Most shorter duration intervals have equal time (or slightly longer) rest/recovery, almost never shorter than the running interval. 


                          Prince of Fatness

                            Never did any interval longer than 5 minutes and I think the recovery for that was 4 minutes . Most shorter duration intervals have equal time (or slightly longer) rest/recovery, almost never shorter than the running interval. 

                             

                            Sort of on topic with your question ....

                             

                            If running your recovery jogs too fast becomes an issue (it was for me) what I started doing after each interval was slowing down to a walk, just a few steps, then pick up the jog.  I found that I took the jog slower that way.

                            Semi-retired.

                              Since you aren't posting about gardening or basketweaving or whatnot is it safe to assume you are running again?

                               


                              Prince of Fatness

                                Since you aren't posting about gardening or basketweaving or whatnot is it safe to assume you are running again?

                                 

                                Well I never really stopped, but yeah I am back running sort of regular again (if that is what about 30 mpw is).

                                Semi-retired.

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