How much is it realistic to improve? (Read 3327 times)

    I am sure Nobby will come along and answer you, but there is a reason that the longest long run is 9 weeks before your goal race. That is the end of the aerobic phase and begins the hill phase where you will be working on other components (i.e strength over aerobic after completion of the aerobic development phase).  The body can absorb only so much stimulus at a time, and increasing the long run while also trying to get the hill work done may not let you complete the strength component to the optimal extent by not recovering enough for the hill workouts and speed workouts later or leaving you more tired than necessary.  

     

    This plan or any other plan if well constructed gets you to peak on a certain day and interfering with it may get sub optimal results.  Staying sharp and lowering fatigue close to the race is what lets us hit our target. Trust a plan, stick to it the best you can keeping in mind how your body feels, weather conditions, life stresses etc and you'll have your best race.

    HappyFeet:

     

    We could hire you as our spokesperson!! ;o)  Ditto to your reply too.  Many people try to introduce quality AND quantity and introduce risk of getting injured or getting sick.  You may note that, once you start doing hills and PCR (our term for one of tempo runs), the long run pace will slow down too.  Once you start intervals, you'll slow down even more.  By then, your long run is not longer "developmental" but merely "maintenance".  

      Thanks!  Where did that plan come from?  I really appreciate the advice.  Having said that, I still can't get my head around only running 15k as the longest run in prep for a half marathon.  I did 18k as the longest run prior to my last half, and I didn't really feel like that was enough.  On the other hand, I had very little running experience, and arguably shouldn't have been running a half at that stage at all.  I'm sure all of the wonderful advice you people have been giving me will sink in eventually. :-) 

       

      This morning, I went out for a 13km run.  I did the whole thing at an easy pace, and felt so good at the end that I decided to tack on an extra kilometre at the end (although I estimated that distance wrong, and it ended up being 13.79km in total).  The average pace was 7:49, which is faster than I would have expected, but I was consciously slowing myself down most of the way (and I didn't have my GPS, so didn't work out the pace til I got home).  It would have put me at the 14km point well under 2 hours.  That was particularly encouraging to be able to do even taking it easy, because there's a 2 hour cut-off on getting to the 14km point in the half I'm doing in October, as the Harbour bridge closes to runners and re-opens to traffic shortly thereafter.  It was also the first time since I've started upping the distances that I felt like running 21km would be doable - like it would have been possible to keep going for another 7km if I needed to.  And I'm a little sore now, but nothing like I used to be when I was doing longer distances earlier in the year. :-)

       

      Samantha

        Thanks!  Where did that plan come from?  I really appreciate the advice.  Having said that, I still can't get my head around only running 15k as the longest run in prep for a half marathon.  I did 18k as the longest run prior to my last half, and I didn't really feel like that was enough.  On the other hand, I had very little running experience, and arguably shouldn't have been running a half at that stage at all.  I'm sure all of the wonderful advice you people have been giving me will sink in eventually. :-) 

         

        This morning, I went out for a 13km run.  I did the whole thing at an easy pace, and felt so good at the end that I decided to tack on an extra kilometre at the end (although I estimated that distance wrong, and it ended up being 13.79km in total).  The average pace was 7:49, which is faster than I

        would have expected, but I was consciously slowing myself down most of the way (and I didn't have my GPS, so didn't work out the pace til I got home).  It would have put me at the 14km point well under 2 hours.  That was particularly encouraging to be able to do even taking it easy, because there's a 2 hour cut-off on getting to the 14km point in the half I'm doing in October, as the Harbour bridge closes to runners and re-opens to traffic shortly thereafter.  It was also the first time since I've started upping the distances that I felt like running 21km would be doable - like it would have been possible to keep going for another 7km if I needed to.  And I'm a little sore now, but nothing like I used to be when I was doing longer distances earlier in the year. :-)

         

        Samantha

         

        Long run length isn't everything necessarily, things like global volume also can play a significant role. Someone running 100km a week with a long run of 18km is going to be much better prepared for a half marathon is most cases than someone running 50km a week with a few 20-25km long run.  

         

        I'm not entirely sure what your mileage was before that last half marathon but I would venture to guess the reason you didn't feel the 18km was enough didn't have much to do with the long run length as much as it did with the overall volume of running. 25-45 kpw just isn't a lot of running to prepare someone for a half marathon. 

         

        I've noticed this alot in my own training as well, back when I started and was running 50 kpw a run of 15km was a pretty darn long run. Now that I am running closer to 100-120 kpw a run of 15km isn't even remotely long, it's just a typical aerobic run. 

         

        I guess the bottom line is that nothing magic (other than self-confidence) happens in the body when you cover 21km in training. Suddenly covering that distance doesn't cause any unique changes or dramatic adaptations that suddenly allow a person to cover the 21km distance any easier. Arguably, it can even be less efficient for training because it can be so stressful that the recovery time from the run takes several days or more, compromising other important workouts. 

        They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

          I've just looked it up, and the last time, my highest amount of K's in a week was 35 (the week of the 18km long run).  I was woefully unprepared for that half, and I could definitely feel it, but I'm still glad I did it.  Now, I've got something to improve on. :-)

            Thanks!  Where did that plan come from?

             

            It looks to me like it came from here: www.running-wizard.com

            It should be mathematical, but it's not.

              Thanks!  Where did that plan come from?  I really appreciate the advice.  Having said that, I still can't get my head around only running 15k as the longest run in prep for a half marathon.  I did 18k as the longest run prior to my last half, and I didn't really feel like that was enough.  On the other hand, I had very little running experience, and arguably shouldn't have been running a half at that stage at all.  I'm sure all of the wonderful advice you people have been giving me will sink in eventually. :-) 

               

              This morning, I went out for a 13km run.  I did the whole thing at an easy pace, and felt so good at the end that I decided to tack on an extra kilometre at the end (although I estimated that distance wrong, and it ended up being 13.79km in total).  The average pace was 7:49, which is faster than I would have expected, but I was consciously slowing myself down most of the way (and I didn't have my GPS, so didn't work out the pace til I got home).  It would have put me at the 14km point well under 2 hours.  That was particularly encouraging to be able to do even taking it easy, because there's a 2 hour cut-off on getting to the 14km point in the half I'm doing in October, as the Harbour bridge closes to runners and re-opens to traffic shortly thereafter.  It was also the first time since I've started upping the distances that I felt like running 21km would be doable - like it would have been possible to keep going for another 7km if I needed to.  And I'm a little sore now, but nothing like I used to be when I was doing longer distances earlier in the year. :-)

               

              Samantha

              The plan is something I had put together with Lorraine Moller based on the training method of your fellow countryman, Arthur Lydiard.  We tried to everything he had taught us into a "formula".  

               

              In regards to the long run, consider the fact; when Alberto Salazar ran his first marathon, his long run was 12 miles and, if I remember it correctly, his longest run was 15.  Grete Waitz was the same way--her long run was 12 miles.  Of course the important thing is the fact also that their overall weekly mileage was more like 80-120 miles a week.  I feel there's a huge pit hole where people think a single, or even a series of, long run would suffice and many chase down one or a few super long run and sacrifice the rest of workouts.  If you have to take a day or two off after a single huge effort, then most likely that effort is too much for you.  

               

              Are you ready to run a half marathon?  Probably not.  But a thing that you lack is not necessarily the distance.  The fact you won't get much further beyond 15k is not so much the program is short-coming; but because you are not covering as many kilometers within the suggested duration of the workout (2:30, I believe, is max).  I personally don't buy any program that calls for too many, if not any at all, long run beyond 3 hours.  It may be 28-mile for some people.  It may be 15 or 16 mile for most.  Is it enough?  Distance-wise, it may not appear to be.  But it's the duration of pounding that really kills your legs.  If you're covering a lot of ground but, for some reason, you're not getting faster at all; then chances are that the disadvantage of going so long is overtaking the benefit of long runs.

               

              Here's an article you might be interested: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=23577

                Well, I may be learning the hard way about the dangers of too many long runs. I ran 14k on Friday and actually felt great after, but did 5k on Saturday, which felt terrible. I've had a sore right calf ever since, which has gradually been getting worse instead of better. I had it checked out this morning and was told to do absolutely no running until it heals completely -hopefully a week, but maybe longer. Live and learn.

                  HI again :-)

                   

                  I'm back with an update and a few more questions!  My running has been going pretty well lately.  My calf healed faster than expected, and I haven't had any real problems since.  I'm still struggling with pacing.  I think I'm getting the hang of easy running, but now I'm finding tempo and intervals quite tricky.  I'm running them considerably faster than the random online calculator I used says that I should.  When I tell myself to speed up, I struggle not to speed up too much!  I've bought a Garmin, which I'm quite excited about, so hopefully that will help with the pacing.  I'm still waiting for it to arrive. 

                   

                  One question I have is that I read somewhere that every four weeks you should have a recovery week and cut back the miles by 50%.  Would you all agree with that?  I've found a half marathon plan that fits in well with my schedule and is working well for me.  I only started following it last week, but it's a 12 week plan, the half marathon is just over 13 weeks away, and I'm on week 5 (as that's what best fit in with the training I was already doing).  So, that's really just a long winded way of saying that I have the time left that I could tweak that schedule to add in some recovery weeks (which aren't already built in), and I'm wondering if that's a good idea?  If so, is it best to cut down the length of each individual run, or do less runs in the recovery week? 

                   

                  Also, I've been planning on doing a 10K race five weeks before the half marathon to get some practice racing and figuring out paces, etc.  When I went to register, I saw that there is also a 15km option, and I'm wondering which would be best?  I'm thinking about doing the 15km at half marathon pace to give it a test run....and aim to finish it with enough energy left that I could have kept going for another 6km.  Is that a sensible idea, or is it better to race it properly?  Or to race the 10km, and use those results to calculate a more accurate race pace for the half?

                   

                  Thanks heaps for your help!


                  Feeling the growl again

                    H  I'm still struggling with pacing.  I think I'm getting the hang of easy running, but now I'm finding tempo and intervals quite tricky.  I'm running them considerably faster than the random online calculator I used says that I should.  When I tell myself to speed up, I struggle not to speed up too much!  I've bought a Garmin, which I'm quite excited about, so hopefully that will help with the pacing.  I'm still waiting for it to arrive. 

                     

                    One question I have is that I read somewhere that every four weeks you should have a recovery week and cut back the miles by 50%.  Would you all agree with that? 

                     

                    Also, I've been planning on doing a 10K race five weeks before the half marathon to get some practice racing and figuring out paces, etc.  When I went to register, I saw that there is also a 15km option, and I'm wondering which would be best?  I'm thinking about doing the 15km at half marathon pace to give it a test run....and aim to finish it with enough energy left that I could have kept going for another 6km.  Is that a sensible idea, or is it better to race it properly?  Or to race the 10km, and use those results to calculate a more accurate race pace for the half?

                     

                     

                    Not that the calculators are perfect, but if you are habitually running tempos faster than they predict you are probably racing them....likely you need to slow down.

                     

                    When I was really training well, I forced myself to take one day off every 3 weeks.  This was when I was averaging 100+ mpw across the board.  So that week would be in the 90s vs 100-120 the other 2 weeks.  So yes, you need a down week every 3-4 weeks to keep you honest, IMHO.  However, a 50% cutback seems extreme to me.  If that is necessary, it seems you are doing too much the other weeks.

                     

                    As for the 10K all-out vs 15K at HM pace, I vote 10K all-out.  Unless you do 15K at goal HM and fail, it won't tell you much.  If you fail, obviously your HM goal is too aggressive.  Otherwise, you don't learn much.  I say race a good 10K and that is a better predictor.

                    "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

                     

                      I on the other hand would run the 15K, could take place of a long run either the week before the race or the week after.  Much easier to run that in a supported race with other folks around rather than as a training run assuming that your longest run at that point would be 9-10 miles.

                       

                      When I ran my first 10 mile race, I knew I could complete a Half marathon at least at that pace.

                        Hmmm....what about racing the 15K all out?  Would that be a silly idea that close to the half? 

                          I say race the 10K, make your mileage on warm up and cool down. 

                           

                          You'll learn just as much, if not more, you'll still get your miles in and it takes away the whole "uh, oh did I race too may miles that close to my HM" thing. 

                           

                          Not even so much as a predictor (thougfh that's useful too) but to get experience redlining. 

                           

                            Agree that a 10K run all out would likely be a better training stimulus and running a mile warm up and another mile or so cool down should get the mileage if desired, but most beginning racers have a tough time getting motivated enough to run a cool down mile or two, or at least I did until recently and I've been running for 4-5 years.  

                              Thanks for the input.  I'll plan to go with the 10km, and do some extra easy miles after to make up the distance needed for the day.

                               

                              Unfortunately, I've got sick kids at home again.  I'm desperate to get out for decent run, but it's just not happening.  Yesterday, I actually drove to the beach and sat my son up in the front seat of the car with a popsicle and a book to read while I ran up and down the beach staying within sight of the car.  I made it just a hair under 5k before he waved me over saying he wanted to go home.  Not a long run, but better than nothing.  I'm not sure if that makes me an obsessed runner or a bad mother - possibly both!!

                                Hi again, I had a question, and I'm not sure where it would fit best, so I'm just hoping someone sees it here! I'm thinking about trying some barefoot running. I've read a lot about the benefits in terms of injury prevention, but the biggest benefit seems to be that it forces you to run on your toes and avoid landing on the heel. Is barefoot running likely to provide any benefit to someone who is naturally a forefoot striker? For a more general update, my training was going well, but I'm now having some knee trouble that has thrown a spanner in the works. I'm going to give an 8km run a try tomorrow morning, followed by a visit to the physio and likely an X-ray. The pain is feeling much better, but the knee is still making horrible grinding and popping noises. Hopefully there's still enough time to get it sorted before the half! Samantha