Lets be realistic (Read 2318 times)

     Ah..this explains your recent string of marathons.  All us non-kosher types have the magic beans

     Dammit, someone's hiding them from me.

      Do magic mushrooms work like beans?

       

       

      Reminds me of when I was caught by the police in a farmer's field out in Carnation (many years ago). Just walkin around looking at cows, officer.

      xor


        There's a reason those cows are content.  (originally I wrote "contented".  Contented cows are content. )

         

          Even Trent broke 4 hours wind.

           Did this help with his pace?


          just a simple cat

            jet-propelled!

             

            Running is stupid

              I don't mean to be a stick in a mud and go back to the original question when everybody else is having fun... ;o)

               

              In regards to going sub-4; my advice is not to worry about 50MPW or 60MPW or whatever.  To me, that's going backwards.  It wouldn't matter how great the training plan might be; if it's above you, you'll end up getting hurt or overtrained and tired and, more likely getting injured and disappointed.  When I was visiting Greg McMillan last summer, he said, having worked with Dr. Rosa when he was with Discovery USA program, he knows what kind of training is necessary to run 2:05 (Tergat did that under Rosa).  But he also said that his group is not ready to do that kind of training.  The whole idea of his coaching guys like Brett Gotcher is how to get them to that level.  In your case, you should be concentrating on how to get to 60MPW or whatever; not just simply doing 60MPW.  That's nothing but a bogus number.

               

              In my observation, far too many people, I'd say more than 90% of people, go backwards and they pick some bogus numbers like 4-hour marathon or 50MPW.  You need to get your body, and mind, ready to get there--it may take a few months; it could take a few years and none of us knows that by just looking at your bio or post.  I haven't really studied your past workout but you'll need to work on getting your aerobic base higher by going for 2 or 3 long runs of about 1:30 up to 2:00.  If your level is, say, 10-minute-mile pace, then going out for a 18-miler would take you 3 hours.  That may or may not be actually too much training for you at this point.  There IS such thing as too much training and you'll need to work on getting your overall running pace down.  Ideally, you work on leg strength and form and get your mile time down to somewhere around 8-minute so you should feel running 9-minute pace for your regular run comfortable.  Pushing to run faster alone is not the way to go about.  If your fitness level is low--and, I know some people would get upset if I say it this way but there's no way around it; running slow means your fitness level is lower--, then running 9-minute pace would get you over into anaerobic state.  Rushing to run "faster" by simply running faster is not an answer.  You have to work on getting your oxygen consumption capacity higher so running 9-minute-mile, or even faster, being aerobic. 

               

              My suggestion is to run time-base instead of mileage.  Forget 50MPW or 60MPW or whatever.  Just do whatever the pace you feel comfortable for, say, once a week up to 1:30, once over the weekend, close to 1:45~2:00 range.  If you're already up there, stay there but see if your pace, with the same effort, would come down over time.  If you're training within yourself and if you're actually building up and not breaking down, over a period of few months, you should be running faster aerobically.  Along with those long runs, incorporating some hill workout once a week would strengthen your legs, particularly your quads that contributes to the knee lift during the last few miles of the marathon.  The emphasis should not necessarily be in running up fast--then the workout would turn into anaerobic--but running up hard with good technique throughout.  And probably more importantly, I forgot to check when you're thinking about running the next marathon; but just keep eintering a marathon after another

                Not sure what the best part of Nobby's responses are, his stories about past running greats which give me the chills, or that he has this tough love about running the right way, and not too much "back slapping",  "you can do it" Rah Rah. Hope I get to meet him in person one day.

                 

                I know often I'm NOT a cheerleader and I don't Rah Rah...  I'm not quite sure if that's the best way or not but, quite often, as far as I'm concerned, "You can do it; great job!!!" don't really have much content in it. 

                 

                And, likewise, love to meet some of you guys in person some day (HappyFeat too! ;o)).  That would be fun.


                shonan marathon, girl

                  i am terrible at following training by the book.  i print out all these running menus and dream of doing this many mpw and end up abandoning all of the plans.  i hate details.  living in japan drives me batty sometimes because everyone is so specific and detail oriented. 

                   

                  if me, the most non-athletic person can sub4, then you can do it too!  the most important thing is committing yourself to run consistently and get the long runs done.  time on your feet not mileage is what i think.  also to enjoy the running itself!

                   

                  next race SHONAN MARATHON nov 3rd, 2012, OSAKA MARATHON nov 25th, i am aiming for nyc!


                     


                     

                    My suggestion is to run time-base instead of mileage.  Forget 50MPW or 60MPW or whatever.  Just do whatever the pace you feel comfortable for, say, once a week up to 1:30, once over the weekend, close to 1:45~2:00 range.  If you're already up there, stay there but see if your pace, with the same effort, would come down over time.  If you're training within yourself and if you're actually building up and not breaking down, over a period of few months, you should be running faster aerobically.  Along with those long runs, incorporating some hill workout once a week would strengthen your legs, particularly your quads that contributes to the knee lift during the last few miles of the marathon.  The emphasis should not necessarily be in running up fast--then the workout would turn into anaerobic--but running up hard with good technique throughout.  And probably more importantly, I forgot to check when you're thinking about running the next marathon; but just keep eintering a marathon after another

                     

                     

                    I really appreciate the thoughtful response, Nobby. Thank you. This basically sounds like what I have in mind, though I admit to being mile obsessed, I do plan on getting a midweek long run and a weekend long run into my training as soon as I feel recovered from this marathon.

                     

                    As for when I am entering my next marathon, I plan on doing it in November.

                    Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

                    Message me!

                     

                    www.miloandthecalf.com

                     

                      i am terrible at following training by the book.  i print out all these running menus and dream of doing this many mpw and end up abandoning all of the plans.  i hate details.  living in japan drives me batty sometimes because everyone is so specific and detail oriented. 

                       

                      if me, the most non-athletic person can sub4, then you can do it too!  the most important thing is committing yourself to run consistently and get the long runs done.  time on your feet not mileage is what i think.  also to enjoy the running itself!

                       

                       

                       

                      I love hearing of other non athletic people breakin four hours!

                       

                      But with regards to the details, my guess is we are opposites. My problem is I get lost in the details. I'm an attorney, details are what I do. I think I need to learn to chill out a little and let the drop in my race times happen as the natural result of training.

                      Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

                      Message me!

                       

                      www.miloandthecalf.com

                       

                        Sean:

                         

                        Since I put my foot in my mouth and said, if trained correctly, you – or anybody for that matter – should be able to run sub-4 marathon.  I also said that I’m not the one to go Rah-Rah and be a cheerleader.  To say “you should be able to go under 4” is cheerleading.  Pinpointing why you hadn’t and give you specific direction is, well, whatever you want to call it, coaching, guiding, suggesting, advising…whatever.  This is, seriously, my specific interest lately; so I went back and did study your log a bit more closely. 

                         

                        Let me explain what my take on “training” first.  Basically, for any distance running event, you fundamentally need two elements to develop – speed and stamina.  And, in the actual race, you blend them together so you can run the entire racing distance fast.  Way back in the dark-age, “athletes” used to get out and run the racing distance, or close to it, pretty much as hard as they could a couple of times a week and call it a day (or a week).  That actually sounds logical – and unfortunately a lot of youngsters try to follow that path today – but actually, when you look closely, not that logical approach.  I know some programs call for going beyond the marathon distance (in the case of marathon training) to make sure you can go the distance.  To me, that’s sort of defeating the purpose; you’ve already gone that far so what’s the thrill of it?  And, interestingly, if you look into it, I’ll bet, more often than not, if you take that kind of approach, you’ll end up running the actual race “worse”, not better, than your training.  This is because you get into a stress situation by pushing your body day in and day out.  So the training program should cover these elements in a balanced way, and insert as many “recovery days” in between, so you can perform your utmost best ON THE DAY.  The race is the real thing – there’s a reason why rehearsal is only rehearsal. 

                         

                        Let’s take a look at what elite runners do.  They do over-distance work.  Yes, some of them go beyond the marathon distance but they usually go at much slower pace.  They do intervals.  This is when they go, most likely but not necessarily always, quite a bit faster than their race pace because, this way, the actual race pace would feel easy.  They do tempo type of workout – this is usually done at the race pace, or close to the race pace, and, in most cases, not quite as far as the actual race distance.  That’s pretty much it; and you put as many recovery runs in between as they could squeeze in.  Usually, for them who run twice a day, they take at least one easy day between these hard workouts; and that means they take at least 3 easy runs (hard workout-easy morning jog-easy evening run-easy morning jog-then next hard workout).  These recovery runs are VERY important.  Without it, you just go deeper and deeper into a stress situation.  Mind you, also, some elite runners take more than one easy days between hard workouts. 

                         

                        Now let’s take a look at their macro program.  In a case of usual Japanese top marathon runners, they take about 3 months of marathon preparation.  That’s 12 weeks.  But before they start marathon specific training program, they spend about 2~3 months of what they call “leg-strengthening period” when they take lots of so-called “junk miles”.  That is like Lydiard training’s “Marathon Conditioning Phase”.  So, in other words, 24 weeks is pretty much a normal period of preparation.  In that 24 weeks, they spend “first” 10~12 weeks building mileage.  This is when they run a lot.  This is because endurance, or aerobic development, takes longer to develop and it won’t go away so quickly.  Once you do that, THEN you start working on speed.  This is because, if you stop working on speed, you’ll lose it relatively quickly so you don’t want to do it in the first part of the program.  Besides, you don’t want to start running fast and hard right from the get-go; you want to build it up first.  Then you’ll work on getting them together – this is usually in a form of tempo run or dress-rehearsal type of workout.  Final 3 weeks or so should be a taper especially for the marathon.  Two might be a bit short for most of us. 

                         

                        So….now let’s take a look at what you’ve done.  I personally like to count back from the actual race day.  You did the final long run, and it turned out to be THE longest run, 3 weeks before.  You went out for a 22-mile run at 10-minute pace, which is slightly faster actually than your marathon race pace.  It took you about 3:40 which, to me, is an awful long time as a workout.  I like to cap it at 3-hours simply because of the muscle trauma.  Now, here, to me, is the first mistake.  So you’re actually going faster in the dress rehearsal than actual race.  Granted, you really can’t compare your average pace because, who knows, you might have died in the final 5 miles and slowed down dramatically to push the average pace way down…I wouldn’t know.  But either way, to me, THAT was your race.  Only a week before that, you did 2:22, another 3:25 a week earlier, another 2:20 a week before that, almost 3-hours a week before that….  Now if you take a look at 3 months prior to that, you hardly had runs over an hour!!  So basically, ALL your pounding, or long runs necessary were crammed into this 3~8 weeks before the marathon.  The way I look at it, you toed the marathon start line just as your body’s damage peaked. 

                         

                        Let’s take a look at another element; speed.  Now, let me just throw my own situation here.  I’m pretty discouraged lately because my “race-pace” for a 5k is the pace I used to do my long runs—about 6:30 per mile pace.  But I’m at least at the verge of cracking 20-minutes for 5k.  My long run is about 8:45~9:00 pace.  And my jog is sometimes as slow as 12~13-minute pace.  Right now, I need easy runs in between so I go something like 30~40 minutes of easy runs.  So I would do something like 1:30 good run, either XC or on the road, and then I’d do an easy day like 30~40-minute jog.  When I was younger, I would do, as Lydiard’s schedule calls for, long easy run (at about 7-minute pace) followed by shorter but faster run.  I really can’t do that now so I’d do easy run; and then some faster stuff…maybe.  Now you are still young and you seem to be able to push sub-8 pace easily.  So, while you do your long runs at marathon pace or slightly faster; you go in-between shorter runs almost 2-minute-per-mile faster than your marathon pace.  So I guess my question would be; when do you take a break?  And the second question would be; what would those fast runs contribute to your marathon? 

                         

                        When your marathon pace is the same, or slower, as your training runs; there are two possible reasons:  (1) you are training way too fast and you are just not utilizing your positive training effects in the actual race; or (2) you’re not peaking right so you are not utilizing your peak potential in the actual race.  Either way, like I said earlier, it’s got nothing to do with “genetic” or “talent”.  I would say 99.9% of the time, it’s poor training pattern.

                         

                        There’s this young lady I coach; she just PRed in the half marathon by 6 minutes.  She has a tendency to train too fast.  I’ve been telling her to slow down.  She does her long run at about 8:30 pace.  She covered 13.1 miles at about 7:14 pace.  She set her PR for the marathon last year at 8-minute pace.  She did ONE 3-hour run (I think) 4 weeks before the marathon and a couple of 2:20ish.  When she came to me, she was stuck at 3:40 for (I think) 3 or 4 marathons by following one of those 3 X 20-miler program.

                         

                        I’ve been criticized before for advocating “up to 3-hour” training.  So you can take it or leave it.  I’ve been criticized that I don’t understand slower runners.  Hard to say because everybody I’ve worked with had broken 4-hours so far.  I’ve had 3 first-timers; one with 4:20.  I guess I’ve been lucky that I’ve worked with “talented” people… ;o)

                        jimmyb


                          Great post, Nobby. Well said.

                           

                          I've been thinking lately that practice of running 20-milers for marathons,

                          regardless of the duration, might be a self-defeating one that keeps some

                          runners slow, stressed, and in a constant state of over-training. Some studies

                          have suggested that there is no aerobic development after 2:00-2:30 on your feet.

                          Anything over that duration might be overkill. The core belief out there is

                          "you must do 20(+) milers in order to be prepared for the marathon." Well,

                          if an elite can do a 20 mile long run at an easy effort in 2:30 or less, why

                          would an amateur or a beginner run any longer than that? A 3- 4+ hour long run

                          might just be extra hours of overkill. The number of footfalls double or triple of

                          the elite's. The logical argument is "if the marathon is going to take me

                          5 hours, then I should know what 5 hours feels like before I run it." But

                          does the body even care about such logic? The body has it's own stress

                          limits and duration clock. There might be other strategies if someone believes in

                          the aforementioned logic. Doing a 2:30 long run, but do the rest as a walk for example.

                          Perhaps, tagging a half hour or walking before the run, and an hour after the run.

                          You are experiencing 4 hours mentally, but you lessen the overkill. One of the

                          mistakes I've made in the past is to try to emulate the mileage of faster runners, and

                          even elites. "Well, that guy runs 2:50 and runs 100 miles per week. If I ran 100 miles

                          per week, I could be a 2:50 runner."  Well, that better runner can probably do his

                          100 miles in 10-12 hours, and it would take me 20 hours at the same level of intensity.

                           

                          These days, I think it is better to get rid of the prevailing beliefs, and let my body

                          guide me through. At a particular aerobic intensity, my body might only be ready

                          to run 10 miles in two hours. But after 12 weeks of aerobic base training, it might be

                          ready to run 13 miles at the same intensity. If I impose 13 miles on the body with a rigid schedule

                          that says I should be at 13 miles by week 4, or 18 miles at the end of 12 (regardless of duration) then my logic/intellect/beliefs might get me into trouble. Slowing aerobic development at best, and at the worst, being over-trained or

                          injured at the end of 12 weeks.

                           

                          Thanks for your thoughtful posts, Nobby. I like the directness of them, and also the belief that

                          runners have more potential than they think, and that they just need to get out of their

                          own way, and escape the current belief systems.

                           

                          --Jimmy

                           

                           

                          Log    PRs


                             

                            So….now let’s take a look at what you’ve done.  I personally like to count back from the actual race day.  You did the final long run, and it turned out to be THE longest run, 3 weeks before.  You went out for a 22-mile run at 10-minute pace, which is slightly faster actually than your marathon race pace.  It took you about 3:40 which, to me, is an awful long time as a workout.  I like to cap it at 3-hours simply because of the muscle trauma.  Now, here, to me, is the first mistake.  So you’re actually going faster in the dress rehearsal than actual race.  Granted, you really can’t compare your average pace because, who knows, you might have died in the final 5 miles and slowed down dramatically to push the average pace way down…I wouldn’t know.  But either way, to me, THAT was your race.  Only a week before that, you did 2:22, another 3:25 a week earlier, another 2:20 a week before that, almost 3-hours a week before that….  Now if you take a look at 3 months prior to that, you hardly had runs over an hour!!  So basically, ALL your pounding, or long runs necessary were crammed into this 3~8 weeks before the marathon.  The way I look at it, you toed the marathon start line just as your body’s damage peaked. 

                             

                            Let’s take a look at another element; speed.  Now, let me just throw my own situation here.  I’m pretty discouraged lately because my “race-pace” for a 5k is the pace I used to do my long runs—about 6:30 per mile pace.  But I’m at least at the verge of cracking 20-minutes for 5k.  My long run is about 8:45~9:00 pace.  And my jog is sometimes as slow as 12~13-minute pace.  Right now, I need easy runs in between so I go something like 30~40 minutes of easy runs.  So I would do something like 1:30 good run, either XC or on the road, and then I’d do an easy day like 30~40-minute jog.  When I was younger, I would do, as Lydiard’s schedule calls for, long easy run (at about 7-minute pace) followed by shorter but faster run.  I really can’t do that now so I’d do easy run; and then some faster stuff…maybe.  Now you are still young and you seem to be able to push sub-8 pace easily.  So, while you do your long runs at marathon pace or slightly faster; you go in-between shorter runs almost 2-minute-per-mile faster than your marathon pace.  So I guess my question would be; when do you take a break?  And the second question would be; what would those fast runs contribute to your marathon? 

                             

                            When your marathon pace is the same, or slower, as your training runs; there are two possible reasons:  (1) you are training way too fast and you are just not utilizing your positive training effects in the actual race; or (2) you’re not peaking right so you are not utilizing your peak potential in the actual race.  Either way, like I said earlier, it’s got nothing to do with “genetic” or “talent”.  I would say 99.9% of the time, it’s poor training pattern.

                             

                            There’s this young lady I coach; she just PRed in the half marathon by 6 minutes.  She has a tendency to train too fast.  I’ve been telling her to slow down.  She does her long run at about 8:30 pace.  She covered 13.1 miles at about 7:14 pace.  She set her PR for the marathon last year at 8-minute pace.  She did ONE 3-hour run (I think) 4 weeks before the marathon and a couple of 2:20ish.  When she came to me, she was stuck at 3:40 for (I think) 3 or 4 marathons by following one of those 3 X 20-miler program.

                             

                            I’ve been criticized before for advocating “up to 3-hour” training.  So you can take it or leave it.  I’ve been criticized that I don’t understand slower runners.  Hard to say because everybody I’ve worked with had broken 4-hours so far.  I’ve had 3 first-timers; one with 4:20.  I guess I’ve been lucky that I’ve worked with “talented” people… ;o)

                             

                             

                            This right here is why I love this site. Very insightful and no BS help from a great runner and coach. Thanks, Nobby.

                             

                            I agree with pretty much all of your criticism of my previous training, especially these two points:

                             

                            (1) my "easy" days were way to hard. The more I have learned about this sport, the more I realize that slowing down some of my runs  might be one of the toughest things for me to do. I like the feeling of pushing the pace, but I realize my body needs a lot more aerobic time and a lot less pounding.

                             

                            (2) that 22 miler was ridiculous, and as you and Jimmy both stated, perhaps for slower runners like me, going twenty or twenty two miles is physically counter productive. The only thing I will say in my defense is that I found that 22 miler to be a huge help psychologically. As someone new to the marathon (i have only done one before and it was five years ago and a total disaster) once this long run was done, I knew I was going to be able to run the marathon distance, and I knew I'd be able to do it in something under five hours. Physically, it may have been a bad idea, but psychologically, I found it helpful.

                             

                            For my next training cycle, I plan on using one of the Hanson's plans as the base of my schedule and  (1) spending a lot more time at an easier pace (2) spreading the miles over more days so my long run on the weekends isn't almost half of my weekly mileage and (3) making sure I get in a midweek long run. For now, I am thinking that speed work is probably outside the realm of what I am capable of doing without getting hurt, so I'll put it off for now and perhaps try and do some tempo work when I get closer to the race this fall... I hope this basic outline of a plan meets with Coach Nobby's approval.

                            Have you qualified for Boston? I want to interview you!

                            Message me!

                             

                            www.miloandthecalf.com

                             


                              These days, I think it is better to get rid of the prevailing beliefs, and let my body

                              guide me through.

                               

                               

                               

                              I like this.

                               

                              Here's two metaphors that may be helpful.

                               

                              Marathon training is like watering a plant. You want constant, regular stimulus. That's how you get the plant to thrive. Not by dumping a ton of water in the pot and then hoping the plant can drink it all. You might think you are "toughening up" the plant by doing this, but really you're just drowning it. I've found that mental toughness--and confidence--comes from being able to look back over the bulk of my training and find a long sequence of steady improvement. It's pretty cool to toe the line and know that you don't have to be tough to PR. You can step to the line with confidence in your physical abilities, turn off your mind, and let your body do what it's been trained to do.

                              Many folks misunderstand the sort of toughness required to run your best. It's rare that this happens (at least for me), but the very best races don't hurt--or at least the "hurt" isn't even relevant. You're like a gymnast on the bar. Totally focused on what you're doing. Not thinking about falling off, just executing. The pain is there, but it's sort of like the mat below the bar. You're not thinking about it. There's just the bar, just your race plan, just the running. That's the kind of toughness and psychological strength that you want as a runner. This sort of toughness is very different from pushing through the pain at the end of a long run in which you've gone out too fast. That's the pain of falling off the bar and hitting the mat. While it happens in training and is probably unavoidable, it's not something that a gymnast is going to set out to do, just to toughen herself up.

                                 

                                Many folks misunderstand the sort of toughness required to run your best. It's rare that this happens (at least for me), but the very best races don't hurt--or at least the "hurt" isn't even relevant.

                                 

                                Well said.  My best races hurt the least, or at least that's my perception because I was able to put the hurt aside to the point of not even being able to remember it.  I think bad races hurt more than good ones because the "pain" of racing is mostly mental and the anxiety and frustration of not being able to do what you want only increases it.

                                 

                                The kind of mental toughness it takes to be a good distance runner is not something that's conjured up at some moment of truth late in a race with mantras like "HTFU."  It's developed a little bit at a time, over many, many miles over many, many days and weeks and years.  In a race where you're truly ready do to what you came to do, there is a lot less anxiety.  There's excitement and nervous energy, sure, but not the kind of anxiety and dread that comes with biting off more than you can chew.  The preparation and planning is over and now there's nothing left but the running.

                                Runners run.