Masters Running

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Long Runs (Read 765 times)

    With a bit of discussion about LR's coming up, I thought it would be good to talk about pacing during the LR. I believe that we need to first build up our endurance by building the mileage and continuing to build the LR distance. This progression in miles should be in small increments. We often do medLR's several times per week before attempting the LR. For definition, Pfitz defines the LR as 17+ miles and medLR's ~10-16 miles. These runs are important for building mitochondria and capillaries in our muscles preparing us to run longer (not faster). We get stronger and are able to hold a pace for longer distances. These runs are to be done at a pace of goalMP+20% and finishing at goalMP+10%--per Pfitz. This is a good start. If you realy want to progress, though, add some intensity to these runs. First build up to the distance. Then add some faster miles at the end, or tempo in the middle, or even better tempo in the beginning and the end...This will really let you improve in the marathon race. It starts with putting the 'time on your feet'-meaning just make it through the distance. Then try the next run to be a Pfitz progression. It is important to practice pacing such that you are actually going a bit faster towards the end of the race-when you are more tired. This will reinforce your strength late in the marathon. By doing all medLR's as a 'mini-progression' or negative split, you will force this desired effect. Many runners 'go by feel'. They can inherently start slow enough to know that they will have enough left later on to be able to push it a little bit. I am not that smart and need specific goals and paces. As I'm getting more seasoned at this game, I am marginally better at 'by feel' running. My HR monitor takes all the guesswork out of it though. I know my MP HR and can use this information to guide me on sustained efforts at subMP or goalMP. It is easier to guide efforts by a HR number, especially when there is varied terrain. Who can equate paces over miles with hills-up or down? I can't. So, I offer this advice. First, run the LR slow enough to finish slightly faster. Then next time, run it faster-either for a portion near the end, or just for a little bit in the middle-but adding some intensity will help--a lot. And don't forget to run the medLR's the same way! (BTW-nice runs Lou and Bill. Still need work with the pacing Burgertimebill, but I'll take the overall pace. Make the end faster and the middle less hard and it will be better training for your body...you want to know that you have the strength to handle those last miles. You're both looking very strong right now...)
      Interesting and insightful comments Dtoce, as usual. And I have to thank Lou for posting those great progression links in his daily post today. During this morning's LR, my first intent was to make sure I could get through the entire run - the time on my feet. So I ran the 1st 12 miles at what was an easy, controlled pace - all by feel. I constantly told myself to keep it really easy, and the HR showed I was able to do so, even though the weather was a bit excessive. But I can't be disappointed that I ended up running quicker than planned especially since Pfitz in "Advanced Marathoning", says to run MLR's and LR's at MP+10% - exactly where I ended up. But you are very correct. With my shortened training period, I am well aware that my endurance isn't where it needs to be right now. So when I picked it up to finish the progression, I could do it but that effort is tough right now. I have to agree that how the LR's are finished off are critical to finishing a marathon strongly during the last 10K. With an LR, I always feel the last few miles are where you get the payoff of the workout. All the earlier miles are just there to get to the tough times. The effort increases, the HR starts going up, and the body feels the effort a lot. Spareribs has mentioned how "I run within myself" - complimenting me on that - however, I know how Ribs writes well enough to know he had another message in there as well. As you and he both note, I must learn to push through my comfort zone and push myself more, most especially at the end. Bill

      "Some are the strong, silent type. You can't put your finger on exactly what it is they bring to the table until you run without them and then you realize that their steadiness fills a hole that leaks energy in their absence." - Kristin Armstrong


      Marathon Maniac #957

        For those of us who are mathematically challenged, is there a calculator available to figure what your paces +/- percentages are?

        Life is a headlong rush into the unknown. We can hunker down and hope nothing hits us or we can stand tall, lean into the wind and say, "Bring it on, darlin', and don't be stingy with the jalapenos."

          Holly- These %'s are just a guideline. Actually Henderson and Daniel's just say to go 'easy' and that should correlate with the goal MP + about 1 minute. This is a good estimation of the desired pace of the LR. It should probably be MP+ a little more than a minute for the first 1/4 of the run, approach MP+1minute for the next 1/2 and a tiny bit faster, like MP + 45sec for the last 1/4. So many ways to do things...
            Holly, here's how I do it. It's not hard. Assuming my Goal MP is 8:30: Change the minutes to seconds: 8 times 60 is 480. Add the seconds: 480 + 30 = 510. Therefore, 10% of 510 is 51. 8:30 plus 51 seconds = 9:21 (this is MP + 10%) Add another 51 seconds = 10:12 (this is MP + 20%) Bill

            "Some are the strong, silent type. You can't put your finger on exactly what it is they bring to the table until you run without them and then you realize that their steadiness fills a hole that leaks energy in their absence." - Kristin Armstrong


            just a simple cat

              I had a pretty good base. I built up slowly to do the marathon mid October. Unfortunately that left me with a sore hip flexor, so I backed off on long runs and speed and spent November/ December just building base again with slow miles and no longer run than 14 miles. When I felt all healed up I ran a slow half marathon and a slow 18 miler and 20 miler. Smile Then came my surgery and a 3 week lay off! Shocked Now I need to build my long runs in a month and a half. (Boston is April 21) Shall I just run long in March: 16 miles, 18 miles, 20 miles, 20 miles. And forget about intensity. Or should I still add some faster miles at the end of each long run anyway?

               

              I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

                ilene- i'm in the same boat as you and will do one and only one 20miler prior to Boston--but I'll do a bunch of medLR's with tempo to help a little bit. It's not the best preparation but there's just not enough hours in the day to force the issue. I would not add intensity to the LR unless you've done the distance before once or twice.
                  For the 40+ set I am not all that big on worrying about pace during long runs. My reading of Pfitz is that you really want to break your training into parts. Some parts like the long run are to build endurance so that you can run a strong marathon from start to finish. Other parts are to build speed so that you can run the next marathon faster than the last. The runs to build speed are typically 12 miles or fewer in total length. The speed work within the run is sometimes less than 3 miles in total. The speed work section of these runs is the one and only time where I try to keep on pace. Pfitz suggests doing intervals at 5K pace and lactate threshold runs at HM pace. So that is what I do. It also seems critical to get out and do several long races during the training period. No training run can duplicate the effort you will put into a race. I realize everybody is different and all I have is my one observation about me. So, none of this should be taken as seriously as one would a conclusion from an actual study. But for what it is worth in the last 12 months I dropped my marathon PR by 16 minutes, increased my weekly training miles, and managed to stay 100% injury free. I credit the injury free part to not worrying about pace except for runs specifically tied to speed.

                  Live like you are dying not like you are afraid to die.

                  Drunken Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread this way -->  http://allrecipes.com/Cook/Twocat

                    Pfitz suggests doing intervals at 5K pace and lactate threshold runs at HM pace. So that is what I do. It also seems critical to get out and do several long races during the training period. No training run can duplicate the effort you will put into a race. I realize everybody is different and all I have is my one observation about me. So, none of this should be taken as seriously as one would a conclusion from an actual study. But for what it is worth in the last 12 months I dropped my marathon PR by 16 minutes, increased my weekly training miles, and managed to stay 100% injury free. I credit the injury free part to not worrying about pace except for runs specifically tied to speed.
                    congratulations on your excellent improvement! I do not believe in 5K RP intervals for marathon training-the speed is too fast for anything useful and risks injury. 10K RP is better. I also do not do many long races since I can't fit them into my schedule, but you are correct in stating that over- and under- distance racing will help prepare for the actual distance. (Not that a 50K is needed to prepare for the marathon, but 1/2M's are nice preparation and much better than 5K's or 5Milers...). Your improvement may have occurred for many different reasons, but I'd credit the increase in mileage first and foremost-along with steady training and no injury. Multipace training and periodization is critically important to racing but how each of us fits these together is an indivudual practice. There are many overlaps in training, however... I hope to meet you at a local race, since we are both in CT. I'll try to scan the intrepid race calander once I get to racing season in the fall. Best, Dale
                      Nice discourse going. I was waiting for more people to pipe up, but will throw in my thoughts. I've backed away from Pfitz in general, but much of what he says holds true in other programs. I still try to get in MLRs (10-14) when I can, though it doesn't always happen because of other commitments. I'll add that slowing down my long runs has helped me. I think in general, many people (and I'm talking average runners like most of us on this forum) run them too fast. Of course, I know not all will agree with me.(I think many of us run our daily runs and recovery runs too fast, too, but that's another topic...and I'm not referring to speedwork). I'll add myself to those who do it at times, too. I've started slower this past year for my long runs than ever before and then for most of them -- often on my own after running the first 15-17 with others -- finished the last few miles at a progression pace. 9:00s-9:30s for 15-17 miles, then going all the way down to 8:00s. What a huge confidence booster because I felt great doing it. And what do you know? I was able to do the same thing two weeks ago in Birch Bay. Coincidence? The tricky part, when running with a group, I found out, is sticking to what you planned to do when everyone else tended to go out fast. btb hasn't piped up, but he was the one who knocked some sense into me about a year ago and gave me these paces below to think about for my runs. I didn't always stick exactly to these paces (much of the time I run without use of a watch) but kept them in my mind. Like you, Holly, I couldn't figure out the math until btb showed me the light about converting to minutes. Tongue ____________________________ These paces are based on a 3:40 marathon tempo pace - 7:40-8:00/mile long run and medium long run pace - 8:55-9:55/mile marathon pace - 8:24/mile marathon pace + 10% - 9:14/mile progressive runs - do the last 30 minutes like this…10 minutes at 8:44 pace, 10 minutes at 8:34 pace, 10 minutes at 8:24 pace. easy run pace - 8:55-9:25/mile recovery run pace - 9:55-10:25/mile
                        Great discussion and insights here. I don't have much to add, but will second the SLOW long run pace advice wholeheartedly. I used to run all my long runs way too fast and sometimes still do that (when the group starts taking off---I hear ya Soundrunner). I try now to keep the pace at 60 to 90 seconds slower than marathon pace and work on fast finish runs as I get closer to the target race. The old 800 meter runner in me wants to burst off the starting line and it's so much better indeed to fly into the finish like Soundrunner. I ran many more medium long runs and more serial 20 milers during marathon training for Hartford this past summer. I felt tired after the long runs, but never trashed and quite recovered by the next day. That didn't used to be the case! My speed/tempo training is probably more Daniels inspired than Pfitz. I don't seem to do well with lots of track intervals and do much better with speed on the roads measured in time segments or no less than a mile if it's repeats day. As you say Twocat, we are all experiments of one and there are a variety of approaches. I am also a "by feel" runner as much as possible. The big key for me has been decreasing the mileage amount between my MLRs and LRs so that by the peak of training, I might run 15 milers in the middle of the week (when I can get up at 4 AM or I am not traveling---not easy with life in the way) and then a 20 mile LR with just a 5 mile difference between the runs. During this cycle pre-Boston, I am increasing the overall mileage a little bit, but maintaining the same general methodology. I am fortunate to have a monster base without a serious injury in several years. I think I paid the injury bank in my late twenties with many stress fractures, ITB issues and PF in both feet---scary to type that even. Thanks all for the advice thus far. I am always interested in the mixture of approaches. Twocat and Dale----I am just in Western, MA---so maybe I'll see you at a race or two this summer. CNY


                        i'm lovin' it... MM#1949

                          Great discussions! I feel the same as Twocat with a similar mix. What I found for Pfitz is to use it as a guide and listen to your body so I'll throw in extra recovery if needed. For example, rather than a 20 on Sunday and Intervals on Tuesday which can be too much, I'll add an easier day or do the LR on Saturday. But Speed work on Tuedsday and a 13 miler Wednesday seems to work well. The secret is keeping on planned pace and not piling up high mileage at a too fast pace. For the Long Runs I've been doing a good negative split as per Pfitz but I do the first half with net downhill (like 300ft or so) and the second half back uphill. I find when racing and running in general that if you drop off on your pace (and HR), it feels tiring to pick it back up. I think swings in the HR create a fatigue feeling. I've learned to create swings on purpose during a long run. Charging up hills or picking up the pace for a mile late in the run are very helpful come race time. I need a long race to remind myself that I can endure discomfort for a long time. A question on Speed work. For 800's - 1600's repeats, Pfitz calls for 5K RP. Dale, you think that is too fast, why? I thought these are VO2max sessions. If you don't hit VO2max, I don't see how you improve your VO2max. Isn't that the point of those speed/interval sessions?
                          Perch's Profile "I don't know if running adds years to your life, but it definitely adds life to your years." - Jim Fixx "The secret is to make in your mind possible what was not possible before. The secret is to make easy what was difficult, instead to make difficult what really is easy." - Coach Renato Canova
                          Mustang Sally


                          Bad faerie

                            I think I'm definitely running my MLRs (haven't got up to really LR) too fast. Coach sets most of my LRs as Zone 2 (aerobic) except for 2x20-25 minutes @ Zone 3 (just sub LT). Goal MP: 8:46 Approx. Z2 these days: 9:15 Approx. Z3 these days: 8:40 Goal + 10% 9:37 Goal +20% 10:30 I stack the two Z3 bits in the second hour of the run. Most of my LRs have averaged 9:10. No wonder I'm beat all. the. time. I was just blaming the mileage. (48 last week) Must Go Think and chat with Coach.
                              Ok, I am a total NEWBIE here, but I just want to say I think this "slowing the long run down" advice is the best I have ever heard. Last year I was doing my LR's at about 10:30 to 10:45 pace, this year 11:00 to 11:15. I feel so much better! I recover so much more quickly. I feel like I can go out and run12 miles everyday of the week if I have to (but not really), and not be tired. My time trials, tempos etc are all getting faster too. Life in the slow lane, it is looking and feeling real good! Smile

                              "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."


                              Head Procrastinator

                                ilene- i'm in the same boat as you and will do one and only one 20miler prior to Boston--but I'll do a bunch of medLR's with tempo to help a little bit. It's not the best preparation but there's just not enough hours in the day to force the issue. I would not add intensity to the LR unless you've done the distance before once or twice.
                                Or you could hold off till next year and join Pro, LaT, Tnally , Cfli and moi at the water stop Big grin And invite MrsToce with or without you.
                                ~ My Profile~ The avatar is happy BOC wootcats
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