I recently wrote a blog post for my running group on my experiences with Lydiard training / Running Wizard. In the post, I lay out some of the Lydiard principles as well as some details on the purpose behind each training phase. If you are new to Lydiard / RW, this might be a helpful read.
2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...
Thanks Jon, that was helpful.
One of the five critical principles listed is "response regulated adaptation". It says that the plan adjust effort levels based on how I am responding to the training stimulus. Does this happen automatically within the plan, based on the runs I log here at Running Ahead? For example, if I can't quite keep up with the recommended mileage in the Aerobic Phase, and consistently only run at the lower end of distance / pace range, will the plan adjust my Aerobic Phase targets in later weeks?
Or is the adaptation only between training plans? ( i.e. when I start a new plan next spring, I will have new race times to enter as the starting point.)
To put it a different way, is my plan, that I can see every morning, dynamic or static?
5/4/14: Bucks County Ten Miler
Response Regulated Adaptation is not automatically factored into the RW plans but that is the purpose behind the pace ranges that are listed for a given workout. The idea is that you develop as perception of the exertion level that is appropriate to a given workout on a given day and run at that pace. As you move through a RW plan, one of the influences on your perception of exertion level will be the development of fitness as you work through the 22-24 week training phase.
For me, I typically notice a sizable uptick in fitness usually around the middle of the anaerobic phase, and my pace for runs naturally gravitates towards the faster end of the listed pace range. When I was sick a few weeks ago, my mileage and pace were towards the shorter/slower end of the ranges as was appropriate for my current condition. The concept is that you adapt your training to your condition and individual development rather trying to keep a specific (and perhaps arbitrary) pace on an individual run.
Thanks, that makes sense.
I have definitely noticed the benefit of the "ranges" for specific workouts. It think it has allowed me to run more by effort level instead of looking at my watch and trying to adjust pace. I just run at the prescribed effort, and even if I am having a bad day and going more slowly than usual, my pace still falls within the range. I am learning not to feel like I failed in a workout if I don't hit the target....I'm still in the range
... I am learning not to feel like I failed in a workout if I don't hit the target....I'm still in the range
I think this is huge! Nobby has talked a bit about the reasons for the ranges on a few occasions. He once cautioned me against "mindlessly" (or possibly "blindly"?) following any plan, including RW. I've had certain days and certain workouts where the "top" end of the range seemed very comfortable, while other days and other workouts require staying at the "bottom" end of the range (and even going below it). "If in doubt, do less!"
And I think I was able to finally get over those feelings of failure when I realized that it's a long, steady process, and progress is measured over years of consistent effort. Trying to do too much when it doesn't feel good can often set you back further than any positive gains you could have hoped to achieve by forging ahead.
Fight The Future
This is also very helpful to me. I'm just now finishing up with the anaerobic phase, and i found that the longer distance intervals (1600 and 800 meters) were well within my capabilities, but I could not get to the recommended speed for the shorter distances. I suspect being an older person, my endurance has stayed more than speed. So I just have been going by effort on the shorter intervals, and so far, no serious injuries (knock on wood). About to start the coordination phase, and the cut downs look daunting, since I'm sure I cannot make it to the faster parts. But again, I plan to go by effort more than absolute pace.
Hey northernman, I agree, effort level is key more than the prescribed pace. I will say, though, as you enter the Coordination phase, that one thing Nobby mentioned during my chat with him related to the effort level on some of the workouts during the Coordination phase. In particular, I think he said that most people don't push hard enough during the100/100's and 50/50's for example. I hope I'm not mis-characterizing his description, but basically, the idea is to get yourself VERY tired, VERY quickly. To the point where you may not even be able to complete the prescribed number of repetitions -- and that's ok. I think there are benefits for speed that go beyond muscular -- neurological, perhaps? Anyhow, I'm a believer. YMMV.
Subdood, you could be right. I'm certainly willing to try the 100/100 and cut downs as directed, but I really can't see them happening for me. Still worth a try.
(Edited to add):
What is your sense about Nobby's rationale for the importance of these very short fast sprints? Hard to see what they have to do with running a marathon.
I will, of course, defer to Nobby or anyone else who knows this stuff. I don't claim to know the physiology or science behind it. But I'm guessing there are adaptations that take place with these types of workouts that add significant speed to your already established endurance base. Maybe you start activating different energy systems, or maybe something else is going on. I know that you and I finished Twin Cities within about 30 seconds of each other last fall. After the RW plan, I took 12 minutes off that time at Grandma's in June. I think it may be that the sharpening that occurs in these workouts is what allows you to run at a faster marathon pace at [what feels like] the same level of effort.
I looked back at your last 3 marathon finishes, and you are very steady in the 3:21 to 3:27 range. It will be interesting to see if the RW plan improves upon those times.