Ultra Runners

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RW article on long training runs (Read 81 times)


Muddling through

    I just came across the RW article on long training runs. How does this mesh with actual training and race experience? Would/should the findings affect training patterns?

    2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


    Occasional Runner

      I didn't realize that rag was still cranking out a monthly collection of misguided crap. People still read Runner's World?


      Muddling through

        I didn't realize that rag was still cranking out a monthly collection of misguided crap. People still read Runner's World?

        A very informative critique, almost as useful as the RW article.

        2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

          Not sure what you're looking for. I've never trained for a relatively flat timed event (have trained for a timed climbathon and for 50-mi race), but most of my training was either specific for the course (types of hills, hauling water, etc) or getting at least 3 8-hr long runs and maybe 3 b2b 4-hr runs (I've modified that over time). So there's nothing in that article or the abstract that would make me change anything. With longer runs in the mountains, there's a lot of ups and downs and diversity.

           

          Some articles you might find interesting are those from WSER research.- look at 2nd half of page (top half is proposals, bottom half is results).

          This is the link for the 2006 article on indirect calorimetry, which I found interesting, but not sure if it helps you or not. (It makes me question a lot of the "guidelines" presented by various organizations.)

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


          Muddling through

            Two comments stood out, one being that his findings mesh with the ultra technique of taking shorter, more frequent strides, and the other being this one:

             

            "Philippe Gimenez, the lead researcher, told Runner's World Newswire via email that he was surprised to find that the runners who sustained a higher percentage of their VO2 max were also the ones whose energy cost of running, or efficiency, deteriorated the most over the 24 hours. "Thus it seems that [the energy cost of running] is of relatively less importance for ultraendurance running," Gimenez wrote."

             

            I would think changing my form to shorter, more frequent strides would be risky. The second comment about VO2Max didn't make sense unless I interpret it to mean that those who ran harder at first got more tired and slowed more. It doesn't take a study to figure that out.

            2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

            HoosierDaddy


              The best articles on training I've read are those by Ian Torrence on iRunFar.  His series,  Ultrarunning Bag of Tricks, includes long run training runs that are good for marathon or ultras.  I think those types of runs are employed by a lot of ultrarunners and coaches.

                I didn't realize that rag was still cranking out a monthly collection of misguided crap. People still read Runner's World?

                 

                The writer, Scott Douglas, co-authored the Pfitzinger Road Racing and Advanced Marathoning books.  I agree most RW stuff is the same recycled stuff over and over, but at least this "Newswire" story discusses a new study.

                 

                The study may have been more informative if it had included two groups:  one group that had never run more than 6 hours, and one that had run over 12 hours several times.  It would be interesting to see how the "Cost of running (Cr)" changes over the course of 24 hours in the veteran group.

                 

                I don't think anyone should train this way, running for 8-24 hours.  If you are going to do that, just sign up for a race.

                2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                DoppleBock


                  That was 24 on a TM

                   

                  I consider a long training run 4-8 hours.

                   

                  What happends on a long training run?  If it is on the trails - A lot of joy in my heart.  Strength and endurance in my legs.  Knowledge from the experience.

                   

                  I think the longest training run I have done is 7 hours, but sure under 8.  Most are 4-6 hours, the runs usually stop being productive about 6 hours for me.

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   


                  Muddling through

                    That was 24 on a TM

                     

                    I consider a long training run 4-8 hours.

                     

                    What happends on a long training run?  If it is on the trails - A lot of joy in my heart.  Strength and endurance in my legs.  Knowledge from the experience.

                     

                    I think the longest training run I have done is 7 hours, but sure under 8.  Most are 4-6 hours, the runs usually stop being productive about 6 hours for me.

                    That makes sense. Would the findings make any difference to race plans since I expect my race to last more than 8 hours? Spreading out energy expenditure so I don't crash after 8 hours would make it a lot more pleasant. Or would that be more a matter of focusing on nutrition and calorie intake?

                    2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


                    Uh oh... now what?

                      That makes sense. Would the findings make any difference to race plans since I expect my race to last more than 8 hours? Spreading out energy expenditure so I don't crash after 8 hours would make it a lot more pleasant. Or would that be more a matter of focusing on nutrition and calorie intake?

                      I am probably reading this all wrong, but...

                       

                      You don't duplicate the race to train for the race.  I remember my first marathon and

                      all its accompanying doubts and anxieties.  Two weeks before "The Day" I went down

                      to a local five-mile loop, ran it five times and added a bit more and stopped.  Okay, I

                      can run a marathon.  Two weeks later I could not understand why it was so difficult to do again.

                       

                      I don't know what you are training for, but for up to 100k I used sixish hours if on trails,

                      35 miles if on pavement, as the longest of my training runs.  One (sometimes two) long

                      run(s) about every third week during the twelve to fifteen weeks leading up to the two

                      weeks of taper was plenty.

                      DoppleBock


                        Time of race make all the difference

                         

                        We are basically trying to meter our effort (pace) to cover the race distance as fast as possible without crashing.  I fall back more on time than distance as time to do 50 miles of a flat loop and time to do 50 miles in mountains are totally different.

                         

                        Unless we are trying to be competetive most of us will meter our effort to deliver us to a point in the race where we feel we can bring it home.  For me it is the last 60-90 minutes of 5-8 hour race and the last 2-3 hours of a 24 hour race.  Before the last "smell the barn run for home"  I am trying to meter effort to complete the race as fast as possible with a little back off for a safety net as I hate suffering for too long.

                         

                        The effort level for a 3 hour, 5 hour, 8 hour, 12 hour, 24 hour race are all different.  We are running at such different effort levels in the 1st 70-80% of the race that the physiology of what is going on in our muscles and bodies is so different that I do not see how you can study one and use it for all.  Your % max heart rate, your ability to consume calories, the build up of fatigue and damage to your muscles is so different in each type of race - Both time and terrain.

                         

                        There are so many different reasons to train many different ways.  The ability to finish longer ultras is more of a factor of being in tune with your body, recognizing issues earlier and problem solving things that are going wrong.  What can I eat, How much can I eat, how much salt should I take, how much hydration, what should I do if my stomache is sour, if I have the squirts ... Much of this is gained through personal experience.

                         

                        There are many studies that can link performances at shorter races or workouts with marathon performance.  THis helps runners try and dial in their proper pace for the marathon ... and yet if you look at the results a large percent (> 50%) run large possitive splits.  Now take ultras - There are few good predictors for most long ultras, the terrain varries greatly, what problems you have each race varies greatly, what you have for 100 mile race varies day by day a lot.  So how do you know what pace to pick?  The main way is through experience, getting used to listening to your body etc.  Again a good way to do this is through long training runs.

                         

                        Intuitively - 50 mile races (7-9 hours) have always made sense to me.  I can run pretty hard, but keep the pace correct, so I can run close to my ability level.  I do not think this is a coincidence, I have run many training runs 4-7 hours and dealth with the issues that will pop up in a race under 10 hours.

                         

                        I have run 1 hundred (Dropped @ 70) and 8 - 24 hour races.  Only twice have I run a 24 hour race near my ability level at the time.  It was race # 2 and # 4.  To be honest the reason those went well, is because 1)  I picked a proper early pace and 2)  I never faced more than 1 problem to trouble shoot at a time.

                         

                        I cannot do training runs > 8 hours without them being negative physically to my body.  I will not do training runs longer than 8 hours.  But I can see some benefit to experiece one might gain from it.

                        http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                        2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                         

                        DoppleBock


                          I would agree.  I think for me ideally it would mean one of 2 training scenarios

                           

                          1)  Doing one 4-7 hour run once a month

                           

                          or

                           

                          2)  Doing one 4-5 hour run and one 6-7 hour run per month.

                           

                          Training runs should be done at training run effort.  If I do 35 miles on the trails in a training run, it might take 6 hours.  In a 50 mile race it would take 5 hours to 5 hours 20 minutes to cover 35 miles.

                           

                          I am probably reading this all wrong, but...

                           

                          You don't duplicate the race to train for the race.  I remember my first marathon and

                          all its accompanying doubts and anxieties.  Two weeks before "The Day" I went down

                          to a local five-mile loop, ran it five times and added a bit more and stopped.  Okay, I

                          can run a marathon.  Two weeks later I could not understand why it was so difficult to do again.

                           

                          I don't know what you are training for, but for up to 100k I used sixish hours if on trails,

                          35 miles if on pavement, as the longest of my training runs.  One (sometimes two) long

                          run(s) about every third week during the twelve to fifteen weeks leading up to the two

                          weeks of taper was plenty.

                          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                           

                          DoppleBock


                            To me if you are crashing it is one of three problems or some of each of the 3 problems listed

                             

                            1)  Effort level / pace.  If you want to keep a similar pace through the race, it better feel silly slow and easy in the beginning.  I use the vision "As easy as sitting on your couch watching TV" for 24 hour races for the 1st 12-16 hours.

                             

                            2)  Nutrition - Both calories and what the calories are made up of.  There is science behind this, but it also becomes very personal.  Both the total calories consumed and that they are made up of can make of break your race.

                             

                            3)  Hydration and electrolyte balance - Too much, Too little ... both will crash your race and both are solved in totally different ways.  I am a big sweaty horse, so I rarely can get enough hydration to get over-hydrated.  In training on a 65 degree humid day I have drank 70 ounces of h20 on a 2 hour run and still lost 12+ pounds.

                             

                            I tend to pound calories in races ~ I tend to drink at the high end of the bodies ability to absorb and I take S-Caps at regular intervals.  This may or may not be optimal for me.  But if it is optimal for me it does not mean it is optimal for you.

                             

                            I would guess the range of calories consumed in 100 mile races range from less than 100 calories per hour to 500 or more calories per hour.  I have consumed 500 per hour for a 24 hour race.  It is based both on what works for you and your bodies ability to absorb calories.  If you cannot absorb them, they will be counter productive.

                             

                            I would theorize the amount of hydration and elctrolyte suppliments vary as much as a % or more as calories above.  Some people take no electrolyte suppliments.  I think everyone takes some hydration, but I would guess it could vary from < 10 ounces an hour to > 30 ounces an hour.

                             

                            The types of calories vary over a huge range:  Different gels and drinks, PB&J, Bananas, cookies, candies, bacon, borritos, potatoes.

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            That makes sense. Would the findings make any difference to race plans since I expect my race to last more than 8 hours? Spreading out energy expenditure so I don't crash after 8 hours would make it a lot more pleasant. Or would that be more a matter of focusing on nutrition and calorie intake?

                            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                             

                              That makes sense. Would the findings make any difference to race plans since I expect my race to last more than 8 hours? Spreading out energy expenditure so I don't crash after 8 hours would make it a lot more pleasant. Or would that be more a matter of focusing on nutrition and calorie intake?

                              For context, you might want to indicate race duration and course. I know you're training for a timed race (12 or 24 hrs?) but can't remember what the laps are like (400m track, 1 mi asphalt, 1 mi dirt, ...; some hills or flat?).

                               

                              You've gotten a lot of good comments here.

                               

                              I think you'll find you don't deliberately change your form, but length of stride and cadence *may* change as you get into longer events.

                              Also, many successful races are done at even effort - and it may be a lot easier effort (as in "talk test", breathing) in a longer race than a shorter one. Banking time may not be a good idea unless weather comes into play.

                              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                              Muddling through

                                Thanks for the extended responses, especially to DoppleBock.

                                 

                                I'm entered in a 12-hour race. I have no intentions of trying to duplicate that in training. I expect my longest training runs to be in the 4-6 hour range. Even on what would be short training runs for ultras, e.g. 2 hours, I'm already having a hard time adjusting my effort and pace coming from a middle distance background. What seems uncommonly slow for the first couple miles is still too fast for me to maintain for even 2 hours. Terrain and surface are not an issue. I train on courses vey similar to the race course, i.e. paved trails and roads. The race is on a paved trail and flatter than what I train on. At 2 hours I haven't started testing what I can eat or drink yet on the run.

                                 

                                So from responses so far I need to

                                1) slow down even more

                                2) it's time to start seeing what I can eat and drink on the run. I'm not fond of gels and GU so I'll try a variety of real foods and sports drinks.

                                3) continue to increase the duration of my long runs to get them in the 20-30 mile range or 4-6 hours duration at my pace

                                2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

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