>Running 101>Looking for some advice to consolidate my training
I've been reading this forum a lot lately, and I've been positively impressed, so here I am looking for advice.
I am now 37/M, relatively new to running, I've run for a few months in 2016 and 2018, both times I had to stop because I was too stupid/unexperienced to sniff the symptoms of overtraining and ended up with shin splints/runner's knee.
In those periods I maxed at around 40mpw, and ran a bunch of 5-10k (PBs 21:52/45:30), and a couple of HM with a PB of 1:50:00 more or less.
(In 2017 and 2019 I ran very sporadically.)
Last September, I took up running again, with the added motivation that I was 20-ish pounds overweight.
I started yet again with short 3-4 miles run and gradually built up to my usual 6-7mi runs, and I couldn't resist squeezing in some intervals/repetitions even though I know I shouldn't have.
My New Year's resolution for 2021 is to be able to consistently train for the whole of year without getting injured, building up as much of an aerobic base as possible, without worrying too much about PBs and the sort.
With that in mind, in January I picked up Pfitzinger's Base Training tables and in the last few weeks I ran consistently at about 40-45mpw, and the one time I decided to push a bit to test my fitness I ran a 1:47:00 HM.
Here's my runalyze public page for those with enough curiosity and spare time to have a look at my logs:https://runalyze.com/athlete/mrossetti
My next mid-term goal is a marathon in autumn, so I am about 30 weeks away from that and I have all the time in the world to prepare properly; I will most likely follow an 18w program, which leaves me with 12 weeks to spare before things get serious.
So my first question is: how should I proceed in theses 12 weeks? Should I continue base training with the same mileage, given that it's the most I've run so far? Should I dare up the mileage a bit more? Or should I stick in a race-specific program just to shuffle things?
The second question is: which marathon training program do you think would work best for me given my history?
I got myself tested in a lab too, so I can add some more (hopefully useful) pieces of information:
- I am apparently quite good at metabolising fats
- I don't have so many mithocondria, nor they are too big
- My muscles are predominantly fast-twitch
- My Vo2 max is 51
Currently I have shortlisted Pfitzinger 18/55, Pfitzinger 18/70 (although this might be too aggressive, given that I never ran 70 mpw in my life) or one of the Hansons plan. Of course I am open to other recommendations.
I am aware that I am probably overthinking this, but I can't help it
If you made it so far, thanks for your patience!
Looking forward to some advice.
take the following with a grain of salt as i am recovering from a stress fracture from overtraining...
you haven't been running long, a marathon takes a long time to be ready for (unless its just a bucket list thing and you just want to do one in your lifetime) your lab stuff shows you don't have the long distance endurance development yet at all
consider putting the marathon off at least a year. higher chance that it won't get cancelled or changed to a virtual event that way too
if you really really won't put it off and really really want to run the marathon 30 weeks from now regardless of what we say here, then try the easier of the Pfitz plans, or look at Lydiard plans (but those are typically more successful if you go for a 24 weeks plan). you have a couple of options for the 10-12 weeks you have before "formally" starting your marathon plan. try a short 5K plan to work on speed and get used to the structure or just base train until you are ready to get super comfortable with the mileage and give you body lots of time to adapt.
use this time to develop good habits (what you eat, how you sleep, staying hydrated) and maybe find a weekend running group to help keep you going when the running gets tough.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my post!
Right now I am running on average 45-50 miles a week (14mi my longest run so far), and I seem to hold up pretty well, so I think that purely in terms of mileage I would be ready to take up either Pfitz 18/55 (which is what I was eyeing anyway) or Daniels' 2Q.
As you correctly assumed, it's not just a "bucket list" thing, but I would like to prepare to run the distance regularly in the future.
I was under the (wrong?) assumption that 16-18 weeks of base training (building up to 50-55 mpw and a 15-16mi long run and keeping it for 6-8 weeks) plus an 18-week plan would be enough to be ready to run a marathon in autumn; besides, my idea would be to run it conservatively, worrying more about having a nice experience and finishing it in a decent shape rather than hitting any specific time.
Am I wrong about this?
I could certainly postpone my first date with the 42k until next spring (or even next fall), I am in no hurry and my main concern is to build up to it properly and injury-free, so that I can continue to enjoy it
In this case, how would you recommend I go about it? Should I plan 1-2 half-marathon training cycles to fill up 2021? How much speedwork should I include, since my main goal would still be just to keep building a stronger aerobic base?
As for the 10-12 spare weeks that I have in my current schedule, I am indeed internally debating between a couple of Jack Daniels' 5-week cycles (which will add some I and R sessions to what I am doing now), or a short 5-10k plan as you suggested.
Currently leaning more towards the former option though.
Thanks again for your insights!
You are wrong and not wrong. You could probably run a marathon tomorrow in 4:15 to 4:30. On the other you probably won’t be able to run a 3:30 marathon in 30 weeks (3:30 is the equivalent performance to a 22:00 5K according to Daniels). Choose the plan that resonates with you. In practice, getting your mileage up and doing some tempo runs will get you within a few minutes of a perfect plan.
Losing weight will help a lot too. If you are 20 lbs overweight you are probably 30-40 pounds over optimal running weight.
Thanks for your input!
You are wrong and not wrong. You could probably run a marathon tomorrow in 4:15 to 4:30. On the other you probably won’t be able to run a 3:30 marathon in 30 weeks (3:30 is the equivalent performance to a 22:00 5K according to Daniels).
I completely agree with you here, that's what I meant with "running conservatively"; I think that if I go for it in September, I will aim for something between 3h40 and 4h. (According to Daniels and my recent HM effort, my predicted time is 3:42:X.)
Choose the plan that resonates with you. In practice, getting your mileage up and doing some tempo runs will get you within a few minutes of a perfect plan.
The most likely candidate is Pfitzinger 18/55 plan, although Jack Daniels 2Q plan is also enticing. I am considering the Hansons' advanced plan, but I am not completely sold on their approach yet. Do you have any recommendation given my situation?
I was indeed 30-40 pounds over optimal running weight when I took up running again in September, weighing over 190 pounds; however, in the meantime I got rid of them all, and right now I weigh an ideal 160, so that's one less problem to worry about
I’ve had success with Daniels’s plans. I haven’t tried Pfizer although I have his book. I’m less familiar with Hanson.
Reading the plans I just like Daniels better. Keep in mind you don’t need to follow any plan exactly. Add or subtract mileage, shift days around, shorten or extend workouts.
The question of Hanson's vs Pfitzinger comes up periodically. If you're really interested, it would probably be worthwhile to start with this one.
Thanks for the hint, very informative thread!
I was going to give some advice for an athlete that is fast twitch reliant but your lab results don't really make sense to me so I am not sure they have it right for you.
Your VO2 max is too high for a type 2 athlete that is underdeveloped. Also, I should mention that your superior ability to metabolize lipids also conflicts with this.
What methods did they use to determine your fiber type?
I might have used an incorrect terminology here, what the guy testing me meant is that this 51 does not reflect my current level of fitness, but rather a fixed value determined mostly by my genetics, and that won't change much depending on my conditions.
I think the bulk of it came from a test on the treadmill, where I was running 3 minutes intervals at increasing speeds with a mask+tube to my mouth and he would sample blood from my earlobe after each interval to check lactate levels and other stuff.
If you think it can be useful I can attach some of the results, but they are in German so it might be a bit complicated (I also don't speak German super well, moved to Germany only recently).
My current Vdot (using Daniel's formula) is instead around 41/42, if that's of any use.
Feel free to ask me anything else might help you figure things out, I am more than happy to answer
On the result papers it states (I am translating from German so forgive me if terminology isn't very precise):
The patient performs a maximal-effort test up to 16km/h and reaches a V'O2peak of 3,69L/min.
[...]The maximal oxygen absorption corresponds to a respiratory ratio of 1,11 and a heart rate of 189 BPM.
The VT1 is 2,77 L/min (i.e. 38 ml/min/kg).
Here's a table with some other info, among which the lactate value at different steps in the test:https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4hb2hdnw9qm7s8/LD_Lactate_Tabelle.png?dl=0
Here's another table with more values (most of which I have no clue about ):https://www.dropbox.com/s/ua4lplhpersjkct/LD_Tabelle_2.png?dl=0
As for my lipidic metabolism, here's the page summarising the results:
It's in German, but it is pretty self-explanatory.
(I took this two months back, before my last 8 weeks of base training).
Hope this helps, more than happy to provide more information if that helps
Ok, this makes sense now. You can improve your VO2 Max btw up to around 15% depending on your baseline and who you are.
For the lactate test, this is telling. For the testing are the two number figures per row during and after a set number of minutes after the test? Regardless, I would agree with their determination because your levels reached a height not obtainable by a slow twitch reliant athlete.
Edit: Ok, the , indicates a decimal so I understand your max to be 13.17? How much rest did they give you between intervals in this 7 stage test?
For Lactate to determine FT / ST you look for maximum levels and the time it takes to return to base levels. If you were at max effort and a type 2 athlete I would expect 16-18 with a return to 2 around 15-20 minutes. Type 1 more like 7-9 with a return in 9-12 minutes
That's my hope, given that I took the test with my aerobic system still pretty much undeveloped
I would agree with their determination because your levels reached a height not obtainable by a slow twitch reliant athlete.
Could you elaborate more on this? I am curious to understand.
How much rest did they give you between intervals in this 7 stage test?
Between the intervals not much, just the time to take the blood sample basically, so 1 minute maybe?
I remember doing a last interval at like 4km/h, but it seems it is not part of the table; no other measurements after 15-20 minutes, so I think this data point is missing.
To your question about lactate if I put a type 1 slow twitch reliant athlete on the track and had them do an all out 400 meter run there levels would unlikely be over 10mmol because they are unable to. They would also clear the lactate that they had accumulated at a quicker rate due to the high mitochondrial density.
13mmol indicates that you are more reliant on type 2 fibers but if you were maxed out and more of a type 2 athlete than that level would be higher. We are all different this way. In other words you might be using more type 1 fibers than you think.
The differences make for different strategies for training. For example, for you, a better strategy for a 4 mile tempo run would be to break it up in mile intervals with a short rest or 2x2 mile with a rest in between. You would be getting the same benefit without accumulating too much lactate which you are prone to do.
Your overall volume would be a little lower also. For example if optimum was 100 MPW (arbitrary number) yours might be around 85 MPW but you would run those miles quicker. The reason for this is to run with enough force to engage the type 2 fibers and force them to produce ATP aerobically which causes and adaptation for a greater mitochondrial density.
The tough news might be that if you are a type 2 athlete (still to be determined) the Marathon is most likely not your best event. But, maybe you do the Marathon as a personal challenge and explore the possibility that you might have fun developing into a really good miler in the master's division? Either scenario is a good one, I'm just making a suggestion based on a hunch.
I should also mention that Pfitz and Daniels are both extremely good programs. I have never analyzed why but I know a lot of type 2 runners doing very well with Daniels. It probably is because the regular running paces are a little more aggressive in pace than other programs.