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long term aerobic phase (Read 1546 times)

TimButterfield


    The Lydiard-inspired training plans have phases of aerobic, hills, anaerobic, coordination, and taper leading up to a specific target event date.  But, what if there is no target event date?  I am several weeks into the running-wizard.com beginner marathon training plan.  I like the plan so far, especially the variety of workouts in the aerobic phase.  (I have five workouts per week.)  I do not really have a target event.  When creating the training plan, I selected 'some date' just to have the longest training plan possible that started right away.  My current long term goal is to eventually run ultras, but I am not in any particular rush to get there.  I first set that goal in 2009.  After completing C25K, I bounced around between different training ideas, went on and off training, and stagnated.  I am now back to eating healthier, am losing weight again, and have an enjoyable training plan I can follow to provide focus.  My primary goal now is just to improve my health and fitness leading towards that longer term goal.

     

    On my current training plan and at my current, very slow pace, my plan estimates my marathon taking just over six hours to complete.  To put that in ultra perspective since that is my long term goal, the Chicago Lakefront 50K, a very flat 50K, has a 7 hour cut-off.  At my estimated pace, I might just barely make it  (assuming I don't start early to get some extra time).  Since I am not in a hurry to enter an event, I would like to do a bit better than 'almost' at my first attempt at something.  Maybe an extra year or more in the aerobic phase would substantially reduce that time.  It would certainly give me more time to gradually lose weight.  Thirty years ago, I had a runners body at 5'10" and 130 pounds, though I only ran for fun and never trained.  If I can begin to approach that weight again (say 150 range, down ~55 from current weight) and continue to build fitness, I could be substantially faster than I am now.  I just cannot know in advance how long that will take; makes it a bit hard to plan. Wink

     

    As an introvert, I don't really need the socializing aspect of events, hence my not being in a hurry to enter one.  So, I am at a beginner fitness level with no target event date.


    Finally to the question...

     

    If the goal is unknown, just building fitness, or is long term, say three years out or so, which would result in better eventual performance, a very long aerobic phase or periodic peaking?  My guess is that I should stay in the aerobic phase, however long it takes, until I reach some personally acceptable and reasonable level of performance and then begin peaking for some yet to be determined event.  What are your thoughts on this?

     

    Thanks.

      Tim:

       

      Something I've learnt when I was down in New Zealand, training with Lydiard and his runners; "Conditioning is NOT just aerobic running."  So many people seem to misunderstand this part.  I get excited e-mail from some high school runners saying, after reading Lydiard's book, they are set to try out this wonderful "Aerobic Conditioning" which Lydiard said to do "for as long as possible".  "I'm going to spend next 3 years building a HUGE aerobic base..."  Well, unfortunately, it really won't work that way--especially if your goal is to "perform well" in the race.  Whatever you try to do, training would have to be BALANCED.  If you lose this balance, no training plan that emphases one thing, whatever that may be, is not balanced.

       

      I almost feel like we need to re-write all of Lydiard's book.  When he wrote most of his books, that was the time when not too many people were doing "Aerobic Conditioning".  Especially back in the 1960s, most "racers" were doing repeats with very small base and they needed to be guided to do more aerobic running.  Lydiard kept on telling people that throughout 1970s and even 1980s but people had caught on.  Unfortunately, they then went on the other side of the swing.  It is quite appalling to me to receive an e-mail from people who can run 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 hours with very little trouble but they do that at, say, 12 or 13 or 14-minute-mile pace.  For some reason, they never get "faster" by getting volume of running which, as far as Lydiard was concerned, you should as you add more volume and get stronger.  I think something happens when people just emphases one side of development and surely they seem to hit the wall a lot faster than they otherwise should.  In other words, they don't seem to improve even though they train very hard.

       

      We developed this Running Wizard training plan based on Lydiard principles, that is; you gradually increase the volume of your training as your aerobic pace gradually improves.  In other words, each week, you gradually run more and more and, at the same time, you run faster and faster.  It's all built-in, but, if done correctly, it should happen naturally.  It's like; I started running twice a day (not quite every day...) in September; I felt comfortably doing about 20-minutes then and now I do about 30-40 minutes at very easy pace.  But gradually I noticed the distance I can run within the same duration before I turn around gets further and further.  That should happen naturally, not by force.  Ideal case scenario is; you start out somewhere around running 2-hour comfortably and, in 10 weeks time, you gradually build it up to about 2:30.  If you're still at about 60-minutes to begin with, you still bring it up close to 2-hours in 10 weeks (preferably).  I have noticed, however, that some people are already way beyond that level--2-hours is no problem, even 3-hours.  That's a lot of running.  Unfortunately...  You see, we had developed this to place each day's running duration based on this "long run".  Here's another balance.  We have one day long and easier pace; followed by shorter run of either faster pace or fartlek to mix some speed.  That's "Lydiard balance".  However, these people seem to throw a super long run (most likely because they focus on "distance") and, because they go beyond their head, they end up taking 2 or 3 or, for some people's case, 4 easy or off days following this heroic effort.  We didn't structure our plan that way.  We didn't want those who "feel comfortable" running 3 hours on weekend to do 2:40 minutes on Thursday, 2:15 on Tuesday--I don't think they are capable to begin with.  

       

      So I guess what I'm trying to say here is; if you're already comfortably running 2-hours now (I'm not saying you are), what you need is to spend next 10-months plodding along to do more aerobic running; but to move on and do "other stuff".

       

      Now I THINK we've corresponded, right?  I believe you are actually starting out at about 15-minutes of running first...  We had created a 39-week plan to go from 15-minutes to a full marathon.  Not ideal, but possible.  The structure is such that you would get up to at least 1-hour in 15-weeks (I think).  Then you'll move on to do a cycle of Lydiard schedule from 60-minutes starting point.  We DO have a program called "Leg-Building" plan.  It's not up yet because we aren't quite sure how to place it.  I don't think you need to continue working on it beyond 2-hours.  Some people may attempt to start at somewhere around 1:30 or 1:45, THINKING they'll need to continue doing aerobic conditioning.  

       

      Our original goal was to provide legitimate Lydiard cycles; which I believe we had.  Right now we are working on "how to fill the gap" to provide a yearly plan.  This is actually quite a bit more tricky than you'd think.  A part of a reason is because, as I started to explain earlier, we are getting into the era of "I can run for a long time but I just can't run any faster".  I think there was a period when people viewed "trying to run faster" as one of 7 sins.  It's a taboo to even talk about trying to run faster.  You only work hard to go the distance...

       

      Bear in mind, if you're starting at 15-minutes, 39-week is still quite "bare-minimum".  We did put a lot of thought into this.  We believe you can get up to 1-hour from 15-minutes in 15 weeks safely (probably even a bit less).  We believe you COULD get ready to "complete" a full marathon, starting at 60-minutes in minimum of 17 weeks (total of 39).  It's still a little more than a "survival" training plan.  

       

      Okay, it's late at night and I am getting tired too and this is getting digressed...  To answer your question (finally), I believe you'd be better off developing all the elements of "running" than simply "aerobic".  It is probably fine to continue "aerobic" type conditioning for maybe 20-weeks.  But I would most probably recommend doing several "cycles"--as you said you enjoyed the variety.  That actually is another advantage of Lydiard.  You start out being a, say, 28-minute 5k runner for the first cycle and you improve your 5k down to, say, 26-minutes; then for the second cycle, you'll start out as a 26-minute 5k runner; not a 28-minute runner.  Likewise, you start out running 1-hour being the long run and gradually move it up to 1:40 or so, then you'll start out the next cycle at 1:30 long run.  Now, I don't necessarily recommend going much beyond 2-hour being the long run.  That's where I feel you don't need to continue bringing it up.  After all, as you get "faster", your actual distance that you can run in 2-hours will go further.  

      TimButterfield


        Hi, Nobby.

         

        Yes.  We have corresponded before via both RA messaging and email.  I just didn't want to always email you questions since I'm not currently paying for additional coaching.  Thanks for responding, especially at this hour.  I'm not usually up this late either.

         

        I did get the 15 minute starting plan as that was my most recent run length.  I had been doing more run/walk to keep my HR low.  In 2009, after finishing the C25K, I did a one hour run, about 4 miles.  A few days after getting this plan, I did a 3.22mile/48minute run/walk and a couple days later, a 2.96mile/49minute run.  Because I confirmed running longer than the 15 minutes the plan was based on before starting the plan the following week, I've been running longer than planned since starting it.  My last long run was 3.25mile/49 minutes.  It was slightly slower compared with the prior run as I wore more clothes due to the 20F lower temperature.  (Moving a refrigerator last Sunday spasmed my back resulting in me not running this week.)  Within a few weeks, I could probably extend to a one hour long run again.

         

        I don't mind cycles if they are beneficial.  With the variety of workouts in the aerobic phase, I wasn't sure if additional phases were necessary, especially if all phases are included, even taper, when there was no target event.  I also don't mind running by time and building speed within a time allotment.  A two hour max seems fine with me for now.  With any target event so far in the future, I'm not sure it makes sense to extend to much longer workouts this early.

         

        How would a leg-building plan work?  Is it cycling through just the early phases and leaving out the later targeting phases?

         

        My current training plan ends on October 6th.  My log is linked below if you want to see what I am doing currently in relation to my plan.  I'm in this for the long haul as I very much prefer this type of training.  I am certainly interested in more than just a "survival" training plan approach.   I would be very happy to work with you and beta test this kind of training plan if you are open to that.

         

        Thanks again for the feedback.

          ...

           

          I don't mind cycles if they are beneficial.  With the variety of workouts in the aerobic phase, I wasn't sure if additional phases were necessary, especially if all phases are included, even taper, when there was no target event.  I also don't mind running by time and building speed within a time allotment.  A two hour max seems fine with me for now.  With any target event so far in the future, I'm not sure it makes sense to extend to much longer workouts this early.

           

          How would a leg-building plan work?  Is it cycling through just the early phases and leaving out the later targeting phases?

           ...

          Just a quicky before I head out to Winter Trails Day. I agree 100% with Nobby that's there's more to base building than aerobic conditioning. Building up musculoskeletal system is really important - big big muscles and the little balance muscles. Supplemental training (body-weight drills in your living room for 10min or whatever) can help with this.

           

          You'll find that your development will probably happen in plateaus. If you only did the same workouts all the time, your body would adapt and you'd likely stagnate. This is where some of the later phases build you up a little more. Then when you get back to week 1 of a base plan, then you're at a higher level and build from there. Diversity - both in short term and long term - help make you a better runner.

           

          I know you indicated a goal of doing an ultra, in particular Chicago Lakefront 50k. Is that a one-time goal or are you interested in getting into longer or hillier ultras?  The reason I ask is that a flat 50k with aid stations isn't that much different than a marathon, but enough different for a low-mileage person that the extra distance needs to be respected. If you are interested in longer stuff on trails, then there's other things most people find useful that can be included along the way.

           

          While you may not need the socializing aspects of shorter distance races, you may need the race atmosphere experience of other distances. Tricks to putting your bib or chip on? Eating prior to the race, including race-day breakfast - with actual race-day excitement, not the staged long-run dress rehearsal. How do you drink at an aid station? Most importantly, can you hold your pace and run your own race when other people are around? Can you time your peak in training? Peaking for a key race and then taking some recovery time provides significant variety in your training.

           

          Another way to learn something about doing races is to volunteer. If your goal is several years off, then help at the Lakefront 50k. See how their aid stations are set up. Talk with people. Find out some of their approaches. Help at other races. There's a lot more to races than just building your time and showing up on race day. It's about the journey. Have fun enjoying your new challenges.

           

           

          FWIW. After my first race (a winter tri at about +1F, just under 2hrs, iirc), someone suggested to me that I ought to try ultras. That was Dec 2001. I finally did 60k the year I turned 60 (only part of a 50-mi race) in 2007, about 2 yrs after retiring when I could finally run year round, rather than winter only. I just kept building year after year, doing whatever duration races I felt I could handle - building, peaking, recovering. Some races got pushed back as I couldn't build as fast as I originally thought. But I gained a lot of running experience along the way and met some really good people. I also volunteered at that 50-mi race for 2 yrs before trying it. Granted for me, it wasn't about the distance, it was about a point-to-point run through a long mountain pass, supplying our own water from streams, etc. (no roads for the first 60k). The map screamed to me to come run it. I really didn't care that much about the last 12 mi. But volunteering at finish and at overnight aid stations and helping the 100-mi racers was just really instructive. And different years are different.

           

          I should add that many of my races use neither bibs nor chips and don't have aid stations, so those things still cause trauma for me. Wink  Bibs aren't too big a deal now. And aid stations vary so much (only used them in 2 races, 2 others had them, but didn't use them), that I wouldn't know how to train for them except for the same race in a different year.

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


            I know you indicated a goal of doing an ultra, in particular Chicago Lakefront 50k. Is that a one-time goal or are you interested in getting into longer or hillier ultras?  The reason I ask is that a flat 50k with aid stations isn't that much different than a marathon, but enough different for a low-mileage person that the extra distance needs to be respected. If you are interested in longer stuff on trails, then there's other things most people find useful that can be included along the way.

             

            ...

             

            Another way to learn something about doing races is to volunteer. If your goal is several years off, then help at the Lakefront 50k. See how their aid stations are set up. Talk with people. Find out some of their approaches. Help at other races. There's a lot more to races than just building your time and showing up on race day. It's about the journey. Have fun enjoying your new challenges.

             

            I have an interest in ultras in general (and lurk on the ultra list).  I would love to be able to eventually run something like Leadville or Western States or even Vol State, but not Barkley.  Smile  I mentioned the Chicago Lakefront 50K because I currently live in the Chicago suburbs and felt a flat 50K would have a low barrier to entry.  I am planning a relocation to southern Missouri soon, probably the West Plains area, and will get a chance to run some of the Ozark trails in the area.  That will round out that ability somewhat and provide a closer proximity for doing some hill work once I reach that phase.

             

            I have thought of volunteering for part of an event to get a feel for aid stations.  If I am still here at the end of March, I may stop by and help at the spring Chicago 50K.  I would likely not be able to stay for the entire event as my wife is disabled (both knees replaced) and cannot stay uncomfortable for too long.  I understand the benefits of familiarity with other aspects of events.  But, there will be time enough for that once I gain some fitness improvements.  I also plan some additional exercises for general fitness.  I have already started with some that are running specific like the 100 up exercises to help with driving the knee forward.  I also have a set of power blocks to supplement body weight exercises.  And, I have a bicycle for a bit of cross training, low impact work, and cadence practice.

             

            Thanks for the feedback.

              Something to think about is if you're going to be moving soon so you'll have trails and hills, which will be more relevant to your long-term goals, then consider starting with a 20-25mi trail race. It could take you as long as a 50k flat paved race, but you'll start getting trail and hill experience.

               

              Also, since you seem to be aiming for longer stuff, I'd probably treat the 50k or where ever you choose to start as an ultra by paying a lot of attention to hydration, electrolytes, and fueling. You might be able to squeak by 4-6 hr without having those factors figured out, but you'll need to have that by the time you get to 100miles. Some people have cast-iron stomachs; others struggle for years trying to find a solution to keep from barfing.

               

              I'm assuming that what they've got in their training pgms now is similar to what they had last year, although I started with a 10k plan (as faster work underlying an ultra pgm). They have a very good combination of workouts in their Endurance phase, and if you combine that with their other phases, you should develop well.

               

              To answer your question, yes, there are benefits to doing the whole pgm, not just the endurance phase. (I'll admit that I'd be likely to compress some of the latter stuff, just because of Alaska winter condtions and short summer with traction. IOW, it's hard to do some of the latter workouts in soft snow in a snow storm.)

               

              Good luck and have fun.

               

              (FWIW, I built toward my goal race directly rather than taking an indirect route of using flat races as an introduction. Hilly trails are more fun, in my mind, and I didn't want to have to fly to lower 48 to do a race that wouldn't be that relevant up here. YMMV.)

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


                Thanks, AKTrail, for the additional feedback.  If I were to articulate my near term goal a little better, it would be this: get my long runs up to two hours and increase my aerobic run speed from 14m/m pace to something closer to a 9-10m/m pace.  Since that will take a substantial amount of time, my goal with this thread was to find the most time efficient way to do that.  If Nobby's Leg Building plan can leave out phases like coordination and taper, maybe several cycles of that would do it.

                pondman


                  The Lydiard-inspired training plans have phases of aerobic, hills, anaerobic, coordination, and taper leading up to a specific target event date.  But, what if there is no target event date?  

                   

                   

                   

                  Lydiard did insist on a base building component prior to entering the next phase. For several months, he recommend doing about 11-12 hours of running per week, and it was for 7 days a week. It's very high mileage.  You'd have to run it slow as a non-elite, or you'd tear yourself up. Most contemporary amateur runners don't even begin to fullfill the aerobic requirement, before jumping into a variety of running plans. High mileage does produce results within the elite ranks. But I'm not sure it's suitable for the weekenders, who want to stay active by running 30 miles a week.

                    Lydiard did insist on a base building component prior to entering the next phase. For several months, he recommend doing about 11-12 hours of running per week, and it was for 7 days a week. It's very high mileage.  You'd have to run it slow as a non-elite, or you'd tear yourself up. Most contemporary amateur runners don't even begin to fullfill the aerobic requirement, before jumping into a variety of running plans. High mileage does produce results within the elite ranks. But I'm not sure it's suitable for the weekenders, who want to stay active by running 30 miles a week.

                    Unfortunately a comment like this only spreads misunderstanding of "Lydiard" further and deeper.  If "Lydiard" is not suitable for the "weekenders", jogging, as it is today, wouldn't have even been existed.  Pity...

                     

                    So if the training program for "weekenders" doesn't start with aerobic development, how would you suggest "weekenders" start the training program?  Tabata sprints?


                    Fat butt on couch

                       High mileage does produce results within the elite ranks. But I'm not sure it's suitable for the weekenders, who want to stay active by running 30 miles a week.

                       

                      Well I guess it depends on your goal.  If your goal is to improve, why not high mileage just because you aren't elite?  However if your goal is just to stay active and healthy without spending more time on running that what it takes to run 30mpw...well...then you're stuck....it's not for you, and you'll be pretty capped on the level of improvement you will see.

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                       


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        High mileage does produce results within the elite ranks. But I'm not sure it's suitable for the weekenders, who want to stay active by running 30 miles a week.

                         

                        Well, folks who want to run 30 miles per week, by definition, are not high mileage runners...


                        Race Less Train More

                           

                           

                          On my current training plan and at my current, very slow pace, my plan estimates my marathon taking just over six hours to complete.  To put that in ultra perspective since that is my long term goal, the Chicago Lakefront 50K, a very flat 50K, has a 7 hour cut-off.  At my estimated pace, I might just barely make it  (assuming I don't start early to get some extra time).

                           

                          As an introvert, I don't really need the socializing aspect of events, hence my not being in a hurry to enter one.  So, I am at a beginner fitness level with no target event date.



                           a very long aerobic phase or periodic peaking?  My guess is that I should stay in the aerobic phase

                           

                           

                           Your log has you doing less than 1 mile a day over a month. Find a low key race and train for it (5K). Training for a race helps motivate me to get out the door consistently. In 3 years of Maff training I have gone from 500 miles a year to over 2000 last year. Goal for  2012- an ultra 100.

                           

                          30:00 (1.5 miles) x 5 = 2.5 hours (7.5 miles)

                          7.5 x 4 = 30 miles in a month. A starting point.

                          50K = 31.07 miles.

                          All miles in my book are good miles. Slow and injure free is a good thing.Good luck in your quest. Smile

                          Run until the trail runs out.

                          2013***1500 miles

                          50 miler

                           

                           

                          unsolicited chatter

                          http://bkclay.blogspot.com/

                          TimButterfield


                             Your log has you doing less than 1 mile a day over a month. Find a low key race and train for it (5K). Training for a race helps motivate me to get out the door consistently. In 3 years of Maff training I have gone from 500 miles a year to over 2000 last year. Goal for  2012- an ultra 100.

                             

                            30:00 (1.5 miles) x 5 = 2.5 hours (7.5 miles)

                            7.5 x 4 = 30 miles in a month. A starting point.

                            50K = 31.07 miles.

                            All miles in my book are good miles. Slow and injure free is a good thing.Good luck in your quest. Smile

                             

                            Well, I am still a beginner.  If my pace were twice as fast, I would have much more mileage. Wink  Since starting my current plan, I am much more consistent now than I have been in the past.  I did a bit over ten miles this week.  My current training plan has me doing five workouts per week and I try to stick with that.  I use the workout priority rankings when I need to shuffle things around.  I did that a couple of weeks ago, doing a longer aerobic run on Monday instead of Tuesday and skipping the lowest priority easy jog.  I may shift them around again next week as I am planning a trip out of town next weekend.

                             

                            Within a few months, I should be up to two hours on my long runs.  Of course, at my very slow pace, that is still not a lot of mileage each week.  But, that is all relative.  It may be a lot compared with someone just starting C25K, but very little compared with an experienced ultra runner or other competitive runner.

                             

                            I am enjoying my workout variety and that is helping me to keep going even if I do not feel like it that day.  As my workout notes for today say, I am more glad when I do than when I do not.  Because I am enjoying this process, the variety of different workouts, and my body is neither stagnating nor breaking down, I have confidence I will be able to continue with this consistency for a long time to come.  Thanks for the well wishes.


                            Race Less Train More

                              My mistake. I checked your log and not your calendar. You are running on a very consistent bases. You definitely do not want to over do it and have your back to go out. I know that all to well. WTG!

                              Run until the trail runs out.

                              2013***1500 miles

                              50 miler

                               

                               

                              unsolicited chatter

                              http://bkclay.blogspot.com/


                              Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                                Well, folks who want to run 30 miles per week, by definition, are not high mileage runners...

                                 to true... and they may never be high mileage runners. At my slow pace and broken down body 30mpw is a lot of time on my feet, 7-9 hrs and the body objects when there are to many weeks in a row like that. So listening to one's body and knowing limits is an  important factor

                                bob e v
                                2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                                Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                                Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                                History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

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