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"ideal" weight - fact or fiction? (Read 2544 times)


Fat butt on couch

    runnerdave, you're getting plenty of good thoughts, so I'll just comment on one thing...your time trials.  You don't need to blow yourself out on time trials to track your progress.  All you have to do is track your performance in a given workout over a period of time.  For example, I like to use a 4-mile tempo run.  As I see my time for this workout improving over time, I know I am gaining fitness.  Through experience, I can pretty well correlate this workout with how I will race up to a HM.  

     

    Now, the key is you can't race the workout or it's irrelevant.  Of course you will get faster if you really run it as a tempo one week, then a couple weeks later push it near race effort.  So often I'll check the first mile to make sure I'm close to where I think I should be, then don't look at the watch until I finish and focus on getting the effort right.

    "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

     

      Really, message boards are not the best place to learn about training. But they are great places to meet folks like Nobby to ask specific questions and maybe end up in a coaching relationship. Or great places to meet like-minded folks who won't think you are crazy for running 50+mpw!

      ...Or you run into somebody who tries to give you advice without fully knowing your background!!  I can't even remember why I even came on to this thread; I didn't care too much for "ideal weight" but, when I saw a comment about "training plan", I had to take a peek....and that was my background knowledge of the OP.  I didn't even know Dave was the original poster...  Now I read some more and studied your own background a bit...

       

      When I was in middle school, our event was 2000m.  Our coach was not very helpful; he was a soccer coach and more involved with soccer and left "training" for T&F team to us.  I set out a 2k loop around my house and my training was to run there as fast as I can just about every night except for weekend when I didn't do anything!!  I got patellar tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis.  I did alright (I was second at the district meet and 10th at the state) but nothing, looking back, as I probably could have if I knew a bit more about training.

       

      Jeff, you are absolutely right; IF we can understand out own body and go by how we feel, that would be best.  But in most cases, our head gets ahead and go with some logical-sounding theory instead of illogical-sounding yet proven method.  It does make sense to think, if you can run 5 X 1km at the race pace and cut down your recovery shorter and shorter each week, you'll achieve the goal of running the entire race distance at the pace you want to run.  Going further just does NOT sound logical...  And Lydiard training is probably the most illogical sounding training method.

       

      So, knowing that not everybody agrees with Lydiard method, that's something I think is the best make-sense training program; bear with me explaining the logic behind it.  Basically, you need 3 fundamental developments in order to perform well in distance running.  You need aerobic development, or endurance, or your ability to take in and utilize oxygen.  Then you need anaerobic development, like I said earlier, your ability to withstand oxygen debt because, if you try to race fast, you will fact this uncomfortable feeling of running faster than your body's comfort zone.  Then you need speed; this is your raw speed, or sprinting speed.  You need to develop all these; but they all have different characteristics.

       

      Aerobic development takes longest to develop; often takes years.  It's a slow process but, once you develop it, it won't disappear easily either.  Anaerobic development takes about 4 to 6 weeks to develop and, while working on it, you sort of develop speed (at least faster).  But the tricky thing about this is that it takes a lot of hard work and your body will go through fairly tough regime.  In other words, it's not wise to continue doing this when you are getting ready to race--it would be too stressful for your body to continue doing this type of training while racing.  Sprinting speed, while it pays to work on it regularly, can be developed fairly quickly.  But it also disappears quickly as well.

       

      Understanding this, and knowing that training is best done from general to specific, it makes sense to train from high volume-low effort training and gradually move on to low volume-high effort training.  Training program, if racing well is your objective, is best constructed when you know the exact date of your goal race.  So you put down THE RACE first and count back.  You want to have about 2 weeks of taper and real sharpening right before the race.  So you put down 1 to 2 weeks of Taper counting back from THE RACE.  You want to spend 2 to 4 weeks for Coordination where you'd do very race-specifid training like, as you had said, very similar to race situation; perhaps anywhere from 3k to 8k of time trial or tempo type running at close to race pace.  Then you'd put down 2 to 4 weeks of concentrated interval training.  This is probably the toughest period because you're still working on fairly high volume with good quality.  You'd need to develop your aerobic capacity to maximum before that but, to prepare your body for these faster workouts, it's best to have a Transition Period with hill training to get your legs reedy for these fast workouts for 2 to 4 weeks.  During the Aerobic Conditioning Phase, you just want to pile up miles as much as you can, something like what Jeff had suggested works just fine; just run and run and run at comfortably pace (not like 5k time trial every other day).  For a healthy 17-year-old, it is not that difficult to run up to 15~18 miles for the longest run.  Just make sure you go short and easy in between.  I like to suggest, for a aspiring competitive teenager, about 60-miles a week is not that difficult to handle as long as you keep it nice and comfortable.  10-mile is fairly easy but, IF 10 is your max long run, 7 on other days would be a bit too long.  You want to have long-short / hard-easy pattern.  For a 5k training plan, it is probably advisable, as Jeff had suggested, to include easy stride once a week.  Also, for a young aspiring athlete, 6 days a week training is just fine but I would suggest you try to include an easy morning jog as many days as you can.  It's just a way to make "running" a part of your daily routine.  You want to have this kind of long easy running for at least 5 weeks or more.  

       

      So there, yes, it is pretty simple; it won't take rocket scientist to figure things out.  But, as Keith Livingston puts it, it's so simple that people seem to resist.  They'd rather have something more complicated and fancy...

      runnerdave67


        Got it. Run more, not too fast...run faster when I feel strong.

         

        (In terms of training, this will translate into a target mileage of 45+ miles a week, mostly longer runs,

        but I'll do strides as suggested, as well as a tempo when I feel like it.)


        uncontrollable

          Helpful Nobby - Thanks

          peace

          runnerdave67


            BUMP (sorry!) 

             

            Thought I would add a long-overdue reply to bring some sense of closure to this thread. A few months ago, I took the advice of some of the people here and tossed my scale. 

             

            Interestingly, I sensed a psychological shift occurring, and whatever happened, whether it was that I was just not focusing on weight so much - 

            my quality of training improved. I had more energy and didn't felt crappy on runs, bettering most of my 5K times and completing two HM with 

            energy to spare. 

             

             A while back, I was in a mall and got on one of those pay-scales just for the heck of it. To my surprise, it had me at 5'6" 130 lb !! (13 more lbs than at the start of this thread, and 1/2 inch taller). I don't care though, because I feel the best I've ever felt in my life. Whoever suggested not

            putting so much emphasis on the pounds and ounces - thanks.

             

            Currently, I've been set back in terms of training due to irritation problems in my right knee. I'm seeing a chiropractor, who estimates

            that it might be four weeks before I can run again. In the grand scheme of things, though, that isn't too bad, and I don't think I will have lost

            much ground (my 5K PR was like 19:45 or something if I remember, which would not take a long time to re-achieve). 

             

            The lesson I've learned: listen to your body, not the scale. Mainly I'm referring to the fact that I think, in retrospect, I was doing damage while doing "hardcore" training at 117 lbs, which seems frail to me now. 

             

            Thanks a million to the RAers who gave help, 

             

            dave 

              Glad to hear your "scale-away" training went well!  Hope the knee resolves quickly.

               

               

              ... A few months ago, I took the advice of some of the people here and tossed my scale. 

               

              ... A while back, I was in a mall and got on one of those pay-scales just for the heck of it. To my surprise, it had me at 5'6" 130 lb !! (13 more lbs than at the start of this thread, and 1/2 inch taller). I don't care though, because I feel the best I've ever felt in my life.

              You have to use the same measuring instrument.  I actually took our bathroom scale in to work and calibrated it against our certified scales there.  The home unit was reading ~6 pounds light, much to my wife's dismay.

              “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

              runnerdave67


                Glad to hear your "scale-away" training went well!  Hope the knee resolves quickly.

                 

                 

                You have to use the same measuring instrument.  I actually took our bathroom scale in to work and calibrated it against our certified scales there.  The home unit was reading ~6 pounds light, much to my wife's dismay.

                 Well, in any case, it to me that a large, $1000 scale (resembling those used to weigh airplane baggage) would be more accurate than a $50 bathroom one to begin with, so I'm going to take the reading from the former one on faith... 

                   ...Understanding this, and knowing that training is best done from general to specific, it makes sense to train from high volume-low effort training and gradually move on to low volume-high effort training....

                   

                   

                  Great post. It's amazing how much good advice folks like Nobby and Jeff are dishing out on these boards.

                   

                  Nobby, I've been following the higher-volume approach for a while now, and I loved the results I got when I bumped up my volume from 40 mpw to 60 mpw. I really enjoy the extra volume, both physically and mentally, and it was great to discover that ability within myself.

                   

                  What do you think about adding intensity later in a training program while KEEPING the same volume? I'm just starting to add quality runs to my current workout cycle (goal race is a HM in October), but I don't want to cut my current volume now that I'm comfortable with it and my body has adopted to it. Some stuff I have read points out that adding volume is much riskier than maintaining it, so is there a drawback to holding a consistently high volume all the way through the cycle?

                    mstuartm,

                     

                    Your mileage build has been really nice. I like how you were consistent at 40mpw for 6 months, then bumped pretty quickly to 60mpw and have been since holding steady. A general rule of thumb for adding/switching stimulus is 6 weeks or so. You've been at 60 for this long, you've already got some faster running built in with the tempos (good stuff), and your report that you feel good, so you are probably ready to add something in. 

                     

                    To my mind, there's no reason to intentionally lower volume at all. After all, the volume supports the workouts that you are doing, making them possible. More important than the actual miles per week is the "rhythm" of your training. It may be that in the first couple weeks of introducing new workouts you will need to cut a run short here or there or take a day off here or there, but you should generally keep the same rhythm of training rolling.

                     

                    Training that looks pretty on paper isn't always the best training, but man, your training looks pretty on paper. Nice work.

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