>General Running>Does anybody run hard for every run?
I ran X-country and track for eight years each during high school then took 20 years off while in military. I was in average fitness for my age but decided to run a 10K in a few months to prompt me to train. I started a regimen of running and was so upset with being as slow as I was I pushed and pushed and pushed. Every run was near my limit, every run hurt, every run sucked...until it was over then I felt great for sticking to it. I ran a hair under 55:00 which is average but everytime I go out to train I want to take it easy but I find myself racing against my previous time or my personal best, or some other goal or person. I drive myself nuts with this but luckily I've been free from injury in my return.
I tell my wife to run 3-4 times a week and lift weights the other but she does everything every day then complains about being tired. I think if you feel good and make gains then you should do whatever your body says it can do. But if you plateau or fail to improve you either need to train harder or less...I'd typically say to train less and see if that helps. Sometimes I take an extra day off and the next time I run I knock down another hurdle on my way to my goal.
Of course I don't train more than 6 miles and not that often since my 10K is over...I need another goal but I enjoy not running >3miles at a shot...
1/8/12 I develop IT Band syndrome and my monthly mileage has plummeted to ~50/month following a solid winter with ~250/month. I went through all the steps with the MD, PT, Ortho, stretch, roll, and Jane Fonda-esque strengthening. I would see some resolution after lots of rest, return to running easy, and it would slowly come back. Pre-ITBS days, my weekly run regimen was basically 45-60' easy daily run with 3 quality workouts per week in the form of a short threshold pace workout, a middle distance tempo run, and a long run. I had built up to a few 70-80 mile weeks. I had signed up for a half-iron race before the injury and went with full intentions of walking, but I found that running hard didn't bother me one bit. Since then, I have limited my workouts to Daniels paces faster than "easy/LRP" and have been asymptomatic until last weekend. I went on a little run with the wifey and within 5 miles, I was walking again with ITBS symptoms. I have since returned to running hard after a few rest days and again have complete resolution of symptoms. Thinking back to the original injury, I spent a whole week on vacation running easy with the wifey. I honestly believe I have some odd mechanics causing my issues when I run easy. I think I'm pulling my form together as I speed up. question: What are the draw backs of having 4-5 hard days/wk with no easy/recovery days? ( remaining days being non-run days.) I know the general advice is for lots of easy volume with some intensity sprinkled in. My typical week looks like this: Sunday: 90' with threshold repeats early and Marathon/Half-Marathon time late with easy paced recoveries Monday: swim only day Tuesday: 45' off the bike with a mix of HMP and MP Wednesday: 60' mix of 800 & 1600 repeats at threshold pace Thursday: 45' off the bike at MP Friday: swim only Saturday: 30-45' HMP-MP run off the bike I've been at this for a month and only had ITBS issues when deviating and running easy. This is after around 5 months of frustration. I am so glad to be back running. If I knew this ITBS crap would go away, I'd drop Tri's in a heartbeat and run forever. Thanks in advance.
Years ago, John Walker, 1976 Olympic gold medalist and the first man to have run 100 sub-4 minute miles (I think Steve Scott has since surpassed the most sub-4 with 130 something...), had a mysterious shin problem and, whenever he ran more than 5 miles, or a half an hour or whatever it was, it started to act up. So he would go out and run for a half an hour as hard as he could and did it pretty much everyday (if I remember it correctly). Now that's VERY different however. He had, by then, nearly 10 years of very solid aerobic base of close to or above 100 miles a week for a period of 8-10 weeks twice a year. When you have done that sort of aerobic base work, and if your goal is to race/compete, you may be able to do that sort of thing for a period of time without breaking down too much.
When most people say "hard workout", they either mean hard quality workout like interval or tempo, OR a long run. But, in reality, a long run has a totally different type of stimulus. When you try to do a long run day after day, you'll get muscle trauma from pounding and glycogen depletion which can be a bit hard on your system. But when people "run hard", which I believe you are trying to say, and run almost near or above your threshold level, you'll have some damage in the metabolic level with, most notably, lowering of pH level because you're flirting with aerobic-anaerobic border line and with constant huffing and puffing, you'll upset normal metabolic function. This is because most enzymes in our body work in a very tight pH range in alkaline level that, with constant pulling down to the acid level, it won't function well. This means--you may eat a balanced diet but your body is not absorbing proper nutrients from them; even though you're taking enough hours of sleep at night (hopefully), your body is not recovering properly; you'll get cramps and twitching of the muscles; and you'll be more susceptible to injuries and sickness. In most cases, when people say they always break down with injuries, it's not so much of how many miles they run but how hard they push day in and day out. It just so happens that majority of today's runners who, say, is trying to break 4 hours for the marathon fall into this category. They usually run about 30-40 miles a week because they think they have to cover that much; and they tend to do lots of near hopeful (not necessarily predicted) marathon pace. People who run more than that seem to understand this mechanism much better, though rare breed, that, for some strange reason, they can get away with running 70, 80, 90 or 100 miles a week with no problem but those who run 30-40 range tend to always get injured. Because of that, many of today's "so-called running experts" would say that, if you run more than 40 miles a week, you'll run the risk of injuries. That's a bunch of BS. It's how you run them.
So going back to your specific question; you can certainly do it but it's very highly NOT recommended. It's like that movie; "Supersize Me". You CAN live on McDonald and survive because the body is a wonderful machine and it adapts whatever the situation you'll put it into. Remember, in that movie, the doctor actually warned the guy after 2 weeks that he may die and then, miraculously, on the third week, his body started to function fine. In other words, our body CAN adapt to live on garbage--that's pretty much what it was. So you get out and run hard day after day after day and you may even race just fine. That's pretty much what many of high school track kids would go through in this country. The previous poster, the military guy, said something about he ran hard every time he ran and he survived and ran a whopping 55-minutes 10k. Well, all due respect, that's not that great of a time. I guess we all have a choice here; do you want to suffer through a workout every time you get out but crawl back home with the satisfaction that you survived a tough workout without dying and eventually would run 55-minutes 10k; OR you go out, nice and easy and enjoy running, come home with nothing but a sense of joy with a smile on your face...and hopefully you'll run a bit better than 55-minutes for a 10k. Now I'm 53 and do mostly nice easy running, I'd go run with my daughter and my speed training is whenever my wife wants to do some speed training with me. I hadn't raced for a while but I think I can easily run sub-50 for 10k (maybe sub-45) and now I'm running twice a day at least every other day. I hardly push myself in my "workout". But I "enjoy" 1:00-1:30 cross country run through the nature preserve. Nice and easy. Never check my minute-per-mile.
Now, I didn't get around to say anything about your (OP) situation; yes, it is true that sometimes you may run easier or pain free at faster pace. It's because you can sort of get away with some of your running style fault. I'd say that is NOT the sign that you should train hard everyday; but rather you'll need to figure out what's causing whatever the pain or discomfort you are experiencing. Unless you'd prefer a typical "no pain, no gain" type of macho philosophy (in which case, it should be okay to run with pain anyways...), and especially if you're seeking some level of improvement in your performance, you'd have to think very hard about certain developments and how they're acquired. Yes, if you want to run fast, you'll need to train fast. But that does NOT mean you'll need to run fast and long each time. Certain developments that's necessary for a better performance in distance events cannot be acquired that way. To name a few, capillary development or mitochondria development only occur by duration of the exercise regardless of the intensity. In other words, if you go 1:30 nice and easy or you go 45-minutes as hard as you can; and you're getting more benefit from the former in the development of these department. And THAT is to build the aerobic base upon which you'd develop all the race-specific developments later on. Seemingly, lots of Kenyan runners today train very hard most of the days. It is only possible simply because they had been covering great miles on their feet in their youth. Same thing with John Walker--he could do what he did when he was injured ONLY BECAUSE he had done lots of aerobic training years previously.
Besides all the physical problems and limitations found in running every workout hard, it's also a mental thing. I have done both extremes, running hard all the time, and running easy all the time. Both cases I enjoyed, but not to the fullest. In the first case of running hard all the time, I felt like I was mentally exhausted with running. I always felt the need to push to be faster, stronger, etc and never took time to just enjoy the fitness I had gained. I also ended up with a wicked case of runner's knee after twisting my knee on ice. (and my knee is never going to be the same, at least according to the sports doc)In the second of running easy all the time, it was fun, but my race times sucked. That's a hard blow to take as a young person. This led to disappointment in my running and temptation to give it up. Then when I tried to add in speed work, I overdid it and ended up with a stress fracture in my foot.Now, 4 years into running, I THINK I'm finally starting to find a balance. I'm running easy most runs, but once or twice a week I'm starting to throw in a good workout. I'm enjoying running, and I hope when I return to racing this fall my times will be respectable. Time will tell, but I'm having the most fun I've had in a long time with running.
'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'
"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher
"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run." -Monte Davis
My Race Reports & My Race Results
Nobby, I'd love to buy you a drink. Thank you for the response. Guys, given the option of running 80-100mph, mostly easy and sometimes hard, OR running hard everyday, I'd pick the former. Unfortunately for the last 6 months, my choices have been "hope to run or run injured." It's only now I've found a recipe that allows me to run. I had no idea what a blessing running is until I was denied it. I've got 3 more weeks in this training plan, I'll finish it up and hopefully have a go at traditional training for the next build. You guys have at least given me hope, but I understand it's limitations.
80-100mph Maybe THAT'S why my race times seem sucky....