12

Increase base mileage or more tempo run for beginner (Read 1230 times)

    I am considering running a marathon in mid October, and I am trying to be a little more prepared this time. I'm kind of looking for a general guidance as opposed to a detailed day-to-day plan. I need some advice given my background as follows:

     

    This is my 2nd year of running. My first marathon was in Feb, I finished in 4:07. I want to be able to get under sub-4 next time. I have been trying to maintain 40 mpw for about half a year, which are mostly easy miles and includes a long run. Occasionally I run faster tempo, but only once every few weeks. (Frankly I don't quite enjoy the tempo runs.) I don't think I'm quite ready to do hills and intervals yet (mainly because there's no good place to do them nearby my home). I think I can commit to increasing my mileage to about 50mpw for the next 2-3 months, but these would be almost all easy miles. Or I can try to stick in a tempo run once a week, but that would likely mean I'll have to run a lower mileage, maybe around 40mpw (even my easy run sucks if I don't rest for a day or two after running a tempo run). I don't know if one way will be more beneficial/effective than the other, or maybe I should alternate them weekly? Am I overthinking too much as a beginner?

     

    Thanks for any advice

      You'll get more bang for your buck increasing mileage.  But I don't see any reason why you couldn't run a weekly tempo as well.  If you need 2 days of rest after a tempo run, you're doing it wrong.

       

      Did you really just set a new monthly mileage high by more than 100% with your last 4 weeks: 61, 81, 83, 91?  And you think you might be able to handle 50mpw for the next 2-3 months?

       

      Very confused. 

      Runners run.

      xor


        Yes, if the choice is 50 mpw easy vs 40 mpw w/ tempo, then I'd choose the 50... but... hmmm, how are you running that tempo run?  A tempo run should not knock you out for days and force you to drop your mileage by 20%.

         

        JimR


          You figure you're fine to train for a marathon, but can't run a tempo more than once every few weeks and can't handle hills or intervals?


          HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

            I think you could do intervals, or informal fartlek, probably almost anywhere. Just ran faster for a little while, then slow down. Then when you feel like it, do it again. That sounds pretty different than some planned interval set, but -- disclaimer--I'm just some uneducated amateur--I'd guess it may still give you some benefits -- some chance to run faster, and also hopefully have a little fun playing with running faster.

            It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

              You'll get more bang for your buck increasing mileage.  But I don't see any reason why you couldn't run a weekly tempo as well.  If you need 2 days of rest after a tempo run, you're doing it wrong.

               

              I normally do a 7-miler at night and my easy run pace tends to fall somewhere between 9 to 9:30 mile. If I try to run tempo, then for the next two days my easy pace drops to around 10 min/mile and felt sluggish. I don't know if I tried to run the tempo too hard, or if I just need to slow my easy pace even more afterward...

               

               

              Did you really just set a new monthly mileage high by more than 100% with your last 4 weeks: 61, 81, 83, 91?  And you think you might be able to handle 50mpw for the next 2-3 months?

               

              My June mileage was abnormal. I was running a mileage challenge and testing my limits, I was really pushing it, and realistically it is not something I can sustain or commit to for even another month in July, both in terms of physical efforts and time constraints. When I aim for 50mpw I'm trying to be realistic, picking a number between what I can comfortably do (40mpw) and what is overly zealous (>80mpw)

                You figure you're fine to train for a marathon, but can't run a tempo more than once every few weeks and can't handle hills or intervals?

                 

                Maybe I'm doing it wrong, maybe it's mental, I don't know. When I do it, I take my regular easy run route and try to run as fast as I can keep at it, and then for the next two days my legs feel tired and weak and my easy run seems quite labored. I'm not wiped out, but I feel that I'm not recovered within a day or two. I'm usually "normal" again in 2 to 3 days. Maybe I ran the tempo too fast or too far?

                  Yes, if the choice is 50 mpw easy vs 40 mpw w/ tempo, then I'd choose the 50... but... hmmm, how are you running that tempo run?  A tempo run should not knock you out for days and force you to drop your mileage by 20%.

                   

                  I'm not being overly accurate, and only guesstimating. I'm assuming my week to be something like 5 days of easy runs about 7 miles each plus a long run of around 14 miles. If I do a tempo I need an extra day of rest and maybe one shorter day (3 instead of 7 miles), so that'll know about 10 miles off to closer to 40mpw. Again, I'm just guessing based on my short history of runs.

                   

                  For the tempo run, I take my easy run (usually 7miles) and try to increase pace gradually. I start at around 10 min/mi (sort of a warmup) and finish at close to 8 min/mi, usually no rest except for crossing streets. I'm not sure tempo is the right term, I'm poor at semantics...

                  xor


                    A 7 mile run "as fast as you can" is too fast and too far for a 40-50mpw runner who is just starting tempos.

                     

                    "Comfortably hard", which is perhaps a gear under what you are attempting.

                     

                    20-30 minutes of it.  So more like 3-4 miles after an easy 1-2 mile warm up.

                     

                    Edit: ok, the last two posts confuse me.  I wrote the above based on your response to Jim.

                     

                      My suggestion is to dial down the milage for 3 weeks and focus on your speed.   To make sure you don't get so tired keep things simple.

                       

                      Focus on 4 runs per week with two rest days

                       

                      Run 1: 5K : Interval

                      - 2K warm up @ 10:00 pace

                      - 400 @ 7:15 pace

                      - 600 @ 9:00 pace

                      - 400 @ 7:15 pace

                      - 600 @ 9:00 pace

                      - 1K cool down @ 10:00 pace

                       

                      Run 2: 10K Easy @ 9:00 pace

                       

                      Run 3: 5K : Tempo

                      - 2K warm up @ 10:00

                      - 2K @ 8:00 pace

                      - 1K cool down @ 10:00

                       

                      Run 4: 15K Easy @ 10:00 pace

                       

                      This is only 30K (less than 20 miles) per week and should help you get used to running faster.  Given your current base none of these should "wipe you out" if you are resting enough.  What you will likely find is that your marathon pace will drop from 10:00 to 8:30 with a program like this.  After you get used to it you can start increasing things; here are some suggestions.

                       

                      - Increase the 15K easy run by 5K each week in a ladder format.  15K, 20K, 15K, 25K, 20K, 25K, 20K, 30K  (8 week program)

                      - Increase the 5K  Tempo run to 10K

                      - Increase the 5K interval run to 10K, basically run the run twice.

                       

                      Use your body as a guage, if you are tired after the 25K run week, then dial back the interval run back to 5K, etc...

                       

                      I think you will be surprised with the results...

                      Goals: 20:00 5K, 3:30 Marathon, Finish Marathon, 4:00 Marathon, Finish IronMan, 45:00 10K

                        A 7 mile run "as fast as you can" is too fast and too far for a 40-50mpw runner who is just starting tempos.

                         

                        "Comfortably hard", which is perhaps a gear under what you are attempting.

                         

                        20-30 minutes of it.  So more like 3-4 miles after an easy 1-2 mile warm up.

                         

                        Edit: ok, the last two posts confuse me.  I wrote the above based on your response to Jim.

                         

                        I'm sorry for being so confusing, maybe this better illustrates what I considered a "tempo" run (maybe I'm using the wrong term):

                         

                        http://www.runningahead.com/logs/4328f6d8056a44768b3bfc767a7a782b/workouts/4bf43c4d6f3e403996b04f18f4dc22d5


                        Fat butt on couch

                          You are either:

                          a) Doing your tempo runs too hard, and I'm almost certain of this based on the details you give.  It should be "comfortably hard", so you are almost refreshed at the end from a good effort.  You should feel like you could keep going at that pace for several more miles when you finish.

                           

                          b) You may be running your easy runs too hard.  The fact that you are worried about your easy run slowing down 30sec/mile the next day....worried about that pace at all, for that matter...makes me wonder this.  Just go out and run easy.  If you're doing no workouts of course your daily average will be faster on easy runs, that is where you are putting your effort.  When you put it into workouts your easy runs slow down but that's why they are called "easy runs" not 9:30/mile runs", the pace makes little difference.  Wink

                           

                          For a 2nd year runner 50mpw is highly respectable, and I would focus on getting the mileage in.  If you have any problems running 1 3-4 mile tempo run per week, see A and B above.

                          "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

                           


                          Interval Junkie --Nobby

                            I'm sorry for being so confusing, maybe this better illustrates what I considered a "tempo" run (maybe I'm using the wrong term):

                             

                            http://www.runningahead.com/logs/4328f6d8056a44768b3bfc767a7a782b/workouts/4bf43c4d6f3e403996b04f18f4dc22d5

                             

                            Yes, that's a tempo run.  Or a "progression run", which is similar in purpose to a tempo run in purpose, I think.

                             

                            As for the 100mpw, HOLY CRAP.  I was wondering how you kept climbing the Fitocracy 1200mpy challenge leaderboard so quickly.  That's crazy!  (yes, that's is envy mixed with admiration speaking).

                             

                            I don't think you'll have a problem with a sub-4 marathon in the Fall.

                            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

                            Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

                              You are either:

                              a) Doing your tempo runs too hard, and I'm almost certain of this based on the details you give.  It should be "comfortably hard", so you are almost refreshed at the end from a good effort.  You should feel like you could keep going at that pace for several more miles when you finish.

                               

                              Thanks spaniel for that point! I can not keep my pace for another mile at the end of such run for certain. I think I have mistaken how tempo should be run (I kind of have the "I want to see if I can PB this course tonight" mentality when I do that). I shall keep that in mind.

                               

                              b) You may be running your easy runs too hard.  The fact that you are worried about your easy run slowing down 30sec/mile the next day....worried about that pace at all, for that matter...makes me wonder this.  Just go out and run easy.  If you're doing no workouts of course your daily average will be faster on easy runs, that is where you are putting your effort.  When you put it into workouts your easy runs slow down but that's why they are called "easy runs" not 9:30/mile runs", the pace makes little difference.  Wink

                               

                              b) is probably true as well... I think I need to learn to not watch my garmin so often

                                I'm sorry for being so confusing, maybe this better illustrates what I considered a "tempo" run (maybe I'm using the wrong term):

                                 

                                http://www.runningahead.com/logs/4328f6d8056a44768b3bfc767a7a782b/workouts/4bf43c4d6f3e403996b04f18f4dc22d5

                                 

                                This run (below) is way too hard for a tempo run.  It is no wonder you are worn out afterwards.  I use the rule that after a tempo you should be able to run another 5K - but are glad you don't have too Smile

                                 

                                Try the same run but keep the pace at 8:00 between 3KM and 8KM and then dial it back - see how this feels.

                                 

                                1.0 km: 06:09 06:09/km 09:54/mi
                                2.0 km: 05:49 05:49/km 09:22/mi
                                3.0 km: 05:16 05:16/km 08:29/mi
                                4.0 km: 05:11 05:11/km 08:20/mi
                                5.0 km: 05:00 05:00/km 08:03/mi
                                6.0 km: 05:00 05:00/km 08:03/mi
                                7.0 km: 05:07 05:07/km 08:14/mi
                                8.0 km: 04:46 04:46/km 07:40/mi
                                9.0 km: 04:45 04:45/km 07:39/mi
                                10.0 km: 04:50 04:50/km 07:47/mi
                                11.0 km: 04:39 04:39/km 07:30/mi
                                11.9 km: 04:22 04:42/km 07:34/mi

                                Goals: 20:00 5K, 3:30 Marathon, Finish Marathon, 4:00 Marathon, Finish IronMan, 45:00 10K

                                12