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Slowing down to run faster: but when to add faster running? (Read 124 times)

andre_runs


    Im doing a 10 miler in 10 weeks. I'm 59 and a pretty consistent runner. Currently run about 18-20 MPW at ave pace 9:20.

     

    But I am guilty of pretty much running all my miles at or near that 9:20 pace. And I am at a real plateau for my pace on occasions when I do try to run fast (8:45 MPM). So I am going to buy into the Run Lots - Mostly Easy - Sometimes Hard,,, because it does makes sense and I need to change it up, if I want to improve and be as fast as possible for 10 miler in 10 weeks.

     

    So my plan is to start increasing mileage while really slowing down the pace. Thinking the slower pace will allow to add more bulk to my mileage base. Just finished my first week of this. I ran 24 miles at 10:10 pace. Thats pretty high mileage for me and very slow pace. But I think that is the only way I will get to 30 MPW, which is where I want to be for a base for this race.

     

    IS 10 weeks really enough to materially improve fitness? When and how would you suggest mixing in some faster running,, before its too late and I am just a great 10:10 long distance runner. Mt initial thought is to keep at this new regime of easy pace with increasing distance for about 4 weeks,, then level off at 30 MPW.

    Thoughts on adding speed,, or a good balance of slow/faster workouts? and when to start faster?

     

    Thanks

    CanadianMeg


    Half Faster Runners 2023

      How many days a week are you running? Do you run the same distance all the time? Running 5-5-5-5 is different than running 3-3-6-8 if you are running 4 days a week. I'm a believer in shaking up the distances because your body will get efficient at the same distance.

       

      Are you racing every run? When you finish an easy run, could you keep going or are you spent?

       

      There's more to it than weekly mileage.

       

      If you are using your log here at RA, if you set it to public, we'd have more information to advise you better.

      Half Fanatic #9292. 

      Game Admin for RA Running Game 2023.

      jeffdonahue


        zebano


           

          IS 10 weeks really enough to materially improve fitness? When and how would you suggest mixing in some faster running,, before its too late and I am just a great 10:10 long distance runner. Mt initial thought is to keep at this new regime of easy pace with increasing distance for about 4 weeks,, then level off at 30 MPW.

          Thoughts on adding speed,, or a good balance of slow/faster workouts? and when to start faster?

           

          Thanks

           

          I believe in only changing one stressor at a time and in this case you are adding miles. I would strongly suggest that you get comfortable at 30 mpw before adding in workouts, but I'd say that you can (and should)  throw in some strides at the end of 2-3 easy runs each week while building up. Just remember the goal of strides is to work on running faster in a nice relaxed fashion with as perfect form as you can manage. My second suggestion  is to make sure that you're performing one "long" run each week (with long being relative to your other runs, though if you can eventually build it up to about 90 minutes I think that would be a huge benefit to you).

           

          Once you've done 2 or 3 weeks in a row of 30 I'd probably add in 1 workout with a strong preference for that to be tempo/threshold run given the race you're training for.

           

          FWIW if you're currently doing workouts right now then you could keep doing some similar workouts while building weekly mileage  if you're careful about running easy on easy days but it doesn't sound like you're doing that.

          1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)

          andre_runs


            Thanks for the article Jeff

            Zebano - Also thanks for you thoughts,, specifically on how and when to start adding a little faster running. Historically, I have NOT been good about keeping my easy days,, easy. But I AM doing that now. Running pretty much all days about 1 MPM slower, and I can feel the difference. Aside from seeing those slow paces on my spreadsheet, I like the feel .

             

            I am going to get to 30 MPW in 3 weeks (26, 28 , then 30) and settle in there for 3 more weeks before doing anything resembling speed/tempo workouts. I might put in a slight pull back week to 22ish to refresh legs before going for some work on pace. I will leave that until later probably a month out from my race on Aug 14.

             

            Thanks

            Mr MattM


               

              IS 10 weeks really enough to materially improve fitness?

               

              For what you are wanting to do, the short answer is no.

               

              Let me briefly walk through the physiology.

               

              This is what can be improved rather quickly:

              How much oxygen can your lungs absorb right now?  Oxygen uptake is actually something that *can* be improved rather quickly by running *harder*, but oxygen uptake is not usually the performance limitation.  At least not initially.

               

              This is what can be improved by higher volume running, but these adaptations take a much longer time:

              How much oxygen can your body transport from your lungs to your working muscles?  There are several limiting factors with this one.  There is a limit based on red blood cell count.  Then, there is a limit based on how dense the capillary structures are in the working muscles.  Then, there is a limit based on the density of mitochondria.  Your performance can only be as good as the most limiting portion of these components.

               

              For most lower mileage runners, there simply is not enough mitochondrial and capillary density to fully utilize the total oxygen that is available.

               

              To convince the body to make the necessary adaptations requires significant training load over a long period of time.  The amount of time necessary can differ by all of the potential variances between runners and running conditions.

               

              With all that said, can you improve your 10 mile time in 10 weeks.  Of course!  Is the difference between 20mpw and 30mpw over a 10 week period going to make a huge difference?  Probably not.  But it is better to run 30mpw than 20mpw.  And if you take the long view, 30mpw is a stepping stone to 40mpw... and then 50mpw.  To really start seeing improvement in distance running (which I feel includes 10 mile races) you really need to be consistently at or above 50mpw.

               

              Regardless, enjoy your training and on race day get after it!!!

              So, I did a thing.

              Tyler S


                 For what you are wanting to do, the short answer is no.

                 ...

                With all that said, can you improve your 10 mile time in 10 weeks.  Of course!

                 

                These things are contradictory. I agree with most of what you say in principle; improving at running takes time because of all of the layers involved. However, if his 10 mile time has improved so has his fitness. What your are talking about is something like achieving his best possible fitness, which is not the question he asked. For most runners, 10 weeks is plenty of time to "materially" improve running fitness.

                Mr MattM


                   

                  These things are contradictory. I agree with most of what you say in principle; improving at running takes time because of all of the layers involved. However, if his 10 mile time has improved so has his fitness. What your are talking about is something like achieving his best possible fitness, which is not the question he asked. For most runners, 10 weeks is plenty of time to "materially" improve running fitness.

                   

                  My point was that going from 20mpw to 30mpw is not likely to produce any 'material' adaptations that would support a significant improvement in 10 mile race times.  I guess there can be differences in what one considers material (or significant).  All I was trying to get across is that when talking about running more, mostly easy, the base is typically more in the 50mpw+ range.  It takes a lot of training load to get the body to start significant adaptations.

                   

                  I then said 30mpw is better than 20mpw... and that times can improve over 10 weeks.

                   

                  I understand your point, though.

                  So, I did a thing.