How to execute this run better next time? (Read 243 times)

    1. The longer the work portion, the more aerobic it will be. You can't maintain anaerobic intensity for long. (I recognize these are not b&w, but gradations between predominantly aerobic processes and where anaerobic processes start coming into play.)



    Yes, oops.  Read it wrong at first.

    2018 Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do (250+ training days, 300+ aerobic hours).

    #2: Race shape - BUILD aerobic base

    #3: Race (Cincinnati MiniMarathon - 3/18, Grand Rapids 70.3 Tri - 6/10, Ironman Florida - 11/2)



      Nobby, I don't think my mileage doesn't support the intervals simply because I trust the program and the overall mileage of the intervals is completely in line with the mileage I would've run on this day in my training all along as an easy fartlek since that is the day it was scheduled. Now that I see your explanation on the RPE being over the entire workout so that the first intervals will feel easy and then by the end will feel like a 9 to be maintaining the same pace, I understand. I was mistakenly under the assumption that I was supposed to kill myself, basically. Oops. I did choose the 4 x 4 minutes right from the pace chart, though. I just didn't know which to choose, so I guess I picked the wrong one. In my mind, I figured if I was trying to feel what it would feel like to run my 5K at a particular pace, if I can't hold it for 4 minutes then forget 30ish minutes. I will be starting a full training cycle in September, 24 week half plan, but I don't know what makes it spit out the hills first. If that depends on my speed, well, then, I'll still have a beginner's plan I suppose. I knew based on the description given in RW that once my 3rd interval dropped the pace so dramatically that it was time to bag the workout. I really have tried to follow the program to the letter.


      enric, I know in training it is the rest days when the repairing of muscles are the way we improve. I guess then that it makes sense what you are saying that the recovery intervals are the important part. But that confuses me since I thought the point of the workout is sustaining a particular pace during the speed part of the intervals to adapt the body's ability to tolerate that pace. Last week was my first attempt at the interval workout and I thought I did it at a pace that was too easy, maybe I did. That being said, I ran 800s but only ended up using 400s for recovery because my pulse was back down to 120 and I felt fully ready to go again. because that happened every interval, even the last one, That is why I thought maybe I had done the intervals too easy, as I never needed the full 800 to recover. (now I see Nobby's response to the rest part of the interval)


      Thanks for all of the discussion in this thread. It is helping me immensely in my understanding of this concept.

        My input may be completely wrong but... Here goes. I am a martial art instructor, so running is my cross-training, (rather than the other way around). The philosophy at our school is to push yourself into exhaustion, then continue further. Our school is HUGE, and the building is very long, (it is in an old auction house), so we are able to make students do exercise up and down the length of the mat. Even with doing a simple sprint, we make students run back and forth, with very short breaks between. Most students are racing, (which we want), and by the fourth or fifth lap, everyone is really slowing. by 8-10, most students are still giving 100% effort but moving at little more than a jog.


        This is how I "visualize" interval training, so hopefully some experienced runners can give me an idea of how it should be done. I saw someone above mentioned "holding back" on the first half of the run to continue at a given pace on the second half? Is the purpose of intervals to build muscle or to train the body to move at a different pace?

        Again, we have a similar workout called 50/50...or 100/100 (JML saw it, and tried, first-hand in Boulder last month), but that's completely different from how we place "interval" training.


        Interval training, as a mean to develop large oxygen debt, would have to be done at relatively big volume of work--total, including recovery jog, of up to 30 minutes to close to an hour.  We cover this all in our clinic (as JML saw it) but, when creating large oxygen debt, you need to create large oxygen debt by running relatively long (30 seconds or more) at relatively high effort (1/4 effort and up! ;o)); take that pressure off and rest enough so you can do the same at same effort (speed) over and again and again.


        ...(sorry, a family activity on 7/4 prevented me from finishing this earlier)...


        If, say, you cut your recovery too short and you have to finish your workout prematurely due to neuro-muscular breakdown, then you are actually not fulfilling that purpose.  What happens is; if you do a very fast sprint, followed by premature recovery--like "float"--, then after 7 or 8 minutes, you'd have had it!!  You can't go on because of all the waste products in the working muscles (legs) that the workout would have to stop.  You ARE creating a large oxygen debt here but you are not quite dispersing all those bad guys throughout the entire system (lactate).  What happens is that the pH reading in the legs would be very low because of large lactate level; but pH reading in, say, your ear lobe would be still neutral.  This is because you didn't give your body a chance to pump through lactate in your legs throughout the body.  This would be enough to stimulate your anaerobic metabolism but not enough to develop buffer against that kind of stress.


        I'm not sure what the purpose of this sprint/float ALL OUT to make it hurt for this particular workout for martial art; but, in running, such a workout ONLY comes in at the very end when you want to maintain anaerobic metabolism development by stimulating it just enough but not too much that it won't pull down the good condition that you had developed thus far.  There are many different types of "interval" training as, who was it, Spaniel or Jeff had put together in some other thread which is quite comprehensive.  Different types of interval have different types of development, hence, different types of purpose.  If you just do that, for the sake of doing intervals, without understanding the physiology and purpose of them is, once again, "crap-shooting".


          I read that entire thread, thank you for the link. I'm pretty sure my head exploded in the biochem section. Being so new and slow, I am thankful I was still able to find a few nuggets of relevant-to-me information.


            A couple of questions...

            1. the 1st bold and underlined section below... did you mean "anaerobic" instead of "aerobic"?

            2. for the 2nd bold and underlined section below.  How could one actually even try to measure "1/4 effort" and differentiate it from "1/2" or "1/3" effort?  It seems very subjective and arbitrary without any unit of measurement. 

            I have discussed "Yasso800s" with Bart himself before.  He said some people "misunderstood" this workout as a "speed work".  If someone whose fitness level is not as adequate employs this workout and, say, he/she would run 800m in 7-minutes (14-minute per mile pace), would that really be "SPEED" training?  Let's say this person would run the recovery (supposed to be 400m) in, say, 4-minutes (that's 16-minute mile pace, that would be a total of 110-minutes; PLUS warm-up and cool-down?  That's a long run!!  It is very likely that this person is doing this as an AEROBIC workout.  Actually, it would be VERY difficult for anyone, even an elite, to do 2-hour of ANAEROBIC workout.  In actuality, far too many people today use "interval training" not as an anaerobic workout--they can't even tap into anaerobic metabolism--because their volume is way too high.  JML saw, for first-hand, how 50/50 should be done.  It is almost a FULL-OUT sprint followed by, not recovery jog but, FLOAT.  This is a very, very demanding workout and, unless you are a very well-trained individual, it would be VERY difficult to do more than a couple of kilometers.  Now, so many can't even SPRINT.  So they just turn this workout into "tempo-run pace followed by aerobic run pace".  These are people who can do this workout lap after lap without even "sucking air".  If done correctly, this is VERY HIGHLY anaerobic workout.  Many just do this as high-end aerobic workout.


            For the effort chart, yes, it is very subjective.  And that's why we actually provided very precise pace for various distances for Running Wizard.

              extremely interesting answer, thanks a lot for correcting my misconceptions! I will bookmark this thread for future reference as I plan to get a bit deeper into the subject and take a (very) basic course on sport physiology, nothing serious but I just like to know every little aspect about the things I do.

              Finns, including Paavo Nurmi, were some of the first people to employ "interval training" as we use it today.  They said something like "Why run 10k in 30-minutes when you can run 10 X 1km in 3-minute?"  So they did workout like 10 X 1km at close to race pace.  The one who really made "interval training" famous was, as we all know, Emil Zatopek.  He was as fanatic to do something like 70-100 X 400m!!  People thought he was crazy but he won 4 gold medals (3 in the same Olympics to sweep all distance events).  Of course, he wasn't doing them as fast as many had thought.  I didn't know him personally but I know of someone who knew him personally.  Apparently he was doing them more like 90-seconds (6-minute pace).  He lived in Czechoslovakia which at the time was occupied by Russia and he was in the army and the only place he could run was the army track.  It was so damn boring to run a lot so he would run a lap one direction and jog a bit, turned around and go the other direction a lap...  So it was in a form of "interval" but he was just covering a lot of distance--up to 50km a day!!  So you could actually say that it was not so much interval training as speed workout but more of the overall distance that made him great.


              That was pretty much the time those Germans started experimenting with "interval training".  They figured; why run 70 X 400m in 90-seconds when you can run 20 X 400m in 70-seconds?  That's more race-specific at close to race-pace.  So they cut back the volume and picked up the speed.  They did fine.  But when Lydiard's runners, along with Cerutty's runners, came along, they didn't fair too well.


              As you had mentioned, there are 4 variables in interval training; distance, number of repeats, pace and recovery.  You can mix them all up and come up with very many different types of interval training.  Say, take 20 X 400m for example.  Let's say as a 20-minutes 5k runner, you can do these at 95-seconds with 100m brief jog in between.   For him/her, this is only slightly faster than his/her 5k race pace with brief rest in between.  it's total of 10k and it's a very good AEROBIC intervals.  At this speed, he/she shouldn't be getting into anaerobic too much.  One of Japanese runners' signature workouts is 10 X 1km at 2:50 or so with 200m recovery in between.  This is a very high-end aerobic workout.  It's their 10k race pace and it's not very fast.  But with very brief recovery, it's almost as if you're doing a tempo run.


              Lydiard's signature interval workout was 20 X 400m in 60 seconds (!) with 400m recovery jog.  His runners were cream of crop and VERY highly conditioned runners.   Still they were pretty quick and it's total of 10-mile of running.  Suppose our "20-minute 5k runner" did the equivalent workout, that would probably be more like 12-15 X 400m in something like 80 seconds with 400m recovery.  Maybe on paper these are very similar workouts but, physiologically, very different.  The latter is what we call "Anaerobic" interval training.  First one probably barely taps into anaerobic metabolism.


              Frank Shorter was known to do a very highly demanding interval workout.  He would do 12 X 400m with 50m recovery jog (!) in about 64 seconds.  But, when you think about it, it's pretty much his 5k race pace and this is kind of a hybrid of these 2 types of interval training.  He might start out, in the beginning of the season, with more like 150m recovery at slightly slower pace and work his way down to cut down the recovery to 50m.  Naturally his idea was that, when he cut down all the recovery, that would be a race.  His success, unfortunately, led many young aspiring runners to the wrong direction; if you do it this way, more often than not, the workout would become way too demanding and, unless you were Shorter, your speed suffer or volume suffer or you'll suffer from an injury.


              As I said earlier, very short (say, 50m) at very fast speed (close to full-out sprint) with very short recovery (float) will have a very, very different physiological reaction.  Then there's "strides" which, again, has VERY much different purpose to it.  If you run strides too fast, and particularly if your speed is not that good or your fitness level is not that adequate, it COULD get into anaerobic side and then you'll start to struggle.  Strides are supposed to work you to run fast, RELAXED.  If you're struggling, you can't relax.  So if your purpose of "strides" is to run fast, relaxed, and work on your form, the speed should NOT be too high and the recovery would have to be plentiful.  If you're taking very little recovery in between, you cannot produce relaxed high speed and you'll defeat the purpose.  Some people call this workout "strides", yet, they don't take adequate recovery in between (because they think it should have to "hurt"), consequently, they don't fulfill the actual purpose of this workout.  When you struggle, THAT's what you'll be teaching your body.  Remember--I've said this several times on this message board--, it's NOT "practice makes perfect"; it's "PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT."  You repeat running fast, tensed up, THAT's the form you'll acquire.  In other words, all you'll be doing is to teach you to "struggle".  I will bet, unfortunately, all those martial art "students", when they did those sprints and die toward the end of this "cross training" when their 100% sprint would be brought down to a mere "jog", ALL it's teaching is a bad form, struggling.  That's NOT how you teach yourself to run fast.

                ...Generally true except that the first one for me always sucks...

                Just saw this.  You do adequate warm-up, right?  Toward the end of your warm-up, do a few strides, say, 3 X 100m; and then finish this off with 1 X 200m at pretty good clip.  Do a few more minutes of easy jog and THEN start your intervals.  Your first one "sucks" because your body is not ready for anaerobic pathway as yet.  Throw in a bit longish fast run (200m) to teach your body what's about to come.  Or you may want to throw 1 mile or 2000m (5 laps) of 7-7:15 mile pace "tempo" run before you do your intervals.  Either one should give your body a "head start" without tiring yourself too much.

                  Ah, no Nobby I don't do an adequate warmup... sorry.... won't happen again Smile.



                  Thanks for all the info.

                    Thanks Nobby by for the reminder to take adequate recoveries with strides to learn to run relaxed while still moving quickly and other excellent information in this thread.  And yes I used to have Patrick as my avatar, not sure what happened to that, guessing it will be fixed when Eric gets around to it.