12

speedwork question (Read 192 times)

kb13


    I run 4x a week and I'm 49 years old, been running about 6 years. I  usually do intervals once a week, but it's exhausting and takes a while to recover. So I'm currently doing a smaller of speedwork 3-4 times a week (but not just intervals) to spread it out rather than 1 intense workout and see how it goes. So I wonder:

     

    If you are going to do 8 intervals (I just picked 8 as an example), is it better to do 8x intervals once a week? Or 4x  intervals twice a week? Or 2x intervals four times a week?

     

    Is it better to do one intense speed workout each week? Or several smaller amounts of speedwork?

     

    Anyone have thoughts? Is there any research on this? Just curious to hear how others approach speedwork.

    Mattchiro


    I drink, therefore I run

      During my last training cycle I did 10X800 meter repeats once in a week, in addition to some fast finish long runs.  I PR'd in the Half and I truly believe that the repeats played a big part in that.  However,  I completely missed the mark on my targeted marathon goal and gained some wisdom from those better than I after I scratched my head wondering what the hell went wrong.  It basically came down that I didn't do enough LT runs and didn't run the right amount of miles at GMP.  I've recently been told that there's no reason (based on my abilities and MPW which is about 50 right now) to do speedwork any more than 2 times a week.  So, I do a fast finish long run every other weekend and I mix in progressive and tempo/LT work into my weekly medium long runs.

       

      I know that didn't answer all of your questions, however that is how I'm approaching speed work right now.

       

       

      Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

       

      Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

       

      Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

       

      Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)


      I am The Tortoise

        Don't know if there is any research on it or not but when training for an event I do the following:

         

        Monday intervals

        Tuesday off

        Wednesday tempo run

        Thursday recovery run

        Friday off

        Saturday long slow run

        Sunday off

         

        One of my friends who has been running many years suggested this routine. I am 48 and have been running for 1 year. This schedule does push my limits.

          I run 4x a week and I'm 49 years old, been running about 6 years. I  usually do intervals once a week, but it's exhausting and takes a while to recover. So I'm currently doing a smaller of speedwork 3-4 times a week (but not just intervals) to spread it out rather than 1 intense workout and see how it goes. So I wonder:

           

          If you are going to do 8 intervals (I just picked 8 as an example), is it better to do 8x intervals once a week? Or 4x  intervals twice a week? Or 2x intervals four times a week?

           

          Is it better to do one intense speed workout each week? Or several smaller amounts of speedwork?

           

          Anyone have thoughts? Is there any research on this? Just curious to hear how others approach speedwork.

           

          Might be helpful to know what race distance you're training for? Speedwork training for a marathon is  not going to be the same as speedwork for the mile or 5k.

          Mattchiro


          I drink, therefore I run

             

            Might be helpful to know what race distance you're training for? Speedwork training for a marathon is  not going to be the same as speedwork for the mile or 5k.

             

            Good point.  I just assumed marathon.

             

             

            Half PR:  1:34 (August, 2012)

             

            Marathon PR:  3:45 (October, 2012)

             

            Next race:  St. Paddy's Day Half Tacoma (March 16th)   DNF Illness

             

            Next Marathon:  Tacoma City Marathon (May 5th)


            Fat butt on couch

              I run 4x a week and I'm 49 years old, been running about 6 years. I  usually do intervals once a week, but it's exhausting and takes a while to recover. So I'm currently doing a smaller of speedwork 3-4 times a week (but not just intervals) to spread it out rather than 1 intense workout and see how it goes. So I wonder:

               

              If you are going to do 8 intervals (I just picked 8 as an example), is it better to do 8x intervals once a week? Or 4x  intervals twice a week? Or 2x intervals four times a week?

               

              Is it better to do one intense speed workout each week? Or several smaller amounts of speedwork?

               

              Anyone have thoughts? Is there any research on this? Just curious to hear how others approach speedwork.

               

              If I understand you right, you're doing speedwork 3-4 times a week?

               

              Well, in general, you need enough stimulus to get adaptation.  So while you might not need to do 8X800m, you should probably get in at least 4X800 as with doing say 2X800 3-4 times per week you are just not getting the same effect.  You are not keeping your lactate level up for a long duration of time.

               

              You don't have to kill yourself, however.  If you are doing say 8X800 and it takes you 3 days to recover, you need to either a) back off to 6X800 and see how that works, or b) add 30sec to each recovery but run the intervals at the same speed, and see how that goes.

               

              If it takes you more than ~48hrs to recover you are putting too much into a single workout.

              "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

               


              And in the end...

                I run 4x a week and I'm 49 years old, been running about 6 years. I  usually do intervals once a week, but it's exhausting and takes a while to recover. So I'm currently doing a smaller of speedwork 3-4 times a week (but not just intervals) to spread it out rather than 1 intense workout and see how it goes. So I wonder:

                 

                If you are going to do 8 intervals (I just picked 8 as an example), is it better to do 8x intervals once a week? Or 4x  intervals twice a week? Or 2x intervals four times a week?

                 

                Is it better to do one intense speed workout each week? Or several smaller amounts of speedwork?

                 

                Anyone have thoughts? Is there any research on this? Just curious to hear how others approach speedwork.

                 

                First, if you're running repeats for VO2Max then you really only need to do them once every 2 weeks or so.  VO2Max improves quickly and is easily maintained.  The answer to your specific question is that you should do the interval workout all at once and not divide it up over multiple days.  What you want to do is build the stamina over time to where you can complete 'n' number of repeats at 'y' pace without fading at the end, but not wanting to do 1 more repeat.  I find it easier to think in terms of time rather than number of repeats.  For VO2Max work you need to get into that HR zone for a couple of minutes, then back off on the recovery interval, then repeat... ideally, you'd be able to get at least 20-25 minutes at VO2Max, but you have to build up to it.  Getting all of the training stimulous in one session is very important.  Your body will not adapt the same to 4 days of 2 repeats as it will to 1 day of 8 repeats.

                ------------------------

                The GITM is moot.

                Longboat


                Letting off steam

                   

                  First, if you're running repeats for VO2Max then you really only need to do them once every 2 weeks or so.  VO2Max improves quickly and is easily maintained.  The answer to your specific question is that you should do the interval workout all at once and not divide it up over multiple days.  What you want to do is build the stamina over time to where you can complete 'n' number of repeats at 'y' pace without fading at the end, but not wanting to do 1 more repeat.  I find it easier to think in terms of time rather than number of repeats.  For VO2Max work you need to get into that HR zone for a couple of minutes, then back off on the recovery interval, then repeat... ideally, you'd be able to get at least 20-25 minutes at VO2Max, but you have to build up to it.  Getting all of the training stimulous in one session is very important.  Your body will not adapt the same to 4 days of 2 repeats as it will to 1 day of 8 repeats.

                   

                   

                  ^This.

                  You don't mention how many miles per week you run in total. However, if it takes so long to recover, you're either doing the intervals too fast, or you don't have enough miles per week to support the speedwork.

                  Neil

                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

                  Base building time!

                    I run 4x a week and I'm 49 years old, been running about 6 years. I  usually do intervals once a week, but it's exhausting and takes a while to recover. So I'm currently doing a smaller of speedwork 3-4 times a week (but not just intervals) to spread it out rather than 1 intense workout and see how it goes. So I wonder:

                     

                    If you are going to do 8 intervals (I just picked 8 as an example), is it better to do 8x intervals once a week? Or 4x  intervals twice a week? Or 2x intervals four times a week?

                     

                    Is it better to do one intense speed workout each week? Or several smaller amounts of speedwork?

                     

                    Anyone have thoughts? Is there any research on this? Just curious to hear how others approach speedwork.

                     

                    Honestly, I really can't quite see your question here.  So you run 4X a week; and, before you were doing one of these 4 workouts being "interval training" whatever you were doing it (just in case if you can just call it "interval" and call it a day, it's very wrong.  You mentioned 8X intervals; it could be 8X400m VERY fast and that would leave you exhausted; or you may do 8X2000m VERY hard, not necessarily fast, and that could leave you exhausted; or you may have done 8X200m VERY VERY fast and, because you're not quite experienced and maybe you're 42-minutes 5k kind of a runner and that could leave you exhausted...one would never know).  So that was too much for you; so you are thinking about dividing this interval workout spread out in 3-4 times...and, in the case that you might do it in 4 workouts; so that would be it for the week's workout?

                     

                    So it is conceivable that you may do, instead of 8 X 800m one day and whatever you might do; for all we know, it could be 10-mile run, 3 mile jog, 5 mile tempo AND 8X800m; now you are thinking about 2X800m, 2X800m, 2X800, and 2X800m and wondering if you get the same or better training effect?  I hope I got this wrong because it just doesn't make any sense.

                     

                    Well, in general, you need enough stimulus to get adaptation.  So while you might not need to do 8X800m, you should probably get in at least 4X800 as with doing say 2X800 3-4 times per week you are just not getting the same effect.  You are not keeping your lactate level up for a long duration of time.

                     

                    You don't have to kill yourself, however.  If you are doing say 8X800 and it takes you 3 days to recover, you need to either a) back off to 6X800 and see how that works, or b) add 30sec to each recovery but run the intervals at the same speed, and see how that goes.

                     

                    As Spaniel tried to explain, usually, there's a specific training benefit you're trying to achieve with interval training.  USUALLY you try to make your body accustomed to a specific stress--namely, anaerobic metabolism--and teach your body to withstand that stress.  You run one fast, whatever the distance may be, and take the stress off (recovery jog) and do it again and jog again...and stress your body for several times--preferably anywhere between 30-minutes to an hour TOTAL.  You CAN run them way too fast or/and with very little recovery and now your body can't go on too long, maybe even as short as 5 or 6 minutes total and you're done; your system simply shuts down and you can't go on.  That's too short to stimulate your system.  You do them too slow and you can go on for 1:30 or even more; now you're stimulating different stress and you won't get the same benefit.  So now, simply because it's too hard, you chopping it down to something like 2X800m, or whatever it maybe, and what are you trying to achieve?  So your body can withstand very light stress?

                     

                    Many people often think too hard and go totally wrong direction because they think certain idea is correct (like "if you want to run a mile well, you need to run as much race-pace running as possible...").  That's not always a good thing.  But sometimes not thinking at all won't get you anywhere either.

                      Faster work is certainly important but I do think you are worried too much about it. As mentioned, it would be nice to know more about you, miles per week, race length, goal race, or just running for fun of it or for weight loss etc. I have no problems with doing a few intervals each work out if your goal is variety and weight loss/metabolism boosting. If your goal is better race performance, you need to build your miles and train smarter and this does not necessarily mean more intervals. I think stamina intervals at around 10k pace effort and tempo running will do more to build your endurance and race performance over time that hammering those intervals.You get more bang for your buck and you build both maxvo2 and lactate threshold without beating you up so much. AND I don't think you need 10 of them 6 X800m or 5 X 1K would suffice followed by 4 X 200m quick. Or build up or progress toward your goal. Doing this work out once per week is great. One other day a week you can mix in a tempo reps or a 10 X 1 min quick work out rotated weekly. BUT, keep enough controlled/comfortable miles and keep that long run - very important.  You can build quality into that long run also but I would not have 3 days of "work outs". I guess what I am saying is, it depends on your goals and if is race performance, you need to have a plan or a date to build toward.

                      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                        Faster work is certainly important but I do think you are worried too much about it. As mentioned, it would be nice to know more about you, miles per week, race length, goal race, or just running for fun of it or for weight loss etc. 

                         

                        It would also help to know specifics of the intervals you are doing know that wipe you out, ie- quantity, distance, pace, and recovery time.

                        kb13


                          Thanks for all the replies, lots to think about. To add more details:

                           

                          I am training for a 1/2. My previous best is 1:55, hoping to beat that by 5-10 minutes. I've run 2 so far and a 20k, so basically 3. Right now I'm at 25-30 miles a week, getting up to 35, race on April 28. If i do more miles than that I'll never be able to recover.

                           

                          In past training I've done this general schedule for my 4x a week:

                          Long run (up to 12 miles)

                          Interval run (5-7 miles with anywhere from 4-8 intervals of 400-800m)

                          tempo run (5-7 miles with anywhere from 10-30 minutes tempo pace)

                          medium run (8-10 miles medium pace)

                           

                          Might not seem like much, but every 3, 4, 5 weeks I burn out and never feel like I'm doing my best time for the race. So now I'm working on more slow miles, with a "burst" of speedwork at the end of each run. I feel MUCH fresher but don't know if that's because I'm becoming more efficient (and will race great) or because I'm not working hard enough (and will race awful).

                           

                          Thanks again for all the suggestions.

                            I know that I would burn out if I followed that schedule. Way too much 'quality' work for me.

                             

                            What paces are you running the interval legs and tempo runs at?

                             

                            I, like you are, have a bad habit of thinking that if I'm not training hard enough I won't race well enough. I'm learning that not only is that not true, but that it is counter-productive. I would guess that you are feeling much fresher because you are, well, recovering better and are fresher.

                              To put this thread into context, kb13 had a thread a couple months ago:  http://www.runningahead.com/forums/post/9817ebae34f147a08959bd2e4e5b23fa

                               

                              If you could only run 4 days a week, around 25-35 miles per week, with a general goal of getting faster over a variety of race distances (5k, 10k, 1/2), how would you structure your week?

                               

                               

                              @Gville Kevin, good question but for me it isn't about the lifting making me a better runner, its just something I like to do. But I realize it probably reduces my running efficiency. I might just combine the workouts into 1 day and add another short run for volume.

                               

                              @spaniel, good points, thanks. I think I'm going to spend the first few months of 2013 running a little slower, just adding a few fartleks or strides at the end, and see if the lowered intensity helps.

                               

                              So hard to squeeze in everything I want to do in a week. Thanks both for your suggestions.

                               

                              kb13: go to running-wizard.com and pay for a 24 week, 4 days a week, 10K or HM goal race training plan.  Why struggle to figure out how to make training work on just 4 days a week when the answer is right there for less than the cost of a pair of shoes?

                              2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                              kb13


                                Seilerts, thanks for the website. I'll check it out, but I've never found a plan that fits my needs, nor one that answers questions (without spending a fortune for a coach)..

                                 

                                This question is quite different from the last thread I started a while back.

                                12