Beginners and Beyond

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Magill on Mistakes (Part 2) (Read 172 times)

    Mistake #4 - Recover Inadequately.  Chris Carmichael once noted that ALL improvement happens during recovery.  Not some, not most, ALL.  The body improves when you provide an overload of stress and then give it time to recover.  

     

    The fix - Patience grasshopper.  Running depletes fuel and damages muscle fibers and connective tissue.  Fuel is replaced quickly but muscles and connective tissue take time to repair themselves.  Take planned breaks from hard training.  Once a week, take a true recovery day by either not running or limiting yourself to a 30 minute very slow jog.  If you are running high mileage, you can do two 30 minute jogs.

     

    (Editorial note.  Here's how I'm sometimes guilty on this one.  I do a hard workout.  Then, I discipline myself to recover the next day.  However, at age 50, I need more than one recovery day from a hard workout.  The day after that though, I feel great even though I'm not fully recovered so I let it loose a bit.  Instead of an 8 mile run at a 7:45 pace, I do an 8 mile run at a 7:35 pace.  Then, the day after that, I can't do my planned quality workout because I'm too fatigued from stupidly running 10 seconds per mile faster than I should have been running).

     

    Mistake #5 - Overtrain.  I disagree with Magill on this one as a mistake many runners make.  Very few recreational runners are in danger of overtraining.  There is a huge difference between overtraining and overdoing it.  Still, there are some symptoms that higher mileage recreational runners should be aware of.  They include:

     

    Impaired performance

    Heavy legs

    Muscle and joint pain that doesn't go away

    Lethargy

    Insomnia

    Clumsiness

    Weight loss or gain

    Elevated heart rate

     

    Two key warning signs are sudden drop offs in training performance or chronic fatigue.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to distinguish the early signs of overtraining from the normal fatigue experienced near the end of a difficult training cycle.  Personally, I think the key is whether you are coming close to hitting your training paces.  

     

    The fix - There ain't but one.  Rest.  As in no running.  Rest.  Severe cases can require 6-12 weeks of nothing but rest.

     

    Mistake #6 - Believe that "more = better" in workouts.  If 18 x 400 is good, then 20 x 400 is better.  If 18 miles is good, 22 miles is great.  Who wouldn't be impressed with a killer workout?  Smart runners.  That's who.  (Editorial note.  I am guilty of finishing a workout just because I have it planned.  I might note though that elite runners such as Magill tend to ignore the psychological benefits we mere mortals get from finishing a planned workout even though it is very difficult.  Thus, I'm not sure I'm completely with Magill on this one).

     

    The fix - It can take up to 14 days to recover from a very hard workout.  Of course, doing a workout that hard means you can't do any other quality work while you are recovering from your badge of honor workout.  Daniels counsels that you should do the least amount of work possible to achieve the results you want.  (I don't discount the psychological benefit of completing a hard workout but I also know how long it takes me to recover from various workouts and I rarely do more than will cost me 2-3 days of recovery time).

    Short term goal: 17:59 5K

    Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

    Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

    kbrks


      #4 is true for physical activites and intellectual activities. Obviously running, cycling, swimming....but also chess, sudoku and other puzzles. The body and brain need time to learn and adapt. #5 at the recreational level,don't confuse tmts with "overtraining" #6 I've been guilty of adding in an extra interval. Probably doesn't help at that point. Only makes the recovery process longer. I am also a huge believer in random breakthroughs...running improvement may be more mental than we realize... good stuff, thx lth.

        #5 might be better as "too much too soon" for the average runner.  We've all seen the threads of eager newbies doing 15 mpw and asking about what they should do to be ready for the half that they just signed up for... in two weeks. 

         

        As for #6, sometimes more *is* better.  Right up to the point where it is not.  And that's the puzzle.  Smile


        Muddling through

          #5 is a direct outgrowth of #4 over a long period of time. You needn't be a high mileage runner to overtrain if you consistently fail to allow time to recover adequately.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

            #5 might be better as "too much too soon" for the average runner.  We've all seen the threads of eager newbies doing 15 mpw and asking about what they should do to be ready for the half that they just signed up for... in two weeks. 

             

            As for #6, sometimes more *is* better.  Right up to the point where it is not.  And that's the puzzle.  Smile

             

            Magill has another article where he talks about a national level master's runner who had stagnant times for over two years until he dropped his mileage from 100+ mpw to 60-65 mpw.  Only then did he experience a breakthrough performance.  MothAudio seems to have cut back on his overall mileage to focus more on quality work.  I think it goes back to what Daniels says:  "Do as little as possible to achieve the desired results" rather than " do as much as you can."

            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


            Muddling through

              Magill has another article where he talks about a national level master's runner who had stagnant times for over two years until he dropped his mileage from 100+ mpw to 60-65 mpw.  Only then did he experience a breakthrough performance.  MothAudio seems to have cut back on his overall mileage to focus more on quality work.  I think it goes back to what Daniels says:  "Do as little as possible to achieve the desired results" rather than " do as much as you can."

               

              BTW I don't think that is an endorsement of quality over quantity. If you look at the broader picture it's an issue of proper balance of quality and qunatity. This may vary from individual to individual because of factors ranging from ration of fast twitch to slow twitch muscles to the personality and psychology of the individual. It may even change with the individual depending of fitness and mileage levels as well as choice of race distance.

              2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                BTW I don't think that is an endorsement of quality over quantity. If you look at the broader picture it's an issue of proper balance of quality and qunatity. This may vary from individual to individual because of factors ranging from ration of fast twitch to slow twitch muscles to the personality and psychology of the individual. It may even change with the individual depending of fitness and mileage levels as well as choice of race distance.

                 

                George, I think that's an excellent point about the choice of race distance.  In the example Magill uses, the other runner was focused on the 5,000.  That's a race that, while still primarily an aerobic event, nevertheless requires a lot of speed.  I would note that the Daniels 5K-15K plan doesn't have long runs in the plan.  Rather, weeks alternate between 3 speed sessions one week and 2 speed sessions the next.  I don't know anyone short of national level runners who could be doing that much speed work and still putting in 90+ miles a week.

                Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).