Masters Running

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Long Runs (Read 765 times)


Top 'O the World!

    Drats! I was wanting to call my 12.5 today a "Long Run!" well, it is for me...but slow ~ I'm a doing @ 12:50 ave pc! Big grin hills n all
    Remember that doing anything well is going to take longer than you think!! ~ Masters Group
      A question on Speed work. For 800's - 1600's repeats, Pfitz calls for 5K RP. Dale, you think that is too fast, why? I thought these are VO2max sessions. If you don't hit VO2max, I don't see how you improve your VO2max. Isn't that the point of those speed/interval sessions?
      So let's talk about training and v02max...Steve, I don't know that the point of these workouts is to hit Vo2max. You don't change this parameter with a single workout or two. Here's a link on the definition. http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/VO2max.html You can improve it in several ways-most importantly consistent training running lots of easy paced miles over a very long time. Aerobic training or easy running will improve the v02max. This can continue to improve and most people think that it is near maximal if one runs 70-100mpw for several years. Very few of us actually run this often and therefore most of us are woefully undertrained in regards to vo2max. Second, you can improve it just by losing weight. The maximal oxygen extraction is a number that is dependent on your weight. If you become lighter, you will improve your ability to perform work-in this case the work of running. It's like trying to run with a 10 pound weight strapped on your back and comparing it to running with no extra weight. You will be less fast with extra weight. Here's a link on the time course of adaptations that occur with running...most specifically V02max, LT and running economy. http://home.hia.no/~stephens/timecors.htm and here's a summary on training tips to do exactly what I've said-improve v02max-in summary... http://coachjoeenglish.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/training-how-can-i-improve-my-vo2-max-part-i/ The problem I have is that these adaptations take time. I cannot reconcile how 3 sharpening workouts done at 5K RP can actually change v02max. The only physiologic adaptation I can possibly envision is a change in blood volume and thus stroke volume. This would be a miniscule improvement and the risk of performing 3 vo2max exercises so close to the end of marathon training seems unacceptable to me. Therefore, I advise 10K RP rather than 5K RP. There is no data to discuss as to why Pfitz (and others) makes this recomendation. It may well be that faster training helps improve our efficiency and economy at a faster pace and this translates into MP. I can't find out why we should do this fast a pace and since strides will accomplish similiar training for neuromuscular entrainment, I do not see big benefit, just possible risk...This is a link to marathon training and paces-a la Pfitz. http://www.pfitzinger.com/marathontraining.shtml I still think LT training, especially towards the end of marathon training, would be less risky and still give a big boost by running faster than goalMP so that when you do MP it feels easier. And, of course, throw in strides a couple of times/week for neuromuscular training. This is a multiplace blueprint. LR/tempo/Strides/Easy and Recovery. I just don't see 5K RP being useful to marathon training. However, the converse is definitely true. By improving your aerobic capacity by lots of long runs, tempo runs and overall mileage, you improve your 5K RP because the 5K race is strongly aerobic-just less than the marathon is.
        Drats! I was wanting to call my 12.5 today a "Long Run!" well, it is for me...but slow ~ I'm a doing @ 12:50 ave pc! Big grin hills n all
        You can call any run that is the longest of the week your long run and hold your head high, Cindy!


        Top 'O the World!

          Thank you Dale! I appreciate that! Smile ...specially since a year ago I couldn't make it down the block Shocked !
          Remember that doing anything well is going to take longer than you think!! ~ Masters Group
            I can't believe it took me three days to find this thread -- thanks, Dale!

            Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com

              I just looked through my copy of Pfitz's book and dtoce is right, Pfitz offers no studies to back up his recommendation to run VO2max runs at 5K pace. His claim is that you want to run your VO2max runs at 5K pace because that will get you to 100% of VO2max for the longest possible time that you can hold. His view is that by hitting your VO2max level for as long as possible during a training run you will increase it. Regarding how many of these workouts he has in his plan it is 6 over 18 weeks. Four of the six are in consecutive weeks. There is only one in the last three weeks. I guess I would agree that doing just two or three towards the end of the training cycle seems unlikely to do all that much for somebody's VO2max. But if you do all six my experience has been that they get easier as you go along, making me think it has helped. However I cannot cite any studies to back up Pfitz's recommendation either (although I have to admit I did not try looking either). In the one article I looked into that dtoce linked to I did not see any cites to academic studies regarding the best way to increase one's VO2max. Actually, the author does not recommend a particular speed while training to improve this measure. Indeed he says that VO2max is not that critical. But, I think his view is tilted towards people that run 5K races or shorter since his follow up article is targeted at that group. In the end, unless there are academic studies supporting the use of a 10K pace my plan is to stick with Pfitz's recommendation to do VO2max runs at 5K pace. His claim makes intuitive sense if nothing else. Of course, if contrary evidence in the form of scientific studies arrives I would be all too happy to run these torture sessions at a far less torturous 10K pace instead!

              Live like you are dying not like you are afraid to die.

              Drunken Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread this way -->  http://allrecipes.com/Cook/Twocat

                His view is that by hitting your VO2max level for as long as possible during a training run you will increase it. Indeed he says that VO2max is not that critical.
                two comments- First, vo2max training is a sharpening type of training. I'm not commenting on how to run these workouts, I already know how to do them-I'm talking about the theory behind why we run them. This type of training gets you ready to run short races faster. It forces your muscles to build enzyme systems to counteract the acidosis from the anaerobic training. Therefore my point remains, that you don't need to sharpen for shorter races in marathon training unless you want to save something for a kick in the last 0.1-0.2 miles. I think most of us would rather have a slightly better pace during the run. More importantly, make it to the starting line, uninjured. It just seems to me too risky to try to do this pace at that point. And yes, you are right that there are several other workouts throughout the entire block, earlier in the training block. Most people break down with the higher volume, extra long runs and added intensity in the 4-6 weeks just before race day-not with the first couple of these workouts. Second, is the most important comment regarding v02max training. It is not 'critical' and NOT a good predictor of race performance. LT is, and predicts across almost all distances. You want to know the order of finish, line the racers up by their LT numbers-fastest to slowest. You can't come close to the accuracy by using v02max numbers...
                  congratulations on your excellent improvement! I do not believe in 5K RP intervals for marathon training-the speed is too fast for anything useful and risks injury. 10K RP is better. I also do not do many long races since I can't fit them into my schedule, but you are correct in stating that over- and under- distance racing will help prepare for the actual distance. (Not that a 50K is needed to prepare for the marathon, but 1/2M's are nice preparation and much better than 5K's or 5Milers...). Your improvement may have occurred for many different reasons, but I'd credit the increase in mileage first and foremost-along with steady training and no injury. Multipace training and periodization is critically important to racing but how each of us fits these together is an indivudual practice. There are many overlaps in training, however... Dale
                  I agree with all, and especially "Your improvement may have occurred for many different reasons, but I'd credit the increase in mileage first and foremost-along with steady training and no injury" I might add too that I've found that even HM-paced intervals, what I call "tempo intervals" work very well. Just do several, i.e. 6 x 1600, and take a short recovery jog between each (60-90 seconds). Add a long warmup and cooldown and you have your mid-week moderate run of 12-14 miles. Great for building endurance and plenty enough speed for long races.
                  Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33
                    I might add too that I've found that even HM-paced intervals, what I call "tempo intervals" work very well. Just do several, i.e. 6 x 1600, and take a short recovery jog between each (60-90 seconds). Add a long warmup and cooldown and you have your mid-week moderate run of 12-14 miles. Great for building endurance and plenty enough speed for long races.
                    I've been doing these (6x1M, 4x1.5M, 3x2M) and plan 2x3M, but with 120 second intervals -- actually I think the 4x1.5M was 90 second. I don't know how well I would have done on this week's 3x2M without that extra 30 seconds. What am I losing with the longer interval?

                    Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com

                      I don't know how well I would have done on this week's 3x2M without that extra 30 seconds. What am I losing with the longer interval?
                      I was waiting for Jim, but since he didn't respond... The longer intervals are done initially with just enough recovery so that you keep some lactate in the muscles but can complete the workout. This is usually about 2 minutes or so. When you do somewhat shorter invervals like 1200-2K, some advocate a slightly shorter interval. The key actually isn't the length of the interval when you are running tempo pace because you should be able to recover in that time frame. The key is the pace, keeping it below your lactate threshold so that you don't become anaerobic and accumulate lots of acid and then cannot keep the pace for the susequent reps. When you are sharpening for a shorter race, then it is important to use ever shortening recoveries to simulate race day lactate accumulation and stimulate your muscles to make enzyme buffers.
                        Sorry I wasn't clear -- when I said "interval" I was not talking about the longer hard part, I was talking about the rest period between the hard parts. I've been slow jogging 120 seconds between the longer workout portion, rather than 60-90 seconds as suggested by Jim. I'm wondering if the longer 120 second period between the workouts is hurting me. I think you're saying that 2 minutes is ok, though. (I had been chastised by somebody for calling the hard part the "interval", as I guess the "proper" term is one of "workout", "session" or "repeat", while in between is the "interval". Now when I talk about it I'm just confusing most people who use "interval" to mean the hard part)

                        Lou, (aka Mr. predawnrunner), MD, USA | Lou's Brews | lking@pobox.com

                          Ok...I am late to this discussion.... As Steve mentioned..I too adapt the schedule.....sometimes the LR's immediatelty followed bt speed work...is just too much for me... SO, I make my own adjustments,...at the same time....try to maintain Pfitz training advice.... Last year the speed intervals during my Marathon training led to my best %K...which was a few weeks out from Boston....However, I think it stressed my body too much and had a negative effect at Boston.... Personally I think that I would be better off with more Tempo and Marathon Pace training than VO2max..... The speed workouts, sometimes, put me on the verge of injury..... SO, I will make my adaptions after my current training expires after Boston... Speaking of Boston.....Since running Houston in early January and an Ultra a few weeks later I am still recovering.....With a slight right shin problem I have decoded to eliminate Tempo runs...(unless my shin improves) and concentrate on my endurance....Second 20 miler is tomorrow (Sunday, March 2)....I hope it can be progressive....but we shall see.... If my shin gets better I will attempt a MP workout....in a week or so...My goal for Boston this year is to run easy and finish...whereas last year I wanted to have a faster performance /////
                            I've been doing these (6x1M, 4x1.5M, 3x2M) and plan 2x3M, but with 120 second intervals -- actually I think the 4x1.5M was 90 second. I don't know how well I would have done on this week's 3x2M without that extra 30 seconds. What am I losing with the longer interval?
                            Hi Lou; I'm just now revisiting this thread--didn't mean to ignore you. Dr.Dale's answer is as a good as any I could give you. I got started on these with schedule my coach made up for me last year. His rule of thumb is 1-min jog interval per k. However, he has had me jogging a full lap for 1600's since I fnished out '07 with a series o long, hard races. This takes me more than 2 minutes. I assume that I will eventually be back on a half-lap jog. The way you are doing them sounds just fine. A big key for me has been to run them under control rather as hard effort. This means no faster than current 10k race pace, but usually closer to HM. Looks like your training is going well, btw.
                            Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33


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                              I am late to the party on this thread. Just noticed it but needless to say I have a couple of comments: First, thank you Dale for posting it. It's good to see separate threads like this posted by knowledgeable people, in order to stimulate discussion and help others. There are some great comments here. As to the long run, if I understand your original premise Dale, it is that the first thing you do is build a base (weekly mileage I assume you mean) before attempting a long run. Let's say that's a 20 miler. And after you can do a 20 miler, then you begin to incorporate some speed in modest doses. I would add to that point that your addition of speed to a 20 mile (or similar run) need not begin after your first 20 miler. The runner may be struggling with this distance, as many report they do. I would suggest instead that when the 20 mile run is one that you can complete without being totally exhausted, supported by Gu or other supplements, only then is it sensible to incorporate speed, and then with great care. I mention this because some people have posted that they have a lot of trouble doing a 20, that they can't do them without supplements and it's a totally exhausting workout. I would not advocate for these people that they begin to incorporate any faster paced miles at all. Let the long run simply be the endurance, "time on your feet" workout. As to the "great care" comment above, it bothers me that the term "fast finish" is used, as a good progression run in a long run should mean a very slight (few seconds) increase in pace toward the end of the run. As a matter of preference, and this is just me, if the run is 20 miles, I don't like the fast finish miles to be right up to the 20th mile. I would rather do them in miles 15-18, then jog in. I worry that when people hear "fast finish" that they will try for too aggressive a pace. Second is my old bugaboo about the VO2 max workout, which incidentally is not fiveK pace, but roughly your two-mile pace. I am not saying that work at VO2 max pace is not useful. (Dale made the good point about efficiency and form. JPGarland uses fast work entirely for this purpose in repeats to great effect.) But I do maintain that sessions of much slower than this pace, as Jim points out, HM pace or so, are far more useful. But the reason for this, which I don't see mentioned in this thread is simply that the athlete can do a GREATER volume of faster paced work, without going into oxygen debt early in the workout, and therefore building stamina while enjoying easier recovery. This is the key, especially for masters runners, where the risk of injury is greater and recovery times are generally longer. Stamina, as all you distance racers know, is the key to success. Many of you will recall my rant against giving people advice about doing VO2 max work, as opposed to simply increasing mileage. If you are prone to injury, as I seem to be lately, your likelihood of injury will be greater with the addition of speed than from a boost in mileage. Last year I had my weekly mileage up around 50- 60 mpw, and was running very well, with just two workouts a week where I incorporated some miles at HM pace and 3 miles at fivek pace plus 20 seconds (for me about 7 minutes per mile). I was just fine there. But anything faster and I was in a red zone. You can improve quite a bit with 1) high mileage over a long period of time, say a year (not an 18 week program) and 2) incorporating modest amounts of, let me coin a phrase here: "slow speed". Spareribs
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