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# Cut-Downs question (Read 33 times)

First day of cut-downs for me tomorrow.  I don't really understand the instructions say:

Cut-downs: 2 x 3 x 100m

1. Run fast 3 times over approximately 100m, increasing the speed each time

Does this mean I am running 300 meters at progressively faster pace?

Am I running back and forth along a straight 100 meters with a very short rest to turn around?

Or perhaps this is there is a smallish break between the 100 meter segments?

How do/did you interpret this?

Thanks!

Dave

Hi Dave

The way I read it was to have 2-3 minutes easy recovery jog between each 100m run in each set.

Then between the 2 sets of 3 runs take 5 minutes recovery jog.

So I did this:

15 minutes warmup

100m,   2-3 minutes easy, 100m, 2-3 minutes easy, 100m

5 minutes easy

100m,   2-3 minutes easy, 100m, 2-3 minutes easy, 100m

15 minutes cool down

The reason I did it this way was instruction 4 says "After the set of 3 take 5-minutes easy jog recovery" so I assumed instruction 3 "Take 2-3 minutes easy recovery jog to regain your breath and return to the start" must refer to recovery between each 100m run.

HTH

Geoff

Geoff

JML

+1 on this.  I do them this way as well.

Hi Dave

The way I read it was to have 2-3 minutes easy recovery jog between each 100m runs in each set.

Then between the 2 sets of 3 runs take 5 minutes recovery jog.

So I did this:

15 minutes warmup

100m,   2-3 minutes easy, 100m, 2-3 minutes easy, 100m

5 minutes easy

100m,   2-3 minutes easy, 100m, 2-3 minutes easy, 100m

15 minutes cool down

The reason I did it this way was instruction 4 says "After the set of 3 take 5-minutes easy jog recovery" so I assumed instruction 3 "Take 2-3 minutes easy recovery jog to regain your breath and return to the start" must refer to recovery between each 100m run.

HTH

Geoff

2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

Ahh - that makes sense.  I was struggling with a workout that amounted to 2 x 300 meter intervals.  It seemed like way too little distance and way too few intervals.

Thanks guys.

JML

Just curious. What / when is your goal race?

just stalked your log and it looks solid.

2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

my goal is a half on October 6th.

I have been struggling with some weak PCRs, probably a combination of heat and not enough rest.  I am really enjoying this plan, however, and am looking forward to doing it again for a spring race.

For curiosity, what duration does RW suggest for your 100m work part?

Mine has 53, 50, 48 sec. I'm slow, but generally take about 30-40 sec for 100m whatevers - depending on snow, grass height, wind, etc. More to the point, I thought the phosphate systems were down around 10 sec. http://www.brianmac.co.uk/energy.htm

What I do usually for any type of anaerobic work is cut the distance in half to get something close to the right duration for the intensity - or if they provide a duration, I use that.

IOW, I'm totally confused as to what this workout is supposed to do.

I tried one a week ago (on asphalt, gentle hill) and was left with a feeling of "what was that supposed to do"? At the time, I'd not seen the 50sec times, and the landmarks I picked worked out to about 33 sec, about 100m. It did give me something different to do on a rainy evening. I did run them uphill, rather than downhill, mostly because that gave me some place flat to recover - something I rarely have. Gotta go with what I got.

If I'd cut that in half, it would have been about 50m in 17sec, which makes a little bit more sense for phosphate system. That's why I was wondering what the rest of you had for the durations.

Note: since my races are on hilly trails and most of my training is, the concept of pace is close to useless, and I use duration and intensity. That's why I've also deviated from the training in some cases.

"So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
JML

my goal is a half on October 6th.

I have been struggling with some weak PCRs, probably a combination of heat and not enough rest.  I am really enjoying this plan, however, and am looking forward to doing it again for a spring race.

The PCR is a vexing foe for me as well.  When I am deep in a training cycle, the PCR can be a tough workout that is as much physically tough as it is mentally taxing.  One tactic that I use is to make sure that I start at the slower end of the pace range for the first couple of miles until I can hone in on a 'comfortably hard' effort level.  Once I have the pace established, I can then turn up the speed a bit while monitoring how I feel.  This usually results in a small negative split for the overall run which is always better than blowing up 2/3rds of the way through the recommended run.    I find that this tactic works well particularly when dealing with less than optimal running conditions (heat and humidity).

Good luck with your race and keep us posted.

Jon

2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

northernman

Fight The Future

For curiosity, what duration does RW suggest for your 100m work part?

Yes, I was just complaining that my suggested times for 100m bits are way too fast for me. I think the computer program needs a bit of tweaking for the 100M calculations, depending on other factors not being taken into account. If your PRs are based on trail running, which has many more hills and obstacles, your true speed would be faster than the PRs would predict. Likewise, I believe that for old folks, who lose speed before endurance, a marathon PR is not a good predictor of 100 m sprint time. The plan calls for my 100/100 times to be 20 seconds alternating with 28 second floats. I can't make it that fast, so I just grunt out whatever I can at top pace

Yes, I was just complaining that my suggested times for 100m bits are way too fast for me. I think the computer program needs a bit of tweaking for the 100M calculations, depending on other factors not being taken into account. If your PRs are based on trail running, which has many more hills and obstacles, your true speed would be faster than the PRs would predict. Likewise, I believe that for old folks, who lose speed before endurance, a marathon PR is not a good predictor of 100 m sprint time. The plan calls for my 100/100 times to be 20 seconds alternating with 28 second floats. I can't make it that fast, so I just grunt out whatever I can at top pace

Been a while--been slacking!!  Actually, been very busy...  Sorry guys.

As for how to do Cut-Downs, others had already answered correctly.  But this, and the one from AKTrail intrigued me.  First of all, please note that ALL those "suggested" pace or duration are all nothing but a guide.  It has to be modified if necessary.  We certainly don't expect you to stick with it if you can't do it--the whole purpose of RW being individualized is that we wouldn't do that.  Northernman, are you already doing Cut-Downs?  Or 100/100?  I think we set it up so, as for Cut-Downs, you'd be doing those 100 (the third one) at something like 1500m race pace calculated from the race time.  As for 50/50 or 100/100, those are supposed to be pretty fast.  It'll hurt a bit; if you feel like you can do them for lap after lap after lap, you're not really doing them right.  JML saw me doing it in Boulder and, after just one lap, I was sucking air so hard!  I didn't time them but I tried to do them pretty fast.  Now, all those workouts, 100/100, 50/50 or Cut-Downs, are supposed to come after all the other workouts had been doing; hills, intervals, strides, etc.  In other words, the pace MAY look pretty fast but the assumption is that, by the time you get that far, you're supposed to be able to reach those goal pace.  I understand what you mean by "older folks" cuz I'm one of them!! ;o)  One of the things we've noticed that so many middle-aged runners had success with RW is that it will guide you to do just the right amount of fast running which most of us otherwise won't.  Those paces SHOULD not exceed their ability because we are not asking them to do a full-sprint; mostly up to a mile race pace (calculated/estimated).  Doing them a bit fast shouldn't kill them particularly if they had done their homework of all the other workouts up till them.

Been a while--been slacking!!  Actually, been very busy...  Sorry guys.

As for how to do Cut-Downs, others had already answered correctly.  But this, and the one from AKTrail intrigued me.  First of all, please note that ALL those "suggested" pace or duration are all nothing but a guide.  It has to be modified if necessary.  ...

Now, the point AKTrail had brought up; that's quite interesting...  I went in and checked your race performances and I saw most of them say something like 11-13 minutes per mile pace.  I'm assuming they are trail races with lots of ups and downs???  Yes, we are expecting those fast runs be done in somewhere around 15-20 seconds.  ...  It would probably ideal to say; "Run 20-seconds at 7:45 mile pace..." but it would become way too cumbersome, don't you think?....

Thanks, Nobby. That makes sense to me and is consistent with the description of the goal of the workout (phosphate energy systems). The duration part is easy to describe. How to describe the intensity for short stuff? I know some folks don't like the talk test - and in 15 sec, I'm probably not thinking about trying to talk. Pace doesn't work in general (footing, hills). HR shouldn't be used for short, intense work bouts because of the time delay - even HRM training programs tell you that (or at least mine did). Maybe something like run 15 sec hard, mark where that comes, then run that distance in 14 sec, then 13 sec? or drop it by 2 sec each time? And for us slowpokes, it may not make that much difference how much you try to drop it each time. For me, distances, esp. for short stuff, are always confusing, since I recognize that the energy systems and other physiological adaptations are usually a result of time and intensity. Usain Bolt and I will not get the same benefits from running 100m at top speed / effort. Maybe for 10 sec, we do.

I'm thinking this means I should be doing strides for 50m, which also makes sense, since I can usually feel another gear kick in partway through a 100-m stride. But since I thought they were mostly for form, I didn't worry about it.

Yes, my race times that are around 13min/mi are rolling hill trails. The ones closer to 20-30min/mi are up mountains (some are uphill only). Winter races are generally flat, but on snow and frozen lakes.   If I jog along the paved bike path, I can usually do 13min/mi, up to 11min/mi if more toward tempo effort. I did not input an actual race time since some of my 10k's are near 1:20 and others near 1:40+ and jog a 10k in 1:15 on asphalt. IIRC, the race time I input to RW was probably something that resulted in about 17-18min/mi easy effort - which is what I normally run at easy effort on twisty, rooty, hilly single track.

I should confess also that while goal race is a marathon (3wks from now), it's a loop with 3500ft of uphill. Median finish time for my AG (66F this year) last year was about 7:20, so I'm not too far out of whack for age and course. The week before is a 10-hr climbathon - 2000ft uphill in 2.4mi, down via tram - as many times as we can. So I'm looking at about 15,000ft of uphill in 8 days - 2 races 1 week apart. I did the same pair last year, as do a number of people. I gave RW the date of the climbathon for race date so the taper would come out right. No, I don't expect RW to figure that out.   But it's also why I've deviated a lot from the program in places. I've done the same races, know the terrain, know what I'm training on, and know my weaknesses. (I can tell from the pace charts tailored for that marathon where I'm slower than expected for my finish time.) I'll try a workout as described, then maybe do it on hills or some adjustment that seems more relevant to my goals.

I wanted to try a plan to see what types of variety I could add to my workouts that I hadn't thought about. That's been successful. Thank you.

MTA: My long "runs" this year were generally hikes up 4000ft mountains (20% slopes). Last year I found with more hiking like this in training, my races were easier.

"So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
northernman

Fight The Future

As for how to do Cut-Downs, others had already answered correctly.  But this, and the one from AKTrail intrigued me.  First of all, please note that ALL those "suggested" pace or duration are all nothing but a guide.  It has to be modified if necessary.  We certainly don't expect you to stick with it if you can't do it--the whole purpose of RW being individualized is that we wouldn't do that.  Northernman, are you already doing Cut-Downs?  Or 100/100?  I think we set it up so, as for Cut-Downs, you'd be doing those 100 (the third one) at something like 1500m race pace calculated from the race time.  As for 50/50 or 100/100, those are supposed to be pretty fast.  It'll hurt a bit; if you feel like you can do them for lap after lap after lap, you're not really doing them right.  JML saw me doing it in Boulder and, after just one lap, I was sucking air so hard!  I didn't time them but I tried to do them pretty fast.  Now, all those workouts, 100/100, 50/50 or Cut-Downs, are supposed to come after all the other workouts had been doing; hills, intervals, strides, etc.  In other words, the pace MAY look pretty fast but the assumption is that, by the time you get that far, you're supposed to be able to reach those goal pace.  I understand what you mean by "older folks" cuz I'm one of them!! ;o)  One of the things we've noticed that so many middle-aged runners had success with RW is that it will guide you to do just the right amount of fast running which most of us otherwise won't.  Those paces SHOULD not exceed their ability because we are not asking them to do a full-sprint; mostly up to a mile race pace (calculated/estimated).  Doing them a bit fast shouldn't kill them particularly if they had done their homework of all the other workouts up till them.

Thanks, Nobby, yes good points.

I am indeed doing the Cut-Downs at this stage (6 weeks out from goal marathon; 22 week plan). I can almost just make the speeds, (especially if I run downhill ). Again, although I should stop the complaining about getting old, I have to confess that by belting out the cut downs this morning, and then taking a leisurely extra 5 mile run to relax, I managed to re-injure my left foot, which had almost healed from its metatarsal problem. I find it interesting that the limiting factors for me on these short sprints is not so much the breathing, but the structural framework - my leg muscles just don't go that fast, for one thing, and when I force them, I do tend to injure parts. But my CV and pulmonary system seem OK.

Anyway, I'm still really appreciating the RW system, and find it just as good, or better, than a previous period in which I paid for a personal coach to provide paces and plans. thanks again

Nobby, Those 15-20 sec cut-downs worked a lot better. Those are short enough I could find a flat spot to do them and still have some easy terrain for the recovery. Thanks.

"So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog