Aerobic base training alongside speed work?

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05/06/2014 at 19:22
Genghis Khan wrote (see)

Pete, I have no interest in arguing with you (or anyone else) on the internet, but you keep moving the goalposts.  

The OP's question was: does he need to do ANY more LSRs at easy pace, once he has built his base and is at the business end of "the season"/marathon training.  He then implies that he thinks the "normal" pace for LRs during this period is race pace + 30s.  (I grant you this is not completely clear but that's how both Ballesteros and I interpreted it.)  

My answer: yes, there will still be a place for LRs at up to 90s slower than race pace, and + 30s is too fast to be the default speed for LRs, even in the last couple of months of marathon training.  

eg - last 3 LRs, 5, 4 and 3 weeks out from the marathon respectively.  Probably 60 miles or so.  Should he run all, or most, of those 60 miles at mgp +30s?  No, that would be mental.

 It may be we are both saying the same thing in a different way, i.e. once you've built a good base, do some of your LR miles at closer to race pace.  Not all; not none; but some.  In which case fine, nothing to see here etc etc.



I will remind you of your answer:


if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.

You have now acknowledged that we are talking about the business end. So why would the LSRs be 45 to 90s. rhetorical question.

I have not moved the goal posts pal you have.

05/06/2014 at 20:42

You might think your question is rhetorical.  It isn't.  Slow paced long runs remain important - in fact, essential - right up to the end of the period before the taper.  They build endurance while avoiding compromising the quality of the rest of your week's work.

Since you clearly don't want to take my word for it, try Hal Higdon - from his Advanced Plan, not his Novice or Intermediate - on the pace for long runs.  

Normally I recommend that runners do their long runs anywhere from 30 to 90 or more seconds per mile slower than their marathon pace. This is very important, particularly for advanced runners who do speedwork during the week. The physiological benefits kick in around 90-120 minutes, no matter how fast you run. You'll burn a few calories and trigger glycogen regenesis, teaching your muscles to conserve fuel. Running too fast defeats this purpose and may unnecessarily tear down your muscles, compromising not only your midweek workouts, but the following week's long run. Save your fast running for the marathon itself.

Don't like Higdon?  OK, try P&D in Advanced Marathoning.  In their 70-85 mile plan (i.e., for serious runners) the last 4 LRs pre-taper total 78 miles.  Of which just 14 miles are at race pace.  The other 64 are at standard LR pace, which P&D specify is race pace + 10-20%.  For a 2.50 marathoner, this would be race pace + 40-80 seconds.

Long story short: you are telling the OP to run his LRs too fast.  I couldn't care less about whether you agree with me, I've only persisted this far because the OP deserves better advice than "train slow, run slow".  Which is rubbish, as Higdon, Pfitzinger et al make clear.  But hey, don't reply to me, write to them.  I'm sure they will be delighted to hear from you.  Pal.



05/06/2014 at 22:39

this was your answer to the ops post re the final stages:


if you are training for a marathon, your long runs should be about race pace + 10-20%.  Which, unless you are super fast, is more likely to be in the range of + 45-90 secs than + 30 secs.

Please note: no mention of faster LSRs you totally dismissed them. Which is wrong at the later stages. 

i told you to re-read the op, because we were discussing the final stages.

I also added

However, some plans will have you running at the slower pace and the quicker pace within the same run, for instance the 22miler, again so as not to over fatigue the runner in the final stages of the training.

Stop trying to tell me what I already know after your original incorrect advice.  Because your original advice is not what you are saying now. FACT


end of discussion.



Edited: 05/06/2014 at 22:52
09/06/2014 at 16:26

lol, chill. Thanks to both of you for persisting. Definitely some good advice there to pick through.

18/07/2014 at 09:00

I decided to take the guesswork out so have been doing exclusive low HR runs (max 140bpm) and cycle rides. What the articles about base training don't talk about is how daftly bored you'll get! So a warning to others: just because you are doing really slow miles, don't be fooled into thinking you can suddenly add an extra 50% miles on top of your normal weekly quota just because your legs don't ache after runs. This way leads to injury. I thought I'd pulled a calf muscle but my masseur says it's just tight. Phew. Take care all!

18/07/2014 at 15:08

+1 for GK

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