Little, Often & Faster? or Longer, Fewer & Slower?

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13/01/2003 at 13:57
A slightly artificial and labarotary like scenario I know but it helps frame a question that I am interested in.

If I am training for a 10K run in circa 2 months and run 21 miles per week: which approach is likely to give me a better time

1) 7 runs per week of 3 miles each at 7 minute mile pace or;

2) 3 runs per week of 7 miles at 8 minute mile pace.

I know the answer is that a good mix of runs is best but.. if anyone cares to submit a view on which extreme is most beneficial I should be most interested.
13/01/2003 at 21:02
1, without the shadow of a doubt
13/01/2003 at 21:06
And a marathon would be 2????
13/01/2003 at 21:25
Sorry, still 1. and still no doubt
13/01/2003 at 21:27
Really
What about long runs
im sooooo slow you see
13/01/2003 at 21:32
it's a pretty unrealistic challenge though, isn't it? the right answer has got to be "neither", surely? 3 miles @ 7:00m/m pace is a run of 21 minutes and it's doubtful that there's any training advantage in runs that short. 30 minutes is about the minimum where any run is going to have any effect (say the books).

if 7:00m/m was faster than race pace then maybe it's might have something, but ... I'm not sure what this answers, to be honest.

what was the point of the question, Dave?
13/01/2003 at 21:36
Well, the long runs would certainly help. But we were only given two options you see... I think there's a load of physiological reasons why 1 would work better (and experience also tells me that). Regardless of which schedule you chose, you'd still be in pretty bad shape at the end of a marathon with so little training, though.
13/01/2003 at 21:37
Academic for me
Cant do more than 11 min miles, and thats fast
DOH
Speedwork tomorrow, at altitude(giving blood)
13/01/2003 at 21:41
Oh, and actually, Achilles, regarding your point about 30mins being the minimum to have any effect, I seem to remember a European 1500m champion would used to train no longer than 20mins at a time (alledgedly, she used to have 6 training sessions a day though).
I also seem to remember some of the turn of the century marathon runners (they would have ran 2H40 or so) training no more than 3 miles a day.
13/01/2003 at 21:42
bad hippo -

good luck with the speedwork tomorrow, you can do it.

blurred hippo moving at unimaginable speed.
13/01/2003 at 21:42
'would' -> read 'who'
13/01/2003 at 21:46
Nick -

point taken - I think I was trying to say it depends how fast you are running those 3 miles in relation to your fitness level.

PS. were they really running 2:40 at the turn of the century? the only thing I can remember is that the 1939 Olympic marathon was won in approx. 2:30. had they only taken off 10 mins. in 40 years?
13/01/2003 at 21:49
it will be half yassos for me
bugger the RW prog, i CANNOT do mile reps
Ill be down a pin of blood, oh happy excuse
13/01/2003 at 21:51
"down a pint of blood" - you don't make things easy for yourself, do you?

oh and I'll remind of what you just said when you're sailing through your mile reps in a month's time. ;-)
13/01/2003 at 21:54
Well, I think I was a bit approximate in my use of dates here... Make it 1920, and that should be about right (Hell, that's the turn of the Century to me anyway!!)

On a separate note, and for a completely different approach, I also used to know a runner (originally from Ethiopia) who trained for the marathon in this fashion (his name was Alexander Rachide):

Wedn. 26 miles tempo ; Sun. Marathon (race)

He'd do about 20 marathons a year (that was in the late eighties this), all under 2H20! (and in the process, pocket a fair amount of dosh).

Hard to believe, and yet... so talk of two extremely different approaches to training here! (and both of which seem to work pretty well too!!!)
13/01/2003 at 22:00
wow - that is simply phenomenal.

26 miles tempo run is surely the same as racing a marathon, so basically he was racing a marathon twice a week for half the year!

as you say, there's no hard and fast rules and a huge spectrum of possible approaches.

I don't think I'll be trying to emulate Rachide in any great hurry!
13/01/2003 at 22:10
Madness isn't it? But the fact that it worked doesn't mean he couldn't have performed much better had he been following more traditional schedules...
I don't think the spectrum is that huge though(for instance I don't believe you can feature on the marathon at world class level (say 2h06 men; under 2h19 women) with less than approx. 120 miles a week.
I know Frank Horwill likes to claim so, but looking at the rankings this year, I don't believe anyone in the top 20 runs any less than that (or at least not during their marathon preparation...)
13/01/2003 at 22:15
yes, I'd have to agree about the weekly mileage. Horwill is a little bit cranky on that score, though pretty sound on lots of things to my mind.
13/01/2003 at 22:16
Can i manage two marathons this year, and 3 halves?
silly question
i WILL
But id like it to be less painful than last year
i thought the long runs were what couted
sorry, ill go
13/01/2003 at 22:17
Nick,

Totally changing subject here but what sort of shoes do proper athletes like yourself wear for such high mileage training. Do you (as in you and others running very fast) go for something with a lot of cushioning or do you run in something lighter.
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