The Middle Ground

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20/09/2012 at 15:40
Simon Edward wrote (see)

Ratzer, I don't see why being glycogen-depleted will benefit my specific needs.

If I run 10 miles a day depleted versus 10 miles a day repleted what difference will it make? I suspect that the depleted version of me would get better at using fat as a fuel and with this extra energy store to call upon would be a better 10 mile runner.

However, has my ability to use glycogen as a fuel suffered as a result of teaching my body to use fat? For a ten mile runner, the loss is probably offset, but I'm not interested in running 10 miles, I'm interested in running for less than 10 minutes.

Surely being generally well-nourished will mean I am able to run more and recover more quickly.

Or is something else at play when you train glycogen-depleted?

Yes.  It's not just fat burning.  It's aerobic benefit.  That does involve fat burning, but also mitochondrial increase and glucose uptake adaptations in the fibres.  The marker molecule showing adaptation arises almost immediately in the deplete state but only after a number of miles in the replete state.

20/09/2012 at 16:01
Ratzer wrote (see)

MrV, you've never seen a guy who's never trained before unless they were paralysed at birth.  What you've seen is a guy who's never trained for a 10k.  But your previous point on context is very apt here as well.  A guy who doesn't know what's important for his training might tell you how many miles he's run, how often, playing down everything.  Doesn't happen to mention football or rugby because it wasn't running.  My club's most successful recent runner was a boxer, now down to a 72 for the half, I think.  Because he was a boxer he was superbly conditioned for running, but never did any specific training for it.  He could say he never trained before...

Sure I take your point and it’s often the case that guys who start out with quick times have form at other sports. Nonetheless the differences are often huge and imo too large to be simply down to unrecorded training. Paul Evans famously ran 32:xx in his first ever 10k, having never purposely gone out for a run before. Sure he played non league football previously which was probably quite good training (clearly no one could run that kind of time unless they were fairly fit) but still to run that kind of time without any run specific training??? Imo that’s purely down to genetic ability and that’s why he went on to compete in 2 olympics. I doubt there would be many premiership footballers who could go and run that kind of time off the training they do (and they in all likelihood will be a lot fitter than Paul was with non league training – and self confessed heavy drinking!)

 

Ratzer wrote (see)

Sorry.  Gone off on a technical one again.    How about "Athletic success is 1% genetic-ration, 99% perspiration."  Look at the result of the Olympic 10000, and tell me how different Gold and Silver are genetically, yet they were within 0.5s at the finish.

Sure they may be genetically different, but it doesn't mean they don't share many genetic traits beneficial for running. They may be ethnically very different but I'd assume for instance that they both have high natural VO2 maxs.

20/09/2012 at 17:51

Evening!
BR/Hilly/PRF: had planned to watch tonight, and Saturday, but both are not on the agenda now...can barely walk or drive as Achilles and calf are more problematic than ever. Physio has re-referred me to consultant, requesting a further scan. Give my apologies to Dr. Hill!

20/09/2012 at 18:23
Mr Viper wrote (see)

Paul Evans famously ran 32:xx in his first ever 10k, having never purposely gone out for a run before. Sure he played non league football previously which was probably quite good training (clearly no one could run that kind of time unless they were fairly fit) but still to run that kind of time without any run specific training??? Imo that’s purely down to genetic ability and that’s why he went on to compete in 2 olympics. 

I don't know Paul Evans, but he didn't start recording Po10 times until he was three years out of football, and a year after being made redundant and deciding to take up running full time for the money.  It was another three years as a full-time athlete before he went to the Olympics.  There's a lot missing in that back story, and therefore a lot to make assumptions about.  As he never went out purposely for a run, can I assume he went out accidentally?  And again, no specific training?  What does that mean?  We all know you can get very quick over the distances at just running long and slow.  In Hadd's paper Joe runs a 16min 5k off just long and slow, after years of neglect.  Not sure one example is going to prove anything, especially with so little to go on.

20/09/2012 at 19:24

Ratzer – I can clear up some of those assumptions since I spoke to him about it in some depth and I’ve just checked an interview with him to remind myself. His first 10k was actually 33.30 (my mistake) and he ran this whilst he was still playing football, off just football training (that’s what I mean when I say never purposely run before). This consisted of one training session a week (including lots of sprints) and one game a week. Prior to the race he ran 3 to 4 miles every night for a few weeks leading up to it. He had no running background prior to that and had only ever played football before. At this point he straight away went along to a club and ran with them once a week (7 miles) along with the once a week football training. One month after the first 10k with this training he then ran 32.30. Of course its only 1 example but I used it because I know quite a lot of the back story. I could come up other examples of very good club runners I know (around 30 min 10ks). They nearly all were running 10ks in the 35 minute region within a few months of training. I think it becomes clear pretty quickly if you’re a talented runner in a short space of time.

20/09/2012 at 21:29

That's a pretty comprehensive story, MrV.  The great thing about Paul Evans is that he went on, with full time training, to such success.  He must've been very interesting to talk with.  I'd love the opportunity.  Of course, I'm sure you can also think of many examples of very good runners who trained hard to get to decent levels.  I can think of a few examples of potential runners who appeared to have all the early talents required, and then never got anywhere because they didn't train.

However, I can't hope to shake your faith.  I still believe that anyone can train to a decent level, but that training depends on time, resources, and motivation.  Reaching the absolute top might depend on more.  I don't know what though.  I do know it requires training.

21/09/2012 at 06:49

Some very interesting debates going on!

robT - I got talking to Dr Ron last night and he's fine if you ask questions about him  He was actually very friendly and had  no problem talking, but I've not listened to him him any lengthy talk.

alehouse - sorry to hear the achilles/calf is again very bad.  Really hope there is something that can be done to allow you free momevent sooner rather than later.  It really has gone on a long time for you!

PRF - good powers of recovery.  Am looking forward to seeing what you achieve at Chester!

Little running for me, but did do 6 miles pain free on Tuesday.  I now have 12 Relief Xtra magnets on my left leg - lol don't ask! Seriously though they're doing something!

 

21/09/2012 at 06:52

Ultimate Frisbee?  A throwaway sport..  What sort of exercises would you recommend to keep your wrist firm but supple

I made it to Littleborough last night with barely time to get enetered before the race due to traffic queues on the M62....  so I didn't bother and stood and watched.  As a spectator it looked slightly more chaotic than when running it last year!  I'll leave PRF to tell the tale.

Alehouse - you really are in a bad way.  Shame to miss you. 

Decent runner?  I think MrV was correct when he said that every relates to their own standard.  We had this conversation on the way back last night, using 10k times for men as an example...

1.  Elite runners - the top world class ones - Farah, Thompson, Pavey etc who don't look out of place at the Olympics

2.  National standard - those who compete to win individual and team prizes at the National XC / Road relays etc - your Dave Norman types.

3.  Good club runner - people clocking lowish 30s for 10k who are solid members of teams who regularly qualify for national, rather than regional team events and / or compete at a good t+f league standard.  Lots of folk we know at Holmfirth Harriers like this.

4.  Average club runner (a bit of an in joke at our club this as Hilly said that's what we were).  People who don't look out of place at high profile events like road relays but who are there to make up the numbers (like us really - we won't get overwhelmed by it and will give a decent account of ourselves, but will probably finish about 70th team).  Men who run 34ish-36ish for 10k

5.  Aspiring runners - between 36 and 40 for 10k.  Have some idea about how to go about things and want to beat their peers.  If they're made of the right stuff, want to progress onto being number 4.

6. Social runners - those men who have been running for a while and still run over 40 for 10k.  They maybe come from a background of being overweight and / or are happy to complete local or national races.

Very broad definitions within which there will be lots of exceptions, but something for you all to chew over as you watch the office clock tick towards the weekend...

21/09/2012 at 08:08
Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

. Decent runner?  I think MrV was correct when he said that every relates to their own standard. 

That's the nail on the head.

Right, have a hard session at lunch today, but will probably set my mindset to "Olympic champion" to motivate me, rather than thinking, "i'm an average club runner"

 

21/09/2012 at 08:21

Alehouse - That sounds like grim news, lets hope the consultant can point a way forward.

Mr V is quite right in that being concerned about what non runners think is a bit pointless and tbh a bit hypocritical. I wouldnt have a clue what a good time for swimming 100 metres was, for instance, until I looked into it.

And I'm not sure that it is a case of the public thinking that longer is better either....they seem quite interested in that Usain bloke and I dont reckon he'd even make a half competent marathon runner.

 

So it was Ron Hill's birthday 5K last night.

After a minute's silence for the obvious reason in Greater Manchester it was time to risk life and limb by charging towards a blind corner littered with street furniture, posts, electricty/telephone/post boxes etc etc. It really is a wonder how 250ish pople get through without serious injury to someone.

As we got out onto the road I was outside the top 30 but at least I was still in one piece. Uphill for the first mile in 5:55 and now in 28th place.

Now time to start working through during the 2nd mile and after getting up to 12th and then to 8th a little spanner was thrown in the works as a level crossing barrier with its flashing lights came down to block our way.

As you're going uphill anyway at this point breaks in rhythm are not overly welcome so to get directed down into an underpass and then up some pretty steep steps was a bit of a shock!

The guy in 7th didnt cope too well with the diversion so up into 7th I went and that was it in position terms. The second mile had taken 6:07 and I'd managed to go from 28th to 7th....which tells a story in itself.

It was then just a case of having a strong run for home at 5:22/mile pace for the last mile and a bit for an overall 17:59.

15th/5th vet last year to 7th/1st vet this year seems like a good result but I'm not sure that I'd recommend the race to others any more!

Edited: 21/09/2012 at 08:24
21/09/2012 at 08:35
Ratzer wrote (see)
Yes.  It's not just fat burning.  It's aerobic benefit.  That does involve fat burning, but also mitochondrial increase and glucose uptake adaptations in the fibres.  The marker molecule showing adaptation arises almost immediately in the deplete state but only after a number of miles in the replete state.

 

Ratzer, I didn't know that - I always assumed running depleted was only for distance runners. Thanks. I need to get some reading done, I think.

One of the problems in the debate is that it's difficult to know what effect factors such as childhood nutrition & activity have on one's "natural" ability. My diet was pretty rubbish as a kid, but I did exercise regularly from 8-14 (speed skating) and as a side-effect did well in the school cross couuntry with hardly any running training. But then I spent about 15 years smoking and binge drinking at the weekends. On the other hand I did manual labout in my early twenties. There are various other positive and negatives that I'm sure all contributed someway towards the basic "talent" i found myself with when I decided to take up running at age 33.

Hilly, glad you're managing some pain-free running (different from pain free-running)

BR, not a bad summary.

As part of my new training year I've decided to pay a little more attention to flexibility. Part of this is two sessions solely devoted to stretching twice a week. Spent 45 minutes doing this last night and my legs feel great today.

21/09/2012 at 09:09

The simplest way to judge the quality of a runner is probably WAVA.

21/09/2012 at 09:38

PRF - Good run last night and very interesting diversion "level crossing" what bad planning  Think you should have stormed off got through level crossing before it closed then cruised home.

Hilly - Maybe Dr Ron is ok one and one but his speach to over 100+ runners at a dinner I went to last year saw people sneaking out it was all quite embarassing!!

Track for me last night supposed to be 12X300 (100jog recov- approx 45-50 secs) only managed 10 +200m as right hamstring cramped and I stopped immediately!! managed 51,51,50,49,50,50,49,50,50,50 + 32 for 200m.

Hammy a little sore today so possible rest or very gentle run later decided not to race as we haven't got a full team and not worth the risk having had early season experiences of a hamstring pull in same leg!!

Edited: 21/09/2012 at 09:39
21/09/2012 at 10:48

Morning all! Finally some time to catch up.

Rob, great session even if you messed recovery up. I remember once I ran a session thinking I had to run 10s/lap faster than I actually did (I got times mixed up) and needless to say it didn't end well.

Razter, are the sprint guys back in base now?

Ratzer wrote (see)

 Is base speed for distance running a different beast?

I agree with your disagreement! I think base speed improves your potential to improve over longer distances as you have more 'scope' to improve, if you understand me. So if you can run a 15s 100m you're going to be limited as to how fast you can run a mile, for instance (say 5s/100m differential), yet improve the 100 to 14s and the mile has the potential to improve too. And it works the whole way up the spectrum too.

And I know (and appreciate) ultimate, quite a few of my friends play it.

Simon, same as what Ratzer said. Ratzer, do you think then that pure speed training should be at the point where it crosses over into speed endurance? 6*200 is quite long rep-wise and from here looks like it would work speed endurance quite a bit. 

I'm going to be doing pyramid sprints through winter as I'm in the MJ schol of thought that driving hard out of hte blocks for 400 is necessary. Although I'm open to alternative (i.e. better) solutions. Razter?

Mr V, progress, but no real answers must be frustrating. 

Sharks, I read that blog with interest. With a new age group comes improved wava too 

Hilly/BR I really hope things improve for you both soon. You oth seem to be quite resiliant to injury from what I've seen so for you both to be near-hobbling around right now must be strange!

I wouldn't say there's an exact figure when you become 'good', as it's all relative.

prf, sounds like you had the same problem as the cycllists in Tour of Britain had! 

Anyway I've managed to keep getting training in the last few days - most of it in the dark though! Usual 5.2M out and back Wednesday as close to 8pm, Garminless and felt reasonably quick without being too hard effort wise. Then ran into work yesterday from my usual bus stop - 4.8M @ 7:33/m (it was downhill most of the way). PLanning on some aerobic power hills today.

 

21/09/2012 at 11:16

Ratzer – Actually you can hope to shake my faith at least somewhat  I think you make a good point about there being a whole host of factors relating to diet, exercise etc when younger that will impact upon how someone might perform when they start running and we may interpret positives from this period as ‘talent’ when maybe it isn’t. Ps yes Paul Evans is an interesting chap, not to mention a bit of a character!

BR – A summary I’d largely agree with. I hope to move from 5 to 4 next year, though I doubt I’ll ever be a 3.

PRF – Sounds an interesting one. That final mile looks a bit tasty!

21/09/2012 at 13:39
Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

Decent runner?  I think MrV was correct when he said that every relates to their own standard.  We had this conversation on the way back last night, using 10k times for men as an example...

1.  Elite runners - the top world class ones - Farah, Thompson, Pavey etc who don't look out of place at the Olympics

2.  National standard - those who compete to win individual and team prizes at the National XC / Road relays etc - your Dave Norman types.

3.  Good club runner - people clocking lowish 30s for 10k who are solid members of teams who regularly qualify for national, rather than regional team events and / or compete at a good t+f league standard.  Lots of folk we know at Holmfirth Harriers like this.

4.  Average club runner (a bit of an in joke at our club this as Hilly said that's what we were).  People who don't look out of place at high profile events like road relays but who are there to make up the numbers (like us really - we won't get overwhelmed by it and will give a decent account of ourselves, but will probably finish about 70th team).  Men who run 34ish-36ish for 10k

5.  Aspiring runners - between 36 and 40 for 10k.  Have some idea about how to go about things and want to beat their peers.  If they're made of the right stuff, want to progress onto being number 4.

6. Social runners - those men who have been running for a while and still run over 40 for 10k.  They maybe come from a background of being overweight and / or are happy to complete local or national races.

Very broad definitions within which there will be lots of exceptions, but something for you all to chew over as you watch the office clock tick towards the weekend...

I aspire to be aspiring......

I also wish the office clock would get a blooming move on. Time seems to be ticking very slowly today.

21/09/2012 at 13:56

I aspire to be social...

5.4 for me today. Legs felt a bit rubbish but the pace was ticking along nicely enough ... in the end I did a 4x1.04 mile progressive section arounf Hyde Park:

lap 1, 7:35/m, 136 bpm
lap 2, 7:26/m, 138 bpm
lap 3, 7:17/m, 140 bpm
lap 4, 6:38/m, 149 bpm (160 max)

21/09/2012 at 14:14

Good summary BR, I agree with the definitions and the way you have quantified them, the only thing I would disagree with is the name you have given number 5. Being apparitional isn’t dependant on current ability, that could apply to any level. A better name for that level would be something like ‘mid pack club runner’ maybe re-naming 4 as ‘better than average club runner’ to differentiate. But I am nit picking really, a good summary.

Lots of interesting chat between the ‘science bods’ and Mr V  
Does anybody read this blog? http://www.scienceofrunning.com/
If so, what do you think of it? Is the author credible?

prf – sounds like a fun evening if not the best race in the world! Nowt wrong with your speed over the last mile and a bit.

Careful with the hammie Rob

Nice session Dr Dan, that probably puts you well on the road if not near to top end fitness over shorter stuff?

12.3 miles over some tough hills and plenty of it off road for me last night, with an easy 4 at lunch today. Looking to get some decent mileage in this weekend before cutting back for Redcar next Sunday.

Edited: 21/09/2012 at 14:15
21/09/2012 at 14:28
Y D wrote (see)

Lots of interesting chat between the ‘science bods’ and Mr V  

I hope you're not suggesting my uniformed opinion counts for less than those who actually know what they are talking about  

Edited: 21/09/2012 at 14:29
21/09/2012 at 14:34

YD, that's a fair ol' run last night over hills and offroad. Good stuff. What kind of a course is Redcar like? Fast?

Dan, a good session in a short amount of time. 

I didn't do hills today but a 4.5M fartlek (1M WU, 4.5M fartlek, 0.5M cd), most of it shorter reps w/jog recoveries but some longer stuff around 3k effort and some short reps around 400 pace too. Took around 45 minutes although that's a guestimate as I ran it garminless again (I'm really enjoying these runs now). Decent aerobically, I was definately breathing by the end but was always in control. 

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