The Middle Ground

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21/09/2012 at 14:45
Mr Viper wrote (see)
Than those who actually know what they are talking about  

Thought you would like that. No, I was highlighting your simple real life perspective on running, you being the ultimate pragmatist and all that……

Duck – Redcar is flat and all on roads, the only downside is that quite a bit of it is on the coast so wind could be a problem. It has a reputation as a PB course, so no reason not to run a decent time. Though I will start much more conservatively than GNR.
Fartleks are great fun arent they, in the place of traditional hill repeats I sometimes do hilly fartleks with the bulk of the efforts going up hill. All good fun in base building.

21/09/2012 at 14:59
Mr Viper wrote (see)

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

 Mr V -  are you wearing the nurses outfit again?

21/09/2012 at 15:31

 At the age I started playing Ultimate I didn't need any extra exercises to keep my wrists strong and supple.  That really was a generalists' game.  Sprint, sprint, sprint, jog around, sprint... for eight hours each weekend!  Fitness wise it's a game of attrition!  Duck, of course you know it, you're a student!!  Are the guys who play still just as lanky and gangly as they used to be?  And spend the weekends strung out in tents?

Yes, 6x200 is quite long rep-wise, but off unlimited recovery only really hurts you in the last two if you did the first two too quickly.  I was simply wary of the reps being too short for a good float, hence 150s and 200s.  You may be right though, and I've seen plans that start much shorter even for distance runners, but the idea there is definitely to increase strength.  6-8x60 uphill, anyone?  Simon, if you find yourself wobbling in the 200s, cut to 175s.  You do want to be sustaining a high speed.  Likewise, Duck, I just threw it out there, but if you're looking for a non-track alternative for block power, try 5x50 uphill, working up to that 6-8x60 uphill.  It's something you can follow with a different session, as it's quite specific, though I wouldn't go doing another sprint session off the back of it!  And yes, as of Monday winter training begins for the sprint group.  With VLM in mind I am now going to switch to 1 session of sprint, and 1 session of MD work through the winter, and those will be my two qualities for now.

prf, can't believe they didn't stop the train for you!    Steps in the middle of a 5k race.  Whatever next?  Jedward at the New York Marathon?

BR, it seems a fair categorisation, as fair as any other.  But why pick 10k??

MrV, I don't think there will be a last word on 'The Talent Debate'.  Ever.  What struck me last night though is how people love a 'rags to riches' story.  What could be better for the guy on the couch than how the 50lb overweight smoking chef turned it all around at 30 and went on to win the Chicago Marathon?  What could be better for the hero than to publish his story making sure that he strikes a chord with Mr Average?  (This is all a guy called Keith Anderson.)  I love the story.  But I'm always going to have the little niggle that says 'how good was he on the track in school?' or 'what does eight hours a day on your feet in a kitchen with a 50lb weight belt do for your legs?'.  And if your job is to inspire Mr Average, then who better to portray yourself as?  Anyway, if Mr Dawkins were to be completely believed, then the car we drive, the house we own, and the names we call our children are all down to genetics, so why not what we eat and how we train? 

YD, I've read some of scienceofrunning on occasion.  When I first read it I thought 'typical American evangelist'.  But many of the things he writes are sound, if a little lacking in attribution.  I'd ignore his pop psychology and stick to his running training though.  Can't beat someone who says run loads of easy miles and then mix in some balanced quality.

And after all that it was 6x200 for me last night, and I ended as soundly as I started, which left me feeling great.  Desperate to get out today, but dentist, work, and straight after work Dad'sTaxi are getting in the way.  I might have to get the head torch out later!

21/09/2012 at 16:57
Y D wrote (see)
Nice session Dr Dan, that probably puts you well on the road if not near to top end fitness over shorter stuff?.

I've no idea where the shorter stuff is really ... if I can escape having to do the kids' ballet drop-off on Sat 30th, I'd like to get to Leeds parkrun for a final blast before Chester. I doubt I'll get much more out of base training without hiking up the mileage, but I'm sure I can get the shorter stuff improved with more quality ... hopefully I can start this between Chester and Abbey Dash.

Ratzer wrote (see)
BR, it seems a fair categorisation, as fair as any other.  But why pick 10k??

10K is restrictive ... as is age. A 55 year old hitting 40 min for 10K is more of a descent runner than a 25 year old producing the same time. The answer is WAVA as it covers the age and discipline ... not so sure about the titles though .

1. 98.5% Elite runner
2. 95% National standard runner
3. 90% Exceptional club runner
4. 85% Excellent club runner
5. 80% Very good club runner
6. 75% Very competent runner
7. 70% Competent runner
8. 65% Serious runner
9. 60% Social runner
10. 50% Occasional runner


21/09/2012 at 16:59
Ratzer wrote (see)

And spend the weekends strung out in tents?

They spend most of the weekdays like that too. Actually if I hadn't gotten into running I would probably have given it a go. I went to a couple of matches (mostly for the socials afterwards it must be said) and they're mental. 

Thanks for the suggestions. I would like to have some maximal hill sprints in, but not enough to work speed endurance quite yet as it is very early in base!

So your VLM training is much like last year - get the speed then focus on extending it. Will you be starting with 800 paces? I'd be interested to see what you can do for an indoor MD season.

YD, yeah fartleks are fun. It's going to be a staple through the next few months for me, to keep turnover & improve aerobic capacity too. Just stick behind a taller runner at Redcar and you'll be laughing!

21/09/2012 at 18:38


PRF: interesting race report from last night! Have always wondered about that level crossing!

And help needed: have been in contact with consultant re Achilles, and he is seeing me Monday evening. Is already thinking of a "para-tenon strip and internal decompression." Does anyone know anything about the recovery time and prospects? Am not happy and don't really want to go down a surgical route if at all possible.

21/09/2012 at 19:43
Dr.Dan wrote (see)

1. 98.5% Elite runner
2. 95% National standard runner
3. 90% Exceptional club runner
4. 85% Excellent club runner
5. 80% Very good club runner
6. 75% Very competent runner
7. 70% Competent runner
8. 65% Serious runner
9. 60% Social runner
10. 50% Occasional runner


I do hate these little scales, as they're like looking in beauty mags and realising you're an ugly bastard...

but....surely a "serious" runner should be a higher level than a "competant runner"

21/09/2012 at 20:27

SG - I take your point it sounds a bit odd. If you look at the 2 categories below I think serious just suggests you (probably) need to train regularly to reach a 65% wava. You can train seriously and not be competent - i.e. run lots of miles and be slow. So I guess that's where they are coming from. Still its all really a game of silly semantics isn't it 

YP - Well it is a Friday after all 

Alehouse - Have you made any further progress at all recently? Can't offer any advice but good luck with the appointment.

Docs again for me today and he reckons my problem might be a gluten intolerance. So I've got to test going gluten free and see if I feel better. I didn't realise how much stuff has gluten in it - I feel like I can't eat anything now! Worst of all no beer 

21/09/2012 at 20:49

Mr V, yep i take that point.

All I know is I want to get myself up about 3.3% on the WAVA scale, to get into the 80% territory. So I've either got some  improving to do, or just some aging


21/09/2012 at 22:45

Aging has it's benefits - like your scale Dr Dan


21/09/2012 at 22:47

I chose 10k to illustrate my point about club runners as it is the distance that more club runners will undertake than any other.  At the extremes, I know plenty of MD track athletes who will do the odd 10k during the year, and at the other end, local ultra folk who will race the local 10ks.  Perhaps with parkruns so prevalent, 5k might have been a more inclusive example.

DrD - that list is a tautological nightmare.  What is the difference between exceptional and excellent, or indeed national standard?  Surely exceptional means that you are an exception, but seeing as your scale divides people up into 5% segments, then anyone within any segment is exceptional, as they are excepted from the other categories?

As others have intimated, the divisions might be valid, but the terms are inelegantly constructed.

It has competent and very competent, but only one level of `very good'.  No one can be a good runner, or indeed average.

Send the list over to the boys in the Arts Faculty and it might come back more comprehensible.

22/09/2012 at 07:53

Duck - I would introduce hill sprints immediately.  But keep them under 12 seconds.  They won't do you any harm at that duration and serve to help you transition to speed endurance work.

Has anyone here read 'Run faster from 5k to the marathon' by Brad Hudson?  I have just started reading it.

22/09/2012 at 09:07

BR -   yep agree, which is why I qualified it with "not so sure about the titles though" ...but it was 5 to 5 on a  Friday at work and I better things to worry about. You get the drift though.

Stevie G . wrote (see)
All I know is I want to get myself up about 3.3% on the WAVA scale, to get into the 80% territory. So I've either got some improving to do, or just some aging

Stevie, enjoy your relative youth while you have it ... it  only gets more difficult when you get older.


Edited: 22/09/2012 at 13:05
22/09/2012 at 13:25

DD, I don't doubt it...i'll do well to be still racing at 40, let alone improving.

ps look what you did, you set BR off on his word games....

As for me, I see little point in comparing against the top level of runners, I'm much more interested in how I sit againsy my local piers, as that's where the majority of competition comes from.

22/09/2012 at 17:52
Tautological is a great word!
Too much been going on to say much apart from got my comeback race on Wednesday of all days. No excuses..well apart from finishing a 12 hour night shift and trying to get 4 hours sleep before an hour and a bits drive!
22/09/2012 at 21:25

I had to google tautological. There is certainly no black and white, only different shades of grey when it comes to stuff like this.

Josh, reckon I'm going to start around 8s, for much the reasons you suggested.

Dash, they're all factors you can add into the BS calculator. With a bit of careful wording I'm sure you can break the WR. 

No running here today but I did some plyos this evening. Hilly 9M planned tomorrow which will end a pretty decent first week back to training.

22/09/2012 at 22:12

I'm glad to have been of use in extending the vocabulary range of some people.

Double day today.

A lie-in was planned but as we were up in time to parkrun, an impromptu trip to Huddersfield, for a 17:47, easing off on the 2nd lap as I had a bigger race coming up.

This afternoon, the Northern 6-Stage where, despite running a time about 30 secs off where I should be compared to my rivals, I was pleased to feel I was running as hard as I had since June.  Good to be in a team which improved on last year's 58th to finish 53rd.

For those who have done these things before, it really was quite shambolic.  There were two cross over points where people were running into each other.  I had to cut across two women heading out onto the loop as I was wanting to come back onto the track to finish.  A runner in our B team was directed back onto the track and only did one loop instead of two and half the course was on muddy trail, with narrow paths and limited opportunity to overtake in places.  This was a particular problem as the men's and women's races were running concurrently, and I had to swerve into mud a couple of times to overtake.  Odd, as every other relay of this type I've done has been A1 standard.

22/09/2012 at 22:35

A good day for me too with a 2nd in Huddersfield parkrun in 20:26 (although somehow I've been given 20:34, which I think is the time of guy who was behind me but anyhow a strong run for my trying out my leg for the afternoon's relays  I was on 4th (final) leg of the relay and was happy to run a solid race with no problems in my leg apart from a little ache afterwards.  So if my leg can withstand today's events then it's back to full training next week.  So far this evening no reaction, so looks like things are looking up

23/09/2012 at 01:12

BR, Surprised and sorry to hear this. I love relays and team events anywhere, (when fit) but it's a real shame when they fall short of exectations on what seem like easily rectifiable issues.

23/09/2012 at 06:24
Morning all,

Depressingly we've reached the time of the year when early morning long runs have to either start in the dark, or be delayed until the sun comes up..... This means I'm now sat here waiting for it to get light enough to not need my head-torch, so me and the pooch can go for a 16mile ramble around the woods, commons and downs of leafy Surrey.....

Happy long runs to anyone that's doing 'em today - I need more caffeine
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