The Middle Ground

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28/04/2013 at 21:17

Bob, I think if you're volume is low then it's even more important to temper your easy run pace. Assuming you're thinking of long term gains, which most runners are. Nice PB (again...)

Nice 5k from you too, iower

Pittsy, nice times. How long were you running before your 10k? Your training looks decent to me. I agree with YD that targetting Vo2 max for a while (basically replacing the Tuesday session would be useful). And the lon run on Sunday could be swapped with a multi-pace longish run. E.g. something like 2m easy; 3m @ MP; 3m easy; 3m @ threhsold; 2m easy.

It sounds like you're starting to get into a flow again, YD.

WJH, hills are good, but can be difficult to incorporate into Vo2 max training if you plan to run up as a rep and jog back down as a recovery since the recovery period becomes too long.

Duck, they are the Nike Air Zoom Victory. What's the idea behind tha 800s session. Sounds like a gruelling 1500 session. I'm not surprised you found it difficult.

Well done on the race, Mr V. Sounds like a good result in tough conditions.

DT19, definitely slow down. Good advice from YD there.

28/04/2013 at 21:17

YD: no idea one way or the other about accuracy! I would have assumed it was accurate, but as BR might point out, there are several previous examples of short courses!

DT: can we have some more information such as age, weight, previous sporting experience, available time etc. My immediate reactions, too, were slow down and just one quality session a week for now.

28/04/2013 at 22:46

Thanks all for your responses and thoughts.

YD- Looking at when and what pace you started and where you are now, you are clearly one of those guys i was talking about who has progressed way quicker than me from the same start point. I find the idea of slowing down my training paces in order to get faster slightly odd, but everyone seems to agree so will go with it.

Alehouse- Im 37 and 5'8 and about 11st 5. I have played sport all my life, football from age of 8 to about 32. Spent a lot of time circuit training and that pushed me to running as on the running stations i was always way ahead of everyone and we did a beep test once and i came in just below level 13 without having distance run ever. I joined a clun just under 2 years ago and dabbled with running/circuits/cycling for another year and would say i have been properly running since last spring/summer.

In terms of time, i do have the normal restrictions of a professional job and family. That is why i do the 5k's. I do them at lunchtime on the days i cant do anything in the evening. With sat and sunday i can commit to 5 running sessions a week outside lunchtime. I do also then spin once a week on a rest day.

As far as i can see what i am being advised is to maintain my clubnight intervals and my 10 miler and long run but slow them down then perhaps add in another steady run and tempo or track run. I tend to view the lunchtime 5k as a threshold tempo run as it takes just under 20 mins and is fairly maximal. is that wrong?

Thanks for you help.


28/04/2013 at 22:47

Thats spring/summer last year i have been properly running since.

29/04/2013 at 11:07

Simon, it's a good question and one I've been meaning to talk/ramble about for a while. The basic idea behind 400/800 training as far as I have been able to gather if essentially applying 400m training concepts to an 800m context. Rather than a "short distance runner" (as you normally approach 800/1500 training) you are a "long sprinter" instead.

Which means that unlike long distance training, that emphasises (to a certain extent) quantity over quality (take, for example, 5*1000 @ 5kp as being a peaking workout for your 5k/10k runner), you apply the sprint philosophy of quality over quantity.

Typical 400m comp workouts include stuff like 2*450m @ 90% of 400m PB pace w/15 min rec. If you want to apply that to the 800m, that would mean workouts like 2*900 @ 90% of 800 pb w/15 min rec, or 5*600 @ 95% 800m pace w/10 min rec, or 2*400 @ 95% 400m pace w/20'00 rec. 

So it's really a case of quality over quantity. Each rep is difficult but there aren't many of them. I admit I'm taking a lot of the ideas Clyde Hart uses for his 400m training and applying them to the 800, but it appears to be an accepted way of training this type of combination of distances. 

Ooft, that's an awful MG-stype post there. Guess I had better practice what I preach eh?

Edited: 29/04/2013 at 11:17
29/04/2013 at 12:00

Thanks, YD / MrV / Simon. Saturday's parkrun was rounded down to 20:57 in the end. Keeping that plateau at bay for now, YD with a combination of hard work and the good guidance on here, and yep - sub-20 and (old git) Power of 10 qualification is beginning to loom into view, Mr V, though that next minute or so has got to be a longer term aim than the last few...surely?! Have some proper 5k races lined up in late June, July and August respectively with the last 2 in particular apparently being flat and fast, so would hope to crack it at one of those. The 42:00 qualification for 10k looks a touch softer though, and also have a fast one of those lined up in late June, so perhaps that might be the first door in rather than 5k.

Will be interesting to see what YD / MrV come up with for their joint approach to an autumn marathon. It would still be a long way off for me (at least a year), but all the London shenanigans last week has whetted my appetite a little, where previously I felt that HM was going to be the longest distance I'd ever look at.

Good run from MrV particularly in the testing conditions at Sunderland, and great to hear the positivity from CB again - a swift dividend on your determination to take some action to sorth things out there.

Flippin' quick first 800m repeat from Duck - not surprised you couldn't keep that going! Good luck today with the revised sesh.

Welcome to DT19. You've had some good advice already I reckon - that current training regime looks knackering! Good to hear you're still happy with progress, alehouse.

Simon - Yes, definitely thinking of long term gains, though it was the low volume of quick stuff (7 hard miles from the previous 58 across 13 days until Saturday's parkrun) I was meaning rather than overall volume. So, low hard mileage + reasonable overall volume = fresher legs = perceived easy pace being slightly quicker than on tired legs was my thinking.

Just to prove I do listen to the stuff on here that I don't necessarily want to hear as well as that I do though (!), I slowed my long run down yesterday to an average of 8:51 pace. Mind you, may also have had something to do with the fatigue from Saturday's parkrun PB, immediately followed by an afternoon of cricket (jeez that was cold!) and then adding another short loop to the long run to take it out beyond the 11 mile mark for the first time. Thinking was to take advantage of a last opportunity to top up the endurance before the window closed on training effect ahead of my 10k in a couple of weeks. Heavy weekend...quite tired now.  Also picked up a dull ache in my right shin when I was at the furthest point from home at 8 miles. Not overly concerned about it, just a little stiff today, but will bin the idea of a short recovery run tonight, and give myself two days off my feet to rest it up.


Edited: 29/04/2013 at 12:00
29/04/2013 at 13:40

Bob – Good to see you keeping the easy pace at a sensible level. Adjusting pace based on tiredness/ training load is always a good idea. Though assuming you are going on effort levels this should happen automatically anyway.

YD – Most of the runners at the Sunderland marathon are saying their Garmins gave a short distance as well. The route is very twisty and that’s probably why. Although given how complicated the course is it wouldn’t entirely surprise me if there had been a mistake someone in the setup or marshalling or something. Even in the 10K the route wasn't entirely clear and I was relying on following those in front of me.

Duck – Indeed. I was moving past people in the last couple of miles as well so it wasn’t like I was fading. Interestingly enough I finished 29th out of over 1500 finishers. Just goes to show how weak the field was. I've never seen so many ipod wearers right up at the front on the start line before! On a side note most of the finishers around me seem to have run times this year between mid 37s and mid 38s so shows how tough conditions were.   

29/04/2013 at 15:22

Well done MrV ... great to see you back and getting stronger.

Bob ... 8:51/m is a much more sensible long run pace. Keep it up!

DT19 - welcome ... good advice given already which I fully support.

Duck... no idea what you're on about but well done to MotherDuck!

Took the weekend off ... 5 days of bike commuting for the first time in an age was enough for me. Foot still tender ... suspect the bike is prolonging the recovery but I don't think it's making it worse.

29/04/2013 at 15:49

Duck, I'm not sure the sessions will translate well upwards because of the difference in important of CP and lactate systems in the different events. The ability to perform 400(ish)-paced reps several times is possible because CP stores resynthesise after a few minutes.

Nice pace. Bob Keep it up.

I completed the first weekend of the Coach in Running Fitness qualification this weekend. It was very interesting and the focus was far more on hands-on coaching than theory, which is good, because that's what I needed. Hopefully I'll be fully qualified around September/October this year.

I've got a 1500 tonight. Probably. It might be a 400. There might even be a 4 x 100. I don't even know what time it's at.

29/04/2013 at 16:00

Good luck with the course Simon ... sounds cool!  What made you go down the non-track route (or have you already done some of that)? Perhaps you weren't permitted to be a track coach on the basis of never knowing what races you were doing or what time they were at?

Edited: 29/04/2013 at 16:02
29/04/2013 at 17:16

Simon thanks for the advice. Will follow what you and YD have said and sort out a new training regime. I'm in Delhi this week so will just do a bit of treadmill work as it is a bit warm to be running outside. I started running May last year and really ramped my training up from about August. Since then I have consistently run 5 or 6 times a week. Good luck with the coaching. 

29/04/2013 at 19:03

Hi everyone...looks like some good running/racing from many of you as usual!

Well done Bob on another Parkrun PB! Indeed, sub 20 must be target in mind now!  Also good to have the 10k target to keep the motivation up....doesn't look like that's going to go anytime soon though! Nice long slow run too! 

Good strong 10k Mr V! And all the better from the ups and downs you have had recently! Surely puts things in a healthy shape leading into the next few 10k races and longer term marathon aims! Will look forward to what you and YD come up with in terms of a schedule! 

Good to hear you are able to keep up some cardio Dan with the cycling even if little in the way of running at the moment! 

Hope you enjoy the leg massage this evening Alehouse!

Hi Pittsy - said it a fair few times now but contributing to this thread alone has been very motivational for me and helped to improve my times! Look forward to seeing any progress you can make! 

Funnily enough Simon - I was having the very same conversation with someone at the first Winchester Parkrun on Saturday re: hill training/VO2 max...Seb Cole was bought up with his hill training and the lifts back up he used to get! The advice is definitely helping though as I need to think of somewhere else where I can get the benefit of shorter recoveries in to get the max out of such a session! Good luck with whatever race you are doing tonight! 

A bit like you Bob, I am a little fatigued tonight and am in two minds on whether to go to hockey training this evening...lots of running over the weekend and a roller-hockey league match Saturday evening against the league leaders....(won't mention the score!). Highlight running wise was Saturday morning's Parkrun....the first in Winchester! Lovely course over two large fields and conveniently close to the gfs house! Legs were a little heavy...set out hard again but wanted to enjoy it more than anything...was just as well since the course was pretty short (2.85 on my watch) but apparently this was due to the cones being spread out at the corners due to the large numbers of people expected. Anyway, no complaints from me as it's trail and error being the first one! Time of 17:49 (LOL!) was revised to 19:21....pretty irrelevant on heavier legs anyway. In other news, my younger brother made a bit of a statement on Saturday with a big Parkrun PB of his own in Cardiff...18:25 down from 19:20 at Easter weekend. I think that leaves him as firm favourite in our forthcoming smackdown at the Cardiff Bay 5 a week today! 

Edited: 29/04/2013 at 19:06
29/04/2013 at 22:13

Ha ha, Dr D. I plan to do Athletics Coach as well, but I did CiRF first because it worked out as a slightly quicker route (Athletics Coach requires you to do Assistant Coach first).

Good luck on the dreadmill, Pittsy. How hot is it outside there at the moment? I've been suffering a bit with our recent "warm" weather.

WJH, if you can find a big enough hill then you can just jog part way down for recovery, or you need someone like Peter Coe who's willing to drive you back down them.

Tonight ended up being 100m, Long Jump, 1500m, 4 x 100m.

I had 10 minutes to warm up for the 100m, so just ran at 95% for safety reasons and managed a 13.8 (stop laughing, Duck)

The long jump was just before the 1500 so only had 2 attempts. The first was 2.98 and the second was 3.17.

The 1500 was good fun.

Quite a busy race and I took the lead from the start. Only one guy went with me and went through the first lap in 70, whcih was a touch faster than I'd planned. I slowed a bit too much for the second lap, which was 73. The next 300 was 55 (equivalent to a 73 400m). Still in the lead at this point and the bloke  behind me kicked hard and went past me. I stayed with him for 100m, but he pulled away from me after that and I had nothing left. Lactic nightmare for the next 200 and a last lap of 70ish meant I finished in 4:28.8 (PB is 4:26.73).

Very happy with that considering BS parameters 1) 8 pounds heavier than PB set in August; 2) First 1500 of season; 3) only two weeks into VO2 max training.What was surprising was how easy the first 1100 felt. It really only was the last lap that was tough.

Finished the night with the last leg of the 4 x 100. Being well warmed up I got really stuck in. I don't know my split, but it was a lot faster than the solo effort earlier.

Edited: 29/04/2013 at 22:15
30/04/2013 at 09:10

Simon – It’s got to be a good sign that you are cracking out that sort of time so early in the season. I don’t think your PB will be lasting long.

WJH – Looks like you are going to have to put in a big performance to beat your brother! Your advantage is your experience – make sure you nail the pacing.

Dan – Has there been any improvement in the foot (even if it’s still tender)?

Tired legs and very strong winds meant I wasn’t much looking forward to running last night. However I ended up having one of those really enjoyable runs where everything just flows nicely and the miles fly by. 10 and a bit done in 7.40m/m so towards the faster end of easy pace but all felt very relaxed. Planning a session of 400s tonight so looking forward to getting the legs really moving.

30/04/2013 at 10:17

Corr, Simon the decathlete!  Looking very good on the 1500, I think I'd be happy with that time for a season's best.  Good work on the coaching.

DT19 - welcome. Lots of good advice, I'll start pitching in now that I've got my running head back on.

BBB - Definitely no signs of any plateau just yet.  Some tasty targets on the horizon there.

I've just started thinking about the next few months and decided that after a marathon-specific campaign often involving lots of long miles running on the flat trying to hit metronomic splits, I need to mix things up a bit! Obviously the track sessions and tempo runs will be in there (I want to keep up the fast 10 milers year round as well) but I'm thinking mainly of lots of off-road (easier to do during lighter evenings) and HILLS.  (Not to mention a lot more cycling, track and road.) Also, I'll probably be doing a bit more slooow running, for no other reason than my mate wants to start running a bit more and I've suggested a Monday/Wednesday running club (my regular easy running days) when I'll be happy to keep him company.  So last night I had my first post-VLM run.  (Actually it was a double, with a spinning class at lunchtime.)  6M including 3.4 @ 10m/m or so.  Ankles/lower calves still a little creaky, so I'll be skipping the track tonight and getting in a few more easy miles before ramping up again.

30/04/2013 at 10:24

Simon - looks like a busy evening! Considering it would be difficult to achieve your full potential in any of those, coming so close to your 1500 pb is a great result, plus all summer to hammer it down too.

Duck - makes sense to me regarding long sprint as opposed to short distance. I suppose as you get longer these start to muddle up a bit more and start to mean the same thing anyway? Seems like a logical approach anyway.

Thanks for all the responses regarding the 5k, what is the ideal pacing for something like this though? Some are saying there's more to come, some say it was good pacing? Or am I looking into it too much?!  I think where I was aware I was slowing down in the middle even before looking at the times is enough to show I need to keep the pace up after the first mile.

Bob - Yes it was me on the runbritain improvers list, if only by merit of me being a regular racer (they reserve a place in the top ten for those who've run 10 or more races in the past year, plus at least one from each category). I couldn't run parkrun on saturday and didn't have a race lined up for sunday so couldn't consolidate my position unfortunately. Naturally, as i'm sure some of you do, I had a look at some others' profiles in the top 10 and the person that took my place in the leaderboard. I was astonished to find this person had an incredible race on sunday, unbelievable compared to all her previous races. So unbelievable in fact that I decided to have a look at the external results/photos. I discovered that she didn't actually run, and my only explanation is that she gave her chip to a relative (a bloke with the same surname anyway) to run with as their chip times and splits were nearly identical, but she was nowhere to be seen in the photos or finish line video.

I have taken it upon myself to email the timing organisers and runbritain administrators.

Please bear in mind, this is not me being bitter or a sore loser, as I have nothing to gain from this - my position in the leaderboard will go to someone else anyway, and I couldn't care less about a free pair of headphones, but the recognition would have been nice. I just can't stand people benefiting from cheating in this day in age, especially those stupid enough to do so in a world of chip timing, and where pretty much every race is going to have some sort of photographic record,  let alone a major event like this.

Oh well, I'll let you all make your own mind up about her anyway, but in a time where people are putting themselves through the mill to get good for age or qualifying times to run events that are extremely difficult to enter otherwise, it is simply not on. Rant over. Apologies for the essay.

30/04/2013 at 10:34

iower - I'd be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for now.  There was an almighty fcuk up with the chip timing for the race (I believe you're talking about the Manchester Marathon?  Check out the thread on the events page) - more than one person has been accredited with the chip times of other people entirely, but people with the same surname.  OR it might be blatant cheating, but just so that you're aware...

Speaking of runbritain rankings, I either think they're great, or take them with a pinch of salt, depending on how I'm faring.  Following VLM my V40 ranking on the leaderboard has shot up from 35 to 21. So at the moment I think it's ace!

Edited: 30/04/2013 at 10:38
30/04/2013 at 10:48

Iower- Fairplay, I would do exactly the same as you in those circumstances. Its very easy to find someone a bit quicker to run a race and get some runbritain points, but ultimately the rankings are there for you to gauge your ability and improvement based on YOUR runs!

30/04/2013 at 10:51

Don't get me wrong, i'm willing to believe it's a mistake with the timing, but the fact that it's almost identical (i.e. some times are a second out) which hints that there were two chips doing the timing, something doesn't look right.

As you say, I do take the whole runbritain site with a pinch of salt, and tend to use it only to monitor my own improvement and that compared to other runners that I know personally. The monthly improvement leaderboard for example is a great idea, but needs some tweaking I feel - currently it heavily favours those who have raced previously and during the current month, with a large break inbetween, as opposed to those genuinely improving over the course of the month. Not sure how much they can do though to be honest unless they're really stringent with the criteria.

Well done on your ranking though, I've heard VLM tends to be the defining race with the marathon rankings so if you've gone up after that it can only mean a great result!

01/05/2013 at 08:30

Right, back on topic - i've got a 10 mile race on sunday. Times this year for 10 miles have been 73:41 for a hilly course and 71:03 for a slightly less hilly course. Not wanting to break tradition - it's a hilly course on sunday, less big long hills by the look of it but more short up and downy bits (tell me if i'm making sense, and i'll stop!). I was originally planning to go for sub 70 minutes and just sticking that pace into my watch and see what happens. Is there much danger of me completely falling to bits though? It's not that much quicker than i've run before and I think going out slower than I have done previously may help?

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