The Middle Ground

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16/05/2010 at 08:58
The Duckinator wrote (see)

Thanks prf. Currently, I'm planning on running a full week's mileage the final non-week taper, then cutting down majorly during the race week itself. VO2 max intervals on the Tuesday and 10k pace on the Thursday, then 2 total rest days before the race. And obviously reduced easy mileage in between the sessions.

What would you recommend as volume of the hard sessions, about 50%? Or more/less?


Yep, that sounds about right, 50% of normal volume but the same intensity as usual.

I'd suggest doing a light jog the day before though, it doesnt have to be much (2-3 miles very light) but it helps to stop any accumulation of waste products, think of it as a little flushing out exercise.

16/05/2010 at 08:59
parkrunfan wrote (see)
Is this thread full of rebels by any chance?

You looking for those mixed chocolates you always nosh in the cinema?

So, anyway, what's that magic intervals formula for finishing a marathon with less than six weeks training?

Off for a long run this morning too.  Quite looking forward to the cooling wet stuff!  Do have some little aches after some fartlek yesterday as it was the first speedy session of the period.  Hopefully that'll fade en route.

16/05/2010 at 09:27
I'm off out too. Only going to do 2 hours (about 14 miles) today, I don't want to be totally shattered before the race next Sunday. I'll probably get to a weekly mileage of about 57, which isn't bad at all.
16/05/2010 at 17:31

Back, at last!

20 today, unfuelled except water.  Also totally steady HR throughout.  Felt great at 2 hrs, then progressively more crap to about 2:30, and finally plodded home in around 3:10.  By sticking the HR though, the pace remained steady also, regardless of how slowly I felt I was running.  Maybe just a touch slower over the back hour than the first two.

Weekly mileage I think is 48, plus 75 on a bike.

So today's mental debate while running solo was on diet.  You can approach fat burning through exercise or diet, so is it best to do both - shift to a low carb / controlled carb diet whilst running high mileage?  As long as the calorie quantity is enough to fuel the exercise, is it beneficial to steer away from the carbs?  Is low GI ok for running?  Or are sweets and chocolate not a problem?  (I figure they defeat the object of switching to fat burning, even make it more difficult to achieve physiologically.)

16/05/2010 at 20:20

Well done Curly and PRF on the parkruns.  Sounds like both your training is coming together.

Ratzer - I'm no expert on diet, but I wouldn't shift to a low carb/controlled carb diet whilst running high mileage as surely you need the carbs to refuel.  Low fat diet with high carbs is what I've always done during high mileage and I've never bombed on long runs with this diet.  Also, during high mileage training and this kind of diet I find weight comes off gradually, if there's any to come off and then stabilises.

I had a lovely run today, 75% off road over just about every terrain.  So good to be out in nice weather.  Felt so strong again.  I think the training is starting to show and I love the feeling, which makes the tough days worth it.

Observation now the sun and open toe shoes are out - lost toe nails, how to avoid?  I've painted them with polish, lol, but would rather not lose them in the first place.  My shoes are the right size, I think it was during marathon training that a few got bruised and it's taken weeks for them to drop off - yuk!

16/05/2010 at 20:37

I didn't have a good run today. 1:55, 13.5 miles, so a reasonable pace, but I felt really sluggish and heavy legged throughout. I reckon it's the last 8 weeks starting to catch up on me now. Never mind, I get a nice, slow week before my race on Sunday.

My mum ran a 40:45 10k today She's 51, need I remind you.

Edited: 16/05/2010 at 20:37
16/05/2010 at 20:43
Was that the Manchester 10k, TD?  Pretty good eh!  I bet she has a good age grading.
16/05/2010 at 21:12

Your mum is fab TD

Hilly - my toe nails have only ever got manky when wearing ill fitting shoes in the early days of running but I remember the nail varnish trick very well! I love the off road running too, it seems so much more uplifting than pounding the streets. There's one particular route that's a real killer but it's so beautiful in parts I sometimes just stop and take it in.

I would be careful about cutting back the calories too much when running decent mileage. In my experience that's when you need the energy most. Low fat, high carbs (from good whole grain sources) would seem sensible and easy on the carp food and alchohol seems to work for me. Actually, I pay more attention to my diet when training hard.

Having said that, this week I found that I had put on 2lbs since lowering my mileage after marathon training. This freaked me out, I never put on weight - ever! So, of course I completely ignored the advice I have just dished out above and drastically cut down on food of all descriptions. I have felt dreadful all week, really tired and lacking energy (doh- no surprise there Sue) Mr C finally got cross and said 'it's only two bl**dy pounds, it will come off again when you pick up the mileage' and proceeded to cook a huge roast chicken dinner and apple pie for pud. I feel great!

16/05/2010 at 21:12

Thanks, Hilly!

I've never had a problem with  toe nails at all until a little incident a few weeks ago. I somehow forgot by running shoes when setting off for the Frimley parkrun and was faced with a choice of not doing it, running barefoot or borrowing Curly's racing shoes.

When you consider that they were three sizes too small it was a wee bit of a squeeze to get into them but they felt comfortable enough. Well they did for the first lap but the second lap felt as though my feet were throbbing to five times normal size. Not too surprisingly lost toe nails resulted and I havent forgotten my shoes since!

We had a nice relaxed LSR in the sun as well this morning, 18 miles of relaxed sun bathing!

Ratzer - Diet wise I am convinced that there is only one way to approach fuelling your body and that is to eat according to your appetite - thats what its for after all. The appetite becomes much more reliable in terms of its signals the more exercise you undertake, become sedentary and it stops paying much attention and isnt really too bothered about what you eat.

I just have a general rule that wherever possible stick to natural foods in preference to any processed stuff and you will get all the nutrition that you need.

Well done on the 20 miler.

TD - I wouldnt worry about sluggishness, some of the runs have got to be like that if you're training to a decent level. Just accept that the session has achieved its purpose and look forward to enjoying future sessions when the sluggishness has worked its way out.

Your mum is not too bad, is she? I cant see any Mrs Duckinators in the Manchester results though so it must have been another race.

Edited: 16/05/2010 at 21:15
16/05/2010 at 21:31

It was Castle May I believe - the most northerly 10k in Britain. She's got a WAVA of about 88% I think

Manchester would be good to do but as we live in Aberdeenshire it's a bit far to go

 parkrunfan wrote (see)

TD - I wouldnt worry about sluggishness, some of the runs have got to be like that if you're training to a decent level. Just accept that the session has achieved its purpose and look forward to enjoying future sessions when the sluggishness has worked its way out.


True. I've been feeling a bit sluggish the past few days to be honest, but as soon as I felt it today I just eased back and decided to just get round with no time worries. As it turned out, I averaged 8:35/mile (which is an average sort of pace) so it wasn't that bad in the end.

I'm going to be running slow(er) this coming week, to get the base benefits in and not to tire myself out.

Edit: As we're on the subject of nutrition, I've been humming and hawing the past few days about nutrition, which is definately the weakest part of my running. As I'm living in a catered halls of residence this year I haven't had much say as to what I eat, but I'm home in 2 weeks for summer, so I'm determined to try and revamp my diet. Any suggestions for good foods to eat? Bearing in mind I'm described at home as a talking bin. 

Edited: 16/05/2010 at 21:36
17/05/2010 at 08:48

This is the odd thing about diet for distance.  Agree, prf, that appetite tells you when you need to eat, but mine tells me eat quick release carbs NOW!!    Your body can actually get attuned to the fact that certain foods give you a sugar hit.  So I get back from a long run and I'm craving chocolate and denying myself.  Should I deny myself?

I'm certainly not worried about calorie control, as I said in my previous post, but about carb control.  Sue C, you said you switch to Low Fat, but why is that?  Fat is a denser source of energy than carbs, but also slower release.  Having done those years of lazy weights I know that bodybuilders switch to what they call ketogenic diets to control bodyfat, but the diets are high fat and low carb.  (Power lifters do the switch in the week before competition, then go back to carbs one to two days before to carb-load as this increases the amount of muscle glycogen above the norm - some marathon runners are doing this too.)  So if low-carb diets can switch you to fat burning, do high carb diets defeat the fat burning that we're training for?  Does anyone know someone on a low-carb diet that is running successfully, without side-effects?  What is the optimum diet?

I'd say get rid of the sweet stuff, and like Sue C recommends stick with the wholegrains, but I wondered if anyone's gone further and even found it beneficial???  And TD, use the Motorway Service Petrol Station Rule: if you can get it in a motorway service station garage, it's not good.

17/05/2010 at 10:39

On the diet thing - my diet is relatively poor (for a runner not in comparison to most peoples), but I am a carb fanatic - I feel so much better when I eat lots of carbs...but I am happy to eat sugars as well (choccie anyone?). I am not going to get hung up about food, but I do make sure I eat a minimum of 5 fruit and veg a day - my one and only food rule

If you run mostly in the fat burning zone then your appetite wont require as many carbs than if you run at faster paces, but that doesnt mean you should low carb it - you will be eating less carbs than runner who works at higher intensities, but not low in overall picture.

17/05/2010 at 11:20

I just wanted to check in as I’ve been following this thread with interest but haven’t got round to posting much. I’ve got a 10k on Wednesday evening and all seems set for my first sub 40. Fingers crossed. 

Curly I’m with you on diet – I make sure to get my 5 a day but apart from that I’m not too hung up on what I eat. As I’m still on the newish runners upward curve and my times keep dropping I’m happy but I guess once I plateau I might start taking more notice of things like diet so I can squeeze more time off my pbs.

Edited: 17/05/2010 at 11:20
17/05/2010 at 11:26

Good luck for sub 40 attempt Mr Viper! How do you feel about the race - is it a tough target or should it be achieveable?

I do think it is that while you are making improvments with training and not in the splitting hairs period (diminishing returns) then it is definitely less important, same goes for cross training, core work etc...they all bring stuff to the mix but I feel at the moment I am making improvements without focusing too much on them.

17/05/2010 at 11:38

Thanks Curly – it’s definitely achievable as I ran 40.20 on a very hilly course 2 weeks ago. This course is pretty flat and fast so assuming conditions are ok and I pace myself properly I should do it. Having said that come race day you never quite know what will happen so will just have to wait and see.

 I share your thoughts re the diminishing returns stuff – though I always try to keep ‘best practice’ in mind re core work, diet etc and work backwards from there if that makes sense!

Edited: 17/05/2010 at 11:38
17/05/2010 at 21:10

Good luck with the sub 40 attempt, Mr Viper.... that is one of the big milestones in running so there could be a huge sense of satisfaction coming your way if all goes well!

17/05/2010 at 21:16
Mr V, just saw which race you're doing on Fetch (was looking at it myself)... don't know if you've done it before, but everyone I speak to says it is a definite pb course. Good luck!
18/05/2010 at 07:09

Morning guys

Having had an excellent few days of training last week I came down with yet another horrid cold virus, that's turned into a cough.  I'm not ill in myself, which is why I carried on as normal, but last night I had to stop my easy run early as my throat was buring and making me cough.  Anyhow, I've woke this morning and found it's eased off a bit, so hopefully training will continue.  Although I've decided not to run this morning and just do the session this evening.  Anyone have any ideas how to build the immune system?  As the doc, when I went last month, said I had a low immunity and it just needed to build back up.  I don't want to go back again just because I keep getting colds.

I'm going to start taking echinacea, vit C and multi vit.  BR says I need more fruit in my diet as I'm quite poor at eating that.   And I take selenium, which the doc said to take.  Not sure what else I can do?  I seem to pick up a virus 1 week in every 4 - it's so frustrating!

18/05/2010 at 07:55

Hilly, I dont know whether fruit is the answer but I certainly eat lots of it, especially grapes. Its not unusual for me to get through two full punnets of grapes per day plus an assortment of other fruits and smoothies etc.

I very rarely get colds of any significance and if I do they're gone in no time - so, fruit may or may not be the answer but its got to be worth a try.

Edited: 18/05/2010 at 07:56
18/05/2010 at 08:04

Wow Hilly - that is a lot. I never got ill before I took up running and while I do seem to get more sniffles it passes quickly now too!

Fruit smoothies maybe a good idea if you arent a fruit fan... 

Not sure about general immune system though although its based on white blood cells, so I think there are a number of possible dietry causes - low protien is a big one as is iron...might be worth asking the doc to do a full range of bloods because dont runners need a higher iron count than normal people and doctors can view it as 'normal' when in fact its low - I'm sure Moraghan was talking on this subject to Kaysdee recently.

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