The Middle Ground

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06/10/2011 at 06:37

PRF - it's the fact the club session is down as `hill reps - 8 for the men, 7 for the ladies'.  Sort of smacks of the sexism you see in an episode of On the Buses.

Bizarrely next week's session is 17 min parlauf for all...

So a few of us just do what we need to so around what is set.  So I did 14, Steve did 13, Hilly did 12 and another lass (the partner of the parkrunning world's fastest runner / buggy combination) did 10.

06/10/2011 at 06:40

YD - excellent news.  I must have convinced her last Saturday,

Hills for me last night, but just 12 as I'm of the fairer sex...  The reality is that 12 is all I could manage in the time, but that was plenty for me last night and finished knowing I could do a couple more, so always good to end without leaving it all on the session...

06/10/2011 at 08:42
parkrunfan wrote (see)
Y D wrote (see)



I might have a slower lady to run with soon. Mrs YD ran back from her Zumba class the other night and now tells me she wants to do a parkrun

It must have been the sight of those incredibly fit looking athletes speeding around Pontefract last Saturday wot did it!


I think its more a case of if that lot can do it then so can I


On a serious note, Hilly I think your chat with her might just have done that

06/10/2011 at 10:49

Wish I had a running partner.

Still, Boy Ratzer keeps my pace sane for a few miles when I can get him out of bed in the mornings.

Last night was a disaster.  After getting everything else out of the way I checked online and saw that my gym was open till 10pm.  So I got there about 8:30, warmed up, and had just kicked off a speedy treadmill session when I was asked to wrap up as the gym closed at 9pm.  Apparently only the public areas of the building were open until 10, which begs the question why if all the facilities closed at 9.  Anyway I managed to get in 3 easy miles as the warm up, so not a complete disaster.  Tuesday I managed 9.5m in about 1:25.  That's about 9m/m I guess.

I'm trying to control easy pace with HR again, just incase I get excited, but also because of the hills.  Going up some hills at 8m/m can be hard work, which I tend to think should count amongst the harder mileage, so easy miles should never have a set pace, but just be something that it doesn't take any real input of effort to achieve.

So I've been diving back into the world of science - you wouldn't be surprised what you can find in there!  2009 and 2010 research into the proportion of work done in various zones by a large spread of athletes across a number of endurance sports including running, cycling, and cross-country skiing.  Is it relevant?  Nothing we didn't already know, just backed up, so if anyone's considering going into coaching they can state certain things with the authority of research as well as experience:
Kenyan runners approach 90% running in the Low Intensity zone, which is approximately labelled as below 3mmol lactate - In general this is below threshold, and MP running should fall into this.  Just under 10% is spent doing High Intensity training, above threshold (MIT is on threshold).
Across elite cyclists, x-country skiers and rowers, all spend more than 75% in LIT, with skiers and rowers spending under 10% in HIT and a lot more time in the gym and on technique work than runners.

Why?  A 2010 study showed that 2 hour LIT sessions allow for a fast recovery but move up into MIT (Threshold) and recovery is significantly delayed.  So easy miles are never junk, it's the harder stuff that causes other mileage to be junk, when you're trying to train on unrecovered legs.

So, BR and Hilly, winter training about 90% easy to MP, maybe 10% above MP at some club sessions.  Summer training maybe 80% easy, 10% mid and 10% high because of the racing.  (Probably times here become quite plateaued as the racing season continues, but less than you would see in runners who consistently concentrate on their speed sessions.)
PRF I got 79-83% easy, 10-14% mid, 5-7% hard.  Reasonable proportions, but lower overall mileage than BR.  If he wanted to catch him I'd take BR's advice.  More easy miles.  PRF's miles year round(?) look like BR's miles in racing season.
DrD, comparing his last couple of months, is almost all easy, though I bet there have been a few tough miles in there.

I'd like my marathon training mileage to emulate BR's winter season, but I'm going to tweak it with a teaspoonful of higher paced stuff to work everything, and keep my drills and gymwork because I don't get my feet as high to my backside as BR does yet.

I'm still considering all your comments on Long Runs.  I tend to think of each extra mile put onto a long run as a hard mile, and remember that I'm trying to build up from a low running mileage base, so I will keep progress gradual.  Mind you, last two weeks have been nearer 50 than 40, so I'm benefitting loads from scrapping the swimming!  My ears are wonderful!

06/10/2011 at 11:09
Interesting read Ratzer. My schedule during my last 10K-HM campaign season (50+ mpw) would have come out at something like 85% easy, 15% hard. Since then I've forgotten what 5K-HM pace is, apart from during a handful of races.
06/10/2011 at 11:29

Duck - Coaching sounds interesting. How long is the course you would have to do?

Ratzer - Some interesting points there. I'll have to calculate my easy, hard percentage.

4 miler this morning. The foot felt a bit sore at 3 so just headed home at this point to be on the safe side. I think I've decided to do very little for the next 10 days or so and use this as my 2 week PRF style recovery break. I was planning to do it at some point anyway and I guess it makes sense to do it now. I guess it will mean I won't be 100% for Scarborough (if I do it) but should give me enough time to be in race shape again for the Abbey Dash.

06/10/2011 at 11:36

YD - I'm glad I had a postive effect  I'm sure she will enjoy them as they're such friendly events as we know!

Ratzer - very interesting.  I think you won't go far wrong with your approach!  Understand your thoughts behind the long runs.  BR always thinks I place to much emthasis on the importance of long runs, which he may well be right about, but I think it's knowing what brings out the best results for 'you' and for me it's doing lots of long runs.  I find the more I do the better I recover.  He on the other hand ran his best marathon off no longer than 18 miles long runs, but with maybe 3 of them per week with MP sessions included.  Best of luck with it anyhow. 

Hope the weekend goes well Dr.Dan!

06/10/2011 at 11:51

Razter - of course many other variables come into play with my weekly training.

A couple of weeks I've done a club session Weds, parkrun Sat and then the Isle of Axholme HM / Harewood 10 Sunday.  I do what I think my body can take.  Some weeks it will only be 5k due to work / tiredness.  Other weeks it's a lot more.

My default is always run twice a day if I can (taken from Ron Hill).  If I can only do one then ask myself for reasons why to justify it.  If I can't run at all, turn it over in my mind continuously.  If I can't run for two days then have a good rethink.  That has happened just once this year during a stressful time at work in June.

06/10/2011 at 11:57

 Thanks Hilly.

I've decided to abandon my last pre-race run ... I'm not sure it will benefit me, the weather is foul and, most importantly, my lunch looks too way too tempting to put off for another hour.

06/10/2011 at 13:04

In the last week 20% of my mileage has been at threshold, which is unusually - but deliberately - high, and I'm really feeling it in my ligaments. Nice and easy miles for me tonight and tomorrow.

BR, do you make your morning runs easier than the evening's (Lydiard-style), or just go with what you feel?

Mr V, if you think a rest is in order it probably is. Although I'm peaking and feeling super-fit at the moment I'm looking forward to having the first two weeks of November off. I can sense that it'll be needed.

I want to get in a final long run before my HM on the 30th, but have the 10-miler on the 16th and am wondering if 17-18 miles the weekend before might leave me a bit tired for race day. I feel recovered about 4-5 days after such a long run, but I wonder if I should play it safe and just do 13-14.

06/10/2011 at 13:10

Oct

9th Great Eastern Half - Kelly, Dash, PRF
9th Chester Marathon - Dr.Dan
9th NYSD XC Middlesbrough - YD
12th Scottish University Fresher's Indoor Meet - Duck
16th Cardiff Half - Ratzer
16th Cabbage Patch 10miles - SG, Curly, Simon
23rd Wistow 10 miles - PRF, BR, Hilly
23rd Aberdeen Fetch Mile - Duck
30th Barns Green HM - Simon
30th Scarborough 10k - YD, Mr Viper

Nov

13th Dundee Templeton 10M – Duck
13th NYSD XC Hartlepool - YD
13th Town Moor 10k – Mr V
20th Leeds Abbey Dash - Mr V, Dr.Dan, Kelly
20th Thirsk 10 - PRF
26th Silkstone Shuffle MT - BR
26th-Seeley Cup 10k-MR
27th - Sandhurst XC -SG

Dec

3rd Gosforth 5M – Kelly, YD, Mr V
11th Keyworth Turkey Trot HM - BR, Hilly
11th Handy Cross XC  -SG
17th Saltwell 10k - Mr V
18th Reading XC - SG

06/10/2011 at 13:28

I am not racing the XC this weekend -

Oct

9th Great Eastern Half - Kelly, Dash, PRF
9th Chester Marathon - Dr.Dan
12th Scottish University Fresher's Indoor Meet - Duck
16th Cardiff Half - Ratzer
16th Cabbage Patch 10miles - SG, Curly, Simon
23rd Wistow 10 miles - PRF, BR, Hilly
23rd Aberdeen Fetch Mile - Duck
30th Barns Green HM - Simon
30th Scarborough 10k - YD, Mr Viper

Nov

13th Dundee Templeton 10M – Duck
13th NYSD XC Hartlepool - YD
13th Town Moor 10k – Mr V
20th Leeds Abbey Dash - Mr V, Dr.Dan, Kelly
20th Thirsk 10 - PRF
26th Silkstone Shuffle MT - BR
26th-Seeley Cup 10k-MR
27th - Sandhurst XC -SG

Dec

3rd Gosforth 5M – Kelly, YD, Mr V
11th Keyworth Turkey Trot HM - BR, Hilly
11th Handy Cross XC  -SG
17th Saltwell 10k - Mr V
18th Reading XC - SG

06/10/2011 at 13:31
I am sure she will enjoy parkrun Hilly. She doesn’t want to do one until she can run 3 miles without walking, so she will have to get over the early run/walk stage first, so it might be a while before she does her first.

Good plan Mr V, fingers crossed its only something minor.

Lazy arse Dr Dan

If it takes you 4 or 5 days to recover from such a long run Simon then I would question why you would run so long. As you suggest cap it at 14 miles.

Interesting and thought provoking as always Ratzer, you have got me thinking about my easy / mid / hard percentages. I have a slight problem classing MP running as easy though, it knackers me out!

3.5miles for me at lunchtime at a nice easy relaxed pace of 8:52/mi, blimmin cold out there today.
06/10/2011 at 14:03
Simon - main thing slowing morning runs is the fact they're done at 5.30am.  In summer they'll be a bit faster as I can do them at a civilised hour!
06/10/2011 at 14:14

Afternoon all. Had my 4th year induction today followed by free lunch - and being given advice on updating my CV (which is my afternoon plan).

 Ratzer - I expected nothing less than science from you a very interesting post, putting weight behind a basic cornerstone of running. Based on my last two weeks, I've spent roughly 94% of my training in the low intensity zone (club session and basic speed are the other 6%). 

BRilly, sounds a tough session you guys had last night! 

YD/prf/Mr V - I really doubt I'll be the next Moraghan I'd have to best him in combat or something first which isn't likely considering his pb's!

 The course is a one-day affair (it's not 'coaching' per se, it really covers the basic principles but is necessary) but more advanced courses are available once you've done that. I'd do what I was told to for a while to get used to the scene and coaching, then might do sessions myself if I'd be allowed to. It's a step in the right direction for sure. 

It is freezing today, might have to break the thermals out at some point soon! Should make for an interesting club session tonight. 

06/10/2011 at 14:20
Y D wrote (see)
Interesting and thought provoking as always Ratzer, you have got me thinking about my easy / mid / hard percentages. I have a slight problem classing MP running as easy though, it knackers me out!

I tend to agree, YD, which is why I was careful to say 'should'.  Although MP is generally listed as 2mmol (amount of lactate in blood) level, it is also a "pace".  That means you work it out based on a race such as a 5k, when you possibly haven't done MP work for a while.  Go up to Half or Full and suddenly you find yourself putting in miles at MP and you're simply not fit for them!  The physiological side of this is that you remain low blood lactate for a while, then your untrained systems simply can't cope anymore and either the blood lactate rises or some other form of fatigue hits you.

This is also why I tend to class an extra mile on the end of a long run as a hard mile, regardless of pace - I've never done it before, so I'm not fit for it.

I listed all DrD's miles as easy, even though he put down some quite high percentages as MP.  DrD might say that some of those MP miles were actually very hard - but getting easier over time, hopefully.  If you're new to following the principles of Hadd's document, you think it's all easy, with a couple of harder runs.  To Joe, those harder runs were barely a tenth of his high mileage, but to a beginner they could be 20%, and very hard, and suddenly your overall fitness doesn't respond to the regime as well as it could.

Always remember that the research is done on elites and those not too far below, so the likes of me far below have to be far more careful with what is 'easy'.

06/10/2011 at 14:31

I also think MP (as opposed to pMP) should be classed somewhere between "easy" and "hard" ... classing it as "easy" is misleading, even when marathon-ready. I found those 12 M with 10.5M at MP pretty tough ... certainly harder than a 20 mile LSR.

06/10/2011 at 15:30

I keep forgetting to mention the backup research to why those proportions are as they are, not just because of the collation of years of experience on how to improve.  In my last post I mentioned "suddenly your overall fitness doesn't respond to the regime as well as it could" and this is the stinger.  You see, what happened when 50-odd young German cyclists followed a fairly standardised training program, but each logging their own program details, is that some of them improved in testing at the end of 15 weeks, some of them didn't, and some of them got worse!  The top improving third was compared to the bottom third and the differences were figured out from their training logs:
"1. Responders accumulated more training time in the lower intensity, but did not ride significantly more total miles
2. Non-Responders accumulated 12% of training volume at near to threshold intensity, double the 6% of the Responders “zone 2” training
3. Neither group trained for any significant time amount at race intensity"

So, more threshold training, less result over time.

But you do need to do some hard stuff - you need everything!

Basically, the way I see it is if you decide you need to work on your basic speed, your VO2max, or your lactate threshold, you have to have a proportionate cake of easy miles.  This probably kinda means that if you want to get faster when you're already pretty damn fast, you've got to bake a bigger cake first...

Ruminations.

Like what cows do.

Still debating how I want to do long runs...

06/10/2011 at 15:33

...And that kinda all says why I want to work on 5k speed stuff (short) whilst my mileage is moving up, 10k-HMP (mid) when I've got a bigger base, and MP-pMP (long) when the miles are all there.

See!

Easy...

06/10/2011 at 19:55

Good club session tonight of dune running. Pretty tough on the quads and calves but not too tough aerobically. I think base is starting to show some benefits.

Also 'met' Andrew Lemoncello tonight. Not too sure why he's around St Andrews but he turned up to the start of the session before heading off to do his own thing. Pretty nice to see an elite down-to-earth enough to turn up to small sessions like this. Didn't speak to him but I got pretty close... might get a performance-related contact high?

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