The Middle Ground

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03/05/2010 at 08:25

I generally take a water bottle with me during a long run (over about 10 miles), but it's really only for when I get thirsty - I'd rather have one and not need it, than need it and not have one. I tend to spit quite a bit so I need something to moisten my mouth.

Regarding gels, I don't use them during training. I used to when I first increased my long run, but now I'm much smarter regarding pace so I never get to the stage when I'm in need of one. Interesting note from prf regarding the sugar rush rather than glycogen storage - I used a gel in my last HM at mile 10, when starting to lag, and I felt the effects through the last 3 miles. Could be psychological though. 

Could you possibly explain the placebo effect? I'm not that medically/biologically minded, I study Geography after all. 

03/05/2010 at 08:36

TD - As with anything, the placebo effect is the effect of your mind looking for positive confirmation of what it is expecting to happen.

Thats why all medical trials have guinea pigs taking the medicine under test plus a group taking a placebo (ie a pill with no active ingredients) to compare the difference.

Or, as you have nicely put it, to test whether supposed benefits are just 'psychological'.

In terms of the HM, I would say that it was almost certainly psychological considering that you still have oodles of glycogen left at the 10 mile stage. It happens in most races, of any distance, that you can feel dead on your feet until the finish comes into 'mental range' and then suddenly some unknown reserve of energy becomes available.

Edited: 03/05/2010 at 08:37
03/05/2010 at 08:37
I have an excellent sprint finish for this exact reason
03/05/2010 at 08:58

Makes sense.

Can I just go back to the MP + 25% for a moment? How much running would you advocate at that pace if you're not marathon training?

03/05/2010 at 09:35

Thanks guys for your opinions on DOMS.

As I mentioned earlier I did decide to do basically all my runs without taking on gels or sports drinks, just water on the longer runs. I believe because of the pace I was running I never felt any after effects, refuelled immediately at the end and no visible effects on the next days training. I started doing this for two reasons, firstly upset stomach, which seemed to start when I introduced sports drinks into my training and disappeared when I stopped, and secondly after reading how the Kenyans train. Lots of differing views on this one. Definitely on the super six thread I was reading fuelling was recommened left, right and centre!!

03/05/2010 at 11:10
Ah Zion - thats good on the after effects - been out for a 6 mile recovery run. Felt fine, a little stiff but thats normal for me on a Monday anyway...tomorrow's session will be the real test of course!
03/05/2010 at 11:12
The Duckinator wrote (see)

Makes sense.

Can I just go back to the MP + 25% for a moment? How much running would you advocate at that pace if you're not marathon training?

Basically, all the 'fill in' stuff.

Any run which doesnt have another purpose would be around this pace, including the basic LSRs until you start building faster efforts into them. Recovery runs are the only type of run that would typically be any slower than MP+25%.

Nice 6x1000m session at Battersea for me this morning (3:37,3:35,3:34,3:33,3:32,3:31 - 200m jog) - or, in other words, Moraghan jogging pace!

Edited: 03/05/2010 at 11:27
03/05/2010 at 12:21

Are you using my training plan, Curly?

I concur. 6 miles done myself, all ok after yesterday, but like you, will see how the HMP session feels tomorrow!

The fuelling discussion is very interesting. I'd love to be able to not use anything.
I know someone who's just ran a 2.47 marathon off a flapjack for breakfast!

I was thinking the other day, when I do run at LSR pace (I'm trying to slow it down!), I don't feel like I need anything and obviously slower pace means more time on feet. Compare that to a race effort, where you have greater intensity, but for a shorter time, in theory should that make any difference?

So, say example it takes me 2.50 to run 20 miles in training. Racing a marathon I'd expect to be at 20 at around 2.35. Does the fact that I've ran harder really make that much difference in terms of using stores, considering time on feet is shorter? I know there are debates as to the carb/fat burn ratio at different intensities, but would it hold that whatever your carb stores are going in, they'll fuel you through x distance regardless of the time?

Suppose this is somewhat linked to the arguments of are the people who finish with a slower time ultimately working "harder" because they are on their feet for so much longer. We won't go there... .

Edited: 03/05/2010 at 12:22
03/05/2010 at 16:19

I think its more of a rate versus time thing rather than distance - so the speed you are moving is the determining factor, but there must be a point where in training you can replicate the same energy depletion as at the end of race, but for marathon that would involve overtraining because the rate of glycogen use is so much slower..

For shorter distances though it should be possible to mimick race day tiredness at slower speeds by staying out longer.

(on the other argument, if you are racing at your training pace as most slower runners do, then you shouldnt need energy drinks unless you have become reliant on them in training because you are running at fat burning level anyway)

03/05/2010 at 20:17

I think my base is paying off. I did 7.3 miles today in just over 1:00:30 (8:17/mile), which isn't my fastest but I felt very relaxed and in control the whole way, and felt like I could run a lot more by the time I got back.

Looking back, 8:17/mile pace in December was a full 12bpm average higher. 

03/05/2010 at 20:22

Wow Duck - 12 bpm is a lot of improvement - does the perceived effort feel a lot less as well?

Edited: 03/05/2010 at 20:23
03/05/2010 at 21:10

Yeah, much less. I know when I'm running totally aerobically as my legs don't feel worked at all, and I feel like I could run the distance again by the time I finish.

The apparent big benefits that happen every 6 weeks with mitochondria growth haven't occured yet, but I'm guessing that's down to physiological differences. I still have 4 more weeks. 

03/05/2010 at 21:31

Duckinator - read your blog.  Particularly impressed with the attitude towards the posh rugger boys.

Here's mine -

Zion - fancy that - the Lucozade Sport Super Six thread recommending you don't even do the washing up without taking an energy drink to replace the lost stores...

03/05/2010 at 21:59

BR - I've started weeing into a bottle - I then fill an identical bottle to the same level with Lucozade so I can ensure I replace exactly what left.  What with it being a good natural alternative and all.

Unfortunately the other day I was very dehydrated and drank the wrong one.

03/05/2010 at 22:00

While we are sharing blogs here is mine, updating the last few entries at the moment.

03/05/2010 at 22:05

Barnsley Runner wrote (see)

Duckinator - read your blog.  Particularly impressed with the attitude towards the posh rugger boys.

Here's mine -

I reckon they all went to Eton. Really, really knocked my self-confidence that did. Anyway, I shall follow your blog with interest

Moraghan, I'm just having a look at yours now. Also

My link again if anyone missed it:

Edited: 03/05/2010 at 22:06
03/05/2010 at 22:14
Eton?  I hear we may soon have a PM from the same school
04/05/2010 at 08:38
Barnsley Runner wrote (see)
Eton?  I hear we may soon have a PM from the same school
Unfortunately I voted by postal vote. So hindsight's killing me right now
04/05/2010 at 11:47

Duck this must be your first  election?!? How exciting!

I plan to vote on Thursday morning and will prob stay up all night with gin to watch (or be asleep by 11 knowing me)...

Anyway on the running side of things - off out for my session later so will let you know how that goes!

Moraghan your blog is hilarious - eloquent and grumpy! 

Duck havent had a look at yours yet but will later...

Okay so question of the day is about pressure - its been mentioned on the SSX thread quite a bit and its something I suffer from terribly. What coping strategies to others have when you want something so badly  (a time or race plan to come off for example) that you end up sacrficing it rather than not succeeding?

Which also brings me onto another point - my mental arthimetic is awful which means in races I find it very difficult to refocus my target beyond the orginial one/two that I've laid out because I cant work out how far off the pace I am - any little tricks for that (besides buying a garmin)?

04/05/2010 at 13:32

I react quite well to pressure in training and use it to work hard and stay motivated/focussed.  However, in races if I put too much pressure on myself before a race I tend to run poorly, so I tend to not put that kind of pressure on myself.  I'll give myself 3 goal times - ideal, good and acceptable.  Also sometimesI like to run without the watch and run by feel.  I  normally perform better as I know I can only run as hard as I can and no watch on my wrist is going to make me work harder!   So if you feel pressure to hit a time, take off your watch and race!  I did this at Brass Monkey half this year and was just 3 secs outside my pb.

My mental arithmatic is not great either, but for me if i slightly overcook the pace at any point I'll just ease back a bit.  I guess I'm the kind of person that races by feel a lot of the time. Even in marathons I just check my watch every few miles to see how i'm doing.  I would never race by using the Garmin, but again I might wear it if I want to record the details to analyse later.

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