Training For The 'Right' Distance

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11/10/2010 at 19:50

I currently do my intervals on a treadmill but after Sunday's race, when I start a new phase in my training, I'm switching to the track. I'm a creature of habit and if I tried to make all my changes at once it'd be overwhelming and I'd never have stuck to them as far as I have - but I said this would be the year I started doing this shit properly, and do it properly I will.

Apart from anything else, I'm worried about falling off.

11/10/2010 at 19:59

Moraghan

Id like to ask you a few questions on introducing quality training and then advancing that training as Ive never had much joys with this as always gone too fast and suffered for it.

So to be conservative after the base mileage how would you start to introduce the speed work ? I was thinking of doing 800m at MP which for me I thing would be around 8:45-9mm then 800m @ easy pace.

The quality would start with a warmup of 2 miles and end with another 1 mile cool down for a total of 10miles

If this felt too easy after the session and if there was no ill effects could I then increase the speed slightly for the next week of would I keep the session for the 4 week block ?

Could I also change the 800m to 1mile reps but keep the same pace ? I know only to change 1 variable at a time , I have learnt something

Then after the 4 week block if everything goes well I was thinking that I could increase speed/rep length etc for that next block and monitor the outcomes. I would then rinse and repeat for 4 block cycles.

Have I got the general idea or am I just way off the mark ?

Also on a related note, after all the training has been done (About 6 months to my next race, England Kilomathon) how would you work out what a reasonble race pace would be ? 

Would this be taken from how well the quality work has gone ?

My current half pace is around 8:15mm but off weekly milages of 25-35, I know pitiful. But I am currently increasing to 50-60mpw so even with the increase in aerobic work my time should come down naturally I hope.

I hope this isnt too much of a wall of text and doesnt hurt your eyes but your help would be much appreciate

Cheers

11/10/2010 at 22:30

Hi Moraghan,

This is an excellent thread you have started and you have offered some great advice.

I normally like to concentrate on half marathons but I often struggle to get in alot of long runs in and much more than 40 miles.

So am I right in thinking would probably be better off concentrating on shorter events, like the 5k and 10k and adding more quality(which I dont do at the moment)?

Thanks 

Ian 

12/10/2010 at 19:42

Stevie See - in that situation I'd go longer in the evening.

Crashtest - that approach is fine in principle, although you could probably start off with mile reps at MP as it's only really stressful when run over a prolonged period of time.  I wouldn't look to increase speed - I think the first goal would be to manage a run with a continuous section of c. 5 - 7 miles @ MP.

I'd use an under distance race a few weeks out to come up with a target pace for the kilomathon.  Too many variables trying to work out paces from training runs (perhaps marathons excepted).

Your goals are good - don't try and do too much soon.   Good luck.

IanRunner - better off in terms of the most effective use of your training, yes in my opinion.  With those restrictions you'd get better results training for a shorter distance than the HM.

13/10/2010 at 10:59

Thanks for the advise Moraghan, I'll schedule the MP sessions in gradually once my base is solidified in about another 8 weeks or so hopefully.

Yep, Im taking the increase really easy, only increasing by 10% per week across 3 seperate runs and Im even using a heart rate monitor (running @ 75%MHR) to help keep my pace down. I did my first proper long run last Sunday (12 miles) and it was really relaxing, Monday I felt ready to go again.

13/10/2010 at 18:57

Moraghan - You certainly have a vehement dislike for the FIRST schedule. However, I feel that the schedule has been hijaked by Runners World where it was published in an inferior form. Following the schedule in the book requires 5 x 20 runs with 2 x 18. It also requires a mid-week runs of 11 miles at MP later on in the schedule. Some of the reps are quite lengthy (try 2x3200 or 6x1200!). The schedule is not really a short-cut as it requires a minimum of 2 cross training sessions lasting at least 45 mins and strength training is also recommended. So it's not so much train less as run less!

I realize that for many, running less misses the point, but never the less, the schedule has allowed me to remain injury free for nearly 3 years. I have run competitively for 27 years. 2 operations to my right knee almost completely brought my running to a close. The fact that I can run (albeit with relatively poor HM to M conversions) is down to the FIRST schedule.

13/10/2010 at 19:20

Just popping in to say thank you to Moraghan for a very interesting and informative thread.  I will continue reading with interest.  I've just started using Parker's Compleat Idiot HR schedules for 10k and notice a number of similarites but will do a compare and contrast later.   Much better advice than anything I've read in RW. 

13/10/2010 at 19:38
iFish wrote (see)

However, I feel that the schedule has been hijaked by Runners World where it was published in an inferior form.

Hi iFish.  Glad to hear you're up and running safely.  Just to clarify, my comments were aimed at the FIRST schedule on the RW website - I've never looked at the book version.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised it's watered down on here - they did the same to Mike Gratton's schedules apparently.  I wonder who's to blame because FIRST must surely have paid for it to be on here.

Hi Soup Dragon.  I think I have that book somewhere from years ago, I might take a look.

Edited: 13/10/2010 at 19:39
13/10/2010 at 19:41
Moraghan - I would be very interested in your views on Parker.  Hope you still have the book.
14/10/2010 at 00:53

Moraghan - love your introduction to this thread:

ENJOYMENT is linked to accomplishment, proficiency and staying free.

 First we must enjoy it, and running will be what we do even when all the pbs have been achieved.

Parkrunfan - love your comments too:

You can race any distance based on 3 days a week training. And.. Then again you can race any distance based on zero days a week training! I know - my son does exactly that! And pays for it!!

Moraghan - it's always hard to work out which bit comes first, whether to stay concentrating on the shorter stuff before moving up to the marathon.  My best 1500m time was 2 weeks after a marathon - it felt like 100m!!

14/10/2010 at 06:05
Soup Dragon wrote (see)
Moraghan - I would be very interested in your views on Parker.  Hope you still have the book.

And I wouldnt mind your views on Lady Penelope.

NZChristine - We had a long debate about this on The MIddle Ground 2-3 weeks back. Concentrating on maximizing your shorter distance potential first is certainly the traditional way to go about things before moving up to the marathon. This is Moraghan's favoured approach and has produced some of the world's best.

But there is also plenty of evidence  showing that specialising in the marathon in your early 20s, before full potential at the shorter distances has been fulfilled, can be equally effective in producing top end athletes.

I think it comes a lot down to personal preference but to put it in context the difference in training between the two approaches is probably one quality session per week is designed differently......so hardly two ends of a spectrum. Both approaches involve getting the big miles in to produce a solid aerobic base.

Your experience of what I call the 'Marathon Kickback' is something that most runners are unaware of, or at least dont take advantage of! Usually, it comes 3-4 weeks post marathon (so your 2 week post marathon experience was quite early) and is prime time for kicking in a PB at a shorter distance.

Its not clear whether the effect comes from 'racing' a marathon or 'running' a marathon but I suspect most of the benefit is derived from the latter, hence the reason why many top marathon runners like to go overdistance 3-4 weeks out when training for a marathon and why I did 27.3 miles 4 weeks before this Sunday's race.

14/10/2010 at 12:22
Moraghan wrote (see)

In effect the practical difference most of the time in the training would be your quality sessions, the length of some of the other runs and the periphary things like drills, strides, short speed, general strength training etc, i.e. the things that actually make you faster rather than able to endure. The other major difference would be the intention and organisation of training.  


Re, the middle ground thread - the above was my view of the difference between marathon and 5k training.  In hindsight the last sentence should have had more stress.

We'll definitely have to agree to disagree about this statement:

parkrunfan wrote (see)

But there is also plenty of evidence  showing that specialising in the marathon in your early 20s, before full potential at the shorter distances has been fulfilled, can be equally effective in producing top end athletes.


 

14/10/2010 at 12:27
We'll leave that one for the other thread!!
14/10/2010 at 12:40
Ha ha, good idea.
14/10/2010 at 20:18
Question for Moraghan.

I know you are a 800m 1500m specialist - when and why did you run the marathon? How many have you done and will you run more of them?

Moraghan - I think you have a remarkable ability to write exactly what you mean and that is huge when coaching on-line. You aren't face to face to people, so you can't see each other to get feed-back - so top marks to you for making things very clear!! Lots of people know what they want to be able to say but can't find the words.

Parkrunfun - interesting - I've never heard of the term - "marathon kickback" but that is exactly what it is. I always like to fit in a short race a few weeks after a marathon - it's like a bonus, before starting training again for something else.

The over-distance run before the marathon can be a bit of a problem - great if it works, but can just take the stuffing out of you too. We used to do a 24 mile - extremely hilly run - guess it would have been alright if it was done alone, but that is so hard, so we'd run it in a group, and if you got to that stage of hanging on just to finish it, you knew that was your marathon gone right there! When it gets hard in the marathon - you just don't want to know about it, you just don't want to keep pushing on, as you've been in that situation just a few weeks before.

These days - I think - 26 miles for the weekend. It could be 10 on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday. Six on the Saturday and 20 on the Sunday - or variations of this - just so in the back of your mind you know you do 26 miles most weekends without that awful feeling of going to that dark place only ventured into in the marathon! I'm 59 now, so probably going very soft, and trying to find the easy way. My best marathon was when I was 30, so did the hard yards then!
14/10/2010 at 20:57
<blockquote class=quoteheader>NZChristine wrote (<a href='/forum/forummessages.asp?URN=3&UTN=166480&cp=4#8879007' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>see</a>)<blockquote class=quote> Parkrunfun - interesting - I've never heard of the term - "marathon kickback" but that is exactly what it is. I always like to fit in a short race a few weeks after a marathon - it's like a bonus, before starting training again for something else. The over-distance run before the marathon can be a bit of a problem - great if it works, but can just take the stuffing out of you too. We used to do a 24 mile - extremely hilly run - guess it would have been alright if it was done alone, but that is so hard, so we'd run it in a group, and if you got to that stage of hanging on just to finish it, you knew that was your marathon gone right there! When it gets hard in the marathon - you just don't want to know about it, you just don't want to keep pushing on, as you've been in that situation just a few weeks before. These days - I think - 26 miles for the weekend. It could be 10 on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday. Six on the Saturday and 20 on the Sunday - or variations of this - just so in the back of your mind you know you do 26 miles most weekends without that awful feeling of going to that dark place only ventured into in the marathon! I'm 59 now, so probably going very soft, and trying to find the easy way. My best marathon was when I was 30, so did the hard yards then!

No, you wont have heard of it - I made it up!

It just seems an appropriate phrase to describe what happens every time post marathon.

And you're quite right about the overdistance stuff - it needs to be done at MP+25% and be very comfortable. Anything faster is counterproductive.

Edited: 14/10/2010 at 20:58
15/10/2010 at 11:10

NZC - thanks, very kind.

I ran a marathon back in 2002.  I'd been training for the mile in the US and halfway through winter training developed respiratory problems, the net effect being that I found it impossible to do any training at vo2 max pace or faster.  I felt the only distance at which I could complet the appropriate training was the marathon so I did one.  My next one will be after I've maxed out at 5k / 10k which I'll train for when I've maxed out at all the shorter distances.

Any decisions on Sacramento 2011 for you yet?

15/10/2010 at 12:10
Elementary question here (have read the thread but can't see an answer) - what is considered quality pace? I've only started running again in the last three months or so but i'm doing enough mileage to start the 5k plan. My current 5k time is about 23 mins.
Edited: 15/10/2010 at 12:11
15/10/2010 at 14:14
NZChristine wrote (see)
These days - I think - 26 miles for the weekend. It could be 10 on the Saturday and 16 on the Sunday. Six on the Saturday and 20 on the Sunday - or variations of this - just so in the back of your mind you know you do 26 miles most weekends without that awful feeling of going to that dark place only ventured into in the marathon! I'm 59 now, so probably going very soft, and trying to find the easy way. My best marathon was when I was 30, so did the hard yards then!


Strangely enough thats what i did last time out and maybe the one before  or rather when training for the last 2 marathons i didn't end up running or rather use 26 as a bare minimum

PRF - With regards to MP+25% for easy pace would you say that for all standards as using me as an example at the moment my Marathon time wouldn't be faster than 4 hours so using 9 minutes per mile (i know its 9:09 pace) to make the sums easier would mean easy runs at 11:10 pace which is too slow for me normally operate around 10:30 pace Tried 11 min pacing before but this changes my natural gait significantly and am sure this can bring on unwanted niggles or even more

16/10/2010 at 00:17

Moraghan - I'll see how I am after this marathon that I'm running on 31st Oct.

 I'm always in two camps. I love the 1500m, but am not fast anymore, so probably my best resutl would come from the marathon

 Most people I know that go to World Masters enter everything!!  Well, quite a few events. There is always pressure because to do so because of the team medals.

 I've never competed in a World Masters Champs, and I'm thinking about it, but will have to sort out in my head what I really want out of it.

It will be hot I guess so not good for marathon running, so maybe skip the marathon and do the 1500m and xcountry. Certainly haven't booked anything yet. How about you?

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