Lower mileage - but still effective?
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mathwiz1
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by mathwiz1 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:44 pm

I suppose that the 3 days after a race should also be easy days, correct?

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:35 pm

OG -

I don't think that most people realize how valuable a moderate pace d workout (but not too long) the day before a race is. Most people think that taking a rest day or jogging a little bit is the best thing when it fact more than half the runners I coached in-person did better when they performed a small amount of quality the day before a race.

Example:

Many years ago a runner named Pat on our university team ran two weekend 1500s in a row slower than his goal and was disappointed. I told him he was running too hard hard in training (too much intensity) and not enough mileage. The head coach (who was the middle distance coach writing his crazy workouts) said that Pat would not be running at the conference meet (since his time was only 3:57 high, at best, that indoor season. I know this because I was an assitant coach who listened to the head coache's berating of two key runners on our team - Pat, a mid-distance runner and Mike, a 400m sprinter. The head coach said that neither one had showed anything during the indoor season that waranted being placed on the conference team. I, on the other hand, argued that both had shown tremendous resiliency and consistency and that with some proper peaking they would shine.

I talked the head coach into letting both guys go up to a last chance meet (not on our schedule) to see if they could hit a good time. So, we went up to UW-Eau Claire's new facility to race (only about 6 or 7 men went). Let me seguay for a minute: During that the week between the meeting (a Friday evening) when the head coach bashed Pat, I advised him to run 10 milers every day from Saturday to Thursday and run 8 miles with striders the day beofre the race. The head coach had already told Pat to take the week off, saying that Pat might was well take his rest break since he (Pat) wasn't going to make the conference team. Anyway, Pat listened to my advisement about runing not intervals and just 10 milers for several days (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, and Thursday) plus a 8 miler the day before the race. Pat thought I was nuts for saying no speedwork and run 8 miles the day before a race, but he did it anyway. To this day I am not sure why he listened but as luck would have it the head cross-country coach, whom Pat admired, thought highly of me so Pat gave my words of advice a try.

The day of the race I saw Pat doing striders on the back stretch and he looked relaxed. I didn't talk to him about the race strategy that day but he must have decided to run in the middle of the pack and see what happens. He coasted through 1000m in about 5th place and the moved up to 3rd place with 300m to go. He cruised past everyone and ran 3:53 with a 40.5 last 300m. He beat 3 guys who had been All-America runners the year before, including a guy who would place second in the outdoor steeplechase that year. He looked awesome and later said he'd never felt better.

When I asked Pat about his week he said that he was worried about not doing speed work, and he was also worried about doing an 8 mile run with 2 miles of moderate tempo work (which I had advised) and striders the day before the meet. He actually said, "I thought you were nuts, Schwartz, for telling me to do that." But, the truth is he felt great the day of the race.

Unfortunately the other fellow, Mike, a 400m sprinter, had a hernia operationt that week and missed the next month of training. During the outdoor season I once again had to fight for him to make the conference team. The head coach was adamant that Mike was a waste of time. I argue for Mike and said that no sprinter had Mike's work ethic dedication. I said also that Mike had been training twice a day for 6 weeks; which no other sprinter was doing. (I had run several times with Mike during AM 3 mile runs - and he was able to hold a 6:40 pace with ease, which impressed me very much; particularly for a sprinter). Two assistant coaches, after I spoke, confirmed that nobody worked harder and deserved the opportunity to run at the conference meet as Mike. The weights coach went to bat for Mike big-time and said that Mike was able to do more work in the weight room than any sprinter by far.

The result? Mike ran the open 400m and won, running 48 seconds in freezing rain. He was ranked 5th on our team in teh 400m going in, alone, but won. Quickly the head coach slipped Mike into the 4 x 400m and Mike ran 47 high, once again in terrible weather. Three weeks later Mike placed at nationals in the 400m and ran 46.10 for his split in the 4 x 400m relay, which is not bad for a D3 guy who only ran 52 seconds for the 400m in high school.

What did Mike like to do the day before a meet? He like to run 3 x 300m at about 80% effort in full, sometimes double, sweats. Others were doing very easy stuff and 15-20m block starts (which Mike also did). When the others left the track, as usual, Mike was still out there for a half an hour more putting in more training.
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Old Guy
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Old Guy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:46 pm

[QUOTE=Tinman]OG -

I don't think that most people realize how valuable a moderate pace d workout (but not too long) the day before a race is. Most people think that taking a rest day or jogging a little bit is the best thing when it fact more than half the runners I coached in-person did better when they performed a small amount of quality the day before a race.

[/QUOTE]

That makes perfect sense now that I think about it. I can remember running a very solid 8-mile run in about 45-46 minutes one evening and then doing a 10K the next morning. I was running about 85 mpw then, so 8 miles was a "short run." Anyway, I was running the race as a time-trial where I wanted to run about 33 minutes. I was running 5:07 pace without even trying. I was so relaxed and looking out over the lake we were circling that I literally ran right into the back of the leader at around the 5-mile point.

I always want my athletes running a halfway decent amount, even if it's easy, the day before a race because I feel that staying in that routine is best for them. Your point about keeping some quality in the routine goes right along with it.

I'm currently following a 3-day rotation of a tinman-type tempo effort on a very hilly course where I'm running 5 loops of a .85-mile loop. I did that yesterday and came back with 5 * 1000m at CV effort w/ a 200j today. I'll coast 5 tomorrow and start over again. I'm running 5-mile days because I'm coaching a XC team and working 10-12 hours everyday due to tax season. I'll have my life back around mid-October, and we'll see how things sit then.

The funny thing was that I didn't use my beeper to keep me on pace today. I ran by feel as it was dark at 5:30 a.m. As my body warmed up, the same effort to run 4:18 on the first repeat resulted in a 4:04 on the last one. I felt like I always do on the CV repeats, so I took that as a good sign.

mathwiz1
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by mathwiz1 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:14 am

Old guy,

You and I have two things in common:

1) A three-day rotational training plan
2) Occupation - Only I've recently opted for the Finance Dept. of my company (a large bank)

Back to three-day rotations:

I'm following the guidances that Tinman laid out for me up to this point. I ran a slow & easy 10 miler on Saturday, an easy 5 on Sunday, moderate 3.5 miles (5 total) on Monday, and 6 x 800 at CV (for me, 3:01-3:02 each) with 60 seconds between, & finished with 4 x 100 quick on the grass, mile warm up and mile cool down. Today's run will be an easy 5 late tonight.

My only comment thus far is that I felt very in-rhythm yesterday, and Tuesday my pace should have been slightly faster to have been TT pace.
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:07 pm

Note:

Using the 3-day rotation method you don't have to run the moderate day at tempo pace. I say MODERATE because that's how it should feel. In my experience of using the 3-day rotation method for 4 years, I can tell you that it is a mistake to push too hard on your moderate day and it's also a mistake to run too far. The result of going too fast or too far on your moderate day is an inability to coast through your faster day without getting tired. There is a fine line between just right and too much running on your moderate day, is what I am saying.

I coached a Canadian teacher who lives in Spain (teaches English there). He was about a 30:30 (10k) runner. I actually think he could run run close to 29 minutes if I had coached him longer. He reached 30 flat in about 4 months of coaching him, so perhaps about 18 months later he could have reach 29 minutes. Anyway, I gave him steady 90 mile training weeks and a variable 3-day rotation schedule. His easy paced day would be 2 x 6 miles at about 5k pace plus 2 minutes to 1:45 per mile. His moderate day would be a 10 miler in the morning with 6 miles of it at 5k pace plus about 1 minutes per mile and a few easy 100m pickups (about 5k to 3k speed) during the last couple of miles. He ran 4-6 miles easy in the afternoon, again with a few easy 100m pickups. His hardish day included faster running, anywhere from CV pace to 3k pace (a blend).

The previous year he had a personal best of 30:30 something. When I started coaching him he had run 31:13, I think. So, he dropped just over a minute in 4 months with a 3-day rotation method and about 90 miles per week. The one thing he commented on twice was how he messed up the moderate day by running too hard, and the subseqnet day didn't go well. I found out he was running the moderate day on hilly terrain and not adjusting the paces to what was 5k pace plus a minute on that hilly course. Thus, he was probably pushing much harder than a moderate effort.

* Key point: A moderate day means a moderate effort. Regardless of what the pace is on that particular course, in that particular weather, etc., the thing that counts is the effort. Do not hammer away and think that you are running a moderate pace. Pace is secondary, in my experience, on moderate days. I have varied my moderate days, in my late 20s to anywhere from 6:00 pace ot 7:00 pace. Some days it was hot outside or very windy. Some days I ran on a different course for change of scenery and it was slower footing. Some days I had little sleep because I worked at the hospital in to the wee-hours while on-call, taking x-rays of patients and was tired the following day. Every time I focused on keeping the pace moderate, the faster day that followed went well.

Note; be sure to run the first 10 minutes of all moderate day runs at an easy pace. Don't go out the door directly into a moderate effort. Give your body time to shift blood out of your gut and into your legs. Shunting of blood takes at least 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes!
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Old Guy
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Old Guy » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:59 pm

Tinman:

I read you loud and clear on the moderate part. I had a .85-mile loop that starts with a gradual uphill, turns the corner for a sharp uphill, goes down sharp, and then a gradual downhill to where I circle a church and then reverse course. There is almost no flat to the route at all.

I run the route in the dark and my eyes are old enough that I can't see my watch all that well. I ran the route 5 times while trying to maintain a moderate effort and looked at my watch when I was done. Thus, I focused totally on effort. Running it that way is best for me because if I have split times, chances are I'd be trying to race myself every third day on that loop.

I felt fine yesterday for the CV workout and just cruised through this morning's run. I don't wear a watch on easy days because I want it to feel easy. With the exception of a little DOMS in the thighs from the constant up/downhill on Monday (which seemed to go away with today's easy run), I think I'm on the right track.

The key, I believe, is running a hilly route. I've gotten away from hills the last few years, and I could tell from Monday that I need to run on them to get stronger again.

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:44 pm

I did some internet checking to see if my memory was right about the guys I mentioned. So far I found that Pat did get 4th indoors at indoor nationals in the 1500m the year (1990) that I talked about. I haven't found Mike's yet but I think it may have been the previous year when I was coaching at UWL too.
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citius99
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by citius99 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:12 pm

Hi Tinman,

on this thread about 5 weeks ago you advised me to take up the following 3-day rotation;

1) 8-12mi easy
2) 5-6mi moderate
3) 3mi progressive, 10-20x100m (alternate hills/flats), 2mi cooldown

additionally you said to do a 600m time trial in 5 weeks

today i did the 600m time trial, with a friend pacing through 400 in 60 point (i was 61.1) and finishing in 1:32.2. i think i probably should have gone out a little faster but nontheless i felt i gave it a good effort. yesterday i ran a 6 mile moderate run in 35:23 with the last mile in 5:46, feeling very smoothe. the pace of my moderate runs has been improving each week, and today on the 600 i felt strong aerobically and my stride felt very smoothe (up until the last 80-100m or so, when i felt like i was moving in slow motion haha).

seeing the result of my time trial, do you see fit to change any part of the training you prescribed me, or should i keep the same rotation going as i have been seeing continual progress?

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:03 pm

citius -

If you want to race the 800 and 1500m indoors, it's time to modify the schedule.

Day 1) 10-12 miles EZ

Day 2) 1 mile EZ, 4 miles Moderate, .5 mile w/down.

Day 3) 1.5 miles progressive warm up, 4 x 1km at CV pace (jog 200m recoveries) + 4 x 30 second hills at 800m race effort (jog down and go right back up) + 4 x 50m at 400m race effort (jog 50m). 1.5 miles w/down.
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mathwiz1
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by mathwiz1 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:24 am

Two questions:

1) That schedule looks very similar to what a 5K - 1/2 marthon runner would do if opting for the 3-day rotation. Would anything change if CITRUS would have wanted to race the 5K - 1/2 marthon distances ?

2) If another runner was slower than Citrus (say, 17:30 5K shape), but still wanted to be a miler, would you simply plan a schedule like follows


Day 1: 8-10 miles easy

Day 2: 1 mile warmup, 3 to 3.5 miles moderate, 1 mile cool down

Day 3: 1 mile warmup, 3 x 1000 @ CV, same recovery, + 4 x 100 quick, 1 mile easy


Am I understanding this concept correctly ?

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:41 am

mathwiz1 -

You are basically on-target. Most 5k runners should run more CV reps. Hill charges should be a little slower, too.

Example:

A 17 minute ( 5k) (master's) runner might do this:

day 1) 12 miles EZ

day 2) 8 miles; including 4-5 miles at a moderate effort

day 3) 8 miles; including 5-6 x 1km @ CV (jog 200m) + 4 x 30 sec. hills at 1-mile effort and a few shorter but quick striders.
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mathwiz1
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by mathwiz1 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:35 am

My apologies for being fixated on this topic, but I still do not see how the schedule can fit well with a weekly racing schedule. Below are two examples of how this would work with weekly racing, and in one case it seems as if one is running too hard before race day, while the other seems to not be able to provide appropriate recovery after the race.


M- easy
T- moderate
W- hard
R- easy
F- moderate
Sa- 5k
Su- easy
M- easy
T- moderate
W- hard
R- easy
F- moderate
Sa- 10k
Su- easy
M- easy
T- moderate
W- hard

Etc....


or....


M- moderate
T- hard
W- easy
R-moderate
F-easy
Sa- 5K RACE
Su- easy
M- moderate
T- hard
W-easy
R- moderate
F- easy
Sa- 10K RACE
Su- easy
M-moderate
T- hard
W- easy

We don't have to belabor this, but I was just curious. Thanks in advance.

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:34 pm

math -

On page 3 I presented the following as a way to configure training. A 3-day cycle can easily be adjusted to meet a racing schedule. In many cases all you have to do is add an extra easy day in the schedule to accomodate races.

Here is what I said on page 3:


Citius -

I've used the three-day rotation for long periods of time and raced too. Whenver I plan to race I count backwards the number of days from an upcoming race to the present. By doing that I can figure out how to reach race-day with enough energy to perform well. Look at the following example for clarfication.

Today is the 8th (a Monday). I did a hard workout today. Tomorrow will be an easy day, regardless, but what I do in the days that follow depend upon my race-schedule. After looking online for races I see one is Saturday the 20th of September. I count backwards and label each day to the present.

20th - Race day - hard!
19th - moderate day - but cut the distance of tempo running in half
18th - easy paced day
17th - Hardish Day - if the race is very important I will probably cut-back the amount of fast running I do today OR increase the recovery intervals between reps (if it is a repetition workout).
16th - Moderate day (close to normal distance, unless I am extra tired).
15th - easy paced day
14th - Hardish day - no corrections - the usual, that is.
13th - Moderate day
11th - easy paced day
(10th - 9th) - those are days I have to adjust because I did a hard day on the 8th but have to get into the right rotation to reach race-day in perfect form. So, I ran hard on the 8th and the 9th should be an easy day. The 11th, as I can see from my count-back is going to be an easy day. Thus, I may just do a moderate day on the 10th and go back to an easy day on the 11th that was realized from the count-back method. Basically, the remainder of the count-back schedule will look like this:
10th - Moderate day
9th - easy paced day
8th - Hardish day (which I already did).

As you can see, all I did was skip a hardish workout on the 11th and instead did an easy paced day to get into the right rotation that brings me to race-day in the correct pattern.
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mathwiz1
 

Lower mileage - but still effective?

by mathwiz1 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:10 am

Yes, sir, I understand and have read that section of the thread, but I'm still left wondering about training after the race is over. I've heard from you that a runner needs at least one day easy for every mile run, and perhaps for every kilometer run.

To be more clear, my question should have referenced an example where the runner had 2 or more consecutive Saturday races and how recovery from those races would be attained if that runner was set on training under a 3-day rotation.

Thanks for all of your generous posting, as I understand your time is precious.

Josh

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Lower mileage - but still effective?

by Tinman » Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:16 pm

mathwiz1 -

A good coach will take a look at the big-picture when answering your question. The training volume and intensity you performed prior to the first Saturday race may impact the training you do until the second Saturday race - a week later. The distance and difficulty of the first race will also impact training needed or recovery needed after the first race. It is one thing to run a 5k and then a week later run another race, but it's toally different to run a half-marathon and then a week later run a 10k race. Even two 10k races just 1 week apart is taxing and requires recoveries moderate training between the races.

I can't give you an exact answer that fits all situations. Runners I coach know that I will look globally at their unique situation in order to derive a suitable training plan. Self-coached runners need to be as objective as possible and think globally too. Do not let ambition and goals override logic. Mentally step back and consider the circumstances as if you were coaching someone other than yourself. What would you say to a lesser-experienced runner whom you were coaching?

Many years ago, when I raced often, particularly in roac races after college, I would often run 5k races on consecutive weekens and schedule my training as follows:

Sat : am - race; pm - 5 miles EZ

Sun: 5-6 miles very easy

Mon: Long Run at an easy pace (10-12 miles)

Tue: 5-6 miles EZ, with easy striders

Wed: Hardish day - some fartlek, CV reps with 200s, or tempo running with hill charges.

Thu: 6-8 miles very EZ

Fri: 5-6 miles with 8-12 minutes at Tinman Tempo effort, sometimes striders.

Sat: repeat the last Saturday.
------------------------------------

If I raced a 5-mile or 10k on the first Saturday I'd do quicker intervals or fartlek on Wednesday since the overall pace of the first Saturday race was slower. If I ran a half-marathon (which happened only twice in my life), I did not race the following week, no matter what, because I know it's not enough time to recover. I raced 2 weeks later in a 5k or 3 weeks later in a 5-mile or 10k race.

The important messaages here are:

  • adjust your training to match your race severity and frequency
  • a 3-day cycle is not set in stone
Tinman
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Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

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