Masters runner looking for answers

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run1forme

Masters runner looking for answers

Post by run1forme » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:02 pm

I've been running over 20 years. My PR days are well behind me but I have run somewhat close to my better performances into my early 40's. In the spring of 2007 I tore my meniscus(degenerative tear) and had my knee scoped. I went to biking during my 6 month lay-off and ran well (16:19 5K) after resuming training on 3 days running 3 days biking.

Within the last 3-4 months my performances have taken a turn for the worse. 5k went from 16:20-16:30 to 17:20. Tempo runs are 10-15 seconds slower, mile repeats 10-15 seconds slower with the same training as previously done.

I know longer run 6 days per week. 3 run 3 bike is the formula to stay safe with the knee. My run days are 12-14 miles, C-V repeats (800-1 mile) and 6-8 mile tempo runs. The biking days are 20-25 miles with a heart rate that corresponds with an easy running day.

Is it age? over-training? What can explain the sudden drop-off I am experiencing. I have no zip in my legs when I run. I've taken time off. Gone easy for a few weeks with no workouts, all to no avail. I respect the opinions of the people who post here so any insight would be appreciated.

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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by Tinman » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:49 pm

run1forme -

Think back to what worked for you when you ran close to 16 minutes. Tell us what you were doing in training then.

Also, has your weight changed?

Are you anemic?

Are you sleeping enough?

Are you eating enough carbs in your diet?
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run1forme

Masters runner looking for answers

Post by run1forme » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:03 am

Training is the same, the only difference is the splits on workouts have gotten slower. Long Run 12-14 miles, C-V intervals 2 days later (800-1600), Tempo Run 2 days later (6-8 miles) with biking and/or day off in between.

Weight is pretty much the same, sleeping is an issue at times but has improved recently. I usually eat plenty of carbs. Anemia is something I could be screened for.

Should I continue workouts or take a prolonged period of easy running? Thanks for your quick reply.

Max
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by Max » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:41 pm

Run1forme,

How long did you have success with system where you run 3 days and bike 3 days per week? It would seem to me that your running performance would eventually suffer a bit with this schedule.....for a variety of reasons. Mostly, you are just not doing a lot of running......not enough to run in the 16's as masters runner anyway.

Maybe your knees would allow you to do easy runs on some or all of the biking days. Have you tried it? But the easy days need to be easy.....you know.... 2+mins per mile slower than current 5k race pace.

Just some thoughts.....

run1forme

Masters runner looking for answers

Post by run1forme » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:51 pm

That's something I considered. I had run well right after the surgery and for up to a year, but it seems as time passes my running continues to suffer. I think I did very well off of the residual training I had from 20+ years of relatively injury free running. The only concern I have is if additional training could advance any knee arthritis which I am already at risk for.

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Post by Tinman » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:26 pm

run1forme -

Max makes a very good point. To support that point, I'll tell you that I ran 15:13 in the spring on 1995, started biking in late May and biked all the way to the beginning of October. I ran times per week, normally (Mon, Wed, ad Friday). I cycled all four of the other days. My runs were 5-8 mles, typicaly at close to tempo effort and sometimes in fartlek form. In October, I did a workout at a park that had 1 mile markers pegged for the local high school team. I ran 3 x 1 mile at 5:28, 5:16, and 5:12. A week later I did the same workout and was a couple of seconds faster. A week later I ran a race and only ran 16:56. I couldn't believe that I ran only 16:56. Normally, if I can run 3 x 1 mile with a 2 minute jog recovery in heavy training shoes then I can run the same pace in a 5k race with no recovery break. In that situation I was about 10 seconds per mile slower than my average pace for the reps, which was very peculiar.

I quit biking and started running every day. By Thanksgiving (about 5 weeks later) I ran 16:01. Five days before that race I ran 5:14, 5:09, 5:06 with a 2 minute jog in Nike Pegasus shoes (in 12 wide they were not that light!). The average for the workout was 5:09.66 and the average for the race was 5:09.32. I concluded that my stamina was lacking while doing only 3 days per week running. As soon as I started doing daily running, even though it was just 6-7 miles per day, it made a big difference in just 5 weeks time.

Maybe the above scenario applies to you?
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TexNav
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by TexNav » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:33 pm

I keep meaning to ask you, what is an "easy" pace for you on those other days? For a runner at that level.

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Post by Tinman » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:52 pm

Who is you?
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TexNav
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by TexNav » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:06 am

Haha , good point Tom. I meant you.

I am not sure why I posted that question (probably best not to post right after a long run and deficifient in blood sugar and oxygen !!) b/c then I kind of figured that even then you probably already had a lot of your training principles set in place, in this case easy pace being 5K pace+2 mins /per mile.

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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by Tinman » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:17 pm

TexNav -

I sent a couple of training charts to Ron to put on therunzone.com but I am not sure where they are located. I saw a link to one a couple weeks ago. I wanted Ron to post them officially on the homepage to ensure that I have legal rights to them. He probably did and I don't know where they are.

Without charts, yes, 5k pace plus about 2 minutes per mile is generally an easy pace. This rule of thumb works especially well for people who run 17 minutes or more in the 5k. I've also used 2-mile pace plus 2 minutes per mile (that's what I used in high school, in the early 1980s). I still generally do that because I have a better sense of what I can run in a 2-mile race than I do in a 5k race, since I seldom compete anymore.
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Max
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by Max » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:52 pm

Run1forme,

I have a good friend who had meniscus surgery on both knees in his early forties. He was following much the same schedule as you and doing OK. But he eventually switched to more running and less biking and is doing better than ever. Also, his knees are doing well. He learned to slow down on his easy days and that seems to have helped a lot.

Personally, I find the easy runs between the more challenging runs very therapeutic. It seems that gentle runs somehow allow the body to sort itself out a bit.....better than a rest day or a even a day of an alternate activity. And, of course, they definitely improve your running endurance.

Maybe you can experiment a little. I wouldn't be surprised if doing easy runs on the days in between your 3 quality runs actually made your knees healthier.

I'm sure your body will give you feedback.....one way or the other.

Good Luck!!

run1forme

Masters runner looking for answers

Post by run1forme » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:28 pm

Thanks for the great input everyone. I truly respect the opinions of those who post on this board. I plan on transitioning back to 5 days per week running with one day of biking. The 6-7 mile easy runs are time efficient and worth trying. Thanks for the advice.

One more quick question in regards to quality days. As of now I do a long run a C-V workout and tempo as quality. Would I be better off only doing 2 quality days (1 being the long run) or sticking with three?
Last edited by run1forme on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tinman
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by Tinman » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:05 am

If your race-distance is 5km, then don't worry about long runs as much and, instead, focus on solid CV and tempo workouts. Do striders 2-3 times per week. When you are 6-8 weeks from a peak race, start doing some Max VO2 intervals. You don't ever have to throw away Tempo or CV intervals when including Max VO2 intervals. Simply reduce the amount of Tempo or CV you are doing in a given workout and finish that workout with Max VO2 intervals.
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TexNav
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Masters runner looking for answers

Post by TexNav » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:32 pm

Curious, what is the minimum that you would recommend for a long run when primarily focused on 5K training ?

Really, after my 10K early Nov, my focus will be mainly in the 5K range in the form of 4 and 1.5 mile timed runs.

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Post by Tinman » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:10 pm

The faster you are in a 5k race the further your long run can be before it detracts from your overall training plan. For 5k training, a long run is no more important than CV intervals or other key training elements that should be included in a training plan. Each makes a contribution, but CV and Max VO2 training are possibly more important (to 5k training). In contrast, marathon training requires hardly any Max VO2 training and a lot of long runs, mileage, Tempos, MP runs, and CV intervals.
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