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Current fitness

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:08 am
by TexNav
Awesome ... glad to see that you are breaking through again

Current fitness

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:03 pm
by mathwiz1
Tinman & Tex,

Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve been out of pocket most of this past weekend, but have been thinking about lessening the length of my weekly CV repeats from miles to either ½ miles or ¾ miles, but keeping the volume the same (or even slightly higher).

I am not a fan of 1k reps because the only place that I have them measured is the track, and also because of pure personal preference. Would a workout of 6 x ½ mile @ CV with 60 second jogs instead of 3 x 1 mile @ CV with 2 minute jogs, for example, hurt or help my fitness? Five years ago I would have thought that it would hurt me to go backwards, but I now think that it might provide a stronger stimulus for growth. I remember that Tinman said that 1k’s were the most optimal CV rep distance, but was curious if ½ miles or ¾ miles would be best if I decided to shorten my reps.

I do realized that there is a time and place for shorter reps (400’s, 800’s) versus longer (1200’s, miles), and I think that the heart of the racing season may be the time for the former rather than the latter.

NOTE: I’m planning to continue to tack-on 2-mile & mile paced shorter reps at the end of the CV workouts, but I’m purposely leaving that aspect of training out of this specific example for purposes of simplicity.

Current fitness

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:58 pm
by Tinman
Mathwiz -

It's alright to use short work intervals at CV pace; as long as you keep the recoveries fairly short. Without getting too technical, a 15-20second rest for every 1 minute run at CV pace/effort is about right for most runners. Seriously, you can run repeat 400's, and still have a tremendous training effect; when the pace/effort is right and the volume is sufficient.

I have formulas that optimize the ratio of rest to work for various intensities, relative to various performance levels; however, here is a sample workout for a 17:30 (5k) runner:

15-20 minutes progressive warm up + 16 x 400m at 1:27 (CV pace) (walk 15-20 seconds recoveries) + 4 x 200m at 1500-800m effort (jog 1-minute recoveries) + 15-20 minutes cool-down.

Do the above workout or a version of it twice per week + a long run + one session of striders (8-12 x 100m somewhat quickly) (jog 100m rec.) weekly, for a month, and you'll notice a fairly large improvement in your stamina: the capacity to sustain a strong pace in races or time trials.



Current fitness

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:51 am
by TexNav

At what pace are you doing your easy runs at ?

I seem to remember a long time ago you mentioning 10 milers around 8:30 pace??? Is that correct and is that still the case as far as pace goes?

I am having to do all of my running on hard surfaces and am having to slow the paces slower than 8min/mi sometimes. Just curious as to what is working with you.

Current fitness

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:52 am
by mathwiz1

Yes, some of my long runs start slower than 8:30, depending upon whether I’ve just rolled out of bed or if it’s hot, etc. When I’m not racing in a particular week, I usually start around 9:30 pace for the first 15 minutes or so, then go to around 8:30 pace for the next 15 minute, then down to 7:30 – 8:00 minute pace for the next 30 – 40 minutes. The last 20 minutes is usually around 6:45 pace now-a-days, with the last mile usually in around 6:20. I’ll always end the run with some 5k down to mile pace striders and a mile jog cool down. Usually get in around 12 miles on these type of runs.

When I race, I take the Tinman approach by going very easy the first day post-race, then long run on the 2nd day. I almost never have the ability to push the pace on these days, so usually run around 10 miles in however long it takes me to do it. The entire run might average 8:30 pace or slower if I’m still tired.

Best of luck with the hard surfaces (concrete??) this summer.

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:45 am
by TexNav
What about your pace on the "filler runs" or the 50 minute runs ?

Funny thing that I am even asking this as the past 2 weeks I actually was travelling and had to jump into some treadmill running. I dont know how but I apparently injured my foot. It was only a little stiff after a Tempo run last Friday. I tried doing a CV workout last night but cut it short b/c of feeling ill. Then this morning that stiff foot was more than sore to walk on... weird and I'll be having to take some days off now. Good thing though I didnt finish that CV workout.

Anyways, point is... I apparently now will be running slow for a while.

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:44 am
by mathwiz1

I hope that you get to feeling better soon.

The best way that I can explain the speed/effort that I give on easy days could be described by the fact that I never wear a watch on such days strictly for the reasoning that I feel that it will get to my head about how slowly I need to run to feel recovered. There is not any pushing or forcing whatsoever. If there is an uphill climb then I usually slow down purposefully, and if there is a downhill, I might let my momentum carry me. Sometimes if I feel like the pace is subconsciously increasing, I even stop and stretch for a minute in the middle of the run. If forced to guess the paces (yes, multiple paces) of my easy runs, I’d say that they start out at around 9:30 to 10 minutes per mile for the first 10 minutes, then might go down to 9:15 to 9:00 per mile for the next 20 minutes, then maybe 8:45 pace for the last part of the run --- but never faster than that!

Morcelli ran 10 minutes a mile between workouts at times, and he was a 3:45 miler. One thing can be certain: You CAN’T say, “Elite Runner A runs 6 minute pace for recovery and he’s a 4 minute miler, I must run at least that fast on recovery days if I’m a 5 minute miler who wants to recover and improve.” However, you CAN say “Elite Runner B runs 10 minute pace on his recovery runs and he’s a 4 minute miler, I must run at least that slow if I’m a 5 minute miler who wants to recover and improve.”

Anyone here is more than welcome to disagree and I’m open to your stances.

On another note, I ran 7 x ½ mile last night with 60 second jog recoveries between each one, except between the sixth and seventh repeat. The workout broke-down as follows:

1 mile warm-up with pickups
6 x ½ mile at 2:59 each with 60 seconds jog recovery (CV effort)
2 minute jog
1 x ½ mile at 2:34 (mile race pace – was trying to hit 2:45, 2-mile pace, but obviously missed the pace when I hit the first ¼ mile in 76 seconds!)
2.5 mile cool-down with about 4-5 very hard 100m-200m pickups

7.5 miles

Tinman, it was astonishing how easy this workout felt as compared to the traditional CV miles that I had been doing for months! My brother rode his bike beside of me the whole time and I actually talked to him at certain times in short choppy sentences (I always do CV workouts alone) on all but the 7th rep. By the way, as soon as I crossed the line of the 7th rep, he said, “You were really moving on that one! How fast was it?” I was surprised that I had my breath to reply within seconds of finshing, “5:08 pace --It wasn’t that bad, I feel really good!” Thanks for all of the advice, Tinman!

The plan is 60 minutes very easy tonight, 2 miles and pickups tomorrow night, and 1 mile very slow Friday morning (same format as last week), and to race on Friday night in either a road mile or a road 2-mile race.

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:38 pm
by road dog
My preference for CV length is 1000m, or 1200m (4:00 +/-). Though, I do have a short block of training that uses 2000m. I find that if use 1600m+ for too long of a period, it starts tanking my legs, because I can hit the pace, and finish the workout, but I am digging to deep. As Tinman posted earlier, CV can be run at several distances (or really time), though keep the recovery optimal, and find the appropriate number of repeats you can perform the workout for several weeks. Example - normally, I run 65/miles a week and a standard CV workout for me is 7*1000, or 6*1200.

-road dog

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:41 pm
by ap4305
[QUOTE=road dog;7878] As Tinman posted earlier, CV can be run at several distances (or really time), though keep the recovery optimal, and find the appropriate number of repeats you can perform the workout for several weeks. Example - normally, I run 65/miles a week and a standard CV workout for me is 7*1000, or 6*1200.


(This is a general comment, not necessarily directed at road dog)

A reminder to those not entirely familiar with the "Tinman method" that Tinman sets workout volume based upon race times and not upon miles per week. Under the Tinman way, 7k is probably the right amount of CV for road dog, not because he runs 65 miles per week, but instead because that total corresponds to his fitness (somewhere in the range of 15-17 minutes). If he was a sub 15 guy, he could probably go for 8k-9k, whereas if he was an 18+ guy, 5k-6k would be more appropiate.

Current fitness

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:55 pm
by TexNav

You were racing pretty well over a year or so ago weren't you when doing 800s at CV pace with about a 2:1 work:recovery ration on the reps, correct?

I also like the shorter distances and as was mentioned above about 1200s, that is about the longest I like to push it. But I also typically stick with the 800s/3min range. I also typically stay in the 2:1 rest:recovery range have also started bringing my work:recovery ratio to the 3:1 range more often and funny thing to me was that I didnt notice the difference all that much.

Tomorrow will probably be day 4 of resting my foot. I am ok with it though as it shouldnt take much in way of getting back into it over the next few weeks

Current fitness

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:22 pm
by mathwiz1

First, I hope that you're feeling better by now. Slow running is better than no running.

When I raced my best back three years ago, I had put in a full winter of about 75 miles per week in singles had cut mileage to about 50 mpw for the racing season. CV session were usually 3 x 1 mile at 5:45 with 90 sec jog + 5 -10 minutes easy, then a mile in 5:05 on the track. I'd finish with strong strides and a 2 mile cooldown. I hit 17:00 twice (going 40 yds in the wrong direction in the first 17 flat race), 17:10, 17:15, etc.

In early 2008, I used 6 x 800 at about 3:08 w/ 90 seconds jogging to help me get from about 19:00 in the 5k, down to 18:12 in about 3 months. I didn't progress after that for several reasons.

This year I started very slow (18:58) and have run 29:55 for 8k, 18:47 (giving up the last mile), 18:05, and 17:58 all while running mile repeats at essentially CURRENT 5k pace + 12-15 second per mile and a long run.

With the recent heat, I've reduced the workload down to 1/2 miles instead of miles, and I'm keeping the pace at about 3:01 per repeat with a 60 second jog recovery (times 6 for three miles of volume)....striders follow.

This past Friday night I ran a 2 mile road race (one loop equals a mile) with no prizes or competition and actually won with a 11:29 (5:35, 5:54). I intentionally slowed because it was 98 degrees and humid (!!) at the start, and it was obvious that I could kill myself trying to run fast in that heat (plus I was winning). I felt like I could pop off another loop in right under 6 minutes if I was forced to do so. I acutally arrived at the race 5 minutes before it started because the darn traffic on a jammed interstate on Friday afternoon made the 25 minute drive into a full hour!! I was pleased considering the weather and the lack of "warming up". The only warm up I did was to step out of the car in the first place!!

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:15 pm
by TexNav
Nice race... especially given no warmup and the dreaded humidity... to me that is what makes a huuuge difference. Where I was at the last 2 weeks, the temps ranged from 108-110 daily. But I could get in an hour run in the middle of the afternoon b/c it was not humid at all. In TX, with the high humidity I can't stand a measly 97 !!!

I'm actually now not running as of two days ago.

After 3 days off, I came back with 3 easy days x 30 mins each day. I thought I'd try some quality work Tue morning, but honestly could already tell it wasn't going to happen. I took about 5 steps into my warmup and that was it... hurt waaaay too bad. The deceiving thing is that in the evenings, my foot is a little warmer and feels better and is tempting to try some easy stuff. But I know it isnt better so I am just laying off. It is an amazingly freak injury.... I haven't had to take a day off b/c of an injury in about 4 years (and that was something caused by my own inconsistency and stupidity at the time). I am going crazy too at the moment haha

Current fitness

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:54 pm
by mathwiz1
Thanks, TEX. I hope that things look up for you and your running in the near-term. Hang in there, buddy!

This week, I have done the following:

Fri - 2 mile race, but not quite all out - 11:29
Sat - easy 5.5 miles in about 50 min
Sun - easy to moderate 12 miles in 1:35:00
Mon - same as Saturday
Tues - 1 mile progressive warm-up, 4 x 100 yd strides at 5k effort, 6 x 1/2 mile at 3:01 avg, 60 sec recovery jogs; 4 x 150 yd at 1 mile effort
Wed - 4.5 miles slow
Thurs - borrowed this one from Tinman - 2 mile warmup, 3 x 800m (2:48, 2:48, 2:48), 400m jog b/w each; 3 x 400m (76,77,75) 400m jog b/w each; 3 x 200m (34, 34, 33) 200m jog b/w each + 2 mile cool down jog
Fri - AM - will run easy for 30 minutes before work
Sat - hope for another easy to moderate 12 mile run in my hometown on this day

Today (Thursday) I felt like I needed something quicker on the track since I hardly ever go out there now a day. The temperature was 92 degrees in the shade at 7:30 when I finished, so temps were around 96 + for my post-work workout. I never really felt great out there and it took more energy to complete this workout than I had thought that it would. Had to come home and mow the yard immediately afterward, so I'm spent! The objective was to run two mile pace, mile pace, and 800m pace on the 800's, 400's, and 200's, respectfully.

My speed is still "there" because I felt like I was half-stepping it on the 200's. In high school, I once ran a 4 x 200m workout in 27.5 avg with only a 30 sec standing rest b/w repeats, and that was set one. We would turn around and do it again 10 minutes later and I averaged 27's for the next four. While in high school I was told "you don't have any speed, boy!!" because I was eatten up over the last 150m of distance races often. I now know that it was because of lack of endurance and not lack of speed that I was swallowed easily in races on the track. Today, there just wasn't anything left in the tank, probably because of the heat.

Current fitness

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:22 pm
by mathwiz1
End of last week:

Friday (6/26): 3 miles very easy in AM

Sat: 11 miles; last few miles in around 7 flat pace (Note: this run done at 7:45am, but the heat and humidity were already very much alive with temps above 85 degrees and humidity above 90% by the end of the run. It was hard to stay hydrated afterward)

Sun: 30 min at 11 am (but in the shade); 30 min at 8:30pm (yes, a double!)

Mon: 10 min warmup, 6 x 1/2 mile at 2:58 - 3:01 each (CV effort -- 60 sec jog rest), then a 5 minute jog, then 6 x 220yd in 34, 34, 33, 34, 34, 32 with 220yd jogs b/w each; 20 min cooldown; PM - 5 miles, first and last mile easy, middle 3 miles at 5k pace + 60 seconds per mile (6:45 pace) -- yes, another double!

Tues: AM - 3.5 easy; PM - 3 easy

Wed (today); AM - 1 mile super easy; PM - 1.5 warmup, 3 miles at 6:45 pace (5k pace + 1 minute/mile); 1 mile jog, 5 x 150m at mile effort, 10 minute cooldown jog

NOTES: Feel very tired after several doubles. I'm not sure that I like the idea of doing them...partially because of the leg fatigue that I have (which I know will pass with time) and partially because I don't feel like I should have to run that much to put up faster times than 17:58 5k's. There are some local guys in my area who run about 40 miles per week but are running career best times (like sub 16 5ks). It kind of plays with your mind to know guys that fast aren't putting in doubles to run those times...anyway, time will tell if I keep the doubles coming.

There is a race on the 4th that I'm considering. It is always hot and slow out there, so that and the fact that I'm tired from an increased training load are my only reservations. Again, time will tell!!

Current fitness

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:10 am
by ap4305
[QUOTE=mathwiz1;7937]Feel very tired after several doubles. I'm not sure that I like the idea of doing them...partially because of the leg fatigue that I have (which I know will pass with time) and partially because I don't feel like I should have to run that much to put up faster times than 17:58 5k's. There are some local guys in my area who run about 40 miles per week but are running career best times (like sub 16 5ks). It kind of plays with your mind to know guys that fast aren't putting in doubles to run those times...[/QUOTE]

Think of it this way: The training that you are doing right now isn't necessarily preparation for the current season. What you do now sets you up for success months and years ahead. Adding doubles might or might not impact your ability to break through that high 17s barrier in the short term, but if you are consistent with a robust training program, you WILL get faster and ultimately look back at the added mileage in you current logs and say, "No wonder I got faster!" A big part of training is developing your durability, or your capacity to undertake higher workloads. The higher the workload you can safely sustain, the greater your potential to increase your fitness. Doubles are a tool to facilitate that development.

Regarding how you compare to the local competition...I think to a large degree you need to focus on what YOU need to do yourself to improve, whether that is adding doubles or playing duck-duck-goose or hopping on one leg while picking your nose for an hour. When you look at those other guys I would say, "What has their running career looked like?" What they have done for their entire running lifetime leading up to their present fitness is far more important than the mileage number attached to their current training loads. Perhaps they had run scholastically in the past or perhaps they had simply been very consistent over the years and accumulated a high lifetime mileage, albeit at a low weekly rate. Alternatively, maybe they ran big mileage long ago and are now reaping the benefits.

As an example, one of the fastest non-Africans in my area is a guy who has only been running for 3-4 years, doesn't run huge mileage, but he routinely runs high 14-low 15 for 5k. On the surface it would seem like this guy simply got blessed with a lot of natural ability (which he certainly does have), but in reality he was a former college swimmer and Category 2 cyclist (equivalent of around a 15 min 5k runner). There's a lot of base behind those times, even though it wasn't all from running.

If the fast guys in your area are relatively inexperienced newbies, then they are just supremely talented and I wouldn't pay any attention to what they are doing since supremely talented folks get to play by a different set of rules ;)