Current fitness

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mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:11 pm

Ap-

Your posts are always quite educated and very thoughfully written through great tact! Kudos!

Thank you for your advice -- I'm currently going through my "Miles of Trials" phase and greatly appreciate your lengthy input to my training, even though I haven't heeded your advice over the last few days. They were as follows:

Thurs - 3 easy + strides
Fri - 3 easy
Sat - No race, but had a solid progression run of 10.5 miles over grueling hills on a cool morning here in NC!
Sun - 3 + 4 x 150 quick
Mon (today) - 20 min warmup easy on grass, 4 x 400m at 75, 75, 75, 73 (mile race effort?) with 400m jogs b/w each. Then 4 x 200m with 2 minute breaks (jog/walk 200m rest) in 32, 32, 31, 29 (high). 20 minute cool down jog. I felt like I was in 4th gear on the 200's, having one more gear to go -- but on the last one, I found that I misjudged my speed in a good way, because 29 seconds still wasn't all out, as I will atest to the fact that I could have dropped even another couple of seconds if needed.

Have not gone to the track to tackle hard 200's in a very, VERY long time (and haven't tried to break 30 in about 5 years). Once I came home and showered, I felt very good physically and more refreshed than I do after most easy runs, CV runs, tempos, etc. I'm not sure if this was a coincidence or if it's some sort of message.....Tinman?

I'll keep updating as long as you guys keep finding my trials interesting.


Josh
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:44 pm

I wanted to provide some continuity to this thread, and I'll try to be as brief as possible. Recent races -

8/22 - Mountain climb of a 10K (literally up a mountain very near Mt Mitchell, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi). Time of 50:xx minutes, which was good enough for top 10 in a very competitive race. 43 minutes won this race, and that was by a 30:30 track guy!

8/29 - Only one week later (very fatigued from the last race), ran 18:08 5k in hot and very humid conditions. Went out in 5:40, which was way too fast for my fitness on that day. If I had gone out in 5:50, I think that I would have broken 18.

9/19 - 5k, up a huge hill for the first mile, then slighly down the rest of the race. Held off on the pace early on a muggy, wet, and warm morning where I was having confidence issues - ran 6:05 for the first mile, 5:36 (!!) for the second, and 5:44 for the third, and had a nice sprint to the finish (17:57). Ran another 6 miles that afternoon for 13 on the day.

10/3 (today) - another challenging race. I took a female friend from college to race this difficult (but scenic) 10k. She had never raced that far....ever....she was once on the girl's team, I was once on the guy's. The plan was to take it out very conservative, then let it rip. As a basis, I ran this course in 37 flat in 2006 when I was in 17 flat 5k shape - balled out on both races that year, so a good reference point was that this 10k was 23 seconds a mile slower than a fair 5k. Whe I ran 37 flat in 2006, I was in sub 60 min 10 mile shape, so those references should speak to how hard this race is. There should be edit notes here, as my friend has a dirty mouth, and essentially said after the race "you told me that this race was going to be challenging, but holy 'crap' those were some big 'freakin' hills!!!" Today, I ran 5:57, 6:19, 6:03, 6:25, 6:25 (double ouch!!!), 6:04. My fastest 3 mile segment was 18:04, and the slowest was 19:09, so TONS of volatility. Total time of 38:28 (6:12 pace), which was slower than I had wanted (wanted sub 38 without a doubt). Using my 23 seconds per mile guideline, that would put me at an effort of 5:49 per mile for a fair 5k, which is right around sub 18. Was third overall today, then drove 45 minutes toward home, then stopped at my old University to run 60 more easy minutes and conjure up memories. 15 miles total.

So, I want to continue to race every-other weekend through Novemeber and see steady improvements. I obviously believe in Tinman and his methods (as you can read in my comments). CV intervals (i.e. 6-8 x 1/2 mile at 3:03 is the staple every week, quantity depending on if there is a race or not.) Sometimes, I will run the last one at 2:50 or so. Recoveries are 90 seconds. Long run is 100 minutes as I feel, and always run an easy recovery day between the Saturday races and Monday long runs (tinman style). The only other workout that I've been doing is 4 x mile at 6:18, with 90 second jogs. All workouts end with 5 x 150 progressive. Mileage is 45 miles or so a week. I want to get my 5k times faster so that all other times at longer race distances get faster. I feel like I need to incorporate reps at paces faster than CV (other than the striders) if I'm going to race the 5k consistently in the sub 18 min area, and feel like I need this type training even more so if I want to continue to improve down to 17:30 and 17 flat eventually. I'm aiming to be in general shape from 5k to 1/2 marathon, but weighted more toward the 5k, 5 mile, and 10k arenas.

At this point, I feel like I have decent momentum and I'm gaining confidence every race. I know to keep doing the CV/LT/MASS paced running, but I do not know where/how to incorporate the "faster stuff". This is the point in my training where I ALWAYS mess up. Get into good shape (from 5k to the 1/2 marathon), get ready to take on the next level, then lose sight. I want to keep this from happening again like it always does.

Thoughts? Tinman?

Thanks for the replies!
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ap4305 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:19 am

[QUOTE=mathwiz1;8282]I I know to keep doing the CV/LT/MASS paced running, but I do not know where/how to incorporate the "faster stuff". This is the point in my training where I ALWAYS mess up. Get into good shape (from 5k to the 1/2 marathon), get ready to take on the next level, then lose sight. I want to keep this from happening again like it always does.

[/QUOTE]

First of all, you are to be commended for turning your race days into Big Mileage days. Nevertheless, I would potentially reexamine your race schedule if you want to make some serious breakthroughs in the coming months. I do think frequent racing is fine if you enjoy the competition and if having a race on the schedule keeps you accountable during the day to day grind, but "mountain climb" and "huge hill" and "challenging race" are not the types of things you want to hear frequently during a build phase of training, and especially not when you throw some 10ks into the mix. I don't mean to sound critical, but I would say as a general matter that if a runner is interested in breaking through time barriers (and isn't running for the limited purposes basic exercise and recreation), then each race must be chosen with a distinct purpose related to the goals of the overall training scheme.

Regarding focusing on faster stuff in preparation for a good 5k...never lose sight of the fact that the stamina training is the foundation of the 5k, no matter how much speed you subjectively think you need. In reality, most people overestimate the length of time they need to spend on 5k specific work and the intensity with which they must do that work. Once you establish that good 10k-half marathon fitness, the sharpening required for 5k specific fitness need not entail anything more than one 5k specfic workout per week of 3k-5k in length for any more than 4-6 weeks.
Allan Phillips
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Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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Current fitness

Post by Tinman » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:57 am

mathwhiz -

It is true the only a little bit of sustained faster running will sharpen a runner for peak performance. I recon it takes only 1000-2000m of faster running at the end of a CV interval workout each week to reap substantial gains in specific racing speed. The other day per week, during the last 6 weeks of training toward a peak race should be a complex combo workout.

Example of a typical week during a 6-week lead up to a 5k goal race:

Mon - Long run

Tue - easy run & striders

Wed - CV interval workout with 1000-2000m of sustained fast running at the end of the workout + short but quick striders. Example, for an 18 minutes (5k) runner:

1 mile EZ + 5 x 200m at 10k to 5k effort (jog 100m recoverie) + jog 600m + 6 x 800m at CV pace (2:58.1) (jog 200m recoveries) + 2 x 800m at Max Vo2 pace (2:43.5) (jog 400m recovery between the two Vo2 max reps) + jog 800m + 4 x 150m quick (about 1500m to 800m speed/effort (jog 150m recoveries) + 2 miles jog cool down.

Thu - very easy paced run, but don't take the day off!!! If you are tired, cycle for 45 minutes at a very light, therapeutic effort or swim at a very easy effort (like repeat 50's at 60% speed (rest 15 seconds between reps).

Fri - easy run & Striders

Sat - Race or Complex combo workout such as this:

warm up + striders + 3 x 1600m at 1-hour pace (jog 400m recoveries) + 3 x 1200m at 5k pace (jog 400m recoveries) + 3 x 400m at 1-mile race-pace (jog 400m recoveries) + cool down.

Sun - choice of aerobic activity: very easy paced distance running (basically a jogging effort) or cycling or eliptical or swimming or roller blading or roller skiing or a combination of any of the above.

Note that you might need to practice race tactics; if you are a person who is evenly matched in fitness with competitors in your locale. If you practice surging in training, you'll be able to surge in races, which means you'll likely "break" your competitor's will. Remember, once you are fit (the first and most important goal) it is important to practice race tactics, such as surging, kicking, turn running, drafting, and fast starts, so that you are mentally ready to extol challenges upon your rivals, in order to defeat them.

Good luck!

Tinman
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mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:02 pm

Tinman,

Great examples! I'm thrilled at the possibility that this fall won't turn out like other past experiences. I will implement these strategies and report my success back to the community. One more question -- Do I need a long run on a Monday if I have run a hard race and created a "Big Day" just two days prior? Thanks again!

Ap,

I feel as if I should qualify my statement above by saying that I get bored going out to run a "flat and fast" race every Saturday. Sometimes the mental pressure of trying to compete at that level is drainning for me! Although it is indeed my goal to run PRs, I realize that I am not going to run one each and every week, so I settle for the good ole' local race(s) that I've done in the past on the sheer rationale of "it was fun last time", even though it may not have been very fast. There is also the feeling of supremesy that comes with conquer of a challenging course. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel as if the battles that are fought along the training road will help me to achieve my PR goals in a few months, regardless of if the race is up a mountain or through mud. As a runner, I compete at an event for one of the following reasons, always:

1) I want a fast time (PR?)
2) I want a reference point (i.e. - I ran AB:CD time last year, and I ran AE:FG time this year), but not necessarily a PR or peronal course record.
3) Conversely with 2 (above) I'm tired of running the same courses against the same competition, so I race something strange, like the mountain run.

The reason for yesterday was reason (2).

My hope is that this race provided excitement and a base-line for my fitness withough having to hunt for the fastest course of the weekend. Addditionally, I hope to continue to progress forward through the season to hit some fast times over the course of the next 2 months.

Thanks for the compliments and for the constructive criticism!

On another note, I am SORE!!!!!!
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Current fitness

Post by BoilerTom90 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:55 pm

It's hard to believe that with the 4 different coaches I had during the 2 years I ran in HS and the 4 years at a small college, I never had one with anywhere near the knowledge about running as Tinman and ap4305. We were [over] trained with a cookie cutter approach, and often failed to run our best when it mattered most.

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Post by ap4305 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:38 am

[QUOTE=mathwiz1;8287]
I feel as if I should qualify my statement above by saying that I get bored going out to run a "flat and fast" race every Saturday. Sometimes the mental pressure of trying to compete at that level is drainning for me! Although it is indeed my goal to run PRs, I realize that I am not going to run one each and every week, so I settle for the good ole' local race(s) that I've done in the past on the sheer rationale of "it was fun last time", even though it may not have been very fast. There is also the feeling of supremesy that comes with conquer of a challenging course. [/QUOTE]

As long as you understand the implications of each event as it relates to the overall training scheme, then no worries. However, my gut impression (which may or may not be accurate) from your post this weekend was an image of those runners who exist in every community who do the local race week after week and month after month but never improve over the long term because they are always resting on Friday and/or Saturday for a weekend race, skipping their weekend long runs, and taking every Monday off to recover from the beating over the weekend. As a result, they end up with a schedule that consists of Tues and Thurs speedwork and a weekend race all connected by a series of three mile runs and not much more.

Nevertheless, I do recognize that we aren't robots and that its OK to do fun and novel things like mountain runs even in the middle of "serious" training. Heck, I'd be a hippocrite to say otherwise, since one of the races I did during my last marathon buildup was a two mile relay leg in a Valentine's day race with my wife that included a climb and descent to and from the upper deck of nearby college football stadium. If training becomes boring or a chore, then you probably need to make some changes. Just recognize that all the training that precedes and follows a race will be affected by that race, especially if it is longer than a 5k (since 5ks and shorter can often substitute for a speedy track workout).

Also, when you are racing longer distances frequently, I do think it is often beneficial to use a 10 or 11 day training cycle if your school or work schedule allows. The 10 or 11 day cycle during non-peak training often provides better spacing between hard efforts without having to cram everything into a week, or alternatively, skip key workouts altogether when you are preparing for the next race.
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

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Current fitness

Post by TexNav » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:30 pm

A great post....just keeps getting better with the addition of more info

mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:37 am

Ap-

I agree that each workout, race, training week, cycle, and season should all point to specific objectives that the runner wishes to accomplish. Since I live in a challenging area which provides many hills, about 75% of the races that I enter are somewhat to moderately challenging. There are obviously some races that can't be run without including outrageous hills; contrastly, there are races out there that can easily avoid certain course difficulties, but the race director decides to include those difficulties in the course regardless, in hopes that it will draw a different "breed" of runners.

On a somewhat related note, I spent the remainder of last week runninng easy after my Saturday Oct. 3rd race. I ran:

Sun - 5 jog
Mon - 5 jog
Tues - 7 easy, but didn't have to jog, 5 x 100
Wed - 7, with the middle 3 at Tinman Tempo effort, 5 x 100
Thurs - 3 miles easy
Fri - Tinman workout of 1.5 mile warmup with 5k paced striders, 3 x 1 mile at 6:17, 6:16, 6:18; 3 x 3/4 mile at 4:17, 4:17, 4:16; 3 x 1/4 mile at 74, 74, 74; 2 mile cooldown jog. The weather here had cooled off, but warm, wet, and muggy conditions came back just for this run, which made me extremely dehydrated because I was out there for so long without water. Each repeat had a 1/4 mile jog after it. Essentially, I had a 2 minute recovery on the miles, 3:30 on the 3/4's (these were hard for me), and about 1:1 time recovery on the 1/4's. There was very little left in the tank for the 1/4's. Hard workout for me because I suffer greatly in humid conditions. Side note: I am going to the doctor next month (albeit too late to matter) to explain that I believe that I am sweating too much. The summer weather absolutely drainned me every day. There were many days that I had to take wadded up newspaper to dry out my sopping wet shoes from my own sweat. Thinking back, I always sweated a lot in comparison to my teammates, but I can never remember sweating as much as I currently do. BTW, I'm 6 foot even and about 180lbs (always have been a big guy).
Sat - 7 miles slow
Sun - 11.5 miles, with the first mile at around 8 minutes, the last 1.5 around about 8 minute pace, and the middle 9 in around 61 minutes (6:45 - 6:50 pace). I wouldn't have run this fast on my own, but I ran with a college buddy who is getting back into shape and can probably run about 16:30 for the 5k currently.

The plan is very slow 5 today, then the Tinman workout of 6 x 1/2 mile at CV pace + 2 x 1/2 at 3k pace + striders on Tuesday. An hour easy Wed, 5 easy Thursday, and just a little running Friday before tackling a 5k that should be fairly "normal" Saturday morning.


Thanks for all of the well wishes and constructive comments.
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ap4305 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:24 pm

[QUOTE=mathwiz1;8321] Side note: I am going to the doctor next month (albeit too late to matter) to explain that I believe that I am sweating too much. The summer weather absolutely drainned me every day. There were many days that I had to take wadded up newspaper to dry out my sopping wet shoes from my own sweat. Thinking back, I always sweated a lot in comparison to my teammates, but I can never remember sweating as much as I currently do. BTW, I'm 6 foot even and about 180lbs (always have been a big guy).
[/QUOTE]

Unless you're seeing someone knowledgeable in sports medicine (and endurance sports specifically), don't be surprised if you hear "Hmmm...it's really hot and humid out...you're exercising long and relatively hard...and you're sweating alot...so what's the problem?" I'd be more concerned if you weren't sweating enough, but if you do suspect there is an underlying medical problem with your sweat rate then don't hesitate to seek medical counsel. Nevertheless, mainstream medicine isn't entirely in tune with the needs of high level competitive endurance athletes for a few reasons. Most of the studies in medical and ex phys journals use "untrained college students" as experimental subjects and endurance sports are still a relatively new phenomenon.

I think the more important line of inquiry is WHAT are you sweating out and in what amounts. The only way to definitively find out is to have your sweat analyzed by a lab, but labs with that capability are hard to find and that service is not cheap. Alternatively, you might be able to inquire at some ex phys departments at your state universities and see if they need any experimental subjects for any ongoing studies.
Allan Phillips
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Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:18 pm

Ap - All good points about the sweating issue. I have several weeks to figure it out since work has me by the toes at the moment. When the weather cools here (such as it has today with highs in the 50's) my earlier comment doesn't seem relevant; however, in the spring and summer of 2010, I'll face it again. Your words will be held with high regard and I'll keep you informed.

Today I raced a 5k, and I need some thoughts. There is nothing too new here, as I ran 18:06 and failed to eek out the last 8-10 seconds that I really wanted. Actually, being about 17:40 by now would be optimal, but the time was MUCH better than what I thought I would run considering mile 1 was run in 6:01!

So I decided to mentally block this fact out and try to push mile 2. The result? 5:57 (11:58) - seeing as how I knew the last mile would be fast, I new that today had to be an 18:25 day, but I somehow gutted out a 5:35 last mile to finish MUCH closer to sub 18 than the first 2/3 of the race would have predicted.

The course started at the top of a hill for the first 250m, then it leveled out around the 400m point, just to start a climb for the next 1/2 mile. After that, it was slightly uphill until around 2000m. Beyond that point there was flat terrain until the 2 mile mark, then a downhill until 2.25, uphill to 2.5, then we went down the same 1/2 hill that I mentioned traveling up during the very first mile. Overall, the race was designed to be fairly fast, with the first half much slower than the second. The winner ran 16:24 (5:25 first, ?? second, 5:09 third), if that gives bearings to any of you.

All of that being said, it seems to me that I have an issue getting started at the beginning of these races. 6 flat is becoming the norm for me as a first mile in a 5k, and if I go out faster, I pay for it later in the race.

Last 3 5k's:

Aug - 5:40, 5:58, 5:59 (18:09)
Sept - 6:03, 5:35, 5:44 (17:58)
Oct - 6:01, 5:57, 5:35 (18:06)

Today for a warmup, I ran a mile easy, then one mile progressively faster (maybe TT for 1/2, then MASS pace for 1/4 mile, then maybe CV pace for 200m, jog 1/4 mile)

This week (read above posts for more past-related training detail - there are some big, faster paced workouts above), I ran:

Tues - 1.5 mile wu with strides, 6x 1/2 mile at CV (3:03, 3:02, 3:01, 3:00, 2:59, 3:00) with 100 second breaks. After the last 3:00 run, I jogged for 4 minutes, then ran 2 x 1/2 mile in 2:43 (3:30 jog) and then 2:41. Through my training, I have taught myself to start slow and finish fast, which is the best way for me to run, but how can I get out faster without paying later? My goal is to be consistently a minute faster over 5k (low 17's), but I can't seem to get there. What do I lack? 45 - 50 miles per week is the norm for me, and I've been able to run 17 flat many many times for the 5k before off of many months of 35-40 mile weeks (albeit I that low period was preceded by higher mileage, as I ran 75 mpw for a while before that).

Wed - 7 easy - 1 hour
Thurs - 5 easy with striders
Fri - 1/2 mile, striders, 1/2 mile


Do I need to run maybe weekly 3 - 4 x 1 mile at 5k pace with 4 minute jogs to get my times down? If I do, I can figure out a way to continue to include TT runs, MASS & CV pace, as well as striders. My gearbox is misconfigured at the moment, and I'm not sure why that is the case.

Thanks for all of the help, guys.
Last edited by mathwiz1 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ap4305 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:32 pm

[QUOTE=mathwiz1;8353] how can I get out faster without paying later? My goal is to be consistently a minute faster over 5k (low 17's), but I can't seem to get there. What do I lack? 45 - 50 miles per week is the norm for me, and I've been able to run 17 flat many many times for the 5k before off of many months of 35-40 mile weeks (albeit I that low period was preceded by higher mileage, as I ran 75 mpw for a while before that).

Do I need to run maybe weekly 3 - 4 x 1 mile at 5k pace with 4 minute jogs to get my times down? [/QUOTE]

You may have answered your own question (see bolded part). There's an old cliche that you have probably heard before that "training is where you put money in the bank and races are where you make the withdrawal." My gut feeling is that you may have reached the point where due to the frequency and intensity of racing you have done recently, you may be lacking in "funds" to withdraw during races.

Your previous pattern of running a relatively high mileage base and then dropping way down for a focused competitive season is basically what those racing the European track circuit will do. For optimal long term development I wouldn't recommend dropping all the way from 75 to 35, but the important thing to recognize is the sizeable base that you built up before that racing period when you were in the 17 flat zone. If you want to race frequently AND break new fitness ground, I think you may need to go back to that big base period before racing frequently again. We can nitpick training points and strategy all day, but there is no denying the benefits of a consistent 75 miles per week for a long period of time. Even if you keep training without pause, base fitness is perishable if you don't continue to reinforce it. However, one thing you can look forward to as you get more experienced and put more lifetime miles in your legs, your base/rebuilding periods won't need to be as long as during your more youthful years.

If you do want to keep rolling with the racing season, I would not schedule the weekly 3-4 x mile @ 5k workout that you proposed. That's a great workout for 5k peaking and race simulation but it is not something I'd do on a weekly basis. Workouts like that can be addicting because they will produce quick fitness gains, but if you get greedy and overuse them you can find yourself in real trouble. Tinman provided a very good schedule for use during your current racing season.
Allan Phillips
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Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

mathwiz1

Current fitness

Post by mathwiz1 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:36 pm

Ap-


Thanks for responding. I agree with you on mileage and its subsequent effect on racing performance. Every day during that 75 mpw period was 10 miles easy, except Wednesday which was 4 x 1 mile progressive (5:55 down to 5:50), Friday, which was usually 8 miles at 6:45 down to 6:20-6:15 pace, and Saturday, when I slept in and put in 16 miles very easy to start, then picked it up after a few miles into the run. Strides after the workouts only. After a winter of that, my first race in the Spring was a 10k in 38:20 (yea, I know…subpar). I spent the next week running reduced mileage (6 mile days instead of 10’s and opted for a workout around 5:20 pace instead of CV pace) and ran a fast 5k course in 17:01 for the win and a PR, going the wrong way for several yards. Other races that I remember over the next several month on the reduced mileage were 17:18, 17:00, 17:12, 17:15, and I could go 10 miles in a race in under 60 min – which was far from my 17:32 PR from before. Early that fall, while running 35 miles per week, there was one workout of 3 x 1 mile that I did later that year where I ran 5:27, 5:15, 4:45 off of 4 minute recoveries over hills. The 4:45 eclipsed my 4:58 PR from high school. I was not even focusing on running at the time, as I had just fallen in love with the woman that is now my wife of 3 years; however, I was relishing in the success I was having from not “trying” to run well. My typical fall schedule was 10 progressive (slow at start, but quickly down to 6:30’s, then 6:15’s and usually under 6 flat for the last mile), 3 x 1 mile around 5:45, 5:30, 5:15 as my only other hard workout – all other days were 3-4 miles very slow.

I even took off the second half of October and came back running about 30 miles per week in November, then ran 17:40 for a 5k win (and won free shoes) in 28 degree temps in the first week of December. There was so much confidence in myself during that point of my life – I decimated the 2nd place guy in the last ½ mile (we were together at 2.5). After that, the following March I was at 40 miles and ran 17:21, 17:50, and 17:40, but that was the end of it because of enrollment in a tough graduate program that required my total attention. The only reason that I lost my ground was because I had to stop training for a year. Note: I still jogged, but didn’t train or race.

So here I am now, just as untalented and gung-ho about running as before. I am without the time and energy to run 75 miles each week, and I am too untalented at running to spend that kind of energy if the results are that slow. I am simply too ambitious to give up on running that fast again (or faster), even though life circumstances have changed.


The reason that I like Tinman’s philosophy so much is that he can maneuver around anyone’s preferences, situations, circumstances, etc. Density of training, as Tom defines it, should be able to aid me in getting faster without having to spend so much time on my feet – or am I wrong? I’m not the same runner as Tom, but he did run 3 minutes faster over 5k than I did, and he was running less (albeit faster). My best quarter ever is 57 several years ago, so I’m not a cheetah, but I’m also not a slow poke.

Thanks so much for the read, and for the help.

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Current fitness

Post by Tinman » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:29 pm

math -

I believe the number one reason I set personal bests in my late 20's was not because I ran a lot of mileage or ran killer workouts. I ran faster because I was very consistent. I missed about 3 days in an 18 month period. I learned to "feel" my body very, very well, as a result. That meant I was able to know when to ease back the pace during training runs, or let it ride (go faster). I was able to do other things, too, that made me stronger: basketball once a week for about 8 weeks in the winter and circuit training. Now, I actually do not thing the circuit training made me faster, but it made me fitter, so that I could "absorb" harder runs, and even more importantly circuit training made me less tired from work, which was normally very physically tiring. I could work at the same level, x-raying patients, and not be as tired at the end of the day, which meant my running was smoother and more relaxed. Immediately, when I introduced circuit training, I developed better fluidity and rhythm while running.

I truly believe that better fluidity and rhythm improved my 5k time by 30-45 seconds. I ran much more relaxed at 5k pace, as a result, and used less energy. I was "in-sinc" while running races for the first time in several years.

In my mind, nothing compares to consistency of running; it makes everything else possible. Consistency of running gives a runner self-knowledge, self-awareness, and stabilizes fuctional fitness. Having more stability in one's physical fitness is very important.

I liken correct training to building layers of mortar. You have smooth out one longish layer before adding another on top of it. If you try to just slap one short layer together and keeping slapping more on top of that short layer the whole pile is either going to fall over or lean to one side, and then later fall over.

Take care,

Tinman
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

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