Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

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mathwiz1

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by mathwiz1 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:59 pm

Tom,

Thanks for the suggestions regarding placement of the 3k/1500m paces and hill chargers.  I realize that you like to only have one question at a time, but below are my questions:

1) As far as specifics around the reps with full recovery on Saturday, should I aim to keep the total volume of 3k/1500m reps constant over time, or increase total volume as the weeks pass? (again, this day will be the 2nd hard day of the week as part of my 3-day “moderate” rotation, and I’ll be taking the next day after this hard day completely off from running – I’ll need it!!) 

2) Would you recommend alternating 3k pace one week and 1500m pace the next, or combining the two into a single workout as I outlined in my example? 

3) Since 20 minutes of half-marathon (over three miles of running for me) paced running can be quite a stimulus as a stand-alone workout, I’d guess that you would want to see this work completed in segmented form, like 3 x 1 mile at HMP by March – right?  Can you elaborate on what this extra work will do for me, and why is half-marathon pace the correct tempo intensity?

This is what I’m thinking Saturday might look like, with your suggestions:

1 mile easy, 2.5 miles progressive from TTR pace down to LT pace, 1 mile easy, 4 x 600m at 5k down to 3k effort (or 4 x 300m at 1500m pace – or combo workout), 1 mile easy, HMP running in the form of reps, 1 mile easy = 12 miles in March (more like 9 miles in January because of less HMP running).

I plan to let the watch be a guide for me and let effort be the over-riding factor for what I should consider to be “easy”, “medium”, and “hard-ish” – a well as what 3km and 1500m pace should be set at.  I will ask myself, “could I actually run at this intensity for _____ duration/distance?” 

Am I missing anything?  Thank you as always!

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by Tinman » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:20 pm

Mathwiz1 -

I seldom have time to sit down for long stretches and type out responses. My life is just very busy. I'll tackle one question at a time, please.

You can increase the total volume of reps, but do so gradually and never force your body to comply. Fatigue is not your goal; proficiency is. Let the skill come to you in its own way. If the weather is bad, don't time yourself, unless you are running on an indoor track. Work on skill - just as a swimmer would!

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kpt4321

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by kpt4321 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:07 pm

Good stuff guys!

road dog

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by road dog » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:20 pm

Mathwiz1,
During the off-season, after a break, I think you should focus on overall mileage.  I have read some of your posts, and right now your races are lopsided, w/ much better performances for the shorter races, and weaker performances for the longer races.  Half-marathon requires more volume, and not as much intensity than a 5k or shorter.  You can accomplish more volume by modifying 2 workouts per week, where your total time is 90mins+.  Ex: 90mins w/ 5-8miles at TMT; a long run of 90mins+.  Once, you get into your season, you can then modify the workouts to be faster, because your body has adapted to the higher mileage. 

-road dog

mathwiz1

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by mathwiz1 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:45 pm

RD -

Although I appreciate your input, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.  I have run many, many miles in the past - far more than I want to admit to running given my slow times.  I feel that if Tom could PR with the 3-day rotation, why couldn't anyone?  As far as the half-marathon is concerned, it was admittingly a horrible race for me.  I ran 6:08 pace for 10 miles just 3 weeks prior to the half, so the longer race was definitely a flop for me.  According to Mc Millan, my best times this year were as follows: 

62.5 second 400m (right after running an all-out mile race 20 minutes prior, in 104 degree humid July heat, and after going out foolishly in 27 seconds for the first 200m.

5:09 mile - the race that I ran immediately before the 62.5 second 400m (above
10 miler - pretty close to the 5:09 full mile above.

My 5ks this year were few, but were 19:00 (quit at 2-mile mark), 18:48 (started slower), 19:00 (hilly course), and 18:45 (net uphill race) on Thanksgiving Day. 

I'm still open to hearing more of your thoughts if they are still the same after reading this post.

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by ap4305 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:23 am

[quote="road dog"]
During the off-season, after a break, I think you should focus on overall mileage.  [/quote]

Mathwiz,

This is the key line from road dog.  If you're not racing seriously until March, we're not talking about PR's in December-January-February.  While my personal belief (largely shaped by working with Tinman) is that you can and should touch upon multiple elements in addition to putting in the mileage, the goal of base training is to build a base; not to be in PR shape in the short term.  Different coaches might have different ways of laying the base in terms of mixing volume and intensity, but the most important thing is to honor the objectives of the base period, which generally do not include striving for PR shape in the short term. 

  [quote="mathwiz1"]
I have run many, many miles in the past - far more than I want to admit to running given my slow times.  I feel that if Tom could PR with the 3-day rotation, why couldn't anyone?  [/quote]

Let's not forget that Tinman was a pretty darn good runner in college, even though a constant battle with injuries prevented him from meeting his potential.  The three day cycle didn't so much create fitness as much as it fit with his lifestyle at that point (12 hour shifts in the medical center on an inconsistent rotation) and facilitated the fitness that he had built from more than a decade of high level training prior to that point. 

This type of discussion often comes up when a runner shifts from one extreme to another, performs brilliantly, and then attributes the short term success to the most recent training rather than to the entire body of work for his or her career.  For example, you'll hear some runners just throw a bunch of mileage around and then conclude that "mileage is better than speed".  In reality,  it didn't mean that mileage was better than speed; it simply meant that mileage provided a balance that was previously missing. Similarly, you'll hear some runners chop their mileage and run lots of the intervals, credit the intervals for any short term success without realizing that the intervals probably wouldn't have worked as well without many years of base to support them. 

Ultimately improvement comes down to the sequencing of workouts in such a way that maximizes your absorbtion abilities for particular types of workouts at that time.  A great training plan or series of workouts might be a perfect fit in one setting but less appropriate in another depending on what state that body is in at the moment.   
Last edited by ap4305 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wellpark

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by Wellpark » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:55 pm

Great Thread

It's all about balance.

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by Tinman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:11 pm

I completely agree with AP's post. Indeed how a runner has trained previously influences how they perform now and in the future. Mileage before and speed now resulting in a personal best performance doesn't mean that mileage is the answer or that speed is the answer or that the sequence of mileage and then speed is the answer in all circumstances. Much depends upon developing what is lacking now - or what has potential for significant development as it relates to performing a given race/distance/event. 

I do think that a bad race throws off the evaluation process. I would shrug off a bad race now when I had a good 10-mile race just a month ago.

Regarding my rotation method: I like my method, but it's just one of many good options. I used that method because it was useful in my situation: I needed to complete my run quickly; I had little time to mess around with driving anywhere or doing intervals because of my schedule. I needed a plan that was based more on effort than pace because my energy/fatigue varied so greatly from day to day because of my work schedule and sleep patterns. IF I had that time of my life over but I had a standard work schedule of 8 hours per day that was not physically demanding; I would have run more mileage, used a 14-day schedule, and blended my workouts in a balanced way, making myself 95-97% fit almost all year and then adjust training in the 6 weeks prior to a big race to get the last 3-5% of performance.

I think the fittest I have ever been was in 1991, when I was running 55-60 miles per week in 6-days (every Monday I rested due to very long hours at work) ( two of the 6-days were low mileage - 5 milers). I am certain I could have run close to 15 flat in the 5,000m on a track; if the conditions were good. I ran my best 1 mile rep workout ever, about 12 days prior to running a 26:21 (5-mile) road race in hot weather (I am a big-time sweater, so I have never done well in hot weather, so factor that into my time). My key workout that showed I was fit was this: 5 miles progressive warm up (1 mile at half-marathon effort - 5:28). Then, on a bike-path, I ran 3 x 1 mile in 4:52, 4:51, and 4:47 (sort of sprinting the last 250-300 yards) with a 2 minute jog recovery. I felt strong and I recovered within a couple of miles of cool down running. Later in the day I played full-court basketball for nearly 2 hours, and felt fast and fit.

My point is this: I like the 3-day rotation because it's malleable - it is useful in circumstances when a person cannot do a longer schedule consistently. If you have a hectic lifestyle, lots of demands on your time and energy, and you have to keep life simple; the 3-day rotation is perfect. I even find that a person can jump into a 3-day rotation anytime that life all of a sudden throws some curveballs at you. If you are traveling, it's a good method. If you have to fit in a run between two demands, go run 30-40 minutes and get back to those demands. It's not perfect, but it is better than saying, "Well, I was schedule to run 7 x 1km at the track today, but I don't have time. I'll take today off."

In bad weather, the 3-day rotation works great. It doesn't matter if it is hot or cold; the method works. Just put your watch in a drawer and go for a run over a measured course. Pick a 4-8 mile route that you know well and just run it by effort. When it's 100 degree or 0 degrees F, pace is going to be off. Just run by effort!
Last edited by Tinman on Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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road dog

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by road dog » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:53 am

Mathwiz1,
Based on your times, you have the speed, though building your mileage would make you a more linear runner(or racer).  Ex: '10, here are my races:
Aug-1mile (5:21)
Aug-2mile(11:15) same day
Nov-halfmarathon (1:23.59) on trails, w/ the last 5miles uphill incline(note, the race winner ran 10-secs/mile faster a month earlier in a road half marathon)
Nov-5k(17:50)

My races are linear.  For myself, I have to focus on getting my times down across the board, since I am a former 16:08/5k, 33:45/10k, 1:17.01/HM runner.  For you, if you have the time, more mileage @7:30-8min pace, and incorporating 2 big workouts, one could be a long run, would balance out your races.

AP had a great thought about training vs. racing.  If your looking to improve, its a build up of mileage, and workouts.  One run nor workout is equal to a 1% change in races.  From my experiences as a HS, college, and PC runner, my best races occurred after I put in a alot of slower miles, then sharpened w/ faster workouts.  In fact, this year my second season was much better than my first season, because during my first season I tried to cover all workouts.  My second season, I layed down the base (foundation), and was able to run my races across the board.

-road dog

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by tcl » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:35 am

For Tinman:

You mention that the optimal repeatable off-season schedule (for you, at least), assuming enough flexibility in your life, would have been a 14-day schedule. I wonder if you're thinking of something along the following principles (copied from earlier TRZ threads):


Here is a 2-week plan like you might like to use:

Mon - 1 hour hill fartlek - push varying length hills - short hills faster, medium hills as a medium effort, and long hills closer to Marathon speed.

Tue - 1 hour slow

Wed - 1 hour EZ

Thu - 1 hour; including 3-4 miles of CV intervals and 800m of short speed (like 8 x 100m or 4 x 200m with equal or longer jog recoveries)

Fri - 1 hour  slow

Sat - Long Run - 90 minutes EZ to Moderate. Or, you could run 4-5 x 1 mile at MP/Tinman Tempo pace.

Sun - 1 hour jog

Mon - 1 hour EZ

Tue - 1 hour; including hill reps (start with 100m hill reps at 3k to 1500m race effort now; move to 150-200m hills in late January.  By time you reach March you should have great (specific) leg strength and some anearobic development. At the end of all hill rep workouts run 50-150m striders for quickness and reflexive coordination.

Wed - 1 hour very slow

Thu - 1 hour EZ

Fri - Short speed (30 to 300m in the short-term; 60m to 600m in the long-term). Jog at least 3-4 times the duration of the reps, preferably 5-6 times, in order to ensure quality and good neuro-mechancial running technique is executed. Do a long warm up and long cool down, too!

Sat - 1 hour Slow

Sun - 30-60 minutes jog
-------------------------------------------
Good luck!

----or this----

Each 2-weeks:


- 2 long runs (probably 1 per week)

- 2 CV interval sessions (800's or 1k's) (jog 200m recoveries) + striders

- 1 race or race-like workout - could be 400's, 600's, or 800's at 5k pace, for example (jog half-distance recoveries)

- 1 Tempo run or progression run + striders

- All the other days are slow paced distance runs - one or two times per day

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by Tinman » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:09 pm

tcl -

My rule of thumb is to include one stamina workout every week, regardless of the time of year, training phase, or cycle. In my view, repeated, successful stamina training makes everything else possible.

A 2-week cycle would include:

2 stamina workouts (CV to half-marathon pace would do nicely)
2 long runs OR Segment Reps (which are about Tinman Tempo/Marathon pace)
2 additional workouts or races. Those workouts would be tailored to the individual, adjusted to the developmental progression, relative to the goal race requirements, and coordinated with other workouts.

Striders would be included 1-3 times per week, also.

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kpt4321

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by kpt4321 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:27 pm

Tom-

That is a very useful nugget, your last post.  That is along the lines of what I was trying to get when I started this post.

So, right now each week I am doing a workout (varies), a "moderate" day (MP + 15s or so), and a long(ish) day.  It looks like I am in line with your guidelines, IF I make sure that my workout day includes work at or faster than half marathon pace.  I had, some weeks, only done a longer tempo on my workout day, such as 5 miles around TT/MP last week.  I will make sure I include the faster (but not fast) stuff from here out; I had a great 5x1k @ 10k pace session this week, which was probably a little bit too fast, so I will try to average it out to a happy middle ground.

Thanks again for the useful information.

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by Tinman » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:41 pm

kpt4321 -

The recommended 2-week cycle I offered in the previous post is for shorter race-distances. For races lasting 90 minutes or longer, I recommend using my 2-Big Workout Plan for the 8-16 weeks before to the goal race. The 2-Big Workout plan would include at least one stamina workout per week (during one of the two Big Workouts). The other Big Workout varies from 5km pace to a long easy run, depending upon if it is a "push" day or a maintenance run.

Regards,

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road dog

Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by road dog » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:54 pm

Using Tinman's suggestions, a runner can establish a routine that is suitable for all races.  Example - I found my races from the 1m to half-marathon to be linear.

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Re: Off-Season Training ("Base Building") Guidelines?

Post by ddtspir06 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:10 pm

[quote="Tinman"]
tcl -

My rule of thumb is to include one stamina workout every week, regardless of the time of year, training phase, or cycle. In my view, repeated, successful stamina training makes everything else possible.

A 2-week cycle would include:

2 stamina workouts (CV to half-marathon pace would do nicely)
2 long runs OR Segment Reps (which are about Tinman Tempo/Marathon pace)
2 additional workouts or races. Those workouts would be tailored to the individual, adjusted to the developmental progression, relative to the goal race requirements, and coordinated with other workouts.

Striders would be included 1-3 times per week, also.

Tinman
[/quote]

For the strides 1-3 times per week, would these consist of 1-2 of them being approx 4-8x100 meters @90% effort, and 1 of the session being 4x600 @ 3k pace? And could you implement this style of strides all year?

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