Looking for Advice/Feedback

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

Moderators: Moderator, Global Moderator

brian.bento

Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:27 pm

I have been running for roughly 2 years and have worked my way from completing the 5k to the marathon. I am 30 years old and never ran prior to this (I dropped 150 lbs in the process as well so my times came down really fast from that). My 5K PR has dropped from 39:00 to 29:00 to 19:29 (September last year). My debut marathon was 3:17:02 but I bonked hard at mile 23 and was on pace for 3:10:00 before that.

I have been loosely following some of the Lydiard training paradigm and I am coming off of a 10 week base building at 90+ mpw with the majority of my easy 10 mile runs @ 7:05-7:30, 6x100m strides twice a week, twice weekly 10mile runs @ marathon pace around 6:50 and 20 mile long runs @ 7:05-7:30.  I have moved onto aerobic endurance/an aerobic training. I know I am not really supposed to race right out of base, but I ran 18:45 in a 5K last week with splits of 6:18, 5:58, 5:53 in a very congested race (6,000+ people).

My biggest concern is that I feel my 5k time is really slow given the volume of miles I can run at the given pace. Many people I assume would say I have absolutely no natural talent for running. I see a ton of people with sub-17 PRs that run 100 mpw and wonder what I am doing wrong. I am guessing most of them ran track in HS/College so have more speed work under their belt. Do I just need to hammer intervals for the next few months? Or am I doing something else wrong?

My most recent track workouts were:

5 x 800m w/ 800m rest - 2:54,2:45,2:53,2:54,2:52
10 x 400m w/ 400m rest - 1:22,1:21,1:21,1:22,1:21,1:22,1:22,1:22,1:24,1:23
6 x 800m w/ 800m rest - 2:57,2:56,2:55,2:55,2:56,2:53

Are these the right workouts to be doing? Is the pace right? Is the recovery too long?  The 400s left me completely wiped and I could run maybe one more. The 800s hurt more but I was able to recover and run a 3 mile cool down @ 7:20 each time so not nearly as taxing as the 400s. I have really avoided any real speed/anaerobic work up until now as I felt really uncomfortable on a track.

My short term goal is to bring my 5k/10k PRs down and then in the fall run a BQ marathon. 

What should I be doing to improve? What should I expect for improvement (I like to have realistic goals and if sub-17 isn't reasonable for me this year its fine I just would like to know what to work towards)? Do I just have no future running in the shorter distance races because I have no natural speed?  I am guessing the old adage is true that you have to run fast to be fast but what exactly should I do to maximize my improvement?

Let me know if you need any additional information to provide some feedback.

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by ap4305 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:06 pm

Welcome!

There's a sizeable gap in your training between your moderate runs and your intervals.  Lots of good base so far; need to coordinate the elements.   

Also, you've only been running for two years!  It takes time for all the training elements to coordinate, especially when you have spent your formative running years training for the marathon right out of the gate (an event with very specific demands). 

Critical velocity workouts (10k pace), half marathon tempo efforts will fill the gap between moderate running and faster running.  You have plenty of speed to continue improving at the 5k.  No need to hammer the intervals.   
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

brian.bento

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:24 pm

That makes sense to me. I definitely have not done a ton of work sub-MP which probably would also help bring my MP down.

My question is how do I incorporate this workout into my weeks:

M: 10M @ MP
T: AM 10-12x400 + WU/CD; PM 7M Easy
W: 10M Easy + Strides
T: AM 6x800 + WU/CD; PM 7M Easy
F: AM 10M @ MP; PM 5M Easy + Strides
S: Rest
S: 20M Long

Should I replace either the 400s or 800s with the CV run? Would like 3M @ Easy + 4M @ CV + 3M @Easy be a good length CV workout?

I am concerned about adding a 3rd workout to the week but not sure how taxing this CV workout would be since I've never really done one before. Should I take the Friday MP run and make it the CV workout? I just don't like the idea of doing back to back workouts necessarily.

As for the time for improvement, is this something I will slowly have to work on for a couple of years and just going through the periodization cyles? Or should I expect to see significant improvement with the addition of the CV workouts?

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by ap4305 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:37 pm

That's a pretty heavy schedule!  You certainly have a gift of durability. 

For runners who want to be self coached and prefer a repeating cycle, here is a very general template (there are other templates that work just fine; I'm must providing one example).  More complexity, you probably need some individual attention and paid help. 

Week 1
a) CV reps (6 x 1k with 200m rest)
b) Tinman tempo 4-6 miles (roughly marathon pace)

Week 2
a) "minutes" (12 x minute at 5k pace/minute jog easy)
b) Half marathon paced reps (5 x mile at HM pace with 90 sec rest

Long run each week, occasional strides. 

How long does improvement take?  I have no idea.  Will vary significantly by runner...that's why we run the races and take ourselves on our own personal journeys!  Also depend on how your lifestyle aligns with your training...rest, nutrition, ability to run on soft surfaces, work stress....
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4283
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by Tinman » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:56 pm

Given your experience, combo workouts will provide a better, more complete stimulus. Blend longer, slower reps with shorter reps. End workouts with very short speed.
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

brian.bento

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:34 pm

Yeah I think being so overweight made my bones, joints and tendons stronger than the average 140lb runner, so knock on wood I seem to be pretty durable or at least can recover well.

Thanks for all the great feedback.  And what you said about improvement and the journey is something I really need to work on. I had that sense when I was moving up distances and had a distance goal. The switch to time goals has been a little tougher as you can't easily see the improvement incrementally and it takes a lot longer.

I like the idea of incorporating some 10k/HM pace work into my runs. I may try and insert some of the workouts you recommended into my MP runs since I am not completely wasted after them. 

Also, I run most of my mileage on the roads, should I try moving some of it to trails? Would I just move like my easy runs?

Thanks again for all the help...I like to hear that some of what I am doing is good and just need to add some additional types of stimulus.

runthe8
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:43 am

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by runthe8 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:18 am

No real advice, just wanted to say how impressed I am with the fact that 1) you have only been running 2 years and yet are running pretty respectable race times and 2) you did this while losing ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS!  I think that is amazing.  I hope you reach your race goals!

Also, I like Tinman's combo workouts.  I hate long runs, but doing his combo workouts kept me interested and moving at varied paces for over an hour, which was much better for me than just doing a long run.

jumpsss234
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:34 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by jumpsss234 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:33 am

My advice is be patient and slow yourself down a bit.  It's great to set goals (sub 17 5K), but it will take a little bit more time to get there.  Just enjoy your continual improvement and your new health and fitness.  I also think that all of your runs are done too quickly, which doesn't allow your body to recover.  You might be in a constant state of overtraining, which won't allow you to reach your potential in races.  The pace that you are running during your easy runs and long runs seems to be a bit faster than what the RunZoners here call moderate pace.  I think everyone would say that you can run at this pace daily as long as you aren't doing much faster work, but those track workouts you are doing might be pushing you over the edge.  I'm sure you're going to achieve your goals, especially with the volume of running you're putting in.  I would shoot for mid 17's by the end of this year, and then next year around this time I can see you breaking into the 16's.  Good luck.

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by ap4305 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:18 pm

[quote="brian.bento"]

Also, I run most of my mileage on the roads, should I try moving some of it to trails? Would I just move like my easy runs?

[/quote]

If you can, definitely move your easy runs to trails. 

I agree with jumpsss234...slow down!  Train according to your actual fitness, not aspirational fitness. 
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

brian.bento

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:50 pm

[quote="jumpsss234"]
The pace that you are running during your easy runs and long runs seems to be a bit faster than what the RunZoners here call moderate pace.  I think everyone would say that you can run at this pace daily as long as you aren't doing much faster work, but those track workouts you are doing might be pushing you over the edge.
[/quote]

I just recently started the track workouts the last 2 weeks but haven't been feeling overly beat up on my easy days in between actually.  At the start of base I was running around 7:45 easy miles and 7:15 MP as moderate days  and it just slowly came down over the 12 weeks.  Is there a good way to tell if the pace I am running is too fast for an easy day? I actually have been really struggling to run my easy runs  at 7:15 pace the last few weeks as I have to physically slow myself down and keep an eye on my watch to make sure I don't go faster.

What you brought up is why I feel like maybe my shorter race times aren't matching up with my actual fitness because those 10 mile easy runs feel really easy. I definitely feel some sort of disconnect and that is why I posted originally.  I feel like maybe I have the aerobic fitness but not enough time doing race pace work to feel comfortable with the level of pain required to run faster in the 5k. Also, I found that after about 2 miles of cool down after the 5K I ran recently I felt like I could run the same time again so that probably indicates I am not running hard enough or something else is up.

Another question, I basically negative split my most recent 5K with the first mile being laughable because of the hordes of people I had to get through at the start (6:19, 5:59, 5:53). What is the proper pacing for a 5K, should I look to run even splits? What types of workouts should I do to help predict my 5K time?

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by ap4305 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:40 pm

[quote="brian.bento"]

I just recently started the track workouts the last 2 weeks but haven't been feeling overly beat up on my easy days in between actually.  At the start of base I was running around 7:45 easy miles and 7:15 MP as moderate days  and it just slowly came down over the 12 weeks.  Is there a good way to tell if the pace I am running is too fast for an easy day?

Yes.  Plug your most recent race time into Tinman's calculator and you'll get an idea of appropriate easy. 

Great that you've felt ok the first two weeks of track work, but two weeks is nothing.  We're just trying to keep you from the same mistakes we've made or have been made upon us. 


Can you use more quickness?  Sure, but hammering track workouts is not the way to get there for someone in their second year of running.  Yes there's a certain tolerance to race-specific pain, but you get that by developing experience racing...not by putting yourself through the wringer each week in workouts. 

Another question, I basically negative split my most recent 5K with the first mile being laughable because of the hordes of people I had to get through at the start (6:19, 5:59, 5:53). What is the proper pacing for a 5K, should I look to run even splits? What types of workouts should I do to help predict my 5K time?

Yes, even splitting is best. 

1 x 5k is the best 5k prediction workout.  Seriously.  You just ran a 5k; there's nothing more accurate than that (assuming an accurate course).  Sounds like you could maybe knock off a few seconds for traffic, but I don't know anything more accurate than a race time to predict fitness at that distance. 


[/quote]
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

ATimmins
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: Travis AFB, Ca
Contact:

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by ATimmins » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:34 pm

I think i can jump in on this one as well.  When i starting running i jumped to 100mpw very quickly and lost alot of weight (muscle, but still weight)

If your durable like me realize it is a bitter sweet trait.  I have had zero injuries in three years and have ran up to 140 mpw.  If i train too much i don't get hurt, i just over train and run like crap.  My buddies get hurt, recover and learn there lessons in a few weeks, where as i can overtrain for months on end and not realize it.  I see some of this in your training already.  You are working harder then me during my peak times.  2 Workouts a week, good mileage, and a long run.  you will be fine. 

The 2 week rotation AP gave you is golden.  You will probably see an improvement in race times realatively quick (6-8 weeks) once you deload from your schedule becuase i have a feeling you are over training. 

Best way to run a 5k is up to the runner.  The beauty of a 5k is you can do them often and learn what you like.
Forced into running and loving every minute
1.5 Mile:
First = 13:38
Current = 7:10
Powered by Powerbar - www.powerbar.com
Dressed for Success in Brooks - www.brooksrunning.com
Running log - http://www.logarun.com/calendars/atimmins/
Running Blog - http://www.powerbar.com/blog/atimmins.aspx

brian.bento

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:40 pm

Thanks I think I may be a lot like you.  Do you do follow a schedule based on periodization or one that touches regularly on all of the systems? I had been planning on following a Lydiard type schedule and was working on transitioning to the anaerobic/speed endurance phase over the last few weeks.

I think what I am most confused about is how much to drop my mileage down now.  I ran the same 90+ miles last week with 2 hard track workouts that I had been running in base and my easy/long runs definitely had to be toned back in pace because I was finding it harder to recover after those workouts.  My question is whether it is better to run less miles and keep the aerobic work at a higher pace or keep the volume the same and just tone back the pace on easy runs.

I am guessing we have similar physiological makeups so I would be interested to hear about what you have found to work for you as you really seem to have had a lot of success and PBs that are similar to my long term goals. What types of workouts have you found to be the most beneficial to you, VO2max, Lactate Threshold or a weekly split that focuses on both?

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4283
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by Tinman » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:54 pm

Brian -

I'd like to share something to think about. Others might find the challenge of a new paradigm interesting too.

There is only one system, but there are processes that contribute to the performance of the system. The system generates energy to do work. It's that simple.

More specifically, let's address metabolic demand and energy provision, as follows:

Anaerobic (non-oxidative) metabolism is NOT separate from aerobic metabolism (provision of ATP for work using oxygen). The two process of generating ATP (adenosine triphosphate) work together.

The faster the rate of energy demand, the more the anaerobic (non-oxidative) generation of energy must contribute to the output because aerobic processing of ATP is rate limited (has a limit to its capacity per unit of time).

The above concept is the basis of why my training system (The Tinman System of Training, for lack of a better definition) includes a variety of training stimuli in progressive cycles throughout the year. 

If you accept my statement as logical, then you could also conclude, I think, that using segmented training periods that focus on using on different energy system is misguided or based on perpetuated misinformation.

I suggest that you use multiple training intensities during the entire year, but never push those areas of your own physiology and morphology that are unable to naturally respond well. This is the principle of individualization. Pay attention to it!

Mix and rotate training, but balance it too. As an example, your needs for the year may be as follows: 70% easy distance work, 20% stamina work (middle ground training), 8% strength-specific work, and 2% speed work.  However, you may increase or decrease those percentages within cycles that fluidly build up your body's capacities to perform well when it counts. Use all forms of training during the year, but adjust the fractions within cycles over time. This requires careful attention to detail, objective analysis, and insight about how one might progress over time without invoking problems, such as injury, illness, chronic fatigue, or mental lethargy/exhaustion.  Comprehensive training works!

Take care,

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

brian.bento

Re: Looking for Advice/Feedback

Post by brian.bento » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:27 am

Tom -

I definitely understand what you are saying and realized after I re-read my post that the use of the term system might have indicated my belief that they all act independently and don't each contribute to varying degrees based on the type of workout/race you are running.

Based on your training methodology, do your progressive cycles focus on different processes while still attempting to maintain gains from previous cycles? Does this mean that none of your runners perform general base training? Do they run V02max type workouts all year round?

I am not sure if some of the information I have read is outdated but from my understanding certain processes such as anaerobic metabolism (V02max & lactic buffering primarily) have a much smaller potential for improvement than aerobic metabolism/lactate threshold.  I believe some physiologist even believe that you can train anaerobic metabolism to a peak in 4-6 weeks, in which case wouldn't it not make sense to stress that system regularly until you need it to race? The other workouts that stress your lactate threshold and aerobic metabolism I can definitely see doing all year round and they typically are performed even during periodized training programs, but workouts that stress your anaerobic metabolism to me see like they should reserved for a period just preceding a racing season.

Also is it safe to assume that your definitions for strength and speed work are essentially things such as hill work or resistance training and strides? As I can definitely see the need to keep the neuro-muscular coordination trained as they contribute to overall performance and efficiency in all types of running.

I would be interested in seeing a sample outline of a yearly training program to get an idea of what your progressive cycles translate to as I think that perhaps I misunderstand how your cycles are focused.  I am guessing that like you said you focus on specific processes during each of the cycles but continue to try and maintain the various gains from previous cycles, which seems like it makes a lot of sense to me especially related to continuing to stress the LT process since there is significant room for improvement within that process.

Post Reply