Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

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runthe8
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Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by runthe8 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:16 pm

Hello, all.  This board has sure been quiet lately, so I thought I'd see what you smart guys think about something I was reading today.  I was reading some training ideas from a more traditional training approach than Tinman's (12 day microcycles, umpteen workouts in the microcycle to include VO2 max, special endurance 1 and 2, long run, tempo run, max speed, etc. I get exhausted just thinking about squeezing all that stuff in.)  The only idea I thought was intriguing was the idea of doing a "max speed" workout of 8 x fly 30 meters with a 10 meter acceleration zone and a 15 meter deceleration zone, with 3-4 minute active rests in between, followed by a 4-5 mile easy run.  This person said that such a workout can be recovered from in 24 hours, and that it is better to do the fast stuff before the easy run since it is neuromuscular work and you need to be fresh.  Wondering what you think about this, especially for the more speed oriented 800 meter type runner who also runs the 400.  I believe the purpose is to work on top end speed so that the runner has a better "speed reserve" which some coaches seem to think is so very important to the 400/800 runner.

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by Schebo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:25 pm

I think you should do this type of very fast running before a regular track session. When I was a 3,44 1500 runner I did this regularly.

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by Tinman » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:34 pm

I think max-speed sprint training for distance runners is not a good idea. Seriously, you can train all your fastest fibers at 80-90% of top speed, yet the risk for muscle and tendon strains is far less.

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by wuxcalum » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:33 am

What about athletes that primarily run the 200, 400, and 800? We have two such athletes in our program this year. Thanks!

Jimmy

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by WHS » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:07 am

Tinman,

What enables an athlete to move from 80-90% of max sprint speed to 100% of max sprint speed if all your fastest muscle fibers are already recruited at 80-90%? 

Thanks!

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by distcoach » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:43 am

Runthe8, sounds likes you're reading up on Stillwater HS(Coach Christensen)'s training.  It's hard to argue with the results he's had.  I've added a few elements of his training to my guys, but I'm mainly focusing on aerobic development with them.  Most of my guys are multi-sport athletes so for the most part, they lack endurance, not speed.  Of the 40-45 cross guys we have, 12 play basketball, 10 swim, a few wrestle.  My best runners were actually football players for the first 2 years.  One ran 1:56 as a frosh, and ran 1:55/4:19 as a sophomore playing football and basketball  in the fall/winter.  Finally got them out for cross this past season and it changed our team.  Can't wait to see what the distance squad looks like in the spring.  I get about 30 guys running distance (some cross guys golf, some hurdle, sprint, jump).  Of those 30, I've got about 15 who aren't in a winter sport and they've been focusing on mileage. 

I do have a few guys who are your more typical "distance runners" who run year round.  And these guys do lack speed.  As far as max speed workouts, I do try to have the guys do those about every 10-14 days.  Beginning of the year (depending on snow/ice conditions), we focus on hill sprints, usually about 4-8 reps.  Later in the season we do some flat sprints, 30 m all @ 98% up to 120 m at 400 pace, full recovery.  The multi sport athletes actually have more fun with these "workouts."  On days we do these max speed workouts, we'll do something like a 2 mile warmup, strides, hips, etc to get loose, then the workout.  Then I'll send them on a 4 mile "cool down".  As with any workouts, there needs to be a progression.  A freshman who doesn't have a speed background shouldn't be doing as much as the senior who's been in your program for 4 years; also the guy who sat on the couch all winter shouldn't be doing as many or as hard as the guys who've been busting their butts all winter.  If you individualize and cater to the athlete's skills and background, I feel the injury risk is greatly minimized. 

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by Tinman » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:35 pm

In the article written for Running Times magazine by Pete Magill, and contributed by me for the technical explanations and the charts, you'll note how you can recruit certain fiber populations maximally without recruiting them at their highest rate of activation. By this I mean you can activate populations of fibers and then extend the speed or rate of their use a bit further. However, it is my position, though far different than conventional positions, that you do not have to use the maximum rate of use for fibers to train them fully and effectively. I'll give an example below for a long distance runner.

Due to the contract I signed with The Experiment Publishing Company in New York City, I will limit my comments about the above. (I have to be careful to not talk about topics that will be in the book that will be published by them. I don't know all of what we (Pete Magill, Melissa Breyer, and I) will discuss in the book, so I am sort of limited right now about what I can or cannot discuss on the forum. The above concepts have been discussed before the contract, in the public forum by me and noted in the Running Times article, so I feel that the article and general information directly related to the article will not infringe upon new discussion in the book.

Just understand the basic concept: It's my position that you can recruit all the fibers from a given population without pushing them to go at their highest possible rate of use. A good example is shown ever year by runners who train in the summer with loads of mileage as prep for the fall cross-country season. Right away runners set personal bests in cross-country and they haven't done speedwork. Per conventional thought by coaches and runners it makes no sense that personal bests are being set. The reason it must be a high talent level of the runner or they didn't try hard the previous year. Conventional coaches say you must run faster than race-pace in order to improve and the distance just allows you endurance to be so high that you can do more speedwork without getting burned out. Yet, the runners set personal bests with nothing but loads of 7:00 miles. It makes no sense to the conventionalist! How can those guys run 5:00 pace in an 8km race on grass an they have only been running 80 miles a week at 7:30-6:30 pace. They train far slower than they raced. It must be a fluke: it must be due to a high level of talent. Nonsense, I say! It's because all the Type I fibers and some of the Type IIa fibers are well conditioned at paces far slower than race-pace. It's just a matter of doing enough mileage to make those fibers fit. Add to that biochemical and morphological conditioning some neural training (fast strides, some easy intervals, some fartlek or hill reps, or even races) and those runners who have done very little work at faster than race-pace end up running extremely well in races. The small amount of faster/power related running boosts neural effectiveness and efficiency, thus enabling runners to use their underlying fitness, built by many miles of running, to a high degree. 

If the runners I mentioned above included tempo or threshold or CV work in their off-season, summer, training plan, they would have both super fit Type I fibers but super fit Type IIa fibers. Hence, in terms of aerobic training, they would be a very high level of fitness and performance without having run at race-pace or faster. Within 3-4 week of doing hard workout in-season (during the formal racing season) they are racing far faster than they ever were and they don't feel burned out. IF the coach hammers them too hard, too often, they'll stop improving in about 4-5 weeks, but if the coach is smart and spreads the hard workout during the racing season the runners on his or her team will arrive at the late-season meets/competitions with loads of fitness as well as neurological and emotional vitality. They are ready to race in the post-season meets because they are fit and not burned out. All a smart coach has to do is sharpen those runners so that they have peak performances. Even if the coach doesn't know how to sharpen runners (borrowing the term from Arthur Lydiard), he or she can just keep the ball rolling and ease the total stress load of training during the last two weeks before the ultimate race of the season. That will work well and the runners will be strong and fast enough to be within a percentage point of their ultimate potential for the racing season.

Take care,

Tinman

http://www.kansascitysmoke.org/distance ... the-coach/

Link to How Muscle Fiber Recruitment Affects Running Performance.
http://www.runnersworld.com/race-traini ... age=single
Last edited by Tinman on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by Tchuck » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:22 am

Tom, I went to the KansasCitySmoke site and listened to the recording you made on long runs. Really good stuff.
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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by MothAudio » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:55 pm

[quote="Schebo"]
I think you should do this type of very fast running before a regular track session. When I was a 3,44 1500 runner I did this regularly.
[/quote]

I would be careful about max sprinting but agree with placing this type of work in front of your quality days, rather than an easy day. I find very short hill sprints do not take anything out of me ATST prepare me for the harder session to follow. I've used a "speed taper" for over 10 years during my race week where I increase the frequency of rep-type stuff or slightly faster than race pace / race pace but keep the volume very low. One simple example might be a desending series of strides; Mon: 5xstrides. Tues: 4xstrides. Wed: 3xstrides. Thur: 2xstrides. Fri: 1xstride. Sat: race.

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Re: Thoughts about doing small amounts of max speed before easy distance

Post by runthe8 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:31 pm

[quote="distcoach"]
Runthe8, sounds likes you're reading up on Stillwater HS(Coach Christensen)'s training. 

Yes, that was who I was reading!  I was reading some stuff on Latif Thomas's website and I guess he plugs Christensen's methods for middle D and distance kids.

I have to say that Tinman's methods really do seem to get you about 98% of the way there, to good performances, and then you tweak things the last few weeks to focus on the specific events.  It's just that the tweaking is what I find so hard to do!!  Also, I think it gets harder to tweak those of us who can't do the mileage that most of you guys are doing under Tinman.  I only run 25-32 miles a week, and most of the kids I coach are lower mileage as well.  Their hs coach does not "believe" in running "high" mileage or doing "speedwork" over the winter (she actually told me that the CV reps I have the kids doing sounded like "speedwork" to her, sheesh.  She's mad at me now for what I've done with these kids all winter.  I think she wanted them to do 3 mile runs, 3 times a week or something.  I have managed to get two of the boys up to 50 miles this past week during our winter training, but I don't know how this is going to translate as far as race times go.  The one I thought would benefit especially from the mileage is actually running slower at 5K than he did in cross country now, and I don't know why.  He's run a couple of 5K's this winter and is running 30 seconds to a minute slower than he did this fall. The other boy hasn't raced all winter but I think he's going to blow away his times from last spring.  I hope I'm right.  The rest of the kids have not been consistent enough in their training this winter for me to draw any conclusions.  At least they got some running in over the winter, which is a first for many of them.

I will use myself as a good example of how the stamina work gets you pretty far.  I've been running CV 600 meter reps plus 200's once a week for a few months at this point, a "long" run most weeks, or at least every 2 weeks (only about 7.5-8 miles for me) and a tempo run with hills most weeks, and then filler distance runs ranging from 3-6 miles.  And strides after easy runs.  Today, I raced an indoor 800 in 2:28 (I'm a 49 year old female, BTW, who hasn't raced indoors in almost 3 years due to injury and surgery and a slow comeback).  I was STUNNED I could run this fast right now.  I ran perfectly even, 37 second 200's the whole way and it felt pretty relaxed, I"m sure I can go faster.  But I'm not sure what exactly to do to "tweak" things for myself.  I lack BOTH speed and endurance right now if you plug my 800 into Tinmans calculator- I can run the 200 in about 30.5 right now, (28 would be equivalent), 400 in about 65-66 seconds right now (62 would be equivalent) my mile should be 5:24 (no way, at least I don't think so!), and my 5K should be in the 18's (ran 19:52 in November).  I know I'm slow and not quick right now since my 200 today at the meet was so slow, and everyone in the heat was ahead of me within the first 5 meters of the race, though I did beat two of them at the end just because I died less than they did.  So right now, the 800 is my best event, with anything shorter or longer being inferior to my 800 time.  3 years ago, this was not true- my 400 was the best event, and everything went downhill from there, the longer I went.  Kind of interesting.

So, I guess I need to add in maybe some quicker 150's instead of mile pace 200's after my CV work, keep my mileage up with strides, and ...????    I'm not even sure how fast to run my CV work now, since my 800 time equates to a faster CV pace than I have been doing by quite a bit.  I thought maybe those quick fly 30's would help me get faster without beating me up.  I have to run the 400 at Millrose games next month and I sure don't want to run a 65 or 66!!

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