Sub-CV pace training ?

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Michigan Guy
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Sub-CV pace training ?

Post by Michigan Guy » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:10 pm

In a previous thread (http://www.therunzone.com//viewtopic.php?t=9), here is an intriguing excerpt from jKerska:
Are you following those 800s with 200s or short hill repeats, are you following the tempos with 200s or short hill repeats? I really think a good deal of the magic in the system is not just "magic" CV pace but always following strength work with small bits of quality. The goal is to be strong but also coordinated at specific racing speeds.

Doing hill sprints or 20" fartlek strides on easy days doesn't quite capture the same effect.

Also, if you're going to do a weekly CV type session that is fine, but during a track season you cannot escape the fact that 150-400m repeats are essential for success. Some times you need to go away from tempo runs and train to run fast.
Is there a place for faster-than-CV pace (sub-CV pace) training?  I am specifically inquiring about sub-CV pace workouts other than actual races and a few strides (“small bits of quality") now and again.

The accomplishments related by Coach Hunter of Loudoun Valley athletes Andrew Hunter and Ciara Donohue makes it difficult to comprehend that the fastest these athletes train is at CV pace or slower (i.e., Tinman tempo), beyond actual races and strides.  Coach Hunter indicated that Ciara Donohue was not training with 800m CV repeats as fast as 3:10, but she was capable of uncorking a 10:56 3200m, which consists of four consecutive 2:44 800m repeats.  That is well over a 50 second differential per mile between the CV training pace and race pace.  Although CoachRonG said (regarding Andrew Hunter and Josette Norris) “They are REALLY talented”, it is hard to get my head around that magnitude of differential.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Tinman:
The important thing is getting experience at holding a hard pace for just a short time-frame. It sort of like putting your hand close to an open fire. When you first try doing it the pain is terrible, and you have to stand far away. But, with practice you can acclimatize your body to the discomfort and decrease the distance from the flames that your hand can tolerate. There's a big mental element to it, just as there is a mental element to middle distance racing…
I don’t want to put words in Tinman’s mouth, but I suspect that he is not referring to CV pace or Tinman tempo based sessions.  Is he referring to sub-CV pace training workouts?

Tinman
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Re: Sub-CV pace training ?

Post by Tinman » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:31 pm

Typically the "base" workout is CV or Threshold (even slower than CV reps by a few seconds), and then during the racing season (in-season racing), fast striders or combo workouts are prescribed. I've said for 30 years that even milers (1600m or 1500m) runners can get within 3% of their ultimate race-time without working hard intervals. For example, a girl high school runners (or boy) who has the potential of reaching 5:00 (1600m) next track season could run 4 x 1000m @ CV pace (jog 200m between reps) + 4 x 200m @ 1600m to 800m speed (jog 200m between reps) and reach 5:15 before doing race-pace work on several races to tune-up. I posit the mistake made by many coaches is to hammer away at race-pace or goal-pace workouts and assume that, since early results were impressive, that progress will continue to be realized over many week's time. It's just not true! The majority of runners who go after race-pace and goal pace work early in the buildup, tend to level off after 6 weeks of using that sort of training. Then, the kids are pushed, or they push themselves, to run faster and faster times in workouts, which ends in disaster. Sure, the kids can run faster repetition/interval times, but it doesn't translate to faster race times. They lack the stamina and strength to hold the pace of the speed reps they ran in practice.

As an example, Jill starts the early track season with 8 x 400m workouts. Her times for the reps at 80 seconds. She runs a 5:30 for 1600 meters in a race. Over the next 6 weeks, she runs the same workout faster and faster. At the 6 week mark she runs 8 x 400m in 75 seconds. She runs in a race and scores a 5:15. Wow, she and her coach think, this fast interval work is magic. Let's just keep pushing the times of the 400s down; she'll run faster race times. Over the next 6 weeks, the runners moves her times down to 70 seconds per rep, but her race time his 5:12 at best, and then starts getting worse. She goes out fast the first lap of her races and feels fast, but after the 800m mark she starts fading ---badly! She runs 5:18, then 5:22, then 5:24 over the next 3 weeks. She's confused how her times in reps can be faster but her race times become slower. The coach just thinks she needs to get mentally tougher, and tries to motivate her. Then, he thinks maybe she's anemic, which may or may not be true. Then, she gets a niggling injury; her Achilles tendon hurts. Now she needs physical therapy intervention. Her season is shot! She's cooked. She needs rest! This is a scenario that's been repeated so often that it's just plain sad.
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Captainblood
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Re: Sub-CV pace training ?

Post by Captainblood » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:47 pm

This is exactly how I was trained in high school and I got the exact results you predict.  My legs were constantly sore and I was often sick.  I got tougher and was able to grit my way to better times.  But I never came close to achieving my potential based on my cross-country times as a less trained runner.

Not only that, as a young runner with only a year and a half of running under my belt this training led to me running 5ks 1 minute slower than I had during cross country season.
Last edited by Captainblood on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runthe8
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Re: Sub-CV pace training ?

Post by runthe8 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:26 pm

Michigan- Drew and Ciara and all our runners do work faster than CV, usually after their cv reps as part of a combo workout. Early in the season, they mostly ran 200's at mile pace (current race pace, not goal pace ) afterwards. As the season progressed, the faster work became more race specific- my 800 runners would do stuff at 800 and 400'race pace. Drew and Ciara would work at mile and 800'pace, and a little bit of 400 pace too. A typical mid to late season workout might be 4-5x1000 at cv followed by two sets of 400-300-200 with the 400 at mile pace, the 300 at 800 pace, and the 200 quick but relaxed.  I also used mid week meets for faster work and would put kids in 4x400 relays.  Sometimes this would be the only event they would race. I'd have them do a workout during the meet (maybe a good warm up and then a short tempo run) and have them finish up with strides, then run the relay and cool down. So they are doing faster stuff, but not in long workouts solely devoted to race pace work (like 10x400'at mile pace or anything like that).

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Re: Sub-CV pace training ?

Post by jbarts » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:22 pm

[quote="runthe8"]
Michigan- Drew and Ciara and all our runners do work faster than CV, usually after their cv reps as part of a combo workout. Early in the season, they mostly ran 200's at mile pace (current race pace, not goal pace ) afterwards. As the season progressed, the faster work became more race specific- my 800 runners would do stuff at 800 and 400'race pace. Drew and Ciara would work at mile and 800'pace, and a little bit of 400 pace too. A typical mid to late season workout might be 4-5x1000 at cv followed by two sets of 400-300-200 with the 400 at mile pace, the 300 at 800 pace, and the 200 quick but relaxed.  I also used mid week meets for faster work and would put kids in 4x400 relays.  Sometimes this would be the only event they would race. I'd have them do a workout during the meet (maybe a good warm up and then a short tempo run) and have them finish up with strides, then run the relay and cool down. So they are doing faster stuff, but not in long workouts solely devoted to race pace work (like 10x400'at mile pace or anything like that).
[/quote]

My experience is very similar. The focus on CV/threshold/etc. workouts is never lost, and when faster repeats are added they are almost always after intervals like repeat 1000s @ CV. Like runthe8 I try to use dual meets to get in faster work, including the 4x400; for a top guy he might just tempo the two mile before doing some shorter stuff off of the track. This was also true when Tinman was putting workouts together for my top runner this past spring.
Formerly Swampscott XC (MA). Now Danvers MA XC/T&F

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