moderate pace running

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dilluh
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moderate pace running

Post by dilluh » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:38 pm

Why is it that when I am just starting to get into running fitness after a break that moderate pace feels so good (good rhythm, stretching the legs, good breathing). But when I’m fully fit, moderate pace feels somewhat awkward - as if I’d rather slow down to easy pace or speed up to easy tempo or tempo pace? I’m now running around 3 hours per week total and increasing steadily each week after healing from the calf strain I described in a previous thread. One day a week I do 4-5 x 1 minute “pickups” (probably around tempo pace or a bit faster) with adequate recovery and then I add a good segment of moderate pace into my weekend long run. I still haven't added strides as I'm a bit cautious with the calf yet. That moderate pace thrown in the long run feels great! Is this just the fact that since I’ve lost fitness that moderate pace (low end of stamina stimulus) is now hitting a comfortable zone of stamina training? Also, why does this pace then start to feel like no-man’s land when I get more fit? Anyway, I’m glad to be back running consistently again - looking to bust some rust in a 5k in mid-October as an indicator for more significant fall workouts aimed at 10k fitness.

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by Fusio » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:05 am

Last year I did a sort off all moderate approach and moderate pace felt very comfortable. I ran almost 1 hour a day and on weekends until up to 1.5 hour. I was not able to run slower, I don’t know why, but easy pace did not feel as good as moderate pace. Later I noticed that I had only the range +/- 20sec around moderate pace who felt really good. Slower pace felt irregular and faster pace felt excessively harder than it should be. Of course I became really fit, but in a race longer than 1 hour or in a short fast race I struggled.

Tinman
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Re: moderate pace running

Post by Tinman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:53 pm

The sensation you describe relates to the muscle fibers (technically, they are motor units) used. WHen you are not fit, and not used to running fast, a moderate pace is using your fast fibers (mostly your Type IIa - the somewhat fast , "intermediate" fibers) to cruise along. Those fibers, if you have not been training them to be anaerobic beasts, are actually able to process oxygen fairly well and keep you moving along just fine for awhile. Typically, you tire out though if you try to run far at that moderate level, though running shorter distances is comfortable. If for example you had an injury and rested a month, and you jogged for another month, your fast intermediate (Type IIa) will not be well conditioned to run fast (generate sustained high power), but because genetically they have a good number of mitochondria in them, you can still use oxygen to generate a moderate pace and running stride. You might at first be able to run 2-3 miles at Moderate pace, after jogging for a month, say 20-30 minutes per day, but after training at a moderate pace for a month, you might feel totally comfortable running 4-6 miles at a moderate pace. Yet, if you had to run more than about 8 to 10 miles at a moderate pace you might feel like you are hitting a wall. You go from feeling good to feeling dead-in-the-legs somewhat quickly. Slowing down from moderate pace after running a month at that pace might feel awkward - you've really been doing a lot of training using your fast intermediate fibers, though the pace isn't blazing, and you've honed both the fitness level of the intermediate fibers and their neural firing pattern (for the stride needed). Your slower (Type I) fibers/motor units, will have been training to some degree, but you have not really honed that stride - it's not really been practiced much. Hence, a slower pace is awkward because the motor units are not accustom coordinating at that level. The fitness is moderate for those fibers, due to moderate training volume for the slow (Type I) fibers, but the neural firing efficiency is not there.

I can cover more later. Gotta teach elementary P.E. now.

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dilluh
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Re: moderate pace running

Post by dilluh » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:19 pm

Interesting. If the moderate paced running is not developing power, but instead, it is simply sustaining moderate paced running through oxygen usage, would it be wiser to simply speed up to tempo range (for a shorter time or through the use of tempo intervals or wave runs) and be developing a better stride for faster running while also hitting more in the meat of stamina range? But that brings up the question of whether stamina can really be built on what are currently still fairly low levels of overall endurance, i.e., I’m still not near the mileage and haven’t spent the time at the mileage I was previously at. It begs a further question: what is the value of moderate running for someone not focused on the marathon or ultra-racing? I understand it can be of value there because it is a way to hit the low end of the stamina zone while putting ample ‘time on feet’ to train for the pounding of those long distance races. Don’t get me wrong, I like how moderate pace feels right now, but if it’s an inefficient pathway toward developing good stamina built on sustainable endurance, then I’d rightly not include it.

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by dkggpeters » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:07 am

[quote="Tinman" Your slower (Type I) fibers/motor units, will have been training to some degree, but you have not really honed that stride - it's not really been practiced much. Hence, a slower pace is awkward because the motor units are not accustom coordinating at that level. The fitness is moderate for those fibers, due to moderate training volume for the slow (Type I) fibers, but the neural firing efficiency is not there. [/quote]

This is one thing that I notice about doing really easy running is that it always feels a lot more difficult than it should. I tend to lope more (cadence is only about 170) when running really easy and notice that quickening the stride rate and thinking about being light on the feet helps tremendously.

Tom, what is the best way to maximize training for the slow (Type I) fibers? Is running at a very easy pace (not necessarily recovery pace) the best bang for the buck or is it some other intensity? ie - if I usually consider 7:30 to be a good easy cruising speed, would 7:45 to 8:00 be more beneficial in training the slow fibers?

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by FTIR » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:20 pm

From back in 2009:

Depleteion of glycogen, which is the stored form of carbohydrate, is the key to stimulating growth of mitochondria in a type of muscle fiber. To maximally stimulate mitochondria growth in slow twitch fibers, most runners must reach an intensity between 80-90% of Vo2 max; above which further stimulation is limited. The reason stimulation above 80 to 90% is limited relates mostly to fatigue generated by phosphate leakage to the extra-cellular space around muscle fibers and/or acidosis. Both causes limit total duration of stimulation. Since slow twitch fiber are the biggest portion of most runners total fiber population, and since a portion of the energy used by slow twitch fibers is fat (fatty acid), it takes a lot of time (read, many km or miles) to deplete slow twitch fibers, normally, compared to fast twitch fibers, which depelete energy stores quickly.

Key:

To maximize depletion in slow twitch fibers - and to a large degree fast intermediate fibers (called Type Ia), the maximum permissible dose of training must be at or near 80 to 90% of VO2 max. The paces for these are shown in my training charts, located on the homepage of The Run Zone, in the "Tinman Training Tools" file-folder. Those paces are called Tinman Tempo and CV pace.

A Tinman Tempo run of 45 minutes and a CV interval workout lasting 22.5 minutes depleted slow twitch fibers about the same. Either can be used, or a combination of the two. Add in a 10 to 15-minute warm up and the same for a cool down and you have done a great job of depleting your slow twitch fibers, thereby stimulating growth of mitochondria, capillaries, and substrate use. A simple 65-70 minute workout, including 45 minutes of Tinman Tempo running, will provide a similar effect as running for 2 hours at an EZ to Moderate pace. The same goes for a 65-70 minute workout including 22.5 minutes of CV intervals.

You don't have to run 13 miles in training to run a half-marathon. I once coached a 1:17 half-marathon runner who ran 30 miles per week and the longest run he ever did was 10 miles. He did a lot of 8-9 milers with CV or Tinman Tempo running in them, though, and striders for form, fluidity, and muscular coordination. He ran 3 times per week, did the eliptical 2 times per week, and swam once a week (the supplemental training was about 30 minutes per session, and mostly at an easy speed).

Regards,

Tinman

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by FTIR » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:27 pm

My question about moderate paced running is, to do it often say five or six days a week, do you have to stay right at moderate pace or can you mix say CV and EZ pace to create a fartlek run that averages just below moderate pace?

dilluh
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Re: moderate pace running

Post by dilluh » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:20 pm

To me, a straight moderate run is quite a bit different than a CV/EZ fartlek run. I could be completely wrong (I have been many times :) ). My original question stands: Is moderate running at all an efficient way to train for someone who (1) can otherwise handle CV/Tinman tempo workouts just fine and (2) is not training for > 26.2 miles? I can see its value in marathon training and for someone just getting back to running shape who needs a bit of a stepping stone to get to the CV/Tinman tempo workouts, but for someone in the thick of 10k training, the most efficient training sessions seem to be in the range between easy tempo and CV.

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by FTIR » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:52 pm

A straight moderate run could be quite a bit different but if you inject just the right amount of CV pace to an EZ run I don't think it has to be impossible to do it every day. Not that I'm saying you would want to...

As to your question, if you look around on here long enough you will find Tom wrote, "Over the course of the winter, Mike, my teammate, ran a hard 1 hour run each day. I say hard because to the average D3 collegiate runner it was hard. In truth, later when I applied calculus to the paces Mike was running relative to his maximum, Mike was training at 70-80% of his VO2 max (not the velocity but the actual VO2 max) for most of his training and about once a week he'd hammer out a 10 miler - proably about 80-85% of his VO2 max. - or between Marathon and Half-marathon pace for Mike. He did no speed work at all for five months and then ran a local half-marathon road race (my good friend Joe Hanson, who reads and posts on this website won that race, at least couple of times, so he can tell you the race had good competition). Mike was on a roll! He had done no reall interval or speed work, just solid distance and a hard 10 miler every week. "

dilluh
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Re: moderate pace running

Post by dilluh » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:15 pm

This would suggest that Mike was operating in the fast end of moderate 6 days a week and then doing a true tempo run once a week and saw good results in the HM. I guess that doesn't seem completely unreasonable for someone who is already fit – it is just different from the idea of a stress/recovery cycle as in a CV workout followed by an easy day or two. Perhaps they do similar things or perhaps Mike was/is an aerobic monster who thrived on consistent "steady" paces rather than true workouts. Either way, good stuff to discuss.

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by FTIR » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:04 am

There is lots of Mike stuff on here.

"Some people might assume that Mike had no speed, but that's not true. He actually got faster over short distances by training as he did. He could run nothing faster than about 5 minutes pace during 1-hour runs, but he could easily crank out 5 x 1 mile in 4:35 on grass, and I saw him run 3 x 1 mile in 4:40 and then 4 x 880 yards in 2:12, looking as if they were easy. But, he was losing his peak soon after that, because too frequent hard workouts ruined his fitness. He could run 24:05 without any sort of interval or speed work, but he wouldn't run any faster with intervals the way we did them - during the week and then race on the weekend. I suspect that Mike could have run 23:40 or under, if he'd just run 1 hard interval/race-pace workout every 10-12 days, and the use his normal training routine otherwise. If I had coached him, I'd let him race every 3 weeks, only, and do a hard workout half-way between, simulating surges with long reps. He'd have become lethal in races; he already had a super high threshold, due to his normal training pattern. He only needed surge work to drop opponents."

dilluh
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Re: moderate pace running

Post by dilluh » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:19 pm

Sounds like Mike's speed is linked very strongly to his stamina, which is not the worst thing in the world if you understand that and aren't forced to run hard reps often.

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Re: moderate pace running

Post by kresimir.karas@gmail.com » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:34 am

Kenyan training prinicples are similar to moderate (Mike) approach, almost every day modertae close to threshold , somewhere i read that they don't know anything about interval training, until they are coached by Italian coach. We discuss that here, also great Norvegian record holder Marius Bakken (5000m 13:06) use that training: viewtopic.php?t=1496&p=6765

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