What shall I do this evening?

Right, this evening, I want to put a training session in, and I was going to put it to the board as to which would benefit me most. Here are the considerations before you offer your prescription.

Goal: 10km PB in 3 weeks
1) Yesterday did a 15 mile long run, last 3 miles at tempo+ pace.

2)Recovering from injury, knee problems. No pain when running to speak of, but niggles during the day. Also, end of run yesterday, left hip felt very tight (dont think its ITB though, feels more like a strain). It seems OK now though.

3) Plan to do speedwork tommorow, 6x1 mile, going to use HRM for the 1st time in an interval session to determine apppropriate recovery periods

4) Currently running 40 Miles a week (base), off 5 days/week running. Dont want to jump up in mileage grossly, but dont mind doing more frequent, yet shorter sessions.

a) Upper body and Core muscle weights workout (lasts 1 hour, slightly boring, but OK once I get started)
b) 5-6 Mile easy run (get out in the sunlight, & get my fix, but what would it achieve, physiologically [Drew?])
c)Nowt, full rest day. Obviously excluding the physio exericises (thanks SS!)

Obviously feel free to add your own suggestions in but exclude cycling as my bike is knackered!
Cheers all


  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, I'd spend all day trying to fix the bike and maybe have a slightly longer warm up tomorrow before your interval session. No running as you're suffering from a slight niggle and you've got a hard day tomorrow.

    By the way, how do you do your weight sessions? reps, sets, etc. I'm interested because I've recently completely revised how I do it, simply because I found it really boring.
  • Same here, so I'll inform you of both the new and the old methodology:

    I used to follow a bodybuilder style routine, Mon= Chest, Tri's & abs, Thu= Back, Biceps & Abs, Sun= Free choice plus abs (see a theme here?)
    I used to use rep ranges from 10-12 for a couple of sets followed by a blaster set of 6-8 for large muscle groups (i.e chest), or 21's for small muscle groups (ie biceps)

    Now I do 2 'Core' workouts a week, upper, lower and mid abs, abductors & vas med exercises. High reps, low resistance

    I also do 2 full body workouts per week, chest tri bi and back all rolled into one. 2 sets of 12, 1 exercise for each muscle groups, excl biceps which I do 2 exericses for. I also couple this with the core work out.

    Unfortunately, the new names and arrangements for the exercise schedule were only entertaining for the first 3 reps! What revisions have you made Drew, adn are you finding they are helping keeping the weight training more bearable?

    On a slightly different note, I read in PP that to attain max VO2 values, one had to workout on avg for 7-8 hours per week. I assumed this meant aerobically. Now I myself only train 5-6 hours/week running & about 3-4 hours week weights. Apparantly I'd benefit from doing more running, and less weights. Any truth to this, in anyones opinion? I'd like to do less weights, but its hard to know just what would benefit performance more, V02max and losing the upperbody strength gains I've made, or muscle integrity & strength. Who says sports-science is clear cut? Not me sir...
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, I started doing weights the traditional way, like you. Doing a full workout would take about 90 minutes, including the recovery periods between sets. As it was taking too long I did some internet research and discovered that doing one set is about 85% as good as the traditional 3 sets of x reps, etc.

    I then started doing 1 set of about 15 reps covering about 13/14 different exercises. This took about 30 minutes as there wasn't any recovery periods, but I didn't feel as though I was benefiting from this as it felt too easy.

    About 2 weeks ago I remembered a method I used in the late 1970's. Basically you select a weight that you can manage about 12 to 15 reps with. Once you've reached exhaustion you simply reduce the weight by 1 peg and keep on going until you reach exhaustion again, reduce by 1 peg and do the same. You don't take any rests. This really hurts. I can feel the difference already! A complete body workout, can be done in less than 40 minutes. It's definitely not boring because of the pain.

    At present I'm restricting myself to 2 workouts per week. From my research that seems to be sufficient for runners. Although I tend to do a session every 3 days.

    What do you think of this approach 'cause you've obviously been doing it longer than me.
  • I believe the term for it is 'strip-setting', and thanks for reminding me of it!
    I used to be more seriously into my weights, due to my lack of running ability, back in the day, and the large mass I had acquired due to pies, burger and chips. But to my point...
    I've tried quite a few of the 'advanced' weight lifting techniques, and I'll give you my opinion of the benefits/drawbacks if the main ones.

    Start at low weight high reps, and work gradually up the scale to high weight low reps. 1min recoveries.
    Pros: Due to the adequate warm up it provides, reduced risk of injury during maximal lifts, and higher max lifts.
    Cons: Fatigue -vely affects form in said max lifts, so targets the desired muscle group less than lifting same weight when unfatigued.

    1 set muscle group A, 1 set opposing muscle group B (i.e. Bi's and Tri's). No recovery, repeat till 3 sets of each performed.
    Pros: Makes endurance (high rep) lifting seem easier. Stretches muscle groups out by usage of opposing muscle group (i.e. fuller ROM) Creates a killer burn when done on the arms, less so on chest/back combo.
    Cons: need free access to machines. Didn't really seem to affect my max lift strength. Just my lac threshold in target muscle groups. By this I mean that I could endure the burn a little longer each workout. Nowt more scientific than that. 21's seem to have a similar effect with less cons tho.

    Strip setting: Described by Dr. Drew (above)
    Pros: Best burn your going to get out of all the advanced techniques listed. Does increase max lift strength, in my experience.
    Cons: Fatigue affects form--->injury if not careful. Also, its not like traditional lifting where one you've reached 3x12 with a given weight, you move it up a notch. Its a bit more ambiguos when you should make progression, so you have to guess a little, or play it really safe! If done with multiple exericises on the same muscle group, for more than one group, can take a LOT of time, and make you very fatigued, so performance goes down temp. 2 such full body workouts per week, as you say seems to be max.

    Superslow lifting:
    Reduce your weight by 10-20%. Lift all weights REALLY slowly. Lift it slow, then do it 20% slower! Then your just about right. (In real terms take 2-3 seconds to lift the weight, 6-8 seconds to lower).
    Pros: Max lift goes through the roof! Tons of muscle mass too. You'll only need to do 1 or 2 sets of each exercise to be burned out, so to speak.
    Cons: Mentally tough. Rythem is very important. Each set can take quite a bit longer than usual. Not sure muscle mass is beneficial to runners. Also, develops strength a damn sight more than power.

    DISCLAIMER All of the above is personal experience only, signing out Dr. KK
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, the question is - what is the most apropriate for running?

    If you switched to running for 7/8 hours and weights for 2 hours per week it may have quite a considerable impact on your overall fitness.
  • Very true, but would it be a positive one?Increasing my running volume would have to be at the expense of my weights, certainly. In itself I have no problem with that, but psychologically, when I come back to the weights after a weight training layoff, I feel quite puny. Also, strength does aid running, so they say. Finnally, as Im suffering from niggles on only 5-6 hours a week, might 7-8 hours per week not exasperate the problem?
  • Furthermore, I probably reckon supersets are best for running, as they take v. little time if done properly. Also, they dont create long term residual fatigue, IMO, that affects the next days workout.

    But having said that, I will be doing some strip sets in my next session, as mixing it up doesnt hurt once in a while
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, are the niggles caused by the running or by doing too much weight training? Now that's a good question!

    Furthermore, both of us have been running for a relatively short period of time. As our bodies adapt more to running the niggles will start to reduce and an increase in the amount of training time and mileage should be possible.

    I suppose it all depends on what you want to achieve.
  • Definitely running in my case. Leg niggles, only really use weights on my upper body. Having said that, i've been reading some of these US running personal homepages and looking at the 100 mile a week plus training diaries, and I can come to only one conclusion. You must be right re: adapting. These guys dont do ANY weights, yet they are running sub 2:30 marathons. I might just do Core work, drop the upper body stuff, and focus on running. Stuff the chest press!
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, smart move! Sub 2:30 here we come.

    By the way, remind me what you're aiming for at the 2003 FLM.
  • Sub 3:00 to sub 2:55. Have to see though.
    I'm going to try some marathon paced time trials a-la: http://www.runningtimes.com/issues/99julaug/artmar.htm
    and see how I feel nearer the time. Do the training for a sub 2:55 and see what I can pull out of the hat, so to speak.
    Obviously the ultimate (i.e 3 year) goal has gotta be sub 2:45. Jus to say that I made AAA grade. [daydream] One day...
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    KK, I started doing these runs towards at the beginning of this year and managed to do a few 18 milers at sub 3 hour pace. Really makes a massive difference. You can learn so much about yourself during these runs. They are really hard runs and take a lot out of you so it's worthwhile tapering for a couple of days before the run. Carbo-loading also makes a difference.

    I started doing them again two weeks ago as I'm starting to prepare for FLM.
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