The Middle Ground

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  • I'm afraid that people get quite offended easily about their training and rather than ask questions they go crying to RW to have the post removed - sad really!

    I've got another stinking cold and sore throat, but as it's above the chest I'll continue training as normal.  I only did a short run yesterday, but a few glasses of red wine last night has refuelled the energyimage

  • I've had posts removed for asking challenging questions.  Blackpool Marathon threads spring to mind...image

    The most offensive thing I read on that thread was the repeated insistence on buying expensive shoes and the lie `the more you spend the less you'll get injured'.  In my 11 years running experience the opposite is true.  I have about 30 pairs of trainers which have seen long service and I only buy one new pair a year - typically New Balance 130s or other super flat ones.

    There is more research coming out about how expensive cushioned trainers encouraging people to run with an unnatural style, causing injury.  This is something I and others have known for years from personal experience.

    I've had 1 injury which stopped me running in the last 10 years - that was caused by overtraining rather than footwear so the proof of the pudding...

  • I agree that 'less is more' in terms of running shoes, we weren't born with anything on our feet so all this cushioning is simply unnatural.

    The Olympic Marathon has been won barefooted and Zola Budd was not too shabby despite not using shoes.

    I bet if I'd posted that on the Asics thread it wouldnt have lasted long! image

    Is this thread full of rebels by any chance? image

    Nice to meet Kaysdee at the parkrun this morning - good luck at Chester tomorrow!

  • parkrunfan wrote (see)
    Is this thread full of rebels by any chance? image
    I'm 19. Of COURSE I'm a rebel image
  • Question related to the topic. How much of a taper do you recommend for a 10k? I'm giving myself a week currently before my main race, or should I cut back perhaps 10 days prior?
  • TD - I posted my training for 6 weeks leading to my 10K PB on the 'Sub 34 10K' thread the other day if you want to have a look at it.

    The main point relating to your question is that in the last week I did full mileage and 2 interval sessions (6 days out and 4 days out). The last week looked like this:

    Mon 10K Steady(am), 4x400m (1 min) (pm)

    Tues 10K Steady

    Weds 10K Steady(am), 4x1000m (2 mins) (pm)

    Thurs 3 Miles Steady(am), 10 Miles Steady(pm)

    Fri Rest day

    Sat 3 Miles Steady

    Sun 10K PB

    I think the main danger with 10Ks is actually over tapering. As always, attempt to keep the intensity but reduce the volume of the quality work during the taper to bring yourself to a peak......

  • Thanks prf. Currently, I'm planning on running a full week's mileage the final non-week taper, then cutting down majorly during the race week itself. VO2 max intervals on the Tuesday and 10k pace on the Thursday, then 2 total rest days before the race. And obviously reduced easy mileage in between the sessions.

    What would you recommend as volume of the hard sessions, about 50%? Or more/less?

  • Which parkrun did you do and how did you get on PRF?

    Off for a long run here.  Really looking forward to it too and surprisingly no aches on walking after track session yesterday.

  • It was Newcastle, Hilly.

    A bit windy with cows everywhere but a nice fast course, not quite as fast as Hull but not bad.

    I managed 4th in18:19, which I was pleased with because it came at the end of a period of 7 quality sessions in 12 days (2 intervals, 2 MP 10Ks, 3 races). Curly came 5th in 22:26, which was just a few seconds off pb.

    Good luck on the long run, you know you're getting pretty fit when you can brush track sessions off with little or no soreness. We'll be going out soon to try to squeeze in something like 17 miles before the Monaco GP starts.

  • The Duckinator wrote (see)

    Thanks prf. Currently, I'm planning on running a full week's mileage the final non-week taper, then cutting down majorly during the race week itself. VO2 max intervals on the Tuesday and 10k pace on the Thursday, then 2 total rest days before the race. And obviously reduced easy mileage in between the sessions.

    What would you recommend as volume of the hard sessions, about 50%? Or more/less?


    Yep, that sounds about right, 50% of normal volume but the same intensity as usual.

    I'd suggest doing a light jog the day before though, it doesnt have to be much (2-3 miles very light) but it helps to stop any accumulation of waste products, think of it as a little flushing out exercise.

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭
    parkrunfan wrote (see)
    Is this thread full of rebels by any chance? image

    You looking for those mixed chocolates you always nosh in the cinema?

    So, anyway, what's that magic intervals formula for finishing a marathon with less than six weeks training?

    Off for a long run this morning too.  Quite looking forward to the cooling wet stuff!  Do have some little aches after some fartlek yesterday as it was the first speedy session of the period.  Hopefully that'll fade en route.

  • I'm off out too. Only going to do 2 hours (about 14 miles) today, I don't want to be totally shattered before the race next Sunday. I'll probably get to a weekly mileage of about 57, which isn't bad at all.
  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    Back, at last! image

    20 today, unfuelled except water.  Also totally steady HR throughout.  Felt great at 2 hrs, then progressively more crap to about 2:30, and finally plodded home in around 3:10.  By sticking the HR though, the pace remained steady also, regardless of how slowly I felt I was running.  Maybe just a touch slower over the back hour than the first two.

    Weekly mileage I think is 48, plus 75 on a bike.

    So today's mental debate while running solo was on diet.  You can approach fat burning through exercise or diet, so is it best to do both - shift to a low carb / controlled carb diet whilst running high mileage?  As long as the calorie quantity is enough to fuel the exercise, is it beneficial to steer away from the carbs?  Is low GI ok for running?  Or are sweets and chocolate not a problem?  (I figure they defeat the object of switching to fat burning, even make it more difficult to achieve physiologically.)

  • Well done Curly and PRF on the parkruns.  Sounds like both your training is coming together.

    Ratzer - I'm no expert on diet, but I wouldn't shift to a low carb/controlled carb diet whilst running high mileage as surely you need the carbs to refuel.  Low fat diet with high carbs is what I've always done during high mileage and I've never bombed on long runs with this diet.  Also, during high mileage training and this kind of diet I find weight comes off gradually, if there's any to come off and then stabilises.

    I had a lovely run today, 75% off road over just about every terrain.  So good to be out in nice weather.  Felt so strong again.  I think the training is starting to show and I love the feeling, which makes the tough days worth it.

    Observation now the sun and open toe shoes are out - lost toe nails, how to avoid?  I've painted them with polish, lol, but would rather not lose them in the first place.  My shoes are the right size, I think it was during marathon training that a few got bruised and it's taken weeks for them to drop off - yuk!

  • I didn't have a good run today. 1:55, 13.5 miles, so a reasonable pace, but I felt really sluggish and heavy legged throughout. I reckon it's the last 8 weeks starting to catch up on me now. Never mind, I get a nice, slow week before my race on Sunday.

    My mum ran a 40:45 10k today image She's 51, need I remind you.

  • Was that the Manchester 10k, TD?  Pretty good eh!  I bet she has a good age grading.
  • Your mum is fab TDimage

    Hilly - my toe nails have only ever got manky when wearing ill fitting shoes in the early days of running but I remember the nail varnish trick very well! I love the off road running too, it seems so much more uplifting than pounding the streets. There's one particular route that's a real killer but it's so beautiful in parts I sometimes just stop and take it in.

    I would be careful about cutting back the calories too much when running decent mileage. In my experience that's when you need the energy most. Low fat, high carbs (from good whole grain sources) would seem sensible and easy on the carp food and alchohol seems to work for me. Actually, I pay more attention to my diet when training hard.

    Having said that, this week I found that I had put on 2lbs since lowering my mileage after marathon training. This freaked me out, I never put on weight - ever! So, of course I completely ignored the advice I have just dished out above and drastically cut down on food of all descriptions. I have felt dreadful all week, really tired and lacking energy (doh- no surprise there Sue) Mr C finally got cross and said 'it's only two bl**dy pounds, it will come off again when you pick up the mileage' and proceeded to cook a huge roast chicken dinner and apple pie for pud. I feel great! image

  • Thanks, Hilly!

    I've never had a problem with  toe nails at all until a little incident a few weeks ago. I somehow forgot by running shoes when setting off for the Frimley parkrun and was faced with a choice of not doing it, running barefoot or borrowing Curly's racing shoes.

    When you consider that they were three sizes too small it was a wee bit of a squeeze to get into them but they felt comfortable enough. Well they did for the first lap but the second lap felt as though my feet were throbbing to five times normal size. Not too surprisingly lost toe nails resulted and I havent forgotten my shoes since! image

    We had a nice relaxed LSR in the sun as well this morning, 18 miles of relaxed sun bathing! image

    Ratzer - Diet wise I am convinced that there is only one way to approach fuelling your body and that is to eat according to your appetite - thats what its for after all. The appetite becomes much more reliable in terms of its signals the more exercise you undertake, become sedentary and it stops paying much attention and isnt really too bothered about what you eat.

    I just have a general rule that wherever possible stick to natural foods in preference to any processed stuff and you will get all the nutrition that you need.

    Well done on the 20 miler.

    TD - I wouldnt worry about sluggishness, some of the runs have got to be like that if you're training to a decent level. Just accept that the session has achieved its purpose and look forward to enjoying future sessions when the sluggishness has worked its way out.

    Your mum is not too bad, is she? I cant see any Mrs Duckinators in the Manchester results though so it must have been another race. image

  • It was Castle May I believe - the most northerly 10k in Britain. She's got a WAVA of about 88% I think image

    Manchester would be good to do but as we live in Aberdeenshire it's a bit far to go image

     parkrunfan wrote (see)

    TD - I wouldnt worry about sluggishness, some of the runs have got to be like that if you're training to a decent level. Just accept that the session has achieved its purpose and look forward to enjoying future sessions when the sluggishness has worked its way out.


    True. I've been feeling a bit sluggish the past few days to be honest, but as soon as I felt it today I just eased back and decided to just get round with no time worries. As it turned out, I averaged 8:35/mile (which is an average sort of pace) so it wasn't that bad in the end.

    I'm going to be running slow(er) this coming week, to get the base benefits in and not to tire myself out.

    Edit: As we're on the subject of nutrition, I've been humming and hawing the past few days about nutrition, which is definately the weakest part of my running. As I'm living in a catered halls of residence this year I haven't had much say as to what I eat, but I'm home in 2 weeks for summer, so I'm determined to try and revamp my diet. Any suggestions for good foods to eat? Bearing in mind I'm described at home as a talking bin. 

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    This is the odd thing about diet for distance.  Agree, prf, that appetite tells you when you need to eat, but mine tells me eat quick release carbs NOW!!  image  Your body can actually get attuned to the fact that certain foods give you a sugar hit.  So I get back from a long run and I'm craving chocolate and denying myself.  Should I deny myself?

    I'm certainly not worried about calorie control, as I said in my previous post, but about carb control.  Sue C, you said you switch to Low Fat, but why is that?  Fat is a denser source of energy than carbs, but also slower release.  Having done those years of lazy weights I know that bodybuilders switch to what they call ketogenic diets to control bodyfat, but the diets are high fat and low carb.  (Power lifters do the switch in the week before competition, then go back to carbs one to two days before to carb-load as this increases the amount of muscle glycogen above the norm - some marathon runners are doing this too.)  So if low-carb diets can switch you to fat burning, do high carb diets defeat the fat burning that we're training for?  Does anyone know someone on a low-carb diet that is running successfully, without side-effects?  What is the optimum diet?

    I'd say get rid of the sweet stuff, and like Sue C recommends stick with the wholegrains, but I wondered if anyone's gone further and even found it beneficial???  And TD, use the Motorway Service Petrol Station Rule: if you can get it in a motorway service station garage, it's not good. image

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    On the diet thing - my diet is relatively poor (for a runner not in comparison to most peoples), but I am a carb fanatic - I feel so much better when I eat lots of carbs...but I am happy to eat sugars as well (choccie anyone?). I am not going to get hung up about food, but I do make sure I eat a minimum of 5 fruit and veg a day - my one and only food rule image

    If you run mostly in the fat burning zone then your appetite wont require as many carbs than if you run at faster paces, but that doesnt mean you should low carb it - you will be eating less carbs than runner who works at higher intensities, but not low in overall picture.

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭

    I just wanted to check in as I’ve been following this thread with interest but haven’t got round to posting much. I’ve got a 10k on Wednesday evening and all seems set for my first sub 40. Fingers crossed. 

    Curly I’m with you on diet – I make sure to get my 5 a day but apart from that I’m not too hung up on what I eat. As I’m still on the newish runners upward curve and my times keep dropping I’m happy but I guess once I plateau I might start taking more notice of things like diet so I can squeeze more time off my pbs.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Good luck for sub 40 attempt Mr Viper! How do you feel about the race - is it a tough target or should it be achieveable?

    I do think it is that while you are making improvments with training and not in the splitting hairs period (diminishing returns) then it is definitely less important, same goes for cross training, core work etc...they all bring stuff to the mix but I feel at the moment I am making improvements without focusing too much on them.

  • Mr VMr V ✭✭✭

    Thanks Curly – it’s definitely achievable as I ran 40.20 on a very hilly course 2 weeks ago. This course is pretty flat and fast so assuming conditions are ok and I pace myself properly I should do it. Having said that come race day you never quite know what will happen so will just have to wait and see.

     I share your thoughts re the diminishing returns stuff – though I always try to keep ‘best practice’ in mind re core work, diet etc and work backwards from there if that makes sense!

  • Good luck with the sub 40 attempt, Mr Viper.... that is one of the big milestones in running so there could be a huge sense of satisfaction coming your way if all goes well!

  • Mr V, just saw which race you're doing on Fetch (was looking at it myself)... don't know if you've done it before, but everyone I speak to says it is a definite pb course. Good luck!
  • Morning guys

    Having had an excellent few days of training last week I came down with yet another horrid cold virus, that's turned into a cough.  I'm not ill in myself, which is why I carried on as normal, but last night I had to stop my easy run early as my throat was buring and making me cough.  Anyhow, I've woke this morning and found it's eased off a bit, so hopefully training will continue.  Although I've decided not to run this morning and just do the session this evening.  Anyone have any ideas how to build the immune system?  As the doc, when I went last month, said I had a low immunity and it just needed to build back up.  I don't want to go back again just because I keep getting colds.

    I'm going to start taking echinacea, vit C and multi vit.  BR says I need more fruit in my diet as I'm quite poor at eating that.   And I take selenium, which the doc said to take.  Not sure what else I can do?  I seem to pick up a virus 1 week in every 4 - it's so frustrating!

  • Hilly, I dont know whether fruit is the answer but I certainly eat lots of it, especially grapes. Its not unusual for me to get through two full punnets of grapes per day plus an assortment of other fruits and smoothies etc.

    I very rarely get colds of any significance and if I do they're gone in no time - so, fruit may or may not be the answer but its got to be worth a try.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    Wow Hilly - that is a lot. I never got ill before I took up running and while I do seem to get more sniffles it passes quickly now too!

    Fruit smoothies maybe a good idea if you arent a fruit fan... 

    Not sure about general immune system though although its based on white blood cells, so I think there are a number of possible dietry causes - low protien is a big one as is iron...might be worth asking the doc to do a full range of bloods because dont runners need a higher iron count than normal people and doctors can view it as 'normal' when in fact its low - I'm sure Moraghan was talking on this subject to Kaysdee recently.

  • Thanks PRF and Curly - had full set of bloods and yes I have low iron and am taking stuff for that.  I've always had a low iron count, so that one is being dealt with.  I eat more protein than I used to, so I think that one is covered.  I will eat more fruit and see if that makes a difference. 

    I also work with kids all day and they're always coming in snotting everywhere, but unfortunately I can't change thatimage

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