The Middle Ground

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  • Hahaha mine is worse than yours Dan:

    5k 7:11

    10k 7:28

    10m 7:56 (was hilly though and a while back)

    Half 8:52

    Full 10:23

    Less said about the last two the better, but at least 5k to 10k is 17 seconds image

  • Interesting stuff!

    Its the relationships between the distances that help focus where the training effort should be best directed.

    Usually, either speedwork gets ahead of endurance or vice versa and the race paces show this up quite nicely to guide future training.

  • Interesting discussion. After my half on Sunday I was thinking, surely I could go twice the distance at a min/mile slower in the marathon this Sunday and bag a pb. Don't panic, Morgahan, it was just a thought image.

    Mine don't correllate with distance either, yet I think I'm rubbish at shorter stuff and half decent at longer. Statistically, it is the other way around though.

    Mile - 6.25

    5K - 6.46

    10K - 7.10

    Half - 7.34

    Full - 8.35

    With any luck, my MP in Oct will be 7.5x!

  • 7:58 would make a nice pattern! image
  • Curly ... Hadd would squawk at that 10K to HM jump! image
  • Deal! That would make me 1000000% happy as that would put me at around 3.29.

    Mr M will have to work his magic with me then. I can't wait to get started properly.
    I know my "speedwork" has been extremely irregular and poorly paced in the past (just went with any old speed) so I'm hoping to see a big change.

    No pressure for you, Moraghan. image

  • Hadd's "document"  starts with this whole topic ...

    http://www.counterpartcoaching.com/hadd.pdf

    It convinced me that I needed to do much more aerobic work and mileage.

  • Dr.Dan wrote (see)
    Curly ... Hadd would squawk at that 10K to HM jump! image

    image  To be fair that HM was set well over a year ago (Feb 09) and the full was set in Apr 09 and i was very much a beginner at the time (only running since Aug 08) - I got trapped into the idea that distance was the way forward when getting a solid base is!

    Hence why I am doing that now, a bit backwards, but I'm in no rush to crack those pbs - got a half lined up in October to have a bash, but I should get a pb anyway - we've worked out I can run and stop for a cup of tea on the way if I like image

    I dont A race very often, so when I did my 2nd 10k in February I took nearly 8 mins off the previous time...

    Interesting that both Hilly and Kaysdee feel they are better at the longer stuff, not sure if it says anything about anything but it's interesting nonetheless!

  • Ahhh now that is interesting, with regards to poor relationships:
    1. Low mileage background in training
    2. Whatever mileage being done is being run “too fast” (for performance level)

    (from Dan's link above on bottom of page 3)

    Considering that much of the discussion on here has been about running easy miles at WP...

  • Short of time at the moment, but the 10k question provides a good starting point for a related topic.

    One of the most confusing / ignored things about training is the mixing of absolute terms (e.g. tempo = one hour race pace, critical velocity = c. 40-45 minute race pace) with athlete-specific terms (e.g. 5k pace, MP).

    So training at 10k pace would mean different things to different people.  If it takes 60 minutes to run a 10k that, by common definition, is also tempo pace and is likely to have little vo2 max training effect.  Whereas for a runner like PP / BR 10k pace is nothing like 'tempo' pace and assuming they do sufficient rep lengths it would have a significant vo2 max training effect.

    Most of the time this difference in types of training term is glossed over.  For example, saying that 5k pace = vo2 max pace can't be true for both a 14:00 5k runner and a 30:00 5k runner unless you are saying that the slower runner can maintain their vo2 max for twice as long as the faster runner which is patently false.

    There is a speed which must be attained to be operating at your vo2 max and studies have shown this speed can be maintained for about 6 minutes on average.  But what exactly does VO2 max training mean?  Is it training at paces that have been shown to improve vo2 max (3k to 10k), or is it training at an individuals actual VO2 max pace (1200m to 3k)?  Or is it, as I like to think, a combination of both?

    Or is 5k pace training effective for 5k racing because it's race pace training and as a by product has a positive influence on vo2 max (even though it's not really at that intensity).  

    In practical terms you've got to like multi-pace training (as long as you change the emphasis throughout the year).  If a 5k runner trains at 1500m, 3k, 5k, 10k and longer paces then your bases are covered and, as Phil mentioned, you're covering the continuum.

    What a ramble....sorry.

    Btw - Curly.  3 * 1 mile first time in spikes is a very bad idea.  Totally different from flats because most runner's foot position changes in spikes.  Your Soleus probably won't be pleased with you tomorrow.

  • Curly45 wrote (see)

    Ahhh now that is interesting, with regards to poor relationships:
    1. Low mileage background in training
    2. Whatever mileage being done is being run “too fast” (for performance level)


    That's true in many cases.  But for me that is also saying that muscle physiology is either irrelevant or completely trainable.  Personally I find it too agenda-based in Hadd's case.   I will never be able to make my marathon match my mile time.  It's like me saying that having a relationship that tight or tighter means that your short speed is poor and that needs to be worked on.

  • It is definitely one of the biggest factors in making progress.

    How often do you hear people who dont seem to be getting anywhere saying that they only have 'one running pace'.

    It is never true.

    Frank Horwill always banged on about getting a whole variety of paces into a week's training. The slower the slow stuff, the faster the fast stuff. MP+25% is fast enough for bulk mileage.

    In the last 3 days I've had sessions at 9:41, 8:20 and 5:23 so I should escape a bollocking from Frank this week!! image

  • Curly - I think most probably because I've only ever trained properly for a marathon.  However I am a natural sprinter being one when I was at school and can still move quite quickly (for my ageimage) over sprint distances.  So maybe had I trained for shorter distances before the marathon I would be saying I'm better at them.  Just a thought.
  • Moraghan wrote (see)

    What a ramble....sorry.

    Btw - Curly.  3 * 1 mile first time in spikes is a very bad idea.  Totally different from flats because most runner's foot position changes in spikes.  Your Soleus probably won't be pleased with you tomorrow.

    Not a ramble - very interesting...

    *Makes wibble face* What would you suggest then - bearing in mind I am 10k training and doing an MP tempo later on in the week?

  • Thats a very good point about the terminology meaning different things for different people, Moraghan.

    I'd never thought that 10K could actually equal tempo but of course that has got to be the case at 60:00 10K.

    In terms of VO2 max training I've always worked on the basis that if you do something in the range 800, 1000, 1200, 1600 reps, have rests between 1-2 minutes, do between 3-6 reps and are knackered at the end.... then you'll have done your VO2 max some good somewhere along the line. image

  • Moraghan wrote (see)
    Curly45 wrote (see)
    Ahhh now that is interesting, with regards to poor relationships:
    1. Low mileage background in training
    2. Whatever mileage being done is being run “too fast” (for performance level)


    That's true in many cases.  But for me that is also saying that muscle physiology is either irrelevant or completely trainable.  Personally I find it too agenda-based in Hadd's case.   I will never be able to make my marathon match my mile time.  It's like me saying that having a relationship that tight or tighter means that your short speed is poor and that needs to be worked on.

    In defence of Mr Hadd, he does say:

    But no-one suggests that a single person can be equally good at all distances across the board (apart from rarities like Rod Dixon). Your genetic strengths tend to weigh you more in one direction (speed) or the other (endurance). So, some people’s performances get better as the race gets longer (or shorter). And this is beyond/in excess of a training effect, they are just more gifted aerobically (or anaerobically). BUT there should still be some form of relationship across distances, and this is what I look for when I hear someone’s PR’s.

  • Moraghan - good stuff. When I answered the VO2 max question I realised afterwards that I should've differentiated between people's 10k paces and how they relate to VO2 max, LT, etc.

    Just picking up on this part of your post: 

    Moraghan wrote (see)

    ...what exactly does VO2 max training mean?  Is it training at paces that have been shown to improve vo2 max (3k to 10k), or is it training at an individuals actual VO2 max pace (1200m to 3k)?  Or is it, as I like to think, a combination of both?

    I'd not put much thought into this distinction before but I think it's a useful one, especially when considering what level a runner is at, and what types of training they're used to.  e.g. for an intermediate runner targeting 5k/10k races, who has built up a reasonable aerobic base with regular mileage, you might recommend starting to throw in some faster running, including tempo runs and intervals, in order to improve LT and VO2 max.  But you probably wouldn't advocate running at your true VO2 max pace (close to mile pace for an intermediate?) because it's too intense, maybe suggesting 3k as quickest pace?

    ..not that I'm in the habit of running any quicker myself, although I guess I would if I was taking the shorter distances seriously.  image

  • Ok, so by absolute terms my vo2 max pace is just slower than my 2k pace, and 10k is just faster than critical velocity.

    Very, very interesting. So how can I try and apply this practically to training? 800m repeats @ just slower than mile pace, perhaps (far too intense probably)? 10 minute intervals @ critical velocity?

    This is fascinating but I'm still way too inexperienced  image

  • I'm just passing through as have to go out.  800m pace repeats at just slower than mile pace would kick your arse from here into next month without a month or two of prep workouts!

    The implications of all this are different for every runner.  A 1500m pace based session would be pretty good for a well trained runner - who fits it in correctly into a periodised schedule, but probably only if they had good speed, had built up to it and used short distance reps as part of a longer session.  Prefontaine's 200 / 200 sessions springs to mind as a very good example as the type of session (I think he did 30 secs / 40 secs alternates).

    I do think it's worth putting some thought into what these workouts actually mean.  One of the clear benefits from taking a long term, periodised approach to your training is that you don't necessarily have to be 100% correct - you add in all the pieces in a progressive manner and by introducing multipace training you cover all your bases.  It's the ultimate insurance policy.

    When you look back on what you've done you'd need a lab and a man in a white coat to tell you what worked for you in your situation because (thankfully) you'll be judged on your times which reflect the overall body of your work.

    To answer questions on specific workouts we'd need to consider what came before and what was due to come next.  To a certain extent this is overcomplication.  If you train at 2 paces faster than your race pace, 2 paces slower than your race pace and do plenty of race pace work - all at the correct times in the overall schedule you won't go that far wrong.  (Obviously at the marathon you are running out of slower  paces, but you are likely to do plenty of steady state work  / MP as part of it).

  • Moraghan wrote (see)

    I'm just passing through as have to go out.  800m pace repeats at just slower than mile pace would kick your arse from here into next month without a month or two of prep workouts!

    True. I felt stupid the moment I submitted my post. Let's not mention this moment againimage
    Moraghan wrote (see)
    I do think it's worth putting some thought into what these workouts actually mean.  One of the clear benefits from taking a long term, periodised approach to your training is that you don't necessarily have to be 100% correct - you add in all the pieces in a progressive manner and by introducing multipace training you cover all your bases.  It's the ultimate insurance policy.


    One of my goals for next year is to consider all aspects of running with specific mesocycles. Right now, it's already a bit too late in the year to fully cover everything, considering the races I'm signed up for and am committed to. I'll probably pick your brains more in the autumn about this when I'm back to basing again, and planning my 2011 running year.

    Moraghan wrote (see)
    To answer questions on specific workouts we'd need to consider what came before and what was due to come next.  To a certain extent this is overcomplication.  If you train at 2 paces faster than your race pace, 2 paces slower than your race pace and do plenty of race pace work - all at the correct times in the overall schedule you won't go that far wrong.  (Obviously at the marathon you are running out of slower  paces, but you are likely to do plenty of steady state work  / MP as part of it).

      I only have 10 weeks until my 10k race once I start my schedule, so I don't have too much time to periodise in the mesocycle. Although I have pencilled in sessions that will hit 3k, 5k, 10k, 10M & HM pace during the 10 weeks. So in the "2 below, 2 above" idea you propose I should be ok. Like I mentioned above, next year I'm going to plan my key races far enough apart to be able to periodise in the schedule itself. If only this thread had come a few months sooner than it did...

    *shakes fist at Curly image*

  • Hey dont blame me - been thinking about it for a while but thought everyone would laugh at me image

    Okay well did my session (sorry Moraghan image) and it went okay...cant quite get my head around them yet, certainly need some more practice on more leaning forward, but I go off too fast if I lean too much...anyway average pace wise they were spot on but the reps were all over the place. Got the interval down to 1:40 now though and still happily at the same pace on that so I'm taking it as positive overall image

  • Curly45 wrote (see)

    Hey dont blame me - been thinking about it for a while but thought everyone would laugh at me image

    Aw, I'm sorry - this has been a great thread so far and I enjoy it immenselyimage
  • Okay, I have a question for anyone with a decent level of training diary records to have a look at.

    The question is around the subject of tapering. On this occassion I'm not interested in marathons but distances from 5K to 1/2 marathon.

    We all have ideas of tapering being an easing back on either volume/intensity or both with the most common viewpoint being to decrease volume but keep the intensity level.

    When I look at my two best quality PBs, the 10K and 10 Mile, they involved no tapering at all, ie both the volume and intensity were maintained (or even increased) at the levels of the preceding weeks. These are the race weeks:

    10K:

    Mon (am) 3Miles 8:10/mile, (pm) 4x400 (74,75,68,68)

    Tues (am) 4Miles 8:30/mile, (pm) 6Miles 6:05/mile

    Weds (am) 3Miles 7:30/mile, (pm) 4x1000m (3:08,3:02,2:59,2:57)

    Thurs (am) 3Miles 7:25/mile, (pm) 10Miles 6:26/mile

    Fri Rest Day

    Sat  (am) 3 Miles 7:10/mile

    Sun 10K 33:30 (5:23/mile)

    10 Miles

    Sun (am) 3Miles 6:58/mile, (pm) 10Miles 5:49/mile

    Mon (am) 7Miles 7:00/mile

    Tues (am) 3Miles 6:50/mile, (pm) 8Miles 5:58/mile

    Weds (am) 3Mile 6:35/mile

    Thurs (am) 4x1Mile (5:16,5:18,5:16,5:11)

    Fri (am) 5Miles 7:53/mile

    Sat (am) 3Miles 6:48/mile, (pm) 10Miles 55:37 (5:34/mile)

    So the question is: Has anyone else noticed this pattern whereby their very best performances have come off the back of full weeks rather than tapered weeks?

  • In answer to PRF's question - there's a danger of taking two training weeks in isolation without looking at the other factors behind those pbs, which might be:-

    1.  Flat, well set up course

    2.  Good level of competition to spur you on

    3.  Lack of work stress in the week preceding

    4.  Good weather conditions on the day

    5.  Diet in the few days leading into the race

    6.  That `Factor X' which means some days you fly and other days where you think you should you're not quite there.

    So I'd like to see a few more factors beyond the 7 days training pre-pb.  Even what runs you did in the week before the week before the pb will have an effect.

  • I agree, BR, that two weeks in isolation dont form any sort of pattern but it might do if several people noticed the same thing for what they consider to be their very best PB.

    The 'Factor X' (I like how you avoided paying royalties to Simon Cowell there image) is always there to scupper any theories but I like to think that the 'X' gets smaller over time as we understand a little more through experience.

    Anyway, to put some more meat on the bone so to speak, the more detailed lead ups were:

    10 Miles:

    The race was 7 weeks post marathon. After 2 rest weeks, weekly mileages were 60,63,66,48,60(race week).

    Each week contained a 10 miler around 6:00/mile and either a 4x1mile or a 4x800 session. Everything else was what would be termed steady work.

    10K:

    The 6 lead up week mileages were 44,47,43,62,58,54(race week).

    The first 3 weeks all included a 10 miler around 6:00/mile and a 3x1000m session at approx 3:00/km. The fourth week had two 16 milers so no quality sessions. The fifth week had a 10 miler at 6:00/mile plus a 12xshort hill session and race week had a 10 miler at 6:24 plus a 4x400 and a 4x1000.

    Theres certainly a pattern of the weekly 60 minute 10 milers being quite a key element.

    But the thought I'm still mulling around is whether anything more would have been gained from a significant taper or is it actually more advantageous to 'keep the blood flowing at full speed' in race week?

  • Now you've gone and done it... I need no challenge to look through training records.
    I am a total data freak (sorry Curly, fancy Garmins and all!)

    My two best pb's % wise are the 5K and 5M. Both within normal training weeks.
    Holy cow, have just looked at the week of the 5M and can't quite believe how/why I did that.

    Will post the 2 weeks of each race after a cuppa.

  • Kaysdee - I wait with baited breath...... maybe we're onto something! image
  • I'll follow PRF's format. I can't get into my spreadsheet to work out the weekly mileages easily, but monthly Oct - 109 miles (including recovery after marathon and coming back from injury), Nov - 156m, Dec 170m.

    Just realised the 5M was a week after a great 10M (my only one) race too. 

    5M, 5th Dec09

    9 weeks after a marathon (not at pace), 6 weeks after a disastrous HM.

    40 mile week (which was about normal for me at that time when not marathon training)
    Mon - 4m, 9.10
    Tue - 8m Hills, 8.34
    Wed - 7m, 8.26
    Thur - 5m, 8.30
    Fri - 3.5m, 8.53
    Sat - OFF
    Sun - 10M race, 7.26 (great performance, one of my favourite race experiences)

    45 mile week
    Mon - 4.5m, 8.22
    Tue - 9m, inc 6 x 0.5m @ 5K pace (6.47) 2 min rec
    Wed - 6m, 8.55
    Thur - 13m, inc 12mi @ 7.46 *
    Fri - OFF
    Sat - 5M race, 7.06
    Sun - 7m, 7.58

    These are all actual pace for the sessions.

    *  I was following a RW Smart Coach HM plan at the time. I'm going to get lynched here, my HM pb pace at this time was 7.52. I was only doing 1m w/u and c/d. Looking back, this plan was insane! No wonder Moraghan hates them.

    It's too late for the 5k one, will do that in the morning.
  • In regards to the taper question. I always used to cut my mileage quite a lot and have 2 full rest days immediately before a race, but have found that 1 day is fine now and I seem to perform better when I keep my miles up.

    I'm not quite back to pre-marathon mileage (60mpw), I'm currently around 50.

    I did a 3 week taper for my first marathon and it was torture, 2nd didn't count as was injured anyway and just 2 weeks for a pb at Blackpool (with a 10K pb the Sunday before!)

    The half I just did on Sunday was 5 weeks after Blackpool, one week rest, then 55, 55, 51, but 32 last week (combination of being tired and having appts for kids things meaning I couldn't get out). It is also the first race (where I was serious about wanting a pb) where I've ran the day before. It ended up being around 5m at the parkrun, but easy pace, as you know image.

    So, who knows!

  • PRF - Hadd would agree about the 10 miler being important.  He argued that whatever phase of training you were in, you should do a fortnightly 60 mins at 80-85% MHR (or just below what MP should be). That was to maintain the aerobic threshold solidity - in other words the ability to run at the higher end of steady state without cardiac drift.
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