The Middle Ground

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  • Moraghan - those times are from another planet. I reckon trying to average your 400m time for just 100m would be a tough call.

    So what are the prospects looking like for the European medal now?

    Hilly - Should be an interesting blog. Will keep having a nosey. image

    Another parkrun for me this morning, 4th at Finsbury, and happy with how the legs are starting to come back to life post marathon. I'm really looking forward to 11 weeks of faster stuff. image

  • prf - very good chance in the 800m which I've now extended my trip to cover.  1500m I'm really not so sure.  The Euro Masters are a weird meet from what I can tell - never know what the standard will be and it will also sound better than it actually is - but not sure what other champs an old git like me would go for!

    Next weekend I am running the 800m then 1500m in the County Champs, which will give me a better idea of 1500m chances.

  • Worst case of DOMS I had was this years Brass Monkey where the majority of training I had done at that point was hilly off road routes. 13.1 miles of flat tarmac hurt!  So, undertrained for that surface I guess.

    Blimey Moraghan, in awe of those times!

    Curly - Still in recovery phase, my sessions per week since Lochaber have been 0, 4 (this week), 5 and 6  in the next two weeks, building gradually in length too. I actually feel great and could do more I suspect. However, my last 4 marathons have totally wiped me out and this was the feedback I gave to Liz when we discussed recovery history in some depth prior to Lochaber so she will have set this phase using that information. Whether I feel great because I have been so conservative in recovery or whether I had a strong marathon I am not sure.

    Edit - I read your blog, I have on occasion used the TPT routes, lovely. I use the Leeds Country Way a lot - equally nice for those off road, steady, 'good for the soul' runs!

  • I had DOMS after Silverstone Half - I also had to walk XC back to the B&B to get to the car though. I'd had a 2-week taper by then and I reckon I squeezed every last second out of that race - I couldn't have done it any better than I did.

  • Moraghan -

    Considering that you were ranked UK No6 V35 in 2009 and No.3 so far in 2010 for 800m, its not a bad base to have a crack at a European medal.

    And I'm sure its just as impressive as it sounds, or at least more impressive than your 'out of the box' cake designs. image

  • Rcaed in my home town 10k today and clocked 40.20 on a very tough and hilly course and even got a medal for 3rd local male.  Very optomistic of going sub 40 in my next 10k in 2 and a half weeks time - when you look a Moraghan's times though I don't feel quite so good about myself image
  • Very nice Mr Viper - on a flat course, I'm sure you'll blast it.

    One day, we shall transcend to his level. 

  • Also - I now have a blog, wherein I shall cry and bitch about my day. There may also be some running involved. http://theduckinator.blogspot.com/
  • Well done Vipers - a hilly course is worth a lot more than 20 seconds so I think the sub 40 is coming...even if not next time, sometime soon no doubt!

    I have no hope of ever being anywhere near Moraghan in times but then I am not cut out for short distances...10 miles is by far my favourite distance! 

  • Well done, Viper, on beating Moraghan to the medals. image (Having said that I got a nice shiny one for doing the bag lorry duties last week, I've heard they're going down well on ebay! image ).

    That sub 40:00 is a given now....

     Promising blog there, TD... will read with interest.

  • Okay so todays LSR trialled another idea I am working on which is that energy drinks and water in your stomach are counterproductive (whatever the carb benefits) and particularly in me lead to painful stitches...

    Anyway did 16.8 miles without liquid of any kind and the pace was fine but the last lap was a bit tougher than it has been previously - anyway it seems to be going well so far.

    I wondered if others have/had experience on this and their thoughts -mainly I am doing it to avoid stiches/stomach cramps, but I also have a theory that not using sports drinks in training allows the body to adjust more to fat burning when tired.

  • Curly - yes it will train your body to burn more fat as a fuel.  However it will take longer to recover from the run than if you had refuelled en route.  It depends on what your objective is - if you have an important session you need to nail in 2 days I'd go for the fuelling option.  If it's base building then the sans drinks.

    FWIW I rarely drink on a long run as I can't be bothered and don't need to.  But I should be mindful of the point I've just made!

  • Curly, snap! Due to how bad I felt at Blackpool and on recent LSR's, I had decided to try to get by on as little as I could in future. I don't drink energy drinks, just water, but would have previously taken probably 1-2 gels if running between 15-20, maybe 3 if doing 22, although in a marathon I'd aim for every 4-5 miles. To check if it was the gels, I used jelly babies in last week's 17 and didn't feel much better.

    I'm not a big drinker anyway in training or races (can feel it sloshing around even if I have just a few sips), but I did my 16 today on no liquid or fuel of any kind and I felt fantastic. I aim to keep this up until I get closer to racing and then practice fuelling strategy in a few of my LSR's before the day. 

    What I have found that makes the biggest difference is refuelling immediately, like within 5 minutes of finishing. That's where the chocolate milk comes in handy image and then eating within 20 minutes, sooner if possible. Not always practical though.

  • Nice one Viper, great run. I agree sub 40 should be yours on a flatter course.

    Curly - I agree with BR and Kaysdee. I am unconvinced about the need to take on additional energy to fuel a LSR in itself. But if you decide to run your long runs without  taking on fuel then you are likely to be significantly depleted by the end. That would concern me personally in terms of recovery for my Tuesday session and the possibilty of compromising an important workout.  Also, depleting your carb stores will leave your immune system vulnerable for longer whilst it replenishes itself and therefore increase your risk of illness.

    So, if I am running for longer than 90 minutes I will take a gel with me, over two hours gel(s) and drink. Not because I need it for the run but because of the above. 

  • Its nice to see some agreement on the drinking/fuelling issue.

    I stopped runnning for a while and when I started again it was as if I had woken up in a parallel universe. Reading some comments you would think people were in danger of dying if they had to run more than 2 miles without a drinks station.

    For me, theres no need for drinks of any sort on training runs and that includes 25 milers, intense workouts etc etc. Hydration is what you do before and after a session not during.

    I've certainly tried drinking on long runs but didnt notice any particular benefits. The only effect seems to be to make pee stops come into the equation, suggesting that the liquid was unwanted by the body anyway.... talk about ungrateful.

    Regarding gels, again I've never taken one but am not convinced of any great benefit that cant be achieved by training. There were no gels about during the 70s/80s when much faster average times were being run and the very fast guys now dont seem to bother with them ... so I suspect theres a strong 'placebo' element to their supposed benefits. People report feeling a 'rush' when they've taken one but that would happen with any increase in blood sugar and doesnt necessarily mean that it has translated into increased muscle glycogen to enable someone to run longer.

    The fact that a lot of people taking gels have training and racing paces that are pretty similar would suggest that they are not in danger of glycogen depletion anyway.

    As a general rule, I would say it is always better to avoid introducing anything into the stomach during racing if at all possible. As soon as you do so, a certain amount of bloodflow will be diverted towards the stomach and away from the active muscles possibly leading to cramps and.or reduced muscle performance.

  • Thanks for all the comments guys - interesting - I always thought I was the only one who didnt enjoy drinks during running!

    I'll take the refuelling on board but my theory is that once I've adapted to it then the recovery shouldnt be too bad - just a period of in betweeness that might hurt a little.

    I won some gels and recovery powder a while back, sent the gels to a friend and the recover powder didnt seem to do anything tbh...

  • Mmmm....... I am no scientist but running a 16/18 miler with no fuel at all will reduce your carb stores which, however/whenever you replenish them, nevertheless will have to be replenished. Not sure I agree that your body will adapt in that capacity Curly and I think you would compromise your recovery for the next sesson. image

    Edit - It's the recovery aspect that bothers me, not the actual performance during the run.

  • Fair enough Sue - like I say I'm going to test the theory and see what happens - because I have 9 weeks till my race and the LSR isnt the key session I think I have a bit of time to play image I feel fine this morning and am off out for a recovery jog shortly so I'll see how that goes.

    I also had a look the other day on pubmed (I work for a medical journal so have access to research) for some non sponsored research and there was very little that would meet the requirements for Cochrane review - all small samples, mostly sponsored in some way and there were very few tests of drink against no drink because the partcipants know they arent drinking so may preducjice the outcome.

    If anyone has any links to hand on published research on this subject then that would be good!

  • It was interesting how McMillan got a really tough press when he suggested doing long runs with no nutrition. Which was surprising considering the act of refuelling on training runs is itself a relatively new fangled idea.

    But the whole point of LSRs is to train the body to use fat preferentially as a fuel source.  You need to get the glycogen stores down low to 'encourage' fat metabolism to become more efficient.

    Studies have shown that the most effective way to improve fat metabolism is to deplete glycogen reserves by a minimum of a third, ie about an hour of reasonably quick running, and then put in some intense efforts. Hence the widespread adoption of fast finish long runs, progressive long runs, long runs with races attached on the end etc.

    If, and its a big if, gels do work as claimed, then they would reduce the benefit of such training. And if they dont work as claimed then theres no point in them anyway. 

    Most LSRs are done at a pace where glycogen depletion is not even a remote possibility so what is the refuelling for? It may as well be done after the session.

    I'm all for adopting new ideas/training methods etc but I just dont see the benefits of all this hydration/refuelling stuff (except for the benefits to Lucozade of course - what a cynic I'm becoming image )

  • I generally take a water bottle with me during a long run (over about 10 miles), but it's really only for when I get thirsty - I'd rather have one and not need it, than need it and not have one. I tend to spit quite a bit image so I need something to moisten my mouth.

    Regarding gels, I don't use them during training. I used to when I first increased my long run, but now I'm much smarter regarding pace so I never get to the stage when I'm in need of one. Interesting note from prf regarding the sugar rush rather than glycogen storage - I used a gel in my last HM at mile 10, when starting to lag, and I felt the effects through the last 3 miles. Could be psychological though. 

    Could you possibly explain the placebo effect? I'm not that medically/biologically minded, I study Geography after all. 

  • TD - As with anything, the placebo effect is the effect of your mind looking for positive confirmation of what it is expecting to happen.

    Thats why all medical trials have guinea pigs taking the medicine under test plus a group taking a placebo (ie a pill with no active ingredients) to compare the difference.

    Or, as you have nicely put it, to test whether supposed benefits are just 'psychological'.

    In terms of the HM, I would say that it was almost certainly psychological considering that you still have oodles of glycogen left at the 10 mile stage. It happens in most races, of any distance, that you can feel dead on your feet until the finish comes into 'mental range' and then suddenly some unknown reserve of energy becomes available.

  • I have an excellent sprint finish for this exact reasonimage
  • Makes sense.

    Can I just go back to the MP + 25% for a moment? How much running would you advocate at that pace if you're not marathon training?

  • Thanks guys for your opinions on DOMS.image

    As I mentioned earlier I did decide to do basically all my runs without taking on gels or sports drinks, just water on the longer runs. I believe because of the pace I was running I never felt any after effects, refuelled immediately at the end and no visible effects on the next days training. I started doing this for two reasons, firstly upset stomach, which seemed to start when I introduced sports drinks into my training and disappeared when I stopped, and secondly after reading how the Kenyans train. Lots of differing views on this one. Definitely on the super six thread I was reading fuelling was recommened left, right and centre!!

  • Ah Zion - thats good on the after effects - been out for a 6 mile recovery run. Felt fine, a little stiff but thats normal for me on a Monday anyway...tomorrow's session will be the real test of course!
  • The Duckinator wrote (see)

    Makes sense.

    Can I just go back to the MP + 25% for a moment? How much running would you advocate at that pace if you're not marathon training?


    Basically, all the 'fill in' stuff.

    Any run which doesnt have another purpose would be around this pace, including the basic LSRs until you start building faster efforts into them. Recovery runs are the only type of run that would typically be any slower than MP+25%.

    Nice 6x1000m session at Battersea for me this morning (3:37,3:35,3:34,3:33,3:32,3:31 - 200m jog) - or, in other words, Moraghan jogging pace! image

  • Are you using my training plan, Curly? image

    I concur. 6 miles done myself, all ok after yesterday, but like you, will see how the HMP session feels tomorrow!

    The fuelling discussion is very interesting. I'd love to be able to not use anything.
    I know someone who's just ran a 2.47 marathon off a flapjack for breakfast!

    I was thinking the other day, when I do run at LSR pace (I'm trying to slow it down!), I don't feel like I need anything and obviously slower pace means more time on feet. Compare that to a race effort, where you have greater intensity, but for a shorter time, in theory should that make any difference?

    So, say example it takes me 2.50 to run 20 miles in training. Racing a marathon I'd expect to be at 20 at around 2.35. Does the fact that I've ran harder really make that much difference in terms of using stores, considering time on feet is shorter? I know there are debates as to the carb/fat burn ratio at different intensities, but would it hold that whatever your carb stores are going in, they'll fuel you through x distance regardless of the time?

    Suppose this is somewhat linked to the arguments of are the people who finish with a slower time ultimately working "harder" because they are on their feet for so much longer. We won't go there... imageimage.

  • I think its more of a rate versus time thing rather than distance - so the speed you are moving is the determining factor, but there must be a point where in training you can replicate the same energy depletion as at the end of race, but for marathon that would involve overtraining because the rate of glycogen use is so much slower..

    For shorter distances though it should be possible to mimick race day tiredness at slower speeds by staying out longer.

    (on the other argument, if you are racing at your training pace as most slower runners do, then you shouldnt need energy drinks unless you have become reliant on them in training because you are running at fat burning level anyway)

  • I think my base is paying off. I did 7.3 miles today in just over 1:00:30 (8:17/mile), which isn't my fastest but I felt very relaxed and in control the whole way, and felt like I could run a lot more by the time I got back.

    Looking back, 8:17/mile pace in December was a full 12bpm average higher. 

  • Wow Duck - 12 bpm is a lot of improvement - does the perceived effort feel a lot less as well?

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