The Middle Ground



  • Did you resist the urge DT?!

    6 for me today to round off a cutback week of 20 miles. Slightly sore calf this weekend, so I took it a bit cautiously today but it felt ok through the run.

    Alehouse - yes, 100 miles pcm is the plan! Probably not until March though, as you say.

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    nope, 7 miles done to give 66 for week. Definitely a non running day tomorrow. 
  • Just got done with the first four week block of my base building, which also marks my first ever four weeks of running with a plan. The urge to test my form was too strong, so I did a 5k test just to check where I'm at and to adjust my paces. Ended up just shy of 20 minutes on snow covered streets in -7C. Shaved 1:50 of my previous PB. The previous one was set during a 10k in september, and since then my training was «running when I felt like it» until January, then running more structured and doing about one hard session a week to build a good base for HM training. Quite happy with the result if I may say so myself.

    Got three more four week blocks of high-ish volume and less intensity planned before I kick into more race specific training come May. 

    How often should I do a test like this? At the end of every block? Every other block? Or should I just wait until I'm done building the base?
  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    8 hours...I've love 6 hours undisturbed right now.  

    On the plus side, I got the Mrs setup on the turbo trainer at home and she's happy to be able to do exercise again after 9 months.
  • Good work Espen - sounds like you have a lot of untapped potential if you can shave that much time off already (although if the previous time was set within a 10k then it isn't really a fair comparison as it was 5k run at 10k pace, whereas the recent time trial was presumably at full 5k effort so was bound to be a bit quicker). Especially good if you are just still effectively in base training though. If I were you I'd definitely keep one harder session in for the time being. Personally, I prefer tempo/threshold runs as the session to maintain during the base phase, but others favour intervals. Should leave you with a great base from which to get into some HM specific training in May.

    I set out last night intending to do a 3.5 tempo session. Midway through the mile warm up I had a coughing fit and had to stop to throw up! Once that was done with, I felt fine for the rest of the warm up and therefore carried on into the tempo section. Target pace was around 7.08-7.10, but the first 2 miles came in at 7.15 and 7.11 and felt really high effort. I stopped after two miles, cueing a further wretching and vomiting incident (good job it was dark and the streets were deserted!). At that point I decided to bin-off the rest of the tempo and just did 1.5 miles warm down to get home.

    It was strange as I'd felt fine all day, and actually was fine when I got home and managed a large paella for dinner with no further problems, so I'm not sure what caused it. I'm putting it down to the cold air getting down my throat (which has been bad for over 2 weeks now) and just triggering coughing fits and wretching.

    Hoping for better luck in tonight's 5 mile easy paced run.

    DT - although this is the only thread that I really ever post on, I do lurk on others including the 'Overdone It' thread. I see you've been having a discussion today about 'tempo' runs. As you know, I follow Daniels' VDOT plan and he doesn't refer to tempo and simply includes threshold runs (so I suppose when I refer to my tempo runs, I really mean threshold) which he defines as:

    Generally in the range of 83-88% of VO2max or 88-92% of HRmax. Threshold pace is comfortably hard running for either a steady 3-4 miles (or 5 to 6km) or repeated runs of 5 to 15 minutes each, with 1 to 3 minutes of rest between the runs

    On what basis, therefore, would anyone ever do hmp or mp runs (which you and others seem to do too)? Are these only really necessary when training for longer races than 10k? Do you do them instead of threshold runs?

    I think I am training correctly based on the VDOT plan and the fact that I am only training for up to 10k, but just wanted to understand the logic behind the other types of tempo run and making sure that I shouldn't be doing those sorts of tempo runs some weeks instead of threshold?

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Espen, sounds like you are going well. I suspect the years of cycling at a high level will bring things through much quicker than you average chap!

    So, big tempo yesterday, hence the discussion Andrew alludes to. 10 miles at 'tempo' came out at 6.27mm average. First half was a bit of a cruise and second half I was working harder, though my half and half split had the second half 17 seconds faster than the first half, which was also part of the plan.

    I think there are a lot of schools of thought on this Andrew. I very rarely go out and run a threshold session and in fact work more to effort as fatigue stress etc mean that what is threshold 1 day is not the next.

    Working at mp is a good steady run at the top end of the aerobic scale, so whilst running all your easy runs at that pace, which is what many do, is in my view junk miles, having focused mp session is good for aerobic development and also doesn't leave you as tired as a full on session.

    A lot of my sessions involve mixed paces at 10k and hmp effort. I think the logic behind this is that I am working either side of threshold, which in itself many believe is better than working bang on threshold but also working up and down between those efforts means that for some part I will be working bang on threshold effort.

    There are also more than just physiological reasons for training at certain paces. A big part of the marathon is the mental battle and knowing you have done xxx at mp etc is important. Also last year I spent a lot of time running at 6.45-6.50mm pace so that I could dial straight into. I think it is called genetic blueprinting. Plus your body adapts to running at say 6.45 pace if you do it often enough and will get more efficient at it.

    Again, my tempo yesterday provide a big mental boost after my last 2 half maras have gone badly I have questioned whether I have lost my ability at that distance. Had I continued from 10 miles yesterday to 13.1, which I could have, I would have run an 84.30 half. That tells me that with a taper and in a race environment I have definitely not lost it.

    I am sure others will have different explanations but that is my view.

  • DT - Ok, think I get it! So basically if some of my threshold miles actually come in at either 10k pace (7.00mm) or HMP (7.20mm) then that is not such a disaster?
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    No not all. That might even be threshold on that day. i think there's plenty to be had working either side of it. Whilst i have a pace range in mind, my runs are scheduled at hmp effort or 10k effort as it might be windy or i might be suffering other stresses etc. I know for a longer tempo run then my average hr should be between 165 and 170bpm. For mp it should be about 160. Sometimes that has produced 6.40mm and some days 6.55. 
  • Thanks, that's good to hear.

    After my travails on Tuesday night, I knocked out 5 miles last night at a very comfortable effort and an easy 8.57 pace, which was encouraging.

    Intervals session planned for tonight - 4x600, targeting around 6.15-6.20 pace.

  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    5 miles easy yesterday and calves were feeling twingy.  Going to take today off running and see where they are Friday.  With the lack of sleep, everything feels like a huge effort but I have a desire to keep up some level of activity.

    Excellent tempo DT19, puts you in a great position for this year's marathon season.

    Another good set of running AndrewD, you seem to be on a roll so just keep it up.

    Welcome espnhb, good to see a new face in here.
  • I looked a bit more closely into the correct paces for intervals before I did my session last night, and established that for 600m reps the pace should be more like 6.25. Anyway, first rep was rubbish (6.35), but the last 3 were 6.21, 6.28 and 6.23 so came out to an average around the right pace. Just need to find a way to get into the correct pace on rep 1!

    48 hours off now, lovely!

    JGav - from memory, I recall how draining the first few weeks are, so you're doing well just to get out and do anything to be honest! Today may not be the best day to try another run though, unless you like running in 60mph winds of course ;-)

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Yes you'll feel better for maintaining some activity, JGav.

    I always find my first rep is too fast or too slow, Andrew.

    13 yesterday over lunchtime as I was wfh. I had a few Wednesday night and this was a bit of an effort in the end.

    4 recovery today, I may well take to the treadmill, looking out of the window. 

  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    Royal Park Half rejection email today to go with my Ride 100 rejection magazine which came this week.  Not a great week for race entries.
  • JGav - could be a blessing in disguise, given the other priorities you have which will be eating into training time!

    8.5 long run for me yesterday. Felt good for 7 miles and then developed a little niggle on the outside of my knee in an area where I've had issues before. Nursed it through to get back home (last mile and a half was slow) and as it happens I have until Wednesday night before my next planned run, so fingers crossed a little bit of rest will do the trick!

  • The little niggle on the knee, as it is not the first time AD, suggests that strengthening and stretching is necessary! Will benefit the cricket too! I would be working on building up the muscles above the knee and also the glutes. These two areas are the key shock absorbers and also provide stability. Just saying!

    Plenty of other races, JGav

    Taper time, DT!

    Another 40k week last week, so gradually building up whilst managing niggles. First "speed " session last week: just 90 seconds x 2 with one minute recovery. Will build this slowly as well. Achilles wasn't too keen on the session!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Decent mileage, Alehouse.

    Andrew, I've learnt that weak glutes and hips are the source of a lot of problems. My little glute activation and strength routine is done on the living room floor is about 7 minutes.

    A very enjoyable 18 for me sunday. One of those runs where you just feel like you could go all day.

    A bit of a sharpener today with 8 x 3 minutes at HMP. Very little then the rest of the week.

  • Alehouse - you are no doubt absolutely correct. I can't even blame lack of time, given that as DT says I could probably do a decent strengthening regime in less than 10 minutes two evenings a week whilst watching TV! I think the problem is twofold - 1) I find strengthening routines incredibly boring, and 2) I am a little bit clueless as to what exercises to actually do.

    Knee (and the legs in general) still feels a bit delicate so I will have to see how tonight's 2 mile warm up goes before deciding whether a 3.5 threshold run is sensible or not!

  • Amazingly knocked out the best feeling run for about 3 weeks! 1.5 warm up, 3.5 tempo miles (7.06, 7.09, 7.05, 7.10 paces for a 7.08 average) and a warm down. Very comfortable and bang on target pace.
  • AndrewDAndrewD ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019

    As a follow-up, did 5.5 miles last night which came out at 8.47 average, which is a good 10 seconds per mile quicker than it usually is for this sort of run, for the same effort. I wonder if some training adaptations have kicked in? Might explain the slight fatigue and niggles over the past week or so?

    DT - good luck on Sunday! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    Not been on much, what with the lack of running.  Got on the bike this evening, which was nice.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    mixed morning in Wrexham. Went through 10 miles at 6.17mm for about what woukd have been a 25 second pb. I was in cruise mode and ticking over well then from nowhere i had this overwhelming gag urge. Stopped briefly to settle but then couldnt quite regain my rhythm. Came in 83.44 missing a pb by 9 seconds from a position of comfort with 3 miles to go. 

    Still, my last 2 halves have been disasterous so it's pleasing to reassure myself im still in the mix and log a sub 84 for the year. 
  • Unlucky DT - 9 seconds is nothing. Have you got another half coming up any time soon? Or is it now full on marathon focus?

    8 miles for me yesterday. I stuck in a couple of miles in the middle a bit quicker at 8mm pace as some sort of an attempt at running some miles at MP (or something close to it). 6 weeks until target 10k now.

  • That will, of course, be a WAVA best for the half, DT! And shows you are both in PB shape for a half and on track with your training. 

    AD: going nicely!

    Time to find a routine, JGav! And yes, I know it is difficult!

    Mixed week last week when I tried to do too much and nearly paid the penalty: hamstrings, glutes, hips, one Achilles and one calf suffered from longish runs on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. Silly me! Easy week this week ahead of the Last Friday of the Month 5k in Hyde Park on Friday.
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Alehouse, It wasn't very far off my actual WAVA best over any distance. My previous hm wava was 74.91 and yesterday was 75.37. My best overall is 75.58.

    Andrew, sounds like a decent run yesterday. I think a few mp miles in there would do you no harm. You do need to ever want to run a mara to log some mp miles, a useful pace for fitness gains without going to the well.

    Yes, important not to get greedy and take note of the body screaming at you, Alehouse.

  • Thanks DT - the problem I had was trying to work out what MP would be! The calculators would suggest, based off my 10k pb time, that MP was around 7.40mm but that seemed a little sharp to me hence running the MP miles at 8mm.

    Need to re-jig my week around again this week, so I'm planning my intervals session tonight (4x600 again).

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Given the short nature of your time spent in that zone you should head for the sharper side of mp. My mp is generally about 70-80 seconds a mile faster than my easy runs.

    Easy 8 planned tonight to ease back into things.

  • DT - my easy/long run pace is around 8.50-9mm pace, so 70-80secs off that would be in the 7.40mm region which the calculators say then. Thanks, I'll use that pace on my next MP run.
  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    Physio session this morning confirmed that I've glute activation issues on my right side.  Probably the cause of the foot pain and calf niggles I get.  Lot's of glute strength and calf strength work needed.

    Headed off for an easy 30 mins lunch run and ended up cutting it short as the calf niggle was back with a vengeance.  Walked it back in as I didn't want to do any more damage.  Back to bike work for the moment.

  • Bit of a mixed bag for my run last night. By way of background, I have worn orthotic inserts in all of my shoes for the past 7 or 8 years to correct issues that were being caused by over-pronating. The ones that I were using were (literally) falling apart, so I went to get some new ones fitted yesterday.

    The run was an interval session, and the average pace for the 600m intervals was 6.21mm which was pretty good, and the pace felt comfortable. So far, so good.

    The bad news is that the new orthotics started cutting into the soles of my feet about halfway through the run and by the end of the warm down home every step was very painful. Today, I am the proud owner of a blister on each foot (on the top inside part of the arch, just below the big toes) - not sure how this is going to affect running for the next few days and what, if anything, I can do to stop the problem reoccurring. I recall having some issues like this in the last, but not recently so it suggests that the orthotics need to soften down a touch as I wear them in. In the meantime, I may have to wear some form of blister pads or two pairs of socks or such like!

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Andrew, yes I would assume that they just need to wear in. I sometimes have that issue with new road shoes generally.

    You can apply some glide type gel to the area to avoid further issues until they settle.

    8 mile hilly MLR last night. Legs were heavy but felt better for it afterwards and today. Just 5 easy today.

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