Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday 16 miles.

am) 6 miles easy recovery jog. Very relaxed and effortless jogging. No HR monitor but I would say that it was below 135 the entire time. I didn't wear a watch as I believe that recovery runs should not be run by pace- rather by feel. I was hitting ~7:00-7:30 pace per mile, seeing those times may have spurred me on to run faster.. pure ego. I started out feeling very tight and a little sore in my soleus. By the end I felt tons better, loose and smooth. Brad Hudson equates this type of running to massage and the end result is similar. Even slow regeneration runs are a huge value, but the sole focus needs to stay on the purpose of the run. Run too fast and the run may actually hurt you- as I am learning. If done right- then there really isn't anything that is junk miles. The key is- as I just said- that each run has to have a specific purpose. When I go out for a run like later this evening, then I do try to hold a certain percentage of my LT and I hope that that pace is fast enough to stimulate muscle and aerobic growth yet not waste me for my track and hill repeat session tomorrow. It's a fine balance and Monday I fell off the tight rope! Learning from that- I ran the short session this morning as recovery giving myself an extra 10 hours of rest and refueling. We'll see how it goes tomorrow as I have given myself a very difficult track and hill repeat session.
An interesting note: at this years men's Olympic Trials marathon a survey was taken of all the athlete's running habits and schedules. Of all the data that was collected the major difference between the 2:14 guys and the 2:20 guys was frequency, or the number of runs each week. The 2:20 guys actually had longer long runs on average and nearly the same over-all volume. I suspect that the 2:20 guys though had jobs and weren't always able to run twice per day. The benefit of two a days is a very proven system with some Kenyans and Ethiopians running 3 times per day from a very young age. Once you have accumulated enough fatigue- even a slower recovery run has a bigger benefit than if you did the same run on fresh legs. Fatigue possibly adding to simulation of a harder run?

pm) 10 miles in 1:07 with an average HR of 142. It was very hot and I was pleased that my HR stayed down. The recovery jog in the morning was a huge help. No soreness or fatigue.


beth said...

this is a fabulous title. i wasn't so sure about "take of your dress...." i was going to suggest, "put on your dress and kick some ass"....hmmmm...maybe i should steal that one!

Lucho said...

Ha! Funny. In your case, yes- put on your dress and kick some ass!

Matt said...

these posts are killer because you seem to really be dialing in your program and that bit of research you generally have gives what you're doing some nice context. Whenever I do "2 a days," per your suggestion a while ago, I always feel great since, as you said, the approach improves the quality of each run (10 + 10 much more efficient than 20 strait). I remember thinking how incredibly beneficial this approach would be for things like weight loss, or improved mental health, or whatever for the average individual struggling (and we are all struggling!). Do 2 in am, 2 at noon and 2 in the pm. You've mentioned the point of engaging the metabolism more often than just once is key. Build to 3, 3, 3 and so on. 1/2 hr. in the a.m., 1/2 hr at noon and 1/2 hr. in the p.m.? that's a cinch! Health and fitness are coming to dinner!

BTW, it was especially nice reading the post with Rob Zombie torchin' one in the BG.

Rock on, homey.

Lucho said...

Matt- The music adds another dimension I think. These are tracts off my i-pod.. Most of the music I listen to has lyrics that touch me and motivate me. Every genre of music has something to offer. From classic Elton John to Daughtry, from Enya to Tupac, from Tim McGraw to Tool. They all can be thought provoking. Tool is perhaps the #1 lyrical band I've ever heard- their writing is quite profound.
Good point in that we all struggle with something- we should never forget that in this community. Fight the good fight and never back down.
Engaging your metabolism multiple times in a day is why the top runners excel on 2 a days. If one runner is running 20 miles per day in one run, and another is doing 2 runs of 10.. the 2 a day guy is training more.. really. He is elevating his metabolism twice as much and is also going to be able to hold an over-all faster pace due to less fatigue.
This is all stuff that has been around since the early 1900's. I think science is just now allowing us to understand the 'sweet spot' of getting the most out of training though.
Thanks Matt.

Dave said...

In reference to the "massage" aspect of a recovery run, do you think a recovery spin on the bike would do more or less? Is it the more eccentric contraction in the legs from running that gives you the benefit? I wonder about this because I ususally do my recovery from hard efforts on the bike or even with a nice easy trail run. Thanks again for all the great info. You rock man!

Lucho said...

Dave- That's a good question and I think it comes down to how injury prone you are as a runner. If you are susceptible to injury then almost certainly- more impact isn't better. An easy spin on the bike would be better. I think there is real benefit from the mental break of running by incorporating cycling too. I love my new MT bike and enjoy going out for a spin.
Why don't we regularly hear about 'elite' runners cycling? It comes down to the theory of specificity.. ie: running is the best way to improve running. Even a short recovery jog has benefit in regards to running improvement.
Cross training for runners is, and has been, a big debate for a long time. I think as we start to understand our physiology better, cross training is becoming a more common thing to see in elite runners. I firmly believe that lifting weights is a good thing as it improves the oxygen carrying capacity of the muscle and improves economy. A debate on whether or not lifting weights reduces time to fatigue is still on the table. Cycling could be a form of strength training and is fairly close in movement to running. One thing to keep in mind is that a runner that has not biked much needs to start conservative in their approach to cycling- they will after all be using muscles in a way that they are not used to. If you end up more sore from the recovery bike then it defeats the purpose. Another thing to consider is cadence on the bike. I would recommend for an easy ride that you use a cadence that is similar to your run cadence to keep it more specific. Using a cadence that is higher or lower than your comfort zone can be stressful. To develop strength however and use the bike as a training tool- you may try doing some muscle endurance intervals where you 'over gear' (use a harder gear) while climbing a hill forcing your cadence down in the 50-60 rev range. This is great for developing strength. You should understand though that this is quite stressful on your Achilles tendon and the tendons in the backs of your knees (tendon of the bicep femoris) and you should avoid 'pulling' up in the back (similar to a leg curl). Also, don't drop your heal at the bottoms of the strokes (foot is dorsi flexed) as this loads your stretched Achilles. Keep your ankle and foot neutral or even pointed slightly (plantar flexion).
And if you're doing a recovery ride then make sure to use that time to hydrate which is a huge part of recovery. Include a high protein snack or meal about 30:00-45:00 before doing the ride.

Dave said...

Wow, thanks a bunch man. I really appreciate all the info. I was mostly just wingin' the recovery wonder I was still sore! I really see the value in optimizing that recovery time (especially with hydration) and will definately use what you said. Thanks again!

Claus Bech said...

Hi Tim, I value your effort to provide advice on training and your ability to combine scientific and empiric knowledge. But I disagree with the following quote: "I firmly believe that lifting weights is a good thing as it improves the oxygen carrying capacity of the muscle and improves economy."
A few years ago I did a review study on strength training for endurance athletes. In most scientific studies it´s generally agreed that adaptations from endurance and strength training are very different and mostly works in opposition to each other. I focused mainly on cycling and running and their very different approaches. Both sports were concerned about hypertrophy and the related weight gain, relative decreased capillarization and increased distance for O2 an CO2. The Danish National Junior Team experimented with very high intensity weight training: 2 sets of 3 reps with 5RM, in leg extension, leg curl, leg press and calf raises. They performed a 45 min. TT on track, 5-7% faster than before - without any unwanted side effects. Runners used almost exclusively plyometrics and drills directed towards the SSC (stretch-shorten-component) of, mainly, the achilles tendon and thereby improving running economy. A famous Swedish study found that weekly running of up to 120 km elicits optimal running economy and after that it´s a matter of diminishing returns. Unfortunately Danish long distance running has adopted the short/fast concept and we haven´t had any sub 2.12 marathoners for years. For distances up to half marathon I believe you can reach a lot of your potential by doing up to 120 km/week, if you carefully and intelligently mix training as you obviously do. You can´t compare different people, but in our running community we´ve had relatively good succes by just running pretty slowly - no concerns towards speed - only frequent competition in 5 and 10 km races. With an, embarrassingly slow, average speed of 4.30 min/km one guy ran 2.19 with 100 miles/ week and I ran 2.32 on 50 miles/week on this ridiculously slow pace! The slow pace reduced the risk of getting injured, but we might have had even better results if we had differentiated the stimulus more. If nothing else it would have been more exciting with the variation. Now I´m a firm believer in a more varied and programme, with lots of different paces and workouts, and follow your training and thoughts daily and with great interest. Bottom line: I think most people will get a long way by just getting/being able to do 6-8 consecutive weeks of 80-120 km/week, which is by no means an easy task for most people.

BRFOOT said...

Cool header picture!
The dress on/off thing is something my buddies and I say to each other of someone is being a "sissy","whinning" etc. In general sissies wear dresses, but not all that wear dresses are sisses.

Matt said...

Claus and Tim, can you clarify Claus' post? It sounds like runners did benefit from the weight training despite Claus disagreeing with that corollary. And the other study that found consistent 50-70 mile weeks (6-8) of "slow" running proved very effective, but then Claus you mentioned some varied stimulus would benefit. More!

Matt said...

wow, you read my mind. Thanks.

Lucho said...

Matt- Claus was saying that the weights benefited cyclist in their TT effort, but with the runners they were using plyometrics and drills focused more on SSC.. not weights. There has always been a huge debate on weights for runners and I think Claus is someone I would listen to! The benefit of plyometrics has few doubters as it is very specific to running where weights really aren't. And that's the argument- that when you lift weights you are not strengthening them specific to the running motion. I personally have had good results with weights, certainly from an injury prevention perspective.
And as for the slower training, he said they had ok results with it but may have benefited more from varying the intensities.