Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday 10 miles.

am) 6 miles- recovery. First mile was 9:00. My legs were trashed.

pm) 4 miles- same effort but I ran 7:00-7:20 pace. Stopped several times and stretched.

Hudson says one of the most common mistakes for runners is running too hard on easy days. Hudson has several intensity levels that he uses- hard, moderate, easy. A majority of the mileage is in the moderate range (what I did on Monday and yesterday). This would equate to a fairly broad range of paces but they fall somewhere in the 10-20 beat below LT range. Easy days would have the purpose of recovery and some simple 'log padding' volume which still has great value. This intensity would fall in the 40- 80 beat below LT range. A recovery runs purpose is to simply stimulate blood flow and loosen up the muscles. Similar to a massage really. Once you start running with the purpose of building fitness (adding volume or trying to run up to a minimum HR/effort) then it is no longer a recovery run. Walking would certainly be beneficial for the purpose of recovery! Aqua-jogging, elliptical trainer, anything that is very easy but moves your muscles.
This leads in to another of Hudson's tenets- run as much volume as you can but do not sacrifice quality to do so. With this in mind today I forced myself to sacrifice a little volume (I wanted to get 14 miles) in order to help me tomorrow on the track. I think a big part of my failures at the marathon have been that I have not really done ANY long periods of intensity, or short periods for that matter. This is also a good thing in that I am relatively fresh in big picture view of the next several years. Coming from the school of Ironman (I never focused at all on any other distance) I have an ingrained sense of moderation in intensity with a huge focus on volume. The marathon is nothing like the Ironman so I am having to rethink my personal philosophy.... Lots to learn still.
Tomorrow on the track I have decided to try intervals at 10"-20" faster than goal pace followed by recoveries at 30" per mile slower than goal pace. I tried this on Tuesday but couldn't hack the recoveries. So tomorrow I'll try 800's in 2:35-2:40 on 400's in 1:30. I'll run them until I can't.
This structure fits in to Hudson's progression towards holding a goal pace for the marathon (or any race really). You start off by running quite a bit faster than goal pace for a short duration followed by long rest intervals that are quite a bit slower than race pace. Then you lengthen and slow the intervals, shorten and speed up the recoveries. You repeat this structure for ~7-8 weeks and bring the paces closer and closer in specificity to the marathon goal.


beth said...

about the recovery activities- to get the blood flowing:elliptical, aquajogging....
what about cycling (easy)?....can it be a substitute or is the motion & muscle groups used too different?

Matt said...

You running 9:00/mile just seems like a breakthrough, healthy, good. Of course, you have the literature/science to back it up, but it just "seems" right.

I know you've read where the Kenyans will run slow days really slow (relatively speaking). And I've read where they start most runs this way though they may finish in a blur. One writer described a "Kenyan run" like the process of boiling water.

Lucho said...

Matt- I've been out on a run and passed a group of Kenyans running 8:00 pace. And like you said- 30:00 later they were running 5:00 pace.

Beth- Ya, cycling would work. I think though that keeping the movement specific to your goal is important for a pure runner. In your case then it is ok because you still have triathlon goals. The only time a runner should cross train outside their sport specific movement would be to hold fitness while injured or when they have an injury looming.
Even the slow jogs help to build run specific economy and boost run mileage- which is a huge part of running a fast marathon. There really isn't any such a thing as junk mileage when you talk of recovery runs.

Claus Bech said...

Hi Lucho, regarding the benefits of recovery runs, Matt Fitzgerald explains, through the brain centered theory, that there might be even more intricate mechanisms involved. On pp 149-150, in "Brain training for runners", he mentions the possible effect of interleukin-6, when training on fatigued/glycogen depleted legs/muscles. Furthermore he mentions the possibility that the brain might alter the muscle recruitment patterns, forcing less used muscle fibers to work and thereby conditioning this untrained muscle fiber reserve. So, once again, science might be able to explain what we somehow already know from experience.
It´s not evident if cross training, biking, rowing, elliptical trainer etc., works as well as running itself, but it definitely lacks the neuromuscular coordination, but might benefit the metabolic adaptations. Keep on that two-a-day-routine, it´s the way to go, Claus Bech, Denmark

Lucho said...

Claus- There does seem to be a conflict between science and anecdotal evidence. Science says that training with very high mileage actually decreases a runners economy- too much fatigue and you can't run efficiently. But as you said, this could be a benefit to muscle fibers that are only used when you are 'fresh'. Canova is a big believer in hill work at the end of a long run which forces the recruitment of fast twitch fibers more effectively- because of fatigue. There are also many beneficial metabolic implications with high volume. Science will support the idea of moderation but the training schedules of the best runners in the world prove otherwise.
Cross training would be useful if you were trying to burn calories to favor weight loss with out over stressing your body. But I agree that a runner needs to stick to running like motion.
Thanks Claus.

bob said...

For intensity per Hudson’s book: instead of LT, if I am thinking intensity relative to MAF - would easy be MAF less 5 to 10 bpm; moderate intensity on progression run MAF plus 5 to 10 bpm, Hard intensity on progression run MAF plus 10 to 15 bpm?

Lucho said...

Bob from this morning?
I think MAF is has little relation to LT and only relevance to certain runners. If you have blood results from a treadmill test then forget MAF. If you are relatively weak from an aerobic endurance stand point- then MAF potentially could benefit you. I will use my own numbers to try to give you reference. This is all way over thought, which is how I work..
My numbers:
LT- ~178. Hudson's "hard" effort. This effort would correspond to my 15k race pace. 10k race pace if I am fatigued. I've held 183 for a 5k.
AeT- ~160-168 This my marathon effort. Hudson's moderate to hard effort.
"Grey Zone"- My HR at 150-160 has no real defined metabolic state and this would be what I consider "moderate to easy". I could hold this all day but after 20 miles it starts to sting. Slightly easier than marathon effort but not recovery or truly "easy".
MAF- HR 140-150. This is Hudson's "easy" and from an intensity stand point has little muscular benefit. Metabolically this is all fat burning, but so is HR 150-160 yet it has more benefit from a muscular stand point. For a majority of training I would try to hold 150-160 and avoid this "grey zone" except on days that I was very tired.
So to answer your question directly:
MAF = Easy
MAF + 10 = moderate.
MAF + 20-30 = Hard.... ish.
Is that all confusing or what? When I look at HR vs. LT it is all as clear as day. Throw in PE and it all gets hazy. Sorry Uli.

FatDad said...

I totally agree with you in regards to the tension between anecdotal evidence and what science has to tell us. It's very important not to confuse what we do know with what there is to know. If it works, it works, even if we can't say why. Think of our inspirational friend and miracle of physics the bumblebee.

Der Kaiser said...

"Sorry Uli."

Haha, nice1. I figure you just wanted to check if I read your comments. 1-0 for you.

Greetings from hazy-city


GZ said...

bingo. On an earlier post I commented on how hard it would have to be to be a coach these days. I see tons of scientific evidence saying do such and such but then hear anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

"Don't train more than 65 miles a week because the benefit is not significant above that, and in fact the risk of injury is greater." VERSUS hearing of at least 9 out 10 folks who I see as successful runners (elite or otherwise) pushing their mileage up up up. (I say 9 out of 10 because there is the 1 out of 10 who runs 15 min 5ks on 20 miles a week ...sons a bitches).

"Focus on explosive motion or high speed neural work" versus long distance at "moderate intensity."

Run super slow, run moderate, run hard, increase mileage 10 percent a week, run with a HR monitor, take in carbs 2 mins post a workout, Eat lots of carbs, eat lots of fats, coffee dehydrates you, it does not, ...

blah, blah, blah.

The science gets so divided (and not just in terms of running) that it drives an unfortunate apathy with me in regards to what is said in it. Instead ... what works for you? what is not working? How are you making yourself a scientific experiment of ONE? What variables have you changed to change the experiment?

Sorry ... yet another go nowhere rant.

Lucho said...

GZ- Hudson talks about certain things that are proven and must be included in your training regime.. long runs, tempo, rest, mileage.. etc.. Sort of the basics. After that- like you said- you do what you want and what works for you as an individual- this is perhaps the hardest part of coaching is assessing an athletes strengths and then exploiting them with technique that are proven and then some that are not.
People get hurt trying to run high mileage because they all of a sudden jump it up. Consistent high mileage actually prevents injury. I think the runners in the research studies were probably 40-50 mile per week guys, then the scientist jumped their mileage to 65, the runners of course didn't respond well.. so the results of the test were that 65 miles per week yields moderate results. If they tested Brian Sell or another consistent high mileage runner they would see something different altogether.
One other rule- you MUST wear a HR monitor or else you suck. ;) ha!

GZ said...

Totally agree ... basics are key. HR monitors are another good tool.

I guess I was ranting yesterday because it seemed that within 24 hours I heard these two exact opposite "priniciple."

Don't sacrifice your quantity because of quality.

Don't sacrifice your quality because of quantity.

So which is right? Answer: neither and both. It depends on what you are, where you are and what you want to do.

I hope you killed the workout this AM. If not, you still got out there.

Lucho said...

The thought is (Hudson's thought) is that you need to run as much as possible and still get the quality workouts in. So if 120 miles per week leaves you too tired to run 2 quality sessions- then you lower that volume to what will allow you to run those 2 sessions. But- you also don't want to run 3-4 quality days but be so tired that you end up with just 40 miles for the week. In the past I thought that just an ass load of miles was the key. Now I see that maybe a half an ass load of miles with a couple of hard sessions is better.
Ya- I nailed the workout this morning.

GZ said...

an ass load. I knew I was going to use that metric system some day. :)

Let me know if you want to go easy for a stretch in the AM.

Lucho said...

GZ- Jeff and I are running long. I think he wants to get 3 hours. If you want to go then let me know.