Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday 9 miles. Marathon pace.

After not racing yesterday I decided to repeat last weeks structure and run hard this morning. The trails are snow packed and icy so I did this on the treadmill. Simple structure- 3 miles easy warm-up. Then 6 miles in 33:30. Average HR was 168. Max HR was 174.. I firmly believe that there is an outdoor equivalent (in regards to pace) to the treadmill (at 0% elevation) that is about 15 seconds per mile. At 5:30 pace it feels much closer to 5:15-5:20 pace. I don't elevate the treadmill because of this and I think it has a neuromuscular benefit for altitude training. Outside I could never run 5:15 pace with my HR that low yet when I race at sea level I will need to run that fast for a long period of time. This workout should aid in allowing me to do that. Then again- I may be full of crap.


Uli said...

""These two HR's are comparable in effort because of the fatigue incurred on the swim and the bike, and I will tell you that running a 2:56 marathon at Kona is FAR harder than a 2:30 in Denver!"

That's (again) very interesting for me. While I've been through quite some pain during some of my IM, including puking the whole marathon to a Kona PR and passing out post-race, I have never felt in so much pain as I have in a marathon during the last 5 miles. The damage to the legs is so incredibly painful because of the faster pace. I was reduced to tears (not literally) at Boston this year. That has never happened to me during IM no matter how bad it got.

Maybe I did not go hard enough during IM due to other limiters (mainly stomach issues).

Anyway, let's see how your sub2:30 Marathon will unfold and what it'll feel like!


P.S. you DID some really stupid training back then :). That puts most Germans to shame (ok, maybe Thomas would still grin).

Lucho said...

You're right in that you and I may have different experiences in regards to how effectively we pushed our bodies at Ironman. It sounds like you may have ben able to go much faster? I don't think I have run a marathon at anywhere near my potential.. you may be right in that a sub-2:30 will make me cry!!
Yeah- I was a dumbass. But I also think that experience allows me to be a better coach in that I have made nearly all the mistakes you can. I've done some things right also, but avoiding mistakes may be worth more?
Cheers Uli!

GZ said...

there is a ridiculous amount of stuff posted on these series of tubes called the internets about treadmills.

Typically, the increase in grade is to account for the fact that you are not actually pushing any air aside - which you do when you run outside. General convention is that this is a .5 to a 1 percent grade increase.

I'd love to think that training at 5:30 on the mill is equivalent to running 5:15 outside. It might feel that way, or maybe even your HR reflects that, but I think it might be more reflective of being use to the mill. I have found when I do enough mill training in the winter, I get really use to it and I can do efforts where I am "just keeping up with the mill."

To that point, I have run 2 mile sessions on the mill at a pace that is probably 10 to 15 seconds a mile faster than I could outside.

Ah, different strokes ... different folks.

That said, the mill is great for those idiots like me that love to crank the thing up to 11.5% to emulate Pikes (of course, you are only going 4 mph unless you are Dave Mackey). Three hours of that and 0% feels like running downhill - seriously.

Chuckie V said...

Your treadmill comparison is spot on; but of course treadmills are hardly ever accurate when it comes to pace or speed. The thing is, it matters not...they're just arbitrary numbers anyway. What matters is the workout. In this case it's exactly what you need.

Here's my take on it...I figure you're already aerobically strong; you have good stamina. And it's obvious that you have good endurance coming from an Ironman background. You also hold up well in a structural sense.

With all this in mind, Lucho, you could probably benefit most from introducing "speed" and the treadmill is perfect for it as it gets your nervous system firing.

Your best marathon will require:

1) that you lose some upper body mass, however you can, but yet without starving yourself. This is perhaps your biggest challenge.

2) that you do some speed-oriented work, either with or without higher intensities (employ downhill running or the treadmill to lessen the cardiovascular load)

3) that you get in the right frame of mind when the time are a BAD ASS and you're there to take names. Going 2:20-ish or faster isn't just about the physical ability.

4) that you nail a good taper. Incorporate some REAL recovery, not just easy runs, as to me, there is no such thing as an easy run...they all do damage. Aqua-jog, flop, nap, stretch, etc.

5) that you pace yourself correctly on the day. After all, you're really only racing one person that day.

Lucho said...

GZ- Good words.. I knew the 1% incline rule of thumb I just never do it. My point was neuromuscularly my leg turn over is faster than 5:30 pace. When I go to Austin I need to run faster and I hope that the faster turnover on the 'mill' will be a benefit.. I rarely run indoors and will get the real work done outside.
Nice on the Pikes workout.. makes me nauseated just thinking about it!!
Thanks for the comment,

Lucho said...

Chuck- You're spot on in all that you said. I think I get carried away with intensity and I need to keep it all in perspective. As I just e-mailed you, my consistency goes way down when I try to do too much fast running. In this last 10 weeks I really need to stick my main sessions, and all other runs at my MAF and make each run effective. I get so tired sometimes that I slog through the miles just get my log filled in. I am cutting my mileage in order to do this.

Formulaic said...


Originally, I was going to tell you about this website:

Where it talks about treadmill conversion rates to real world. But after reading your comments and comments to comments, I think that you already know more than it could tell you.

I certainly can't provide any advice, other than to say that I think Chuck V has it right regarding "What matters is the workout".

Looking forward to your ‘A’ race. We’ll be supporting you if only from far far away.


Lucho said...

Chuck's always right.. damn him. Thanks for the link.. I like the site.
I'm not sure if Austin will be my "A" race this year or not.. I think Twin Cities maybe more to my liking? Austin will be a big one for me though and I appreciate your thoughts!

Uli said...

A friend has send me this regarding treadmills and incline - I believe he has figured it out!

Before discussing running indoors, we have to examine what running on the track should look like. One of the basic element of
running fast is to have a proper forward lean, without bending the waist or hip. To illustrate why this running pushes
you forward we should make a small experiment.

Take a broomstick and start balancing it at the tip of your
forefinger. Now allow the broomstick, to have a small forward

What are the possibilities of what is happening?

Result 1: The broomstick falls down.

Result 2: In order to not let the broomstick fall down, you react
fast an try to put your finger under the balance point.

Result 3: Try to keep a constant amount of forward lean. Look
what you have to do to prevent the broomstick from falling down. It
seems as if the broomstick starts moving into the direction of his
forward lean. To keep the lean constant, you start following the
broomstick. But the broomstick accelerates even more and you have to
hurry up. But don't panic, the broomstick only will accelerate until
the aerodynamic drag compensates the mysterious force* thats
accelerating our broomstick.

Now you have a practical idea of how forward lean improves running.

Back on the track: Start running and try to simulate the experiment.
You are the broomstick. The track is the forefinger. Now lean
forward and don't be a chicken. Real men lean as much as possible.
What happens? You start to stumble? That's exactly what we expected. Now try to control your forward stumble.
What are you doing? You accelerate. By having chosen the "real man"
forward you soon will reach a velocity that puts you deep into
anaerobic running. Time to take things easier. Decrease your forward
lean and relax. Now we have learned something about, how fast
running looks like.

Back to the treadmill.

Start running on the treadmill using horizontal position. This does
not feel like running outdoors.

If you really want to make the experiment, be cautious!

Take a very small forward lean and look what's happening. It seems
as if you start moving forward. But stop. Thats not the idea of a
treadmill. I want to stay in place and not leave the thing.

On the horizontal treadmill you have a number of possibilities

- No forward lean, running at the pace the treadmill tells you. Not
very realistic.

- Try a forward lean. If you want to keep position/speed you will

- Try a forward lean. Prevent yourself from falling. That feels
good, but you will leave the treadmill by seconds.

We learn, that the only way to permanently run on a treadmill is to
have no forward lean. But now, how to get teh treadmill more realistic?

You all know the answer: Putting a rise on the treadmill. But why?
This does still not allow us to take a forward lean. That's right. Thus,
the angle between body axe and ground of treadmill becomes what it
should be and therefore you have the same movement pattern as known
from outdoor running. Just because all the directions of the forces
have the direction we are used to have from outdoor running.

So the sloping compensates the lack of forward lean. And therefore
makes it more realistic.

It is often said, that the ascending treadmill compensates the lack
of aerodynamic drag. That's also correct, but indirectly. The drag is the force,
that is working against the mysterious force mentioned above.
because of its lack, you can't run with forward lean on a treadmill.
Therefor you have to put a small angle. The angle you should use for
"realistic" running depends on your outdoor speed. The faster you
are, the more ascending the treadmill should be.

*to make it more theoretical:

If you have a forward lean, there will be an angular momentum. To
compensate this momentum, you have to put another momentum against
this one. The only part of your body that allows you to put a force
on the ground are your feet. To achieve the momentum you need, your
feet have to build up a force backwards. The resulting momentum
should be zero. Thus you will fall. but because there is no
additional fixing point to your body, where to go with the resulting force? This force accelerates you (e.g. if there is a
teeter-totter with two children on it, both with equal mass. There
can be no movement, but there is a force on the deviating point )
Your body core is the deviating point which is why you need a strong
body core.

Anonymous said...

You a sick doode, I love this blog. You know, treadmills need a special washer machine style electrical outlet to d sub 6 min. The first time I never needed a treadmill to go that fast and it didn't i thought I was pretty freakin' cool, and I was only doing a few hard mile repeats.

nice work.