Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

Hello all,
I began running back in march. I started out running 2 interval runs per week (about 30 minutes each with 1 minute @ high intesnsity, 2 minutes recovery) and one 3.1 mile run on the weekends. The theory was, my longer runs should see a benefit from the interval runs.
Now, my time on the 3.1 mi runs was an abysmal *choke* 34:30. So, being the nerd I am, i bought an HRM (Polar s720i) and started reading up. I ran across the Lydiard system and figured i'd give it a shot. I'm now running 3x4.5 mile steady state runs per week.
I am frustrated because i still have 5 weeks of these steady state runs to go and it seems that my time at 3 miles has gone up from 34:30 to about 38:00!!!
Granted, i've been trying to run slow to keep my hr between 164 and 170 (although the last 3/4 miles my hr is between 170 and 174), but still. Shouldn't I be getting faster not slower?
Any advice, encouragement or discouragement would help. The only good news is I've lost 15 lbs so far. One last note. My work out routine looks something like this:
M,W,F 4.5 mi runs....T,Thu upper body training + abs and lower back strengthening. I'm 32 and weigh 227...

Help...

Loading...

The dirty little secret about long distance running is the 'd' word; distance. From what you are saying, you are logging 13.5 miles per week. As much as you might find to say otherwise, that kind of mileage just isn't going to ramp up your endurance and speed very quickly if at all. The tried and true first litmus test of improving your endurance making it possible to run shorter races faster is you need to be logging minimally 30-mi per week. My schedule for how to fit that in is 6-runs per week in the ratios of 3/1/2/1/2/1. Overdistance is what it's all about. To be a good 5km racer, your long runs need to be 9-milers.

Reply

Loading...

Jo, thanks for the reply. Now I can add distance, but how often should i be working on speed? Or, should i just stick to the lydiard system and not worry about speed for another 5 weeks? Also, when you say 3/1/2/1/2/1 do you mean something like:
9 miles/3miles/6miles/3miles/6miles/3miles. I don't mind the distance, but I wonder if I'll ever have time to do any strength training. Would running in the AM with strength training in the eves be overdoing it? Finally, at the end of my 4.5 milers my HR is about 170-174 am i too high, should i be running even slower *gulp*.
Reply

Loading...

Yep, you've got the idea on the daily mileages correct. And yes, don't worry right now about working on speed. Speedwork should be part of a 'sharpening' phase and to be ready for that, you need a large base of prior solid mileage. Ideally, speedwork is going to come after months and months of base building and then for the handful of weeks prior to your peak race, then you pull out the stops and work on speed. I'd leave any thought of speedwork aside until you've logged a couple good months of 30+ mile weeks. As for the strength work, morning running and evening weights sounds fine. There's a few guys that do it back-to-back, a run followed by weights for vice-versa. Experiment and find out what works for you. And finally, about the HRM, I got nothin' for you there. I'm a caveman runner and for 25-yrs have ran 'over my head' much of the time I'm sure. I'd shelf the HRM but for an occasional run if you get curious. There ya go :twocents:
Reply

Loading...

Thanks again. I'll do my homework on the HR stuff (unless anyone out there is checking this out), I'll stick to distance for now then worry about speed later on like your recommeneded. I think the hardest part is shelving the go not the HRM :) I just have that "must go faster" devil talking at me all the time. I'll keep on shutting him up :)
Reply

Loading...

I agree with everything jrjo says, as usual :D
I'm not a HR expert either, there are a few here that hopefully can add 2 cents. But what I have learned is that HR can be very individual. I would have looked at your 170-174 and freaked saying it's high. I wore a hrm yesterday for a test and when my heartrate was bumping 170+ I was breathing very heavy. Yet my friend competed in a half ironman last weekend and said he never went below 170. I thought maybe he had a virus or the heat affected him, but my husband says the size of one's ventricle affects their heartrate.
don't feel bad, I found out that I do need to run slower. I do trust from experience that you do have to run slower to get faster. You are in the base building phase as jrjo pointed out, worry about speed later. It'll come soon enough. (too soon as far as I'm concerned)
Reply

Loading...

Thanks for the encouraging advice. I was so disappointed with my run this morning. Now, i have something to work on, and that makes me feel a lot better.
I'll dig around to see what I can find about HRs and other data to monitor. From what I have seen so far, this is huge variability when it comes to data and formulas. Seems like the only way to get accurate information is to to have it clinically tested.
Maybe i can convince my doctor that it's medically necessary to give me a stress test that way I can get my hr and v02 max, but for right now, it does't matter.
I have to base build first, then when i'm in some form of respectable shape and the data matters, it'd be nice to know. On the other hand, it'd be nice to know where i started. *hmm* i predict a call to my dr :)
Thanks for the advice & encouragement
Reply

Loading...

Just to back up 'jrjo's' comments the answer to your problem is miles.

From what you have told us you seem to have missed out on running you base miles.

I note you started running in March, hardly enough time to build up any aerobic strength before going on to anareobic work.
Your general efficiency and your running results depend basically on your ability to absorb oxygen from the air and transport it to various muscles and organs and then use it.
Steady state running (not LSD) with progression will lay a solid base for your aneraeobic work.
Reply

Loading...

Just to throw my $.02 in here.... the running advice you have gotten is dead-on. I'd continue on with your weight lifting on your shorter run days. I adapted to lifting right after running (there are two schools of thought on that subject also, some prefering before your run, some after) and it worked well during 30-35 mile weeks and less. I've gone back to 2 days a week temporarily while I train for my first marathon.
Reply

Loading...

there is a theory out there that says long slow distance=long slow runners.

However, I do agree with what you've gotten here. You are not running enough mileage to improve your aerobic base. If you are going to continue to run the shorter runs, which there is nothing wrong with, you are going to need to jack up the pace.
Reply

Loading...

And that's the thing. Interval training is more effective for improving speed, however, all the training material i've read by runners says stay away from intervals for 10-12 weeks and focus on base building.
I really don't want to work on speed right now, but man am i ever slowwwwwww. I mean really slow.
Now, granted, I need to lose another 20 or so lbs on top of the 20 I already lost before I can really call myself a runner, but still. I shouldn't be this slow.
My plan to remedy the speed issueis to add lower body strength training two days a week in an effort to increase leg speed. I'm also going to read up a little more on peak performance online to see the latest research on long slow runs vs. long runs with high intesnsity intervals mixed in. I'm thinking of adding one interval run a week.
I've definitely upped my mileage since first posting this thread and that is helping. Unfortunately, I have a little case of tendonitis cropping up (too many miles too soon it seems) and I'm cross training on a bike this week.
I'm hoping the strength work will help the speed as well as alleviate some of the abuse on the tendons.
Reply

Loading...

I get the theory, but until you're able to run 12 miles with relative ease it's tough to push a pace for a distance you can barely do. Speed comes with time and a decision to maybe push a couple of miles in the middle until you can get faster at those long distances. At least that makes sense to me.
Reply

Loading...

Oh, and I honestly wouldn't be terribly concerned about speed during the first year and just work on running the distances and if you're feeling good maybe run a little harder, making sure to take at least one rest day a week.

The training advice here is sound, but remember, this is supposed to be something you enjoy doing and want to continue to do so don't stress too badly about the numbers...especially in year #1.
Reply

Loading...

And that's the thing. Interval training is more effective for improving speed, however, all the training material i've read by runners says stay away from intervals for 10-12 weeks and focus on base building.
I really don't want to work on speed right now, but man am i ever slowwwwwww. I mean really slow.
Now, granted, I need to lose another 20 or so lbs on top of the 20 I already lost before I can really call myself a runner, but still. I shouldn't be this slow.
My plan to remedy the speed issueis to add lower body strength training two days a week in an effort to increase leg speed. I'm also going to read up a little more on peak performance online to see the latest research on long slow runs vs. long runs with high intesnsity intervals mixed in. I'm thinking of adding one interval run a week.
I've definitely upped my mileage since first posting this thread and that is helping. Unfortunately, I have a little case of tendonitis cropping up (too many miles too soon it seems) and I'm cross training on a bike this week.
I'm hoping the strength work will help the speed as well as alleviate some of the abuse on the tendons.
elhajj, for what its worth I'll give you a few of my ideas in no particular order on your latest post.
1. MOST IMPORTANT If you are suffering from tendonitis (you don't mention where) see to it right away. Cut back your training by half, if its still giving you grief then stop and get it fixed right away.
2 "Interval training is more effective for improving speed"
Partly true and only after you have a solid base.
Speed for what? Are you training for a 800m. 1,500m. 5,000m. 10,000m
Any distances over 10km. the more irrelevant speed work or intervals
become. Let me back that up by saying that this applys to the vast
of the people that that post here.
3 "I need to lose another 20lbs. or so on top of the 20 I already lost
before I can call myself a runner"

We are all runners here, some are just a little quicker than others.
See yourself as a runner.
4 "My plan to remedy the speed issue is to add lower body strength
training two days a week in an effort to increase leg speed"
By strength work I presume you are talking about weights?
If so, forget about it. Your not going to increase leg speed pushing
weights you may even lose leg speed, far better you put your effort
into running those two days and combining it with some general
floor and body weight exercises.
5 "long runs V slow runs with high intensity intervals mixed in"
With the tendonitis you mention even one interval session per week
let alone 'high intensity' we will probally be hearing from you via the
injuries forum. Again leave speed work alone at this stage of your
training, your body needs time to adapt to the base training you are
doing, for some of us it takes a little time longer than others.
'jrjo', 'pug' and others GAVE YOU SOUND ADVICE WHY NOT STICK TO
IT.
You mentioned you lost 20lbs. That's not a bad effort in itself.
Remember you only started training in April.
Instead of worring about heart rates and HRM's, how about shoving
that thing in the back draw for a month or so and just going out and
running how you feel (leave the watch at home too for that matter)
There has to be a certain honesty of effort but to build a good base,
one that will hold you up when it comes to speed there is NOTHING
more important than steady miles.
Think of training as making a cake. The body of the cake comes first
it takes the longest time and needs careful control of the mixture.
This is your base/areobic training.
The cream in the middle, you liken to speed training. And the rest
racing, diet etc. is the icing.
Go and read 'pugs' report on his 5km/3miler.
He ran his first marathon approx. 5 weeks ago. I don't recall
that he did any speed work in the lead up just a diet of steady
miles and since the marathon has only done recovery and maintance
mileage, yet he was still able to come out and run a 24 min.?? sec.
Thats the value of a good solid base
Reply

Loading...

Hey all,
it's been a while since my original post; I decided to post an update based on all the replies i've received. First, i'll start with the tendonitis. it was on the outside of my ankle. but I stopped running for a week and hit the bike. It took the pressure off the ankles. Once I felt alright i hit the treadmills for a week then went on the road. So far so good. I did one week on the bike, one week on treadmills, hit the road for a week and this week i ran a 6 miler outside then all follow-up runs on the treadmills (at least 4 miles/day).

As for mileage, I run everyday now at least 4 miles and my resting heart rate has come down. Many of you have advised me to put the HRM away, but i'm too data driven not to have numbers. What's nice is i can crank out the miles at a comfortable pace and at about 70-80% of my max hr. That is, 6 miles doesn't feel as brutal as it used to. (at least on a treadmill). Next week i'll be doing longer runs on the road and shorter runs on the mills. ( i used to hate treadmills, but i think that was just machismo :) i'm really starting to like the low impact while still getting in the miles).

Intervals: skipping them! Slow base miles and take it easy is what i'm doing (In the words of fox mulder: I believe ) I'll wait until base building is over (even though i feel the urge to gun it here and there). I'll focus on learning how to interval train for now so when the time comes i'll be ready.

Strength training: i'm going to do a little more reading on that. From what I read in "Fast track" by susan favor hamilton (a book i highly recommend) is that strength training helps. In addition to this, what i've read about running mechanics is that running speed is affected by the speed of muscle contraction which is a factor of muscle strength.

Now i'm lifting to get huge legs. rather, i'm lifting in the 6-8 rep range with heavirer weights to add strength and I'm doing some streching. basically, I run in the AM, strech, then at lunch i run out to the gym for strength work. Seems to work for now...i'll see how it goes.

beyond that, i've gotten much encouregment on the weight loss, and I very much appreciate it. Phar: i'll take your advice, we're all runners if we're out there running every day :)
Reply

Loading...