Excuse me, but reading what many runners think about long run is, for me, very funny.
One question : if you want to run a Marathon at 3:19 pace (about 2:20 final time), do you think that running 30k at 4:00 pace can have some connection ?
If you want running 10000m in 30:00, do you think that the main workouts are 400m on track, and long run must be only easy regeneration ?
The first man changing this old mentality was one Australian, Ron Clarke, that in 1964-68 was the first athlete running (not every day, of course, but once every week) for 15-20km very close 3:00 per km. He was able to destroy the World Record of 10000m moving, completely alone, from 28:15 to 27:39 without any rabbit.
If you want to beat your PB, you must run LONG and FAST. Running fast intervals and slow long run is not enough. Running always fast lon run and never fast intervals is not enough. Training is a combination of different speeds, and, more slow is the speed, longer is the duration. If we want to see what really happens in our body, we can see that, for very little difference of speed (for example, from 3:00 per km to 3:10 per km) the level of lactate is very different. The type of work has different targets, the time that you use for building the same enzymatic situation is different, the quantity of fibres interested in our run is different. Running at 3:00 or at 3:20 or at 3:40 are different type of training. So, we must put, in our training, ALL these speeds. I give you an example, for an athlete having a PB of 15:00 in 5000m :
100% of speed = 3:00 per km (this speed is good for some interval till 2000m, using a general volume of 8-10 km like 1000 / 2000 / 1000 / 2000 / 1000 / 2000 with 3:00 recovery, in 3:00 / 6:00, for example). The goal is to increase the ability in removing lactate from muscular fibres. This training has a direct influence in raising the Anaerbic Threshold.
105% of speed (3:00 less 9.0 = 2:51) is SPECIFIC SPEED ENDURANCE. The goal is to increase the ability in accumulating lactate. We can develop a global volume of 5 km, using intervals between 500m and 1km (2 x 1000 in 2:50, rec. 3:00, plus 6 x 500 in 1:25 rec. 1:00, for example)
110% of speed (3:00 less 18.0 = 2:42) is HIGH SPEED ENDURANCE. The goal is to increase the ability in producing lactate. We can use this speed for a global volume of 3000 / 3500m, using intervals from 400m to 600m, example 400 / 600 / 400 / 600 / 400 / 600 / 400 in 64.0 / 1:36 with 1:30 of recovery.
Speed faster than 110 % (for example, 200m in 27.0, 400m under 60.0, 1000m under 2:40) : have a MECHANICAL goal, and/or can work for increasing the LACTIC POWER. We can use only few repetitions with very long recovery.
When we go slower than the pace of the race, we can have the following situations :
95% (3:09 per km) : the goal is to increase AEROBIC POWER. We can use long intervals (for ex, 3 x 3000 in 9:27 + 1000m fast at the end, with 3:00 recovery) for a global volume of 10-15 km, but also LONG CONTINUE RUN for 6-7 km in 18:54 / 22:03. The ability in EXTENDING this speed can give a better base for the workouts FASTER than the 100% speed, helping in raising your Threshold.
90% (3:18 per km) : the goal is to increase the support for the AEROBIC POWER. You use this ONLY with continue run, starting from 10km for looking for extending your endurance till 20km. Running 10k in training in 33:00 for an athlete of 15:00 in 5km is very easy, but he cannot run in short time in 31:00 if doesn't become able to extend his long run till 20k in 66:00.
85% (3:27 per km) : the goal is to increase AEROBIC ENDURANCE, that is connected, more or less, with the AEROBIC THRESHOLD. You can start with 15-18 km, for going till 30km. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARATHON.
In another thread, I explained that Shaheen runs, once per month, a long FAST RUN of 37-39 km at 3:15 - 3:10 pace at 2300m of altitude, also in full season. In training, nothing is negative. THE ONLY QUALITY THAT YOU LOSE IS THAT ONE YOU DON'T TRAIN. So, you don't lose speed if you go for long run, but if you don't go for speed. At the same time, you don't lose endurance because you train your speed, but because you don't go for fast long run.
The development of training is not to replace some type of workouts with some other, but to ADD something that you didn't use before. Training is the ability in stimulating your body in different directions. So, one stimula can be with more intensity, another with more duration at the same speed. We have to mix everything together, respecting a correct proportion between the different workouts.
Regarding long run and speed, I want to give you an example : Paula Radcliffe tried, for many years, to become faster in the last lap, working on her speed. In 5 or 6 years, she moved her PB in 3000m from 8:31 to 8:28, practically always the same situation. When finally, tired to be no. 4 in every race, she decided to move to full marathon, her first race after winning her first marathon in London in 2:18, less than 2 months later, was a 3000m. Final results : 8:22, improving her best of 6.0 !
Personally, I had a similar situation in 2000m, with my Italian athlete Maura Viceconte. We worked very hard for beating the Italian Record in Marathon. She ran, winning, Vienna in 2:23:47 (NR) in May. After this, she was able to increase her PB in 5000m from 15:45 to 15:18, and to beat the NR of 10000m running 31:05.54, improving her PB of 1 min from the past.
At the end of every discussion, the question is :
What I ask to my training ? I want to try to reach my best potential results, or I want to be fresh every day, running only for my health and my fun ? In the first case you must use long and fast run, with a correct modulation. In the second case, run slowly and enjoy your life, but don't speak about good results in athletics.
Post of the year. Bravo.
Indeed. As far as answering the original question- you need to do the workouts you can handle, not workouts which leave you trashed.
Training is an ever upward progression, and you have to do it in a way which allows you to increase both the duration and speed of your running. Push the envelope- don't break it.
why run........when you cant jog
and rest and get the same. leaved that for speed work outs
Merci Renato! Encore une fois, ta conaissance et ta capacite intellectuelle sont evidemment superieure a nous, pauvre americain.
Thank you for the information. Could you take a minute to explain how frequently athletes should incorporate each of these types of workout into their training? For example, to prepare over the summer for a september-november cross country season, should I do an aerobic power (90%) run once a week, once in two weeks, two times in three weeks, etc? You mentioned Shaheen's fast long run is once a month, but how about the other forms of training?
Also, what sort of training density is expected? Can I train at one of these six paces twice a week, three times, four times? In other words, how many recovery days should I insert?
Or do the answers to these questions vary largely between individuals based on experience and type of athlete?
I know that's a lot of questions and the answers might be complicated, but thank you again for your helpful posts.
I've run three marathons, two bad, one good. Before the two bad ones I was running with a partner and we hammered out the long runs. Before the good one he wasn't with on the long run and I slowed way down. What I found effective was a real easy pace for the long run, but another run during the week between 10-14 that was a bit more up-tempo.
Renato makes excellent points, but there is a good reason why some of us may not have had great luck with copying those long, hard runs that should be kept in mind. One thing that enables elites to run at such a level is an excellent ability to recover. I know some very talented runners who could not move up from 5K because they simply could not recover from the long efforts needed and ended up overtrained or injured.
In my training, I have learned that while I can do 6-8 miles fast at the end of a long run I'll lose several days to recovery if I do a whole long run fast, so overall it is counter-productive as it comprimises other workouts. The best comprimise I have found is to slow down the long run a bit and do a 12-14 miler fast earlier in the week.
Most of us cannot handle elite training verbatim. It shows us what to aspire to, and can be valuable to incorporate in some fashion, but can be dangerous to copy without careful thought and adaptation. I'd love to pound out 120 mile weeks all the time with solid workouts but I just don't recover well enough to do that often.
I fully agree with you. But one thing must be clear : with a correct AEROBIC TRAINING, that has to last many years, EVERYBODY LOOKING FOR LONG DISTANCES CAN IMPROVE HIS RECOVERY. I give you an example : in 1995 I had an athlete, Maria Curatolo, winning silver medal in European Championships 1994 in Marathon. She lost all Winter 94-95 for an injury in a finger of left foot, starting running again only in April. After 1 month had plantar fascitis, and had to stop again till the beginning of July. During that month, she had only base training, with long and easy run, without pushing too much. At the end of July another my athlete, Ornella Ferrara, won bronze medal in World Championships. Because always Maria was stronger than Ornella, that medal gave an incredible motivation to the first one. Maria went in many workouts of quality, in very short time, and at beginning of September she was able running also long run, till 35km, very fast, better than the previous year. But there was one difference : while in 1994 the day after, for example, 35 km at 3:35 pace, she was able running very easy 16 + 16 km at 4:00 per km, and two days later to go for a training with 10 x 600m climbing very hard, in 1995 she had to recover completely for about 3 days, and the day after her long run sometime had to rest completely because not able running 15 min. So, I had many doubts about her shape, because for me it was a new experience : could she run 2:26, like the level of some specific workout could show, or could she arrive only at 35 km well, because the lack of recovery, during the full marathon, becomes a lack of specific endurance and you finish your fuel 5-7 km before the finish ?
She ran Berlin, and for more than 30km was very easy in second position at a pace of 2:25 (1:12.22 at HM), having more than 3:00 of gap on another my athlete, Maroccan but French for marriage, Rakya Maraoui. At 35 km the fuel finished, and Maria arrived no. 5 in 2:31, while Maraoui ran 2:28.
This for demonstrating that CONTINUITY IN TRAINING, of course increasing duration at the same speed, and speed at same duration, with GRADUALITY, is very important. But this system needs time : if somebody wants to go SOON for long and fast run, this is a mistake. But also is a mistake if somebody, because did the other mistake before, decides that long run is only slow. One thing is RIGENERATION RUN, that is not a type of training, but is useful for recovering earlier the important workouts, of every kind : lactic, muscular, long run, circuits, etc. After these type of training, to go for 2-3 days for easy long run is correct, and can help athletes in removing their lactate from muscles. But, because the ability in LONG and FAST RUN is the most important quality for a specialist of 5/10 k (and of course for HM and full marathon), if you don't improve on that side, forget that you can become a good runner in that direction.
I totally agree with you. I used to have recovery problems with 60 mile weeks, now I can do 100 reasonably consistently. This progression took 5 years. Hopefully by next year I can do 105-110. This current marathon cycle has been the first time I could do a 15 mile run at marathon pace and not have it cost me the better part of a week of training...hopefully next cycle I can start doing some faster long runs as you describe.
>>90% (3:18 per km) : the goal is to increase the support for the AEROBIC POWER. You use this ONLY with continue run, starting from 10km for looking for extending your endurance till 20km. Running 10k in training in 33:00 for an athlete of 15:00 in 5km is very easy, but he cannot run in short time in 31:00 if doesn't become able to extend his long run till 20k in 66:00.
This seems a bit rough for training, no? A 15 minute runner would be capable of about 31:10 for 10km and 1:05:00 for 20km. A 66 minute 20km run in training would practically be an all out effort for the runner.
I assume that the full 20km at 90% would be done very rarely, instead opting for 10km-15km runs at this pace? Or am I reading this wrong and you are just suggesting that the runner only be capable of covering 20km in training, which I guess would put the runner in a consistent curve of performance (15:00-31:10-65:00)?
From RC: "100% of speed = 3:00 per km (this speed is good for some interval till 2000m, using a general volume of 8-10 km like 1000 / 2000 / 1000 / 2000 / 1000 / 2000 with 3:00 recovery, in 3:00 / 6:00, for example). The goal is to increase the ability in removing lactate from muscular fibres. This training has a direct influence in raising the Anaerbic Threshold."
I was thinking this was an unreasonable/impossible workout as well. I'm a 15:15 guy, and I don't think I could come anywhere close to running 8-10k at that pace, even with the 15 minutes of rest throughout. I'd like to think it's because I'm just a good racer, but I don't believe that to be the case.
I find that I usually intend to have my long runs be relatively easy, but as the miles wear on, I tend to pick up the pace. I don't know if I just get impatient, or if my physiology is just warmed to the point where anything over 6:50 feels way too slow. Maybe both. Sometimes I can't even slow down after telling myself to slow down when I see mile splits that are below what I had intended. Then I just give up and go based on how I feel.
Many runners, when read what I write, make a mistake : they think that the FINAL PART of the evolution in training must be related to the values of the beginning of their training. In other words, if you are able 15:00 / 31:10 and 65:00, of course you don't go for 66:00 in 20k. But, following the evolution they I suggested, starting from 33:00 for 10k, when you are able running 15k at the same pace (49:30) in training, of course you can run 10k in 32:00 in training, and your 15:00 can move to 14:45. So, you must read this type of training in dynamic, and not static, way. What I try to explain is that, if you spend one year for extending your ability in duration at the same pace, YOU HAVE ADVANTAGE IN ALL THE TYPES OF TRAINING SHORTER AND FASTER. You can run faster with the same type of INTERNAL LOAD, or you can run LONGER at the same pace, always with the SAME INTERNAL LOAD.
What you have to understand is that, if you want to increase your performances, you must push and move your limits, not to stay INSIDE the limits that you already know. Improvement is the ability to overtake the current limits in every type of training, for increasing your qualities. Instead, if you continue to stay inside what you are able to do, step by step you don't give any stimula to your body (the same for your mind, that's the reason for 39km of Shaheen....), so you SUPPOSE to train, but really you GO RUNNING. There is a big difference between TRAINING and RUNNING : the first has the goal to stimulate your body, AND THE ANSWER OF YOUR BODY IS THE TRAINING. The second is something good for your health, but forget that you can improve with this mentality.
So, when finally you are able to train in 66:00 for 20k, your PB become 14:30 / 30:00 and 65:00 in HM. This is the way for improving.
The last example of how, increasing your specific fast long run, you can increase your speed endurance :
a) You are able running 10 x 400m in 64.0 with 60.0 recovery, 3 x 3000m in 9:30 with 3:00 recovery, and 10k continuous run in 33:00 (of course in training). Your INTERNAL LOAD (IL), if we go to control the lactate level at the end of every workout, can be respectively, for example (these are casual numbers, possible for somebody, very different for other athletes, but are an example) 12 mmol after 10x400, 9 mmol after 3x3000 and 6 mmol after 10km.
b) After 2 months, during which you continue to use same times, recovery and speed for 400m and 3000, but you increase the length of continuous run at the same pace, you become able running 15km in 49:30, with the same IL (6 mmol).
c) At that point, if you go to control the lactate level in the other 2 workouts, you can discover that after 10x400 in 64.0 your level is no more 12 mmol, but 9. At the same time, after 3x3000 you don't have 9 mmol, but 7.5. This means that you IL is not the same, and for running the same volume, speed, distance of 2 months before, your level of effort is minor. SO, IF YOU WANT TO REACH AGAIN THE SAME IL, YOU MUST INCREASE THE VOLUME (for example, running 15x400 in 64.0 with 1min recovery, or 4x3000 in 9:30), that it means an improvement in your ENDURANCE connected with less production of lactate at the same speed ; or to maintain same volume, same speed BUT REDUCING RECOVERY TIME (for example, 40.0 between every 400m or 1:30 between every 3000), that means again an improvement in ENDURANCE connected with your improvement in recovery, due to the fact that you are able to remove lactate from your muscles faster than before. BUT, IF YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN SAME NUMBER OF INTERVALS and SAME RECOVERY TIME, YOU CAN RUN FASTER : 10 x 400m in 62.0 rec. 60.0 (and at the end you have 12 mmol), or 3 x 3000m in 9:10 rec. 3:00 (and at the end you have 9 mmol). And also with your conyinuous run, you becoma able running 10k at 6 mmol in 32:00 instead 33:00.
This is why, working expecially for extending your SPECIFIC ENDURANCE (or POWER ENDURANCE), you can increase your SPEED ENDURANCE too.
On the other side, you can work for SPEED using short sprints climbing, or technical and neuromuscular exercises, plyometric exercises (only for athletes not good under the point of view of elastic reaction, for the other may be damageous) and gym, for very short duration.
So, SPEED is by mechanical engine, ENDURANCE by bioenergetical and methabolic engine.
Okay, I understand now. What you have said is an extension of a Bob Kennedy interview that came out not too long ago.
Bob Kennedy said that in college he was doing 800 meter repetitions at 2:05-2:00 as a 13:20 5km runner, but it wasn't until he was exposed to the Kenyans and their 2:00-1:55 intervals that he was able to break through the his mentality of what he perceived as a hard workout. It was only then that he was able to improve his personal best down to 13 minutes.
I guess I'm guilty of falling short mentally, always preparing around the intensity that I'm currently at instead of working towards a progression.
I'm sorry but 39k in 2:07 has to be very tough on any runner even one with Shaheen ability. This is roughly a 2:16 marathon effort and would definitely require some downtime to recover. Why would Shaheen do this type of run, he is not a marathon runner, I doubt that any elite marathoners would try to attempt such a run in training. This workout makes no sense but to provide bragging rights to fellow runners. Although Shaheen has obviously ran extremely well in races, a 15:00 min 5k running this type of workout would be through for the season.