Your question is a great one. How do you implement tempo runs into 1500m/5k training and do you still run tempos during the competition phase?
Second question first: Yes, you can and should, in my opinion, continue to do tempo runs all the way up to the last 10 days of your most important mid-distance race (1500 or 5k).
How do you implement tempo runs in your basework? As a shorter track racer, your body still needs tempos to build stamina. With stamina, you will hold pace well in races. Often mid-distance track racers have great speed and lack the ability to hold it. Literally there are 5k-10k track racers who can drop down and beat 1500m runners due to superior stamina. I am not talking about endurance which is generalized aerobic capability, non-specific to racing shorter distances, so don't be confused by the term I use.
If you are not running in xc,then do two or three stamina runs per week until indoor racing season starts. That means you can run any combination of the three tempo runs that I suggested (longer, medium, or shorter tempo runs and their associated paces / efforts). I like to have 1500m runners do two 3-4 mile short tempo runs per week plus one longer tempo run as a subsitute for a long slow run each week. Hey, I gotta go watch the state xc meet now, so I will have to continue this in about three hours. Sorry, friend.
It's better to train at the pace of the race, the rest of the time training for endurance = recovery such as 2 or 3 hours slowly, and strength (hills) - speed, but most importantly for specific pace for the race.
Is it better to do a tempo run for say 25 minutes and faster (ie: 5:30 pace for a 16:00 5k runner) or 45 minutes and slower (ie: 5:50). Would it be better to incorporate both each week, or is one superior?
I just returned from the OR state XC meet, so now I can continue responding to your question about when to use tempo runs (base, pre-comp., and racing phase) and how much recovery is needed after tempo runs.
As stated in my limited-time response earlier, I think that tempo runs are valuable at all times of the year and certainly constitute a key element of base training. I said that I think a 1500-5000 runner should do two shorter tempo runs and one longer tempo run each week during base training. For instance, on Tues, and Thursday, you might run 4 miles at 5k pace divided by .93. If the weather is bad or the surface you are running on is easier or harder you can adjust your time up or down a little. On Sat. you can do a longer tempo run of around 60 minutes or more at 5k pace divided by .87. The rest of the time you can run easy maintenace mileage or striders at mile race pace with recoveries of equal distance shuffle-jog.
Once the early racing season starts, I am sure that your coach will guide the workouts... and that limits your flexibility. However, there will be at least one day each week when you can do a medium to long tempo run which will help you maintain some of the stamina you created in the off-season. You may find little opportunity to fit in tempo runs after a mile of easy warm-up running just prior to doing interval training with your team.
I like the idea of having all runners do threshold in the early part of a quality workout. I think it serves two purposes. First, it is a fantastic transition into faster running that interval and speedwork require. Second, it serves to maintain some of the LT stamina you worked so hard to acquire from base training. Even a couple miles at short-tempo LT pace before intervals can help maintain your stamina.
Now, if you are going to race the 5000m, it is wise to never stray far from doing tempo paced workouts. I think a 5k runner needs to do at least 30 minutes of LT (tempo) running per week just to maintain stamina that was gained from off-season training. I think that 60 minutes per week will give you continued improvement. You can easily do long tempo runs in place of your normal LSD run. If you normally run 15 miles at a slower pace on Sundays, for example, you could do some of your Sunday runs as long-tempo paced runs (maybe 8 miles at long tempo pace plus a mile or two w-up and cooldown). You can do tempo pace on any other day throughout the week too. You can even run the first couple reps of a long-interval workout at short tempo pace. Keep in mind that German and Czech research showed that at least 25 minutes of LT (short tempo) paced running was necessary in order for elite 1500m to 10000m runners to maintain LT endurance.
About recovery needed after tempo running, I think it depends upon what tempo pace you run, short, medium, or long. Long tempo pace is easier, so of course you wouldn't feel as tired...as long as you didn't run very far at that pace. Generally speaking, I think that tempo pace will not tire out a person if the total volume you do is nor more than 60% of the durations that I recommended earlier for each of the three tempo paces. For example, if you choose to run long tempo pace on Sunday and you have a hard workout on Monday, then you would be wise to limit the long-tempo running to about 40 minutes. Recall that I said that a long-tempo run (if done as a separate workout and treated as a harder day) would be in the 70-80 minute range. Running no more than 60% of that duration equals 56 or fewer minutes at long-tempo pace. Any more than 60% of anything, I think, creates carry-over fatigue to the next day. There may be times when carry-over fatigue is beneficial, but the key to using accumulated fatigue from harder workouts wisely is to recover for several days after you "crashed" you way to fitness. If you work both hard today and tomorrow, then that may be fine as long as you run easy workouts for several days afterward. The same is true for interval workouts, I think. If you normally run 10 x 400 in 65, then if you limit yourself to just 6 x 400m, I think you can come back well the next day. Any more than 6 reps and your really dipping into the valley of fatigue. Caveat: the better your stamina (from tempo - LT training), the more reps you can handle (still, 60% is the max., though). A runner with poor stamina (due to neglecting tempo paced workouts) will find that they have carry-over fatigue from even as little as 4 or 5 x 400 . Stamina is a key role in both the quantity that a runner can do of high intensity and how fast recovery ensues. If you see that Geb or Hicham has the ability to come back for multiple races during championships, then you can surmise that they have not neglected their stamina, even in the championsip phase of the year.
]presently 95-105 mi. wk,
you asked about prev. training. I typically follow Lydiard sched.
2+ on sun---i will tempo last 1 hr or I do 4x 3 mi tempos
Mon.--1 hr-w/fast strides/running
1 1/2 on tues and thurs--with built in tempo
fri.-same as monday
1 + on sat with a shorter faster tempo--20 min. @ 10k pace
and i run a second run everyday-strictly recovery-30-40 min.
then the final 10 weeks--i do the 3k, 5k 10k, and-30K time trials that Lydiard rec. and the 800's, 1000's, 1500's reps the first 4 weeks of that.
I now know from your post, proper pacing for tempos.
I ran a 1:18 half back in sept.. on diff.-hilly course, so it was
prob. a 1:16:50-1:17 effort on rel. flat course
Leading up to that I was running 3 mi. timetrials in 5:33 mi. pace.
so any suggestions are appreciated. I'm thinking
sun--long temp-80 min. @ mp
Tues--5k pace long intervals
thurs-40-60 min @ LT
sat--2k, 3k, 5k timetrials
I think you have a great program already. I would not change a thing unless you want to focus on specific weaknesses. For example, if you find it not difficult to maintain marathon paced tempos (what I termed LT, meaning Long Tempo) then perhaps you might consider doing more MT (medium length tempo runs) at 1/2 marathon pace, or short tempo runs. What else? Hmmm! Well, you may consider doing some combination workouts in the hill training phase such as 3 miles at short tempo, jog 2 minutes, 2 x 1 mile at 10k pace, 4 x 200m hill reps with the springing motion that Lydiard recommends, and 4 x 100m striders with 100 jog.
During the interval phase (Lydiard's third phase) you may want to do combination workouts like the above, except a bit faster on the interval reps than 10k pace, depending upon your race focus. I have found that combining everything in a workout works really well. I think that Pat Clohessy, Chris Wardlaw, Bill Bowerman, and Paul Cummings were advocates of including all elements of Lydiards training into each week and often in single workouts. Wade Bell, 1:45 half miler of the University of Oregon in 1968, NCAA champ, Olympian, and still record hold at U of O, did a Saturday morning combination of all major types of training, totaling 20 or more miles. He displayed great endurance, strength, and speed. De Castella, Mongetti, Cummings, and others who have trained by using all of Lydiards elements in their programs were fantastic racers.
Because your training plan is well rounded, I think I can only help you if you have specific questions about certain phases or certain types of workouts or combinations. Keep going strong!
Thank you for all the wonderful information!
I'm writing because I figure my situation may be typical of other readers. I want to be as fast as possible over 5K (and adjacent distances) this summer, and I'm trying to figure out how to train over the winter. Right now I'm doing 70-80 miles per week, which is a new level for me. I've gotten that high by slowing down almost all of my runs to 7:00-8:00 pace, which I thought would be deadly but which I actually find myself enjoying.
You, Hadd, JK, Canova, and others have convinced me that long-ish, fast-ish runs (tempo, steady-state, whatever you want to call them--I know you distinguish among three types; as a group, I'll call them LF runs) are the single most important component of a distance runner's training. I'll try to do these, and also keep my mileage relatively high, and also do a little something to keep the legs zippy (I like Hodgie-San's uphill-downhill strides).
The values you list in your first post on this thread seem to work out to 1/3 to 1/2 the distance one could race at a given pace (i.e. a third of a half-marathon at HM race-pace, or half a marathon at M pace). While doable by definition, this seems sort of intense to me.
I've always benefitted quickly from intense work, whether LF runs or intervals, but I've also run out of improvement quickly. For example, if I followed you post-collegiate training schedule (three 4-mile tempo runs per week on 30-35 mpw), I too would expect to improve dramatically for a couple months. But then my performances would level off and even start to deteriorate. I would then respond with stupid desperation, increasing mileage, intensity, or both--and then get injured. Or I might respond with an extended period of easy running, and lose pretty much all of my gains.
First question: is this short fuse typical? Did you, for example, continue to improve after setting your 5,000 and 1500 PRs? Do your runners improve on a steady, year-round diet of LF runs corresponding to the values in your chart? Or do you have them do something less intense (or the same intensity, but less often) in the off-season?
Second question: typical or not, how should someone like me train? Use the values in your chart, but only one LF run per week? Or use the 60% value you recently mentioned, with three runs per week? (This would jibe with Hadd's advice that at the end of a LF 10-miler you should feel like you could go around again without complaining--which puts his 10-mile pace a little slower than your 2.5 mmole pace, I think--and with Malmo's advice that you do only 5 miles at marathon pace on a regular basis, even when you could do 10.) Or something else?
Sorry to ask such a dim-witted question about a sort of training that just comes naturally to some people, but in 20 years of running I've never even come close to getting the base period right. I hope your answer will help others, too.
Short Fuse, Tinman's "2.5mmole" pace should be about dead on equal to marathon pace according to both Hadd/Tinman. Hadd never put a generalized mmole definition on his pace recommendations to my knowledge. Hadd's advice to be able to handle another 10 miles at the same speed as your 10 miler at your LF sounds to me to be a perfect discription of Tinman's 2.5mmole speed.
I am at work now, so I won't be able to answer your questions until this evening. I don't want to short-change you. Thanks for you patience. Tinman
Thanks, and no need to apologize: I really don't have a short fuse, except when it comes to intense workouts:)
Thanks for the contribution. You're probably right, though there's undoubtedly a subjective element to "feel like you could..." For me to feel that way in a race is very different from feeling that way in a workout (a pace that feels very challenging in a workout often feels moderate in a race). My impression was that Hadd's initial LF runs were supposed to be slower than marathon pace, inching toward marathon pace (as the weeks go by), but always under lactate threshold (which I thought Hadd defined at a conventional 2.0 mmole). Prompted by your response, I'll check out the Hadd thread again. But we're probably both interested to hear how Tinman would do it.
I have a couple free minutes at work, so I will provide some answers to your questions. First, I want to say that Hadd and I would probably be good co-coaches and I think Renato Canova too would get along great with me. The key things that we all emphasize are Lydiard in nature. We all believe that aerobic endurance is critical. I call the next key ingredient "stamina." I picked up the term from legend coach and runner Al Lawrence from Australia who lives in Houston, TX. I liked the term and position Al stated long ago about the need to be able to hold pace. A runner without stamina is like a house without main beams. Lydiard and Cerutty described the importance of faster longer runs in their prose on running in the 1950s and 1960s quite well. In those days, Lydiard talked about time trials as a means of building stamina. He liked the term 7/8th effort, a term he borrowed from Gosta Holmer of Sweden, coach of Anderson and Haag, record holders in the mile to the 5000m. Lydiard had his 5k-10k runners do time trials at about 10 seconds per mile slower than all-out. By todays standards of measurement, that is quite close to lactate threshold pace; smart! Cerutty advised Herb Elliot to run fast 8km and 10 milers in additon to sandhill reps, long runs, and some race pace work on the weekends. Many other great coaches have used sustained fast runs as a means of binding endurance to speed. For either extreme, endurance to run long or speed to run short and fast, were not coordinated in the middle ground nor useful to the degree commensurate with the amount of hard work involved. Lydiard even had his middle distance runners doing time trials (tempo runs, in our vernacular). They were aimed at bridging the gap from endurance built in long runs at moderate paces to anerobic speed workouts and pure speedworkouts and hill reps. I think that Lydiard's hill ciruit of 2 miles was a stamina builder too, by the way.
You mentioned that you could do the shorter tempo runs at roughly lactate threshold pace and have marvelous gains in racing performance over the short term. I too had very fast gains in racing performance when I added tempo runs. Your particular situation is similar to what I find in roughly 30-40% of the runners I have coached or advised; you are a quick responder. Dr. Peter Van Atta, former head physiologist at the US Oly Training Center, now deceased, remarked at the 25th Anniversary meeting of the ACSM that about 30% of athletes are quick responders. I have read research by Pugh of Britian who has described such athletes too. The key point of coaching various athletes is to identify how fast an athlete responds to certain training, whether it is intensity or duration. I have noticed that a quick responder like yourself, an me, for that matter, needs to change training speed emphasis every 2-4 weeks. I typically advise quick responders to change up their training every 3 weeks in order to keep the ball rolling, so to speak. I know of some who reach full adaptation in 10 days. I do believe that tempo runs should be run all year long, but mixing up the short, medium, and long tempo paces and durations is a good idea, I think. You, as a quick responder, will find that your body starts to feel tired, lacking in energy, and just plain achy when your body is downward sliding. It is time to switch training then.
As a quick responder, you will find that not having intensity in your weekly schedule makes you feel horrible after about 10 days, sometimes even as little as 5 days. So, in order for your body to continue to gain, you need to keep some faster aerobic work in your schedule at all stages of the year. The 60% measure that I described will be of value for you during times when you are switching to other types of training (for shock purposes to continue your body's cycle of adaptation). If after three weeks you notice that your body has adapted to the hill reps that you have been doing, for example, you change to mile reps at 10k pace, then do the medium and long tempo runs at 60% of maximum to maintain your stamina. If you neglect tempo running even for a week, you will find that your stamina has seemingly disappeared...and it has, believe me. You are an anomaly. Your body needs certain types of training all year long, and tempo running is one of them. Another is short or long striders (100s or 200s). Some do not respond positively to 100s. Quick responder respond to 100s for about two workouts and bam, no more progress.
I have to close and write more later. Any questions so far?
Wow! Thank you for the incredibly informative and generous response. I see now that the key for me is not necessarily to reduce the intensity, but rather to cycle through different kinds of intense workouts, leaving each type (or at least reducing it to the 60% maintenance level) before the returns start to diminish. I was familiar with most of the Lydiard and Cerutty stuff (I think Ron Daws calls it "stamina" too, by the way, in his --maybe he got it from Lawrence). But I was totally unaware of fast-responder theory, and now I see that I fit into that group.
I can think of lots of questions about how to manage fast-responder training, but you mentioned that you intended to write more, and I'd rather not disturb the elegant flow of your thought. It strikes me that the main challenge is to manage the competing imperatives of continuity (i.e. always do some sort of tempo work, and always do some quick stuff) and change (which is apparently vital to us fast responders).
Tinman = Oz = JK = John Kellog?
No, tinman is Tom S.
I was flooded with emails yesterday, so I didn't write much on letsrun.com. Of course, a person can lack energy for such things occasionally!
Anyway, short fuse, you can email specific questions to me at email@example.com. Take care....tinman
tinman/TomS, where did you do your school work?
Just arrived from NY, with very much interest I read this new argument. I fully agree with tinman. I'm not able to be so deep in the argument because my knowledge of English language isn't so precise while talking about scientific arguments, but I want to confirm what practically happens FOR ALMOST ALL TYPES OF RUNNERS : when you are able to improve in "stamina", meaning the base of specific endurance, ALWAYS YOU IMPROVE IN YOUR PERFORMANCES. When my athletes (not only Kenyans, but also European) go for long EXTENSIVE-INTENSIVE RUN, always some days later they feel an important benefit in other types of workouts too.
Coaching my athletes, normally they are able to reach their best performance IN THE SHORTER EVENT DIRECTLY CONNECTED (for ex., 5000 if runners of 10000, 10000 if runners of HM, HM if runners of Marathon, but also 1500 if runners of 3000 or of steeple) about one month before the main race. At the same time, coming back to more quality after the main race, THEY ARE ABLE TO IMPROVE THEIR BEST IN SHORTER EVENT AGAIN 2-3 weeks after the most important event.
An example : Paula Radcliffe was able running fastest than ever in cross (2002) one month before her Marathon debut in London, but her first race after London was her PB in 3000 with 8'22", never run before.
This happens because the phylosophy of training is not TO REPLACE A TYPE OF TRAINING WITH ANOTHER during different periods of the season (for example, long run during winter season with crosses of 12 km, and speed during summer season without running over 6-7 miles in training), but is TO ADD SOMETHING THAT PREVIOUSLY YOU DIDN'T DO.
If you follow this phylosophy, it's clear that endurance is a basic work for speed, and speed a basic work for endurance. So, these two works must go on at the same time, of course with a correct modulation.
In training, there is a SPECIFIC TRAINING, directly connected with the performance, and a TRAINING FOR SPECIFIC TRAINING, that has the task to improve your basic qualities in order to do MORE and BETTER SPECIFIC TRAINING.
If, for instance, you connect 3 x 600m in 1'20" with 10' recovery with a performance like 1'45" in 800m, is clear that if you are able running 3 x 600 in 1'18"5 with the same recovery, or 3 x 600m in 1'20" with 6' recovery, you can run in 1'43". The problem is : how is it possible running in 1'18"5 instead 1'20", or with a shorter recovery ?
Is possible if we can play with SPEED, RECOVERY, VOLUME.
For ex., running 5x600 in 1'23" with 8' recovery, then 7x600 in 1'25" with 6' rec., till 10 x 600 in 1'28" with 2' rec.
But we can run more volume if we are able running 2 x 1000 in 2'25" with 10', then 4x1000 in 2'30" with 6', then 8x1000 in 2'36" with 3'.
But, for doing this work, we must use 2 x 2000 in 5'15" with 8', then 3x2000 in 5'20" with 6', then 4x2000 in 5'30" with 3'.
For doing this, we must run 5k in 13'45" or less, and for running so fast 5k, we must run 10k in 30' improving till 29'.
At the same time, we can go for improving speed, running 3x400 in 50" with 8', then 2 x 400 in 49" with 8', then 3x300 in 35" with 6', for example.
When we are able to improve in ENDURANCE, of course is easier to run one more interval at the same speed of before, WITH THE SAME RECOVERY. But, if you are able running 4x600 at the same speed that before you used for running 3x600, of course you are able running 3x600 a little bit faster. SO, ENDURANCE IS GOOD FOR INCREASING SPEED.
When we are able to improve in SPEED, of course is easier
to run a little bit faster the same number of intervals with the same recovery. SO, IF YOU USE THE SAME SPEED, YOUR EFFORT IS MINOR, AND YOU CAN RUN ONE MORE TEST.
SO, SPEED IS GOOD FOR INCREASING ENDURANCE.
The connection of these two type of works is the only secret of training.
Hi! Thanks for sharing once more your wisdom. Indeed, we are both saying that endurance and speed are like the right and left hands that work together to lift a heavy load higher and higher. It is about leverage. You move one hand to the right a little and then the left. You don't push either one too much or the whole thing falls to the ground. You lift one a little, then the other. Back and forth.
I think one of the hardest things for persons to gather is the concept that running slower can help one run faster in races. The key is to run not just slow, but slow for a reason; to lift the endurance just enough so that more speed, not just sprinting speed, but strength-speed (specific to the race distance) can be used.
Now, I will go back to what I said before about stamina. I think that stamina is higher speed endurance running that connects all running together like glue. With good endurance, you can run long, but not fast. With good speed, you can run fast, but short only. With stamina, you connect the two and improve at all distances between the two extremes. That, I think, is what Renato is saying too. Speed and Endurance compliment each other. Stamina is developed by running in the zone a little slower than marathon pace to 15km pace. Like all training, the correct amount of training in the stamina zone is important. Renato mentions modulation. He is saying, I think, that the you need to run enough to improve, but not too much to destroy. You need to run often enough at a given intensity, whether slow, medium, or fast, but not too often in proportion to an individual runners ability to adapt. It is no good to run 12km at 4 mmol pace if you do not improve from it. Maybe 10km is the right amount. It is no good to run 4 mmol pace (one-hour race pace) every day. You can not recover if you do that. You can recover by running slowly every day, so slower running can be done often.
Ah, you see, the art of training is to train your body so that it can handle more specific training. The art of training at specific higher paces is to not do too much, too often, too fast. Once you adapt to specific training, you must build your endurance capacity generally again, but only long enough to be ready for more specific training. It is much like a roller coaster, except the undulation goes higher and higher if you train just right.
Thank you so very much for your valuable postings.
I wonder if you have considered to share your ideas in a book.
I have many books on running, yet this information you provide is the best of it.
I see you have written a book already.
There is such a volume of valuable information here.
Thank you for writing and sharing it with the rest of us.
From the Kennedy interview, right on point with this thread.
RWD: So you can do the work you want to do. Is much changing about that? Are you emphasizing more base than before?
BK: Yeah, I think I made some mistakes even when I was running fast on the track. I neglected my aerobic system. That doesn't mean I didn't run enough mileage, but to be a little more technical, I didn't run enough in the right aerobic zones, and I'm certainly been concentrating a lot more on that, all last year and so far this fall. When it gets to a point where that part is as strong as it ever has been or stronger, I'll do more of the stuff I was known for, which is really long hard intervals, really fast, with short recoveries.
RWD: Can you clarify what the "right" aerobic zones are?
BK: You can go out and run hard for however long, but if you don't do it at the right pace, you don't accomplish what you need on tempo runs. Some people run them way too hard, others run them way too easy. By "right" I mean the right pace and right effort for working the system that I want to work on that day.