you talk about percentages of max speed, but what do you take as max speed? Is it 100m speed, 200m speed? Something else? thanks.
After a couple of years off post-college, I've decided to re-find the joy of running and want to set my goal on qualifying for the marathon trials (to keep me motivated.) On 50 miles a week, I ran a 2:40:xx this fall. My only speedwork was 5k repeats @5:40 pace. I've gone back to building base with the idea of chipping away of the next couple of years at the finish time, perhaps sub 2:30 next fall and then sub 2:20 the year after. My question is, if you have the time, what kind of workouts (at what paces) should I be able to do to run sub 2:30 and then sub 2:20.
Many thanks in advance.
Tinman, your efforts are appreciated, your ex-wifes are not...
A lot of what you said is great to hear. You mentioned that at 4 weeks benefits begin to greatly diminish in response to a certain type of exercise. This would fit in to what I've expected, and that is that training cycles can be based on planetary bodies, in this case the lunar cycle. How exciting, I do hope you continue to write...
A question that keeps popping into my mind is with the aerobic/anaerobic contributing percentages. You stated in one of your last posts that even by the 23 second mark aerobic contribution is very significant. The question that comes to mind is...If one does a race without breathing, just the one maximal inhalation at the start, would we still expect to see measurements showing aerobic contribution? I believe aerobic development would clearly help in those types of races, as the whole body would become more eficient, but in races such as the 50M sprint in swimming or 200M or less in running where it is to the racers advantage to not breathe, is the aerobic system still contributing?
That information about bioenergetics is really fascinating. I'm not knowledgeable enough to make a contribution, even in the form of a question. But I'm enjoying the discussion. Thanks!
I do have a question about the practical application. You say that all running other than a short all-out sprint will draw on the aerobic system and thus (I assume) stimulate aerobic development. Just to reiterate, this means that there are no sharply demarcated zones of training stimulus. The difference between 5:10 pace and 5:20 pace is pretty much the same as the difference between 5:20 and 5:30, or 5:30 and 5:40, etc. The bioenergetics are changing, but in a continuus fashion with no steep inclines or drop-offs. This makes intuitive sense, and in a way you seem to be using exercise physiology to return to a common-sense view of training.
I think the idea of special zones became popular among runners and coaches because it offers some easily understood guidelines. It maybe even encouraged some sensible training, in a rough sense (because those "critical zones" were located in different areas along the continuum, thus encouraging people to train at a variety of aerobic intensities). Trouble is, it sounds like the theory itself is totally wrong: no "zone" is sharply different from its neighbors.
My question is this: when planning a workout or series of them (with the goal of improving the aerobic system), what guidelines should we use instead of these "zones"? You're obviously not giving up the idea that there is such a thing as optimal training: you refer to the right intensity, amount, and time. So, how do we know whether runner X should do a tempo run at marathon pace, or repeat 400s at mile pace next Monday (assuming we're not in the anaerobic endurance phase yet)? I know there should be a mix, but beyond that do we just rely on feel? You mention the individualization of training programs: how does one figure out what's best for the individual runner?
Thanks for your wonderful contributions!
When do we get to sit down and talk about this stuff? I just want to keep getting educated, but you need to be around others with similar interests to really get it done. I have so darn much data that I've never gotten into print -- for example we ran elite runners through several 800 meter runs at pace, 5sec per first 400 faster than pace and 5sec per first 400 slower than pace (pace being 5k race pace for some and 1500 race pace for some) and collected total VO2 for the 800 (consecutive 30-sec collections -- on the track, not Tread mill). This allowed us to watch the rate at which VO2 increased toward max and to look at the VO2 related to what we could estimate the demand of the speed in question to be, based on submax collections. You get up to high aerobic involvement pretty quickly. As a note to the deficit/repayment issue, people fail to recognize the "cost" of repayment (cost of breathing, heart muscle energy demands) which go on for some time, along with the aerobic involvement of getting things back to normal. One way to minimize that repayment was to run at a submax steady state, then go to a higher steady state and back to the original steady state and look at the deficit/repayment factor. You've provided lots of good stuff and it is appreciated. (By the way, I've had runners go 54 in a 400 while wearing their head gear and being driven along side of by a car)
Hey Mr Tinman and Mr "jtupper". We have a discussion on what pace long runs should be done at. Could you two gentlemen provide your opinions on that subject? It would be much appreciated by all. The thread is under:
Long Run Pace?/Wetmore
I have a picture of you at the Olympic Training Center on a golf cart crusing along asid of Ken Martin measuring respirationg with what looks like a Douglas Bag set-up. It must have been hard for you driver to keep steady with the runner and you must to been tired trying to adjust the length of the plastic tube for the runner. Fun stuff!
Yes, it is nice to chat with others who have a strong interest in learning more and who have some background in both the science of energetics and the emperical element of the human experience too.
I was hoping that you would get that Oregon State Univ. coaching job and then we could hang out and chat. I was going to finish off my PhD at OSU, but I probably won't unless you come out here to be my mentor. I probably will take a few chemistry and physics courses and go to Idaho State Univ. and get a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. My Master's has been a waste of time. Both the undergrad and grad degrees have been 98% my own doing. I do know the real learning starts when you interact with others in grad school and beyond. A professor at my former university wanted me to co-author a book on ex.phys. but I turned him down. I thought, who is going to want to listen to a guy with just a M.S.
Must get to all the questions. Luckily, I am on vacation until next week. Do you ever notice how time flies when you are on vacation but when you are working the opposite can be true sometimes. Actually, since I work in a field other than my love, time drages every day. Uhg! Take care JT....email@example.com
Response to my own post:
I made a dyslexic error. Peronnet and Thibault said that Maximum Aerobic Power can only be held up to 420 seconds (7 minutes) not 240 seconds as written by me.
Post your email and I will respond. I am sure we can give you a few tips. I advise many people and have fun doing it. I don't always have time, but I will respond within 2-3 days usually.
If you chose not to send your email, that is ok. Just ask some questions on letsrun.com and I will answer them that way. Remember, my three weeks of vacation are soon to end, so get the questions going soon. I won't have the internet after Friday since I will be on assignment for my company. Maybe I can go to a public library once or twice per week.
With stable isotope tracers, researchers like Peronnet and Thibault of Universite de Montreal have been able to moment by moment identfy contributions for each energy system. The traditional way of determining contributions are partly based on assumptions and therefore error results. If you look up Occam's razor theory, you will understand errors better. If we hook an apparatus up to a sprinter and have them run the 100m dash, we will only be able to measure ventilation during their sprint and afterward. The error of the old oxygen deficit/debt model comes in if we assume that the amount of air consumed during exercise and post- exercise (above normal resting values) is payback for what was needed during the sprint. As Dr. Daniels mentioned, there is a bunch of O2 consumed in Post Exercise that is related to continued use of thoracical muscles ventilating, the heart's continued beating faster (cardiac muscle beating faster means more O2 needed), the body's attempt to re-establish normalized body temp, catecholamines gone mad as the stress of the activity made their quantities jump through the roof, etc.
Now, if we used the methods of Peronnet and Thibault and some others out there who are physiology research scientist, then we can measure the actual, or pretty close to it, moment to moment O2 use via either the myoglobin storage of O2(stored O2 in the muscle cells) and oxyhemoglobin transfer of O2 to the the myoglobin and then to the mitochondria where oxidation takes place. Now, here is something to think about: myoglobin.
Available oxygen for immediate use is reserved in myoglobin, found in the muscle fiber membranes. In Doctors Costill and Wilmore's book entitled "Physiology of Sport and Exercise" (pg. 188-89) it is mentioned that the precise contributions of myoglobin to oxygen delivery are not yet fully understood (they didn't have Peronnet and Thibault's info., I don't think, but it has been shown that aerobic training can increase myoglobin content by 75-80%. So, if a person trains a bunch and increases their myoglobin, they surely can use more aerobic energy during their sprints and thus delay the severe "hit the wall" slowdowns we often see at track meets. In the track 100m sprint, I don't think the the supply of myoglobin is exhausted (because the event is so short in time), so I don't think that improving aerobic delivery and stored myoglobin will have much of an impact on the performance. At most, I would expect less than tenth of a second for a world-class sprinter. However, as the event reaches 200m and more, I would expect that improved myoglobin and oxygen delivery via the circulatory train would make a difference. As a simplified scenario, I see people like Maurice Green, an exceptional 100m sprinter, not able to hold pace in the second 100m of a 200m sprint. Guys who race the 400m a lot tend to dominate the 200m, I think because they have superior aerobic power. Their is some debate about aerobic endurance, by the way, according Costill and Wilmore as to weather it really does make much of an impact on short term performances. Yeah, I know, people will jump all over this comment, just like they did when I said that aerobic contributions are already playing a big role from 23 seconds or longer in competitions. On page 199 of their textbook they summarize the anaerobic energetics and how it relates to performance by saying the following: " Anerobic training bouts improve anaerobic performance, but the improvements appears to result more form strength gains than from improvements in the functioning of the anaerobic systems." Relating to what I said earlier about aerobic processes being developed with longer sprints, the authors say that "Although sprint-type exercise is anaerobic by nature, part of the energy used during longer sprints comes from oxidation, so muscle aerobic capacity can also be increased with this type of training."
The sentence before last shows that Costill and Wilmore believe that sprint-type training causes specific strength to develop and the majority of positive effects toward racing performance can be attributed to power output per unit time. Sure buffering capacity does play a role, but they are suggesting that increase power output is the real key to success. I could not agree more. I have trained sprinters by having them do no more than 1200m of short sprints on Mondays and 1600m worth of sprints on Wednesdays with super long recoveries and they have improved more than others in their conference by leaps and bounds. The amount of repetitions my athletes have done is far smaller than others and the amount of rest my athletes get is far longer. So, if my atheltes are not huffing and puffing like the other sprinters doing 8 x 300-400 with a 100m walk, then why do they improve more? Ah, the real answer is the power output, plus effective use of the primary motor units...something Jack Daniels, PhD. refers to all the time when he says that repetition workouts should have recoveries of 4-6 times as long as the time of the reps. Sprinters who have longer jog-walk recoveries have lower hyrogren proton concentrations and improved muscle and blood ph levels when they start their next repetition. Result? The next repetition is run faster at a given effort level and the primary motor units involved in generating force are effectively trained. Part of the development is related also to economy. A runner who uses sufficient recovery times learns to generate force effectively and with great ease thus using less energy to do so. Result? Lasting power in races.
Long run pace varies according to your goal and your level of conditioning. As a general rule, I suggest that long runs pace be 5k pace divided by .75 which is about 67.5%, on average, of your Max VO2. Jack uses 70% of Max VO2, I believe, which great too. I yeild to his expertise.
To be more specific, a long run can be a harder workout too, but if you run faster you must adjust your schedule so that you adquately recover before tackling another harder workout. I personally think that the zone of greatest benefit for long run is between half marathon race pace and marathon race pace, but surely it depends upon your schedule. As an example, people who know distance running history will tell you that during Frank Shorter's weekly long run (2 hours or 20 miles whichever came first....usually 20 miles) he ran the second 10 mile loop at close to marathon race pace. I think he was smart enoguht to do it on purpose, not because he was compulsive. I call the stamina zone anything from the 3-hour racing mark to 1-hour and I think that is what Mr. Shorter and others of his ilk were doing; improving stamina on a regular basis by running fast distance runs at specific efforts. Some German research has shown that the optimal aerobic endurance zone is the range of the hypothetical aerobic threshold to anaerobic threshold region. The region I call the stamina zone. For time spent in that zone, you have amazing improvements in your ability to hold pace in races. The only trouble is it is far more stressful than slower running at paces near what Jack and I say should be typical distance paces. Again, faster distance running is good, but only if it is measured into to whole cycle of training; whether weekly or longer.
I think runners can run 20% fewer miles and have even better results if they use more stamina zone training. I think though the only way to use stamina zone training effectively is to be judicious with its quantity and more importantly with its frequency. If you start doing it everyday, I guarantee that you will run into problems such as severe fatigue (due to glycogen depletion) and sore muscles. Running is abusive to the body. It isn't nearly as bad if you swim, bike, or xc ski. You have to be patient, plan well, and coodinate your training elements. Moderation, consistency, variation, and cyclical training make a big differnce in the long-term.
A lot there. I am not real chipper today, so I will be more brief. Sorry.
Yes, their is an energy continuum and the transition is non-linear.
You ask about guidelines to use when designing workouts and schedules, that is what good running books are for, like Jack's. However, you can use the following ideas when constructing your own schedules.
1) Individualize....do what you can do, not someone else.
2) Go slower for awhile until your body can handle faster.
3) Start with generalized training, go to more specific as your goal race arrives. The last 6 weeks you need to do more race specific workouts.
4) Related to point one, most of the primary workouts you do during each training period should focus on what you adapt to well. Work on your weakness prior to the last 6 weeks before you most important race.
5) Don't hammer away just because you can.
6) Enjoy your running. If you continue repeating the same workout too frequently that mentally, emotionally, you burn out your enthusiasm.
Let's use point 7 right now. If you are in doubt and are anxious about doing the wrong things, do a weekly routine something like this and you will be fine:
Monday: Long Run (20-25% of your mileage). If you are strong and adapt quickly do a portion of this run at closer to marathon race pace. If this workout compromises your Wednesday faster run, then keep the pace easier today. Do a few easy striders during (3-4 x 150m at about 3k-5k pace)
Tuesday: Easier distance run (about 10-15% of your mileage)
* Wednesday: Harder day. Hill Reps, Fartleks, Intervals, and Speed Reps, all preceded by tempo work of 15-20 minutes at about 15k race pace, give or take a little.
Thursday: Easier distance run (about 10-15% of your mileage)
Friday: Like Thursday, except do some striders during, either 4-6 x 100m at mile pace (do not sprint these) or 2-3 x 150m at slightly slower than mile race pace with jogs twice as far as the rep distance for both 100s and 150s.
* Saturday: Race, hills, fartlek, intervals, speed reps, and tempo work or any combination of the above.
Sunday: jog or run in the pool.
* = The closer you get to your key event, the more you want to simulate it. If you are running in a marathon, for example, start doing marathon, half-marathon, and LT reps in higher quantity, along with plenty of moderate distance during the workout. Every other week during the last phase of training for distance races, you still need to include a workout such as 1k reps at 5k pace. So, for a marathoner in the last 6 weeks before their event, they might do 30-45 minutes of moderate running, then 4-5 x 2 miles at half-marathon pace, followed by another 30-45 minutes of running. You can run repeat 5km reps at marathon pace or repeat miles at LT pace. It really has to fit in with what works for you and what you adapt to well. Prior to the above types of workouts, I often suggets to marathoners that they build up to a biweekly workout in which they run continuous cycles of 2 mile runs for up to 2 hours. Each cycle includes 1.5 miles of moderate paced running (about a minute over marathon pace) followed by 1/2 mile at 10k pace. If you can run this workout for 2 hours, then you are ready to tackle the half marathon reps, etc. in the last phase.
It should also be noted that Tim Noakes has never trained a World Record Holder and his opinions are normally formulated after the athletes show it to be so.
Every so 8 to 10 years when the new crop of athletes are studied new theories abound ..
However, all in all, the knowledge gained is valauble, however you will find that most of the champion runners will never have read The Lore of Running
Oh well ... back to the salt mines
Thanks again! Sorry you're under the weather, and on your vacation, to boot! Get well.
Indeed, you have a point. It is generally the athletes and coaches who are ahead of science. David Costill used to say that science was 25 years behind athletes. I think that science is closing the gap. Also, I think science is weeding out the happen-chance from the truth in some cases. Logic, observation, anaylysis, trial-and error, all play an important role.
Please fill me in as to why you believe that CV or critical Power or is it Velocity is so important? What is so special about all out effort at 45 minutes that we should pay attention? Why 45 minutes not 30 or 60 minutes?
I have said before that www.letsrun.com should have a forum just for this stuff & let us beat each other up on other topics in this the everyday/regular forum. Come on WeJo/RoJO! Let folks like tinman, jtupper, JK & hadd & others who coach or have great information have a place to interact with your base readers of this site!
If others think we could be polite, I think this the BEST running web site in the WORLD should be a leader in information, let's hear from all posters that think the same.
Thanks tinman & jtupper for your insight! Wejo/RoJo can you see how when there is real information we all sit down calmly & listen, lol.
Wow, it's nice to be humbled, very inspiring. Thanks for the contributions once again. Everything you've written is quite interesting, maybe you'll bust out with a stream-of-consciousness post soon so we can witness the synapses.
I like to use 200m speed as a reference for middle and long distance runners because, as you know, we are typically not blazing fast out of the blocks. Besides, I just like the use of 200m because most middle distance and distance runners can estimate reasonably well their 200m time, not so much with their 100m time.
So, if Hicham is running 20-30 x 200m in 28 second 200s, that is 30% more time than his 21.5 estimated best (shown on a Euro sports website that had an article on the Moroccoan training system). In velocity terms, 28 second repeat 200s is only 76.8% of his max which would put him near his MAP (max aerobic power) pace for that distance. Good middle distance runners can run at about 75% + or - 2% of their maximum sprint speed (based on a 200m sprint time) before maxing out on aerobic power for the 200m distance. Elite distance runners can run closer to 80% + or - 2% of their maximum sprint speed for 200m for short reps like 200m. Ulitimately, it is critical to maximize your 200m sprint speed and then develop your aerobic power to hold a high percentage of it. If you have two milers, the one with better pure sprint speed has greater potential to run a faster mile time. Potential, though, is only potential. Work ethic, desire, and proper training make the other 50% of the difference in performances.
I think one of the best things you can do as a runner is work on your sprint speed so that you can coast along at a lower percentage of your maximum during longer races. Bascially, if you went from being a 25 second 200m runner to a 23 seconds 200m runner it like going from a Buick to a Firebird; you have got more horsepower. Now, once you have more horsepower, you gotta tweek the carburetor so that you don't burn more fuel than necessary over the long haul.
Long runs can probably vary a fair bit in pace, depending on what yo are trying to accomplish -- a pretty quality session for a marathoner, just a steady long run for basic conditioning, and easy recovery effort that still provides benefits. To simplify things it is easiest to pin a relative intensity on the long run -- say 65 or 70% VO2max, but a range is probably more realistic(60-75% of VO2max). Remember that any of the intensities in this range will still be using stored glycogen at about the same rate, fluid loss will be similar, heat builup will be similar. So I've often used an easy 10 miles or so followed by some threshold or marathon paced running to get into the faster paces after already doing a job on the energy stores -- possibly as good as trying to do a steady 18 miler at marathon pace, and a whole lot less stressful. We must never forget the "feeling" factor. Long runs are typically "easy" in nature so what pace produces that feeling one day may not be the same pace another day. If the idea is to practice MP whenalready a little fatigued then easy for an hour or so followed by another hour at MP can do wonders in the confidence area. Sorry, I'm wondering and need to cut it off.
I've been tossing around the idea of doing marathon distance workouts. Obvously one cant run 26.2 at MP each week or even every other. What would you science guys think of a workout that is say 4x10k at goal MP with a bunch of rest. something like 30-60 minutes. Would you achive similar results that the 1500m guys do with 200's as far as race performance?