Hadd, you left this post a few weeks ago and i fished it back because it was one of the best explanations of training i have ever read..i have a few questions though... (scroll to bottom for questions)
"Man, this board gets updated regularly, I had to go fishing back to page 4 to find this... Still, I did say I would reply.
Okay, let me try and be brief (yeah, right). Here is how I approach a thing.
You have to understand the demands of your event, and train to meet them.
In a 5k, you are going to be working at a very high percentage of VO2max, with very high heart rates. Also, since the event is going to take you at least 15.00, you cannot afford to be creating vast quantities of lactate, in fact, you want to be producing as little as possible while running as fast as possible. (hey, who doesn\'t?)
So for now, two things: high vo2max and high LT (lactate threshold). For one you must train your heart, for the other, your legs. And unfortunately, the same type of training does not optimally cause both effects. Remember that fact: the best training for your heart?s development, is NOT also the best training for your legs?. (Bummer
1) Vo2max is primarily limited by your cardiac output. It\'s a given that the more oxygen you can deliver to your muscles, the more they will use and the faster you will run (hence EPO, altitude, tents...).
Since you cannot improve your HRmax, the only way to improve cardiac output is by improving stroke volume (making your heart pump more with each beat).
The generally accepted best method of achieving this is to run intervals at VO2max pace (which runners usually take as running at 3-5km pace).
Although there was another thread recently about short runs at this pace with short recoveries, for best effect YOU would need to be running around 3-4 mins at this intensity (JD was right, 5 continuous mins at his pace is too hard for training.
.. or else your 5k time sucks).
800s are a bit short, so this will mean 1000s and 1200s with equal time recovery. Aim to run around 4-6k in a session. Begin at 5k pace and aim to run repeat 1000s. When this is do-able (without "knee-grabbing"), move them up to 1200s. (all the time revising the speed of them as your 5k PR improves).
When the 1200s are do-able then try and move the 1000s down slightly nearer to 3k pace and begin again. Never do these faster than 3k pace. Just go longer.
For a high LT you must train your legs. You must recruit and train as many fibres as possible so that they can be utilised in a race at high pace without creating lactate. This means causing them to become wrapped in capillaries (like spaghetti round a fork) so that all the oxygen that is coming in the blood from the heart can be got INTO the muscle cell. Then inside the cell you must stimulate creation of mitochondria and aerobic enzymes...
This is what is going to make you race as well as YOU possibly can. It can (and does) take years and many miles, which is why every year runners go back to base and try and raise their steady state/LT that little bit higher before going into the next season.
Aerobic training must be begun slowly. You are trying to recruit fibres while under fully aerobic conditions and use them until they become fuel exhausted and then recruit the NEXT fibre, and the NEXT, and so on. Your body will thus be stimulated to adapt itself to better supply energy aerobically NEXT time, and if you do this repeatedly, in time you will have a vast store of well trained aerobic fibres.
Done properly, in time you will be able to recruit sufficiently large amounts of these aerobically tireless fibres at the same time to be able to run at close to 5k pace without floods of lactate (even though you trained them all at much slower paces).
Now, to train the legs can take years, but to train the heart can take weeks or only brief months. Your VO2max plateaus quite early in your career (genetically, thanks Dad), but can fluctuate throughout the season, dropping as you concentrate on endurance and rising as you add in the faster running later.
So at the beginning of the season, you work on the legs as soon as poss and for as long as poss.
To move your LT don?t just jump into so-called ?tempo? runs. These would be too fast/hard and not cause the effect you want. Begin from the ground up and work until eg: a 90 min is no longer ?long?. Then work until a once-or-twice-per-week 10-mile run at 5k-pace + 1 min is no longer hard (you could go round again, although you don?t). Then until a session of 3 x 20 mins @ 5k pace + 40 secs is not THAT uncomfortable (and you could do more)... and maybe only THEN begin to work at paces such as 5k-pace + 30 secs (2-3 x 15 mins) right on up... (eventually to 2000m repeats at 10k-pace). All the time being careful. You cannot rush this.
Now this LT work is where your greatest improvement is going to come long-term. Do not be like those interval-trained dudes who are hanging on from 3k onwards in a 5k race and fighting like hell not to let 1-2 secs slip per lap (this due to high lactate incurred in the opening first mile). The whole idea is not to learn to "tolerate" high lactate at race pace, but to train not to produce any (or as little as poss) at race pace. See the diff?
Finally, in 5k racing there is much to be said for efficiency. This involves neuromuscular characteristics associated with running well at race pace. See it as the diff between your feet smacking the ground like a plate of semolina or bouncing off the track in short snappy strides like rubber balls.
Runners who come into the sport from the slow end, discovering they have talent and wanting to move up in speed normally have more problems with this than young guys who had to develop some kind of efficient footstrike for their earlier 800-1500 training. This is a learned thing and drills, hills and speedwork (eg: repeat 400s at best 1500m pace) all have a part to play, even plyos for those who like them.
Within all this, I hope you understand that while training is (as malmo often reminds us) ?not rocket science?, neither is it Irish stew. You cannot just get all the ingredients and dump it into one training week and stir the mother... and repeat it forever.
King of Karma said the same. You want to race your best, then "periodize".
Start by working on your endurance (as I explained above) and start moving that LT, because that takes the longest. You want to get it up high before you add in the 5k-pace work (or you will struggle to run longer than 800m at this pace and repeat 1200s will not be fun at all).
Allow as long as possible. If you have done some of your endurance running in the hills before heading to the track it will help to ease you into the 5k down to 3k work. (All the time being careful to maintain the endurance and LT), finally add in some drills and faster/sprint work to develop your footstrike and it?s time to race.
How long will all this take? Well, how long do you have?"
For me, going into indoor track in my senior year of high school, I have decided to train correctly for once in my life and actually have a plan for the season. I\'m taking this month of November and am applying the LSD approach to buildup my legs before I add in more quality stuff starting in December. For ME however, the main focus is on the 1600 and 3200. Are these same principals still applicable? And if they are, are they optimal? Should I instead try a more Coe-approach? (I am pretty much coaching myself this season.) thanks alot for any help.
Hadd, you left this post a few weeks ago and i fished it back because it was one of the best explanations of training i have ever read..i have a few questions though... (scroll to bottom for questions)
I do not have enough time right now for a decent reply to your question. This is just to let you know I will come back to this tomorrow.
Of course a good aerobic base is vital even for 1600-3200 runners and you are right to begin your season this way. Note that at least 65% of the effort a 1600 race (and more in a 3200) must come from the aerobic system, so it makes sense to ensure it is up to scratch.
Here we go...
OK, if you read thru my lengthy post which you copied above, then you should understand that you are trying to do a number of things:
Let me number those points:
1 Get as much oxygen out of your lungs and into the blood where it binds to as many hemoglobin molecules as you can create.
2. Pump that blood as fast as possible, in as huge quantities as possible,
3. to as many muscle fibres as you can reach and get that oxygen into the fibres where it can be used to create energy without lactic acid buildup.
It might help to think of it like this:
The oxygen is the product to be delivered.
The hemoglobin is the fleet of delivery trucks.
The capillaries surrounding the muscles are the road network.
Every one is vital for the system to work to its fullest.
As I explained above, a form of training that works one part of the body (the heart), is not also the best system to work another part of the system (the legs).
The base building you need is to create part 3. the network of capillaries. You need to create so many that every single muscle fibre becomes wrapped in them like vines round a tree. The more there are round a fibre, the more time there will be for the oxygen to transfer over into the muscle cell. The more that fibre can be used without lactic acid buildup and without tiring.
And long aerobic running is the best way to do this. But note this, your body only recruits enough fibres to develop the power needed to run at the pace you are doing. Some fibres in the muscle are working flat out, while others are totally relaxed. If you want to train enough fibres, then you must go far enough that the first fibres become fuel exhausted, causing your body to rest them and recruit the next set of fibres, then the next...
As each fibre becomes fuel exhausted, it is stimulated to adapt itself so that it can do the same job BETTER next time (maybe store more fuel to last longer before exhaustion, maybe increase its enzymes to provide more energy at a faster rate...)
So, as should be obvious, one long run is better than two short ones. It is not enough to run 70mpw if it is made up of 2 x 5 miles every day. Much better to have 3 longer runs of 90 mins, with some shorter work (like runs of 60 mins) in the days in between.
Another reason for so doing (as the Japanese show us) is that our bodies will not recruit the thicker / stronger fibres until the thinner ones are exhausted... so the long runs are really necessary to get to the thicker (more powerful and usually more anaerobic) fibres. But the pace can be as slow as you want. Even 8 mins/mile is okay, just go further and further. (Note here that Paula's 3000m time improved this year after she moved up to marathon-type training)
So, run as many miles as you can at approx 1-mile pace plus 2:30-3.00 mins per mile (ie: if 1-mile pace is 4.30, run easy at 7.00-7.30mins/mile).
Don?t be worrying that you are training slow, yet want to race fast, your body is smart enough to recruit as many of these well-trained aerobic fibres as it needs to generate any running pace required. (Imagine lots of little dudes getting together on a tug-of-war rope; get enough of them at the same time and you can generate substantial power.)
Peter Snell showed this in the 1960s, running WR in 800m (might have been 880yds in those days) after lots of 22 mile long runs in the hills in New Zealand.
Now this won?t happen overnight, so your decision to devote only November to this is not long enough. Aim for 8-10 weeks (or as long as poss), and don?t forget to run some of these in the hills. Don?t run them hard, but lifting the knees to go uphill will recruit fibres not normally used in running on the flat and come in handy on raceday. Also run offroad if possible, just always easy, able to hold a 90 minute conversation with a running partner.
In time, a 90 min run will seem "short", and you will know your aerobic system is improving.
Running once or twice per week (within a 60 min run) at 1-mile pace plus 2.00 mins mile (ie: 6.30 pace for a 4.30 miler) for say 3 x 15 mins with a short jog in between is also good after the first 3-4 weeks. Just always be careful, as I explained above. Do not be impatient, you cannot rush this and it is too easy to do this too fast and achieve very little in the way of development.
I started a thread above about racing off of no speed training but I've learned a lot from your advice.
My aerobic system sucks & I keep trying to run hard or fast with not enough aerobic background, thus I keep getting tired & injured. My body just seems to not be able to handle all of the hard training that I used to do off of 60 miles/week.
What are your thoughts about throwing out the weekly speed training, just sticking with aerobic paced runs all during the year & using races as all of the hard running to produce better results? Thanks again.
Hadd, good stuff as always. Could you recommend some books or other sources that go into the kind of detail that you do on the physiology of running/endurance. Thanks.
Hi Lame Runner,
While there is something to be said for your argument to run only aerobically and leave the faster stuff for during a race, I think the real problem is just doing the interval work too early.
Many people jump into fast training before they are ready for it, in the belief that to race fast they must train fast. What they need to understand is that there are a number of things they must do FIRST before they will be able to benefit from the fast training.
If your lactate threshold pace (LT) is very low due to insufficient aerobic background, then any running at the usually recommended interval paces of 3-5k (which is way above LT pace) will cause floods of lactate and rapidly cause high symptoms of stress. Apart from the discomfort, this will not cause the adaptations you seek.
The LT of some runners can occur at 60% of vVO2max pace (which we will call 3,000m pace for the purposes of this post). So running so far above LT when he does his interval repeats is going to cause this guy severe discomfort and very high lactate. Probably finish up with a headache, sucking wind after each repeat and maybe even throw up if he is stupid enough to do too many repeats. And he will not improve, next week they will be just as difficult again.
If he moves the LT up to 80-85% of vVO2max (or higher), then the energy from the anaerobic system required to boost him to 3k pace will be much less. Meaning lower stress, much lower lactate, and significantly improved adaptation afterwards.
If you slowly build up the aerobic system, maximising the aerobic ability of every muscle fibre, then any lactate caused by training at 3-5k pace will be reduced. This, for a number of reasons:
1. More, and stronger, fibres will be aerobically trained and will be able to generate a large amount of power (with low commensurate lactate) to get you close(r) to 5k pace, and the need to recruit extra (non-aerobically trained) fibres will be small and the total lactate caused by such fibres will be lower. Without adequate aerobic work, the many fibres recruited will be creating lots of lactate, and this will happen at earler/slower paces.
2. When lactate is created in working fibres, this is leaked out into the blood and can be picked up by other, aerobically trained fibres and used/converted back into a source of energy. This lactate production and clearance helps the blood lactate to remain stable and not rise to stressful levels. Obviously, with too many untrained fibres, lactate is produced faster than it can be cleared (because there are not enough aerobically trained fibres) and will rapidly go out of control.
So, jumping into interval training must only be done when the LT is brought up as high as possible so the requirement for assistance from the anaerobic system is as low as possible. Too many runners START interval training far too early in the season, long before they are ready to deal with it.
Note above where I wrote:
"To move your LT don?t just jump into so-called ?tempo? runs. These would be too fast/hard and not cause the effect you want. Begin from the ground up and work until eg: a 90 min is no longer ?long?. Then work until a once-or-twice-per-week 10-mile run at 5k-pace + 1 min is no longer hard (you could go round again, although you don?t). Then until a session of 3 x 20 mins @ 5k pace + 40 secs is not THAT uncomfortable (and you could do more)... and maybe only THEN begin to work at paces such as 5k-pace + 30 secs (2-3 x 15 mins) right on up... (eventually to 2000m repeats at 10k-pace). All the time being careful. You cannot rush this."
Good ways of checking/proving this, is whereas many runners will do 10 x 400m at 3k pace, they are less keen to run 800m repeats at 3k pace, and fewer still want to run repeat 1,000s at this pace, and when it gets to 1200s they are remarkably few volunteers. Obviously, the longer the repeat, the more you must rely on the aerobic system.
Done properly, the aerobic system can be improved to a tremendous extent. Look at Paula and her 5.14m/m marathon (and this pace is 99% aerobic)... and much of her day-to-day aerobic running is done at sub-6.00m/m pace at which she is extremely comfortable.
The point being that when she runs at 3-5k pace, the stress on her will be less than the equivalent stress on a less well trained runner at his/her 3-5k pace. This, even though Paula will be running significantly faster in most cases.
Maximise the aerobic system so that it can do its full share of the work before even considering traditional "speed" training.
Your e-mail if I could, thanks.
Hi x-man, (or, just to be safe) Hi x-girl,
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be one single book (or handful of books) that i could point you at to get a solid background in the physiology of running. Some are good (like Martin & Coe), but assume too much on the part of the reader; they tell you too much. ("Just the facts, ma'am. Just tell us the facts.")
So most people just skip the first half and get to the training bit. Which is a pity. I always believe that if a runner understands WHY he is doing such and such training he is more likely to do it better, more conscientiously and less likely to overdo it.
Any good physiology book will explain how the human body works (usually in more depth than you want to know), but will not ally it to how it applies to running.
I once read chunks of the Tim Noakes book, some years ago, but cannot remember the style of it to tell you if it would suit a reader new to the field. I have not read either Daniels or Pfitzinger, but have seen them being mentioned on here...
Maybe some of the others could chime in here with the titles of books they personally found useful.
Sorry I cannot be more helpful. Is there a specific question you need help with?
it's proven that more hgh is released by body after a 60-70% effort. slower or faster than that wont do the magic. just try.
While I appreciate your request for my email (ie: you believe I can be of help to you), I would like you to understand that I do not really have the time for extended one-on-one advice.
I believe you stand a better chance of success and will certainly receive a wider range of input/response to your queries on the LetsRun boards than from a single source.
Having said all that, if you feel it is necessary, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to time constraints I cannot guarantee to reply to any or all question(s) received.
I have read Daniels' book and found it helpful, but was wanting more of the nuts and bolts that you provide in your messages. Any good recommendations for a good basic physiology book?
Also, when you talk about doing 1000m-1200m intervals at your 3k-5k pace, what should the recovery be, easy running? How long should it be, less time or the same as the duration of the interval? And what are the physiological reasons behind the type and duration of rest between the intervals? Thanks, x (man)
One book popular at undergraduate level is:
Physiology of Sport and Exercise
by Jack H. Wilmore, David L. Costill
Hardcover: 710 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.44 x 11.24 x 8.88
Publisher: Human Kinetics Pub; ISBN: 0736000844; 2nd edition (January 1999)
This retails for $64.00, but a quick check on Amazon shows they have second-hand from $35.00 and up.
Do not expect to understand every word from beginning to end straight out the box, but it is well-explained. Get the basic gist at first, and then you may find that your growing knowledge provokes you to go off and study in areas where you feel your understanding is more weak. Questions are valuable things. That's how everybody starts, with annoying questions they want to answer.
The object of running at vVO2max, is to spend the longest time possible at that effort level for maximum adaptation. Note that I said "effort level" and not speed, they are not the same thing. Running 400s at 3000m pace and 1200s at 3000m pace is not causing the same effect. The guy who can manage 1200s is wayyyy better.
The object of the recovery is obviously to be able to complete the next interval. I prefer/encourage my runners to jog the recovery to get some fresh oxygenated blood coursing through the muscles to help clear any lactate (get it to the heart, liver and other muscles where it can be used/reconverted into energy). Obviously if you need to lie on your back for 10 mins oblivious to the world and just wheezing, the pace has been too fast.
You can use this to see who is fit, the guy who completes the interval and goes straight into the jog is more fit than the guy who stops, staggers for a few seconds sucking wind and wants to walk 50m or so before jogging. You can tell who is going to beat who in the next race.
One general rule is to take equal time recoveries, but don't be too hard and fast on this. For 400-800s, you might even take less recovery, since you want to hit VO2max effort as early as possible in the next interval. For 1200s, I usually give 4 mins easy jogging.
Don't ever get too fast on these, just go longer. It should be possible to train up to be able to run 4-5 x 1200m @ 3000m pace, and if you can do THAT with some jogging in between, your PR is about to get revised next time out.
Hadd, thanks again!
I've been following the advice you've been given and things seem to be really clicking along. I'm at the point where I'm running my 10 mile run at 5K pace plus about 40 secs and it's really not that difficult anymore. Should I start trying to incorporate some shorter things (i.e. 5X4min @ 5K pace) which I did last week for the first time , or should I be doing some mile repeats at 5K-10K pace?
I'm just trying to figure out what road to head down (shorter faster repeats or longer slower repeats to go along with my 10 mile tempo type run). I'm at the point where I can run for 2 hours,15-16 miles @ 7:45 pace pretty easily but my 10K race pace is only about 6:10 or so.
Any input will be greatly appreciated as always.
Good to hear that you have been able to string some good training together out of what are really only (ok, lengthy) posts on a running board.
Let's go over some things quickly to make sure that what you have got is what you THINK you have got.
1. For a 6.10m/m 10k runner, the 7.45m/m long run for 2 hrs seems ok.. To confirm that it is as easy as it should be, check that your HR does not climb during the run. Meaning, if after 20-30 mins yr HR is 140, then at the end of the run it is still around the 140-145 mark... that it has not climbed to over 10-12 beats higher. If it has climbed, back off on the intensity a little till it stays pretty stable. The actual running pace is not important here, just be comfortable. Able to talk the whole way.
2. To actually run for 10 miles at 5k pace + 40 secs is no mean feat (unless your 5k pace needs serious revision?which it might). This is the sort of pace/effort we would expect in a marathon. So again, to make sure that it is still aerobic, check that the HR does not slope upwards over the course of the run. If it is 160 after 15-20 mins, then it should be no more than 163-165 at the end of the run (note, I always caution that you SHOULD be capable of doing more, although you might not do so). So, check that you are as comfortable as you believe. It is not too difficult to run 10-miles at this pace, but would you go another 5 miles? Another 8 miles? Unless you confidently believe you would, IF YOU HAD TO, then take steps to check that you are as "comfortable" as you are meant to be. I put comfortable in inverted commas, because it is relative to the effort. Ok, you don't want to run all day at this pace, but neither are you dying for the 10-mile mark to arrive so you can stop.
(Obviously when I talk of stable HR's, I assume the conditions remain the same: the route does not become hillier, the sun doesn't bake down on you and fry you...)
Assuming all of the above are alright (and here, don't be in a hurry, take a little time to be sure you are not pushing the pace even just a bit on these runs).
Now I would suggest you pencil in a low-key 10k race about 4 weeks down the road. By that time you are going to want the real truth about where exactly you are. And the only way to do that is to stand on a startline. (You don't say if you have run a race recently).
From now, keep the once-a-week 10-mile M-pace run (equivalent to 5k + 40 secs), although you can break it down into 2 x 30 mins, or 3 x 20 mins effort with a 2-3 jog in the middle, if you want.
One other time of the week build up to where you can run 5 x 2000m (5 laps) at 10k pace with a 2-3 min jog between each one. Here you might start with miles and move them up after 2 weeks. At this intensity, expect the HR to SLOWLY rise over the course of the session with each 2000m, but still not to uncontrollable levels. No sucking wind, panting breathing, or any of that stuff. With what you have explained, I would not expect this session to be too tough for you.
Then do the 10k race in 4 weeks and confirm exactly where you stand. If the race has gone well, you have been able to race hard throughout, stable pace and lifting it in the last mile, then it will be time to add in some 5k and even 3k paced training. Don't be disappointed with the 10k time (whatever it is, even though it might be a PR), this is just a time-trial in company, a reality check, there will still be a huge chunk to come off it after the faster training.
Make sure and do some of you easy running in the hills for now. Keep them aerobic, but lift the knees and work the arms, don't "shuffle" up them. Just relax on the downhills.
Check back in a few weeks if you have other questions. (of course, check back immediately if I have not explained myself well enough, and you still have questions).
Terrific posts! Do you coach at the collegiate level or are you an ex phys guy? Former or current athlete? Just curious.
I will certainly put your knowledge to work on my hs team. We have won State many times off of mileage, long repeats (6-8min), and a bit of turnover work; however, your theory that 3-4min pieces work better intrigues me.
Personally, in my forties I'm finding I need long periods (6 months or so) at aerobic and upper-end aerobic running(100/wk with a few strides thrown in once per week. Wish I had approached my younger training days this way.
What are your thoughts on these purely aerobic periods? Is it too long? I've got an invite to Motorola marathon in Feb but am running club Nats in Sacremento in Dec. Would I destroy aerobic enzymes by doing VO2 work before Nats? I've been planning on racing that XC event and a few road races (before Motorola) off of purely aerobic work. Do we actually need anything other than aerobic work for a marathon? I just did 16 on the track (yes, switching directions occasionally) at exact marathon pace (yeah, thank you Kevin Beck for that insane idea!) and plan to do 18-19 of the same in Dec and maybe 20-22 in Jan. That planned marathon pace work for 2 16 milers seemed to help a great deal for Chicago two years ago. It just seems to me that VO2 intervals just don't pertain to the marathon. Am I wrong?
Questons, questions....enjoy Rome. Do you work there?
Tremendous postings!!! You have a wonderful ability of explaining human physiology in a very simple way.
I am a 36 yr old former collegiate 800/1500 guy who has been struggling with my running for the last 12+ years. I have always had great speed (still can run 400m in the low 50s), but always suffered outside those distances. I was one of those guys who went out hard and held on. Since 1990, I had tried several marathons but always suffered through them and always ended up walking.
Last year, I decided I needed to try something different (It took me long enough to figure out that what I was doing was not working). Fortunately, I found the answer. I have 2 friends that I have been running with on Saturdays for about 5 years. Both are strong runners, but not outstanding. However, both are very well read and very intelligent. They are real students of the sport of running and everything else they do. They have put together a 22 week (5 cycle) marathon plan that seems to mirror your previous posts. The results have been tremendous. 5 weeks ago I had a 38 minute PR in the marathon and finished feeling great. I have just this week started my training for Boston after a 5 week lay-off and my body has just bounced back. My speed is as good as it has been in the last 10 years and my running economy has just flourished. I will be very surprised if I don't take another chunk off my marathon time come April.
Keep posting and I may hit you with an email or 2 every now and then.
I am a coach and "ex phys guy". And am a much better coach than I ever was an athlete. I have about 20-25 runners at any one time. Quite a diverse group: among them young guys able to run low 3.50s for 1500m and sub 8.25, for 3000m, one female 2.36 marathoner, a 2.27 vet and just recently a couple of guys looking to run sub-2.15 marathons next year. So it is a nice mix, and makes for interesting coaching.
To go into your questions on "purely aerobic periods", I once talked with one sub-2.28 female marathoner and she said than in the last six weeks before her PR she never ran faster than marathon pace.
We would never do vVO2max sessions in the build up to a marathon. Or maybe just a one-off for the athlete to have a bit of fun running fast.
You M-pace sessions look good, but 22 miles? Are you looking to break the WR? I used to see Gelindo Bordin doing these runs in lower-key marathons where he would stop at 20 miles (after being quiet in the second pack of runners, never competing) and get in a car. But longer than that? My wife, the 2.36 runner, does up to half marathon at this pace, but we have never found a need for her to go longer. Although we do make sure when she finishes that she is fresh enough to go further.
About "running Nats", what distance is this? Are you an important counter in the team? Can you not just run it off distance training (with some sessions of 5 x 2000m or 3 x 3000m repeats at 10k pace)? Those will make you strong. If you want, stick in something like 2 x (8 x 400m) at 3k pace with 100m jog recovery in 30-40 secs and 800m jog between sets. These will sharpen you up pretty fast and can be good fun.
About "destroying enzymes", your body adapts to the particular stress placed upon it. Give it miles and you become an aerobic animal, give it lots of anaerobic work and it will adapt to become better able to provide energy anaerobically. But just adding a couple of weeks of sharpening on top of good aerobic work will not do this, and between Nats in Dec and Motorola in Feb you can get back into some solid marathon-pace training.
I live well south of Rome, but am on the same time zone. My wife is from here and I have lived here for 20 years.
With a 38 min improvement in your marathon PR, it should be me that is asking YOU some questions!
Good luck on the build up to Boston. Glad to help if I can.
Thanks for the response. Yes, I'll have to see how the 18-19 at 6:00 pace goes before I try a 22m. Austin goal is sub 2:40 (went 2:41:45 at Chicago in 2001 and felt great for 20m...then wasn't willing to hurt after it stopped feeling easy)
Couple of queries:
Would the 90min runs twice per week be better than several 60AM,60PM days?
Many of my 6,8,10,12 runs are below 7 min pace. Should I slow down (I'm running 16:30ish 5ks in my old age...)
My 2 hour runs often start at 6:30 and finish with last 30 min at 6 or below. Too fast?
You suggest 5x2000 and 3x3000 wkts. At 5k pace? What type and length of rest?
Thanks for the useful thread and help!