(I am replying to Fuerza, but this could really be to anyone/everyone.....)
I appreciate all the feedback from the posters who responded to my posts/questions, but I still feel that most of you are answering me my based on some possibly incorrect assumptions you have about the type of workout I am describing, some possibly incorrect assumptions about training in general, and possibly just a continued misunderstanding of what I am trying to make clear.
Are you reading the part where I wrote (several times I believe)-
SHOW ME WHY VERY SHORT REPEATS AT 5K/10K RACE PACE WITH SUFFICIENT REST INTERVALS IS HARDER/MORE STRESSFUL ON THE BODY THAN A MODERATE-PACED(much slower than race-pace) STEADY(no breaks) RUN?
SHOW ME! Don’t just assume that it is, if you have not done the workouts or coached runners using these workouts! And if the workout feels a little too stressful, either shorten the repeats even more, slow the pace a little (run them at 10k race pace, maybe these are better 10k workouts), or increase the rest intervals a bit.
Example: a 16:00 5k runner runs 45 minutes(total time) of 100m repeats at just-a-bit-slower-than-race-pace, with rest intervals. 16:005k is 77 400m pace. That means each 100 could be run in around 19.25-20.0 seconds (5k race-pace to just slower). This runner might have decent speed, and might be able to run 12.5 for 100m with a running start.
*SO HOW IS RUNNING 19.25-20.0 SECONDS 100’S STRESSFUL/RISKY TO HIS MUSCLES/TENDONS? It should not be, since it is well of his full capabilities of top speed running. Muscle pull/tear risk should be minimal.
* AND HOW IS THIS TRAINING STRESSFUL CHEMICALLY/HORMONALLY TOO HIM? If he is taking breaks every 100m, and watching his HR during repeats and rest intervals, and not allowing his HR to climb above 85% of max HR at any time (lets say max HR is 200, and his HR reaches a workout max of 160-165 ONLY during the end up each repeat and beginning of each rest interval), then he is not performing above his LASS (anaerobic threshhold) at any time, and is not inducing a lot of acidity to his muscles/body. During the recovery his HR would drop to, lets say, around 135, and he would begin the next repeat. In the end his avg HR for workout might be 155, with fluctuations between 135-165.
Why is that above workout NECESSARILY HARDER than a workout of steady running at a moderate pace(lets say around an avg of 7:00 –7:15 per mile), where one begins slowly (with HR around 140), picks up the pace very gradually and only somewhat, reaches a top HR of 160 for the last 1/4 of the run, and also avg’d THE SAME HR of around 155 for the 45 minutes ??
So question 1 is: is the faster intermittent run really harder/more difficult/more stressful than the slower steady run? If not, why do intermittent runs always need to be considered hard/difficult sessions??
Now IF we establish that the type of workout I describe is not necessarily a hard/difficult/stressful one, and is similar in stress to the moderate-paced steady run I described, then the next question becomes:
* WHICH WORKOUT IS MORE BENEFICIAL?? One that involves running closer to race pace in very short bursts with rest intervals, or one that involves steady running with no breaks at paces nowhere near race-pace? And remember, both runs are done for SAME amount of time, AND are run using the SAME energy systems ( runs have same avg HR’s, don’t put athlete in Oxygen debts, and are run with HR’s always in the range of 70-85% max. Of course the intermittent workout has more HR fluctuations, but even during rest interval, HR does not go below 135. )
Both workouts, in my mind, would involve/induce the same aerobic-conditioning physiological adaptations, but one (the intermittent one) would induce better neuro-muscular adaptations to race pace. Aren’t such neuro-muscular adaptations essential to an athlete’s development? Can such adaptations ONLY be induced twice a week??????
It seems that most everyone one here, accept Speed Kills and to a certain extent Antonio, seems to be assuming the following:
* Intermittent training must be a quite stressful/difficult form of training. Or at least to be useful, it must be quite stressful training. Why? I don’t think it has to be.
* Everyone in the world trains on a "couple hard sessions a week, all the other sessions are easy" schedule. So many athletes I have seen use, hard, easy, and MODERATE/MEDIUM sessions. Why only sessions on each end of the spectrum (hard or easy)? I don’t believe this is how all athlete’s train. So maybe my session is not a hard or easy session, but a moderate one. What’s wrong with THAT? What’s wrong with fitting some moderate sessions in along with the easy and hard ones?
* So-called "easy, recovery runs" are ONLY just that: their only purpose it to enhance recovery from previous hard sessions. I beg to differ. Such runs may indeed speed recovery (over doing nothing at all, or of course compared to another hard session), but they are clearly ALSO producing fitness adaptations/gains (increasing one’s overall endurance base). And what many of you call a "recovery" or "easy" day I believe is more stressful to the body than one might realize: 15 miles of running (maybe accomplished in two sessions) at any pace places a stress on the body. Maybe only a slight one for a great athlete, but then running some very short repeats at SUB-SUB-SUB-max-speed and at a HR well below LASS, with proper rest intervals, should ALSO not be considered stressful to such an athlete. RIGHT?
I am simply making an argument for the use of intermittent training as a training tool that can be used as….
A) MORE than just a hard/difficult session, and therefore can be used…
B) MORE than just 2 or 3 times a week, and therefore can be used…
C) IN PLACE of some slower STEADY runs that everyone seems to think is the only way to run a "non-hard" workout.
As I have said in the past, several of Igloi’s athletes used intermittent training sessions THIRTEEN TIMES A WEEK (twice a day, except once on Sundays). And these were not just a couple random "special" athletes. These were MANY athletes from two continents (at least) from different generations. And if some had injury issues, so many others thrived. Now I am NOT going to argue against the idea that possibly such COMPLETE reliance on intermittent training was not too much of a good thing (it probably was in many cases, and certainly ignored other types of useful sessions), and that too many of these workouts were run at efforts that exceeded a moderate effort (I am sure that too many did), but such concerns does not sway from believing that regular use of intermittent training DOES NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE a too difficult program . One can always tweak an intermittent session (again, by slowing down the pace, or shortening the repeat distance, or increasing the rest interval) to make it quite moderate on the body while STILL MAINTAING the benefits of the workout. For instance using rest intervals of VERY easy jogging (practically walking) combined with walk/standing breaks hasten recovery (compared to moderate jogs for recovery), and allow a quicker return to faster running. On that point I agree with Dunes Runner who wrote:
" However, with the passive method you have double the time at race pace, and no jogging. It is all at race pace. Also there is more race pace covered per time. I am not advocating one way or the other, but saying that I find the passive method to give me better stimulation and recovery in between."
OK, I am done, because I see some very interesting posts from Antonio on Chaica’s training. I am interested in studying it. But until someone adequately answers/refutes my questions/claims, I will use intermittent training MORE than just a couple sessions a week and not ONLY for "difficult" sessions. I will let you all know someday how that experiment turns out for me!