I suppose it depends on how you're defining "hard". I never found the amount of work I did unmanageable and sort of enjoyed it and the feeling of accomplishment that came with it. I've always tried to follow Arthur's "Train, don't strain" advice. I think that working extreeeemely hard for long time will overtrain you. I'd much rather work consistently and ambitiously for a long time period.
Yes, I did get the book. It is written by a Chinese guy by the name of "Tei" (probably not the correct Chinese pronounciation...). It looks like their "basic" training is 10 miles AM and 10 miles PM; some days it could be 18km AM and 13km PM, etc. Had an interesting chat with Dr. Dave Martin on Ma's Army. All the scandals aside, basically "they ran a lot."
I am at a level of fitness now, where I have to train extremely hard, and even after these workouts, I still recover quickly.
I agree that I won't be able to keep this up forever. There has to be a peak at some point, and some races will tire me more than others, but don't you guys find that: the harder you train, the fitter you get, the fitter you get, the harder you can train?
What is it that stops us developing at some point every few months?
In my case it seems to be gloomy weather. Yes I am a fair weather trainer I suppose. I always seem to lose fitness during long gloomy spells.
That's what made people like Snell or Magee or Halberg to be able to run 22-mile Waitak in 2:15 or so. That's what made people like Ron Clarke to be able to run a very long distance at very fast pace (without dipping into anaerobic). That's also usually the point where people like above mentioned would start racing hard (because you can) and, after a while, start to feel jaded; so you go back and rebuild your condition again. You should still improve your general fitness level year after year but by doing the same time of training (i.e.; just long aerobic running), you can improve only so much.
You need to figure our your own pattern. If you say that gloomy weather is stopping you from being super fit or continue improving, and if you want to keep improving, you need to get out regardless of the weather and continue training. If you don't like to run in the rain or snow or whatever and be content to reach certain level and then level off; so be it. You have nobody to blame. You shouldn't stop training because of the weather (within reason) anyways because most probably the race will NOT be cancelled just because it's raining or snowing.
In my case, what stopped me was injuries or feeling of being overtrained. What I've learnt from that is the true meaning of committment; being truly committed means (1) never forget small matters like icing and good nutrition or getting enough sleep when things are going great; and (2) never get discouraged and give up things that you can do when you can't train properly like massaging or walking or stationary biking, etc. When Seko couldn't run for nearly 2 years, he walked upto 20 miles; he continued what he could do.
I am going to throw an interesting curve ball here.
As I have said I did a lot of running with Bill Baillie and I don't rememeber the actual situation (many years ago !)but someone bought up running big mileage at the hieght of our winter, which in Auckland was cold(ish) and VERY wet.
Bill said he never ran 'bigger' miles in the middle of winter as he had this theory that the body likes to "Hibernate" a little and does not want to be "stressed".
He also felt that because that time of year that the flu/cold season was at its height and if you ran to many miles your immune system was too stressed to handle infections. Comon sense that one.
I always liked the "hibernation" theory though as some days in winter it was hard to get going.
Back then when we ran together (1969!!!!!!) I know Bill's 'load' during the week was relatively light in terms of actual miles. We cranked out 6 milers (Give or take a few depending on the day and workout) every lunch hour.
However I know on weekends that Bill would run never less than 10 or 12 miles on Saturdays at the club (if no racing) and then a good old Waiatarua Sunday.
By Springtime the mileage was starting to climb but the common factor was the Sunday run.
I believe that is where I started to come to the conclusion that the most important run of the week was the long one.
Thanks for the curve ball. Went right around my rib and... But, while I could see Bill saying that, I don't think Arthur would have bought that idea.
Had an interesting talk with Steve Plasencia (and later with Dave Martin on the same subject); that one of the reasons why the state of MN has produced many good distance runners is because of our long tough winter. Not necessarily because it "toughens you up" but because you have no choice but chug along the slog of distance work instead of blasting around the track.
Besides, when I was in NZ, I remember I ran year around in shorts. Rain jacket in winter, yes; but it was so mild that I actually enjoyed running in the rain. Now on the other hand, in MN, when we get rain storm in early spring when temperature is still around 40s...
Nobby, that is why I called it a curve ball. I knew that was pure Baillie not Lydiard.
Sure we can run year round in shorts, but you are talking Auckland. Down here in Rotorua we have been running in tights, long sleeved Thermal tops and Beanies for the last 10 days.
Every morning has been 32 and the temps are about the 35 to 40 when mark when the sun goes down.
Today (Saturday) was the first day I ran in shorts but I had a long sleeved top and hat on.
Kids were doing a 3 k Time trial and when we turned into the wind it was freezing !!! I regretted my shorts decision. However we were into shelter within 400m so not too bad.
Jack Foster quite often ran in Track suits and/or Tights at this time of year, depending when he got out the door.
Ask Lorraine about a good cold Putaruru day !!!
Nobby, HRE, others,
i know the 2 hour run is stressed as very important by you guys and I'm sure this has been covered but I'm working my way though the thread.
Is there anything wrong with that 2 hours being done week after week year round or should a "step back" week of 90:00 or whatever be included. i guess what I'm asking is more could you just slow down the 2 hour LR instead of shortening and get the same result?
When I talked to Peter Snell, he told me, as I've heard before in other places, that things start happening after 90 minutes on a run that you don't get at shorter durations. I'm not even going to try to say what those things are. So 90 minutes might be some sort of threshold. But the longer you go beyond that, the more benefit you get up to a certain point. Greg MacMillan has a post somewhere, maybe not this thread, where he says that he thinks 2:15 is sort of another threshold and that beyond there you run into diminishing returns.
So I'd say to try to get the 2 hr run in each week unless you're really struggling with it. Then back away to 90-105, etc.
I recall reading a study that was published in the late 70's that said that there were several places of increased returns as compared to just several minutes less, 45-48 minutes returned more than a 40 minute run, over 60 minutes significantly more than less. But that once you got over 90 minutes the rate of return for the time climbed significantly and even more so after 105 minutes. The study went on to say that once you got to 120 minutes the return dropped to a very low return rate. Yes there was some improvement, but the loss of form, and general fatigue residue made the returns risky compared to stopping at 2 hours.
With the runners I work with, unless training for a marathon, I use a 90-105-120 3 week cycle. That way they can easily see the returns of the improvement gains of each cycle.
Thanks HRE and Glenn,
Currently I do the following pretty mnuch every week:
m - 30:00
Tu - 90:00
W - off
Th - 90:00
f - 30:00
Sa - 120:00
Su - off
This is all at whatever feels comfortable, mostly 9-10:00 miles. Not training for anything now, just to be in decent shape when I decide to do another 26.2.
So are you guys saying that instead of two ours every week, rotate 90, 105 with it and if so what do I do on Tu. and th. those weeks?
I would say that if, and this is where you have to make the decision, you are able to run 2 hours every week and not feel drained, then do the 2 hours. The return from the extra time makes it worth the extra time. I work with a number of HS runners who find 2 hours weekly year round, a challenge. I also work with lots of runners who try to fit in running around an active life, for them the 2 hours every 3rd week allows for more recovery and scheduling. If you can do the weekly 2 hours and go on about your life without needing a nap after the run, then keep it up. When Dr Snell was at the Lydiard Foundation kick-off, he made a strong argument for the benefit of doing as many 2 hour runs as you can handle. He stated, that even for him as an 800-miler, the two hour runs were THE most important training runs he did.
Nobby, HRE, is this 2 hour run and all the high mileage worth it for a 5k runner. I've found some schedule online that someone interpreted to be what lydiard would have written out to complete a 100 mile week. http://www.bunnhill.com/BobHodge/Special/LydiardInterpreted.htm
M T W Th F SA Su
10, 15, 18, 13, 11, 22, 11(with 10 100m strides
My question is also, how do i rearrange this schedule to fit my pace, becuase i CANNOT run 22miles in 2hours, it would probbally be closer to 18 miles, but then with this schedule i have two 2 hour days in the week. Would i probabally just not complete 100miles, or maybe add a 4-5 mile run double onto 2 days?
I really appreciate the effort you guys have thrown into this board. All the other jobbers out there spend their time bashing high school runners and elites for every little thing they do.
It depends what you are trying to do. If you are trying to run 100 miles in a week, then 22 miles one day will make the 100 easier to achieve. If you are simply looking for the training effect, then 2 hours to 2:20 minutes will certainly get you that. Arthur's original schedules were written when he was working primarily with high caliber runners, as he began working with runners with less talent and loess-lofty goals, he shfted to a more time oriented shedule. His long run in those schedules is 2-2 1/2 hours.
I find that when I and most of the runners I work with run for much over 2 hours, that I spend the rest of the day recovering. If you have a full-life, running, job, home and family, that can be tough to deal with all the other parts of your life.
If 2-hour run plus two 90-minute run are too streesful that you have to take two off days a week, I would reconsider doing one 90-minute on Wednesday and alternate 2-hour and, say, 1:45 biweekly. Add one fartlek day a week and get the "off" day down to at least one day a week. If you can go for an easy jog, it's better.
Also bi-weekly, include one time trial, or tempo or whatever you want to call it, of 20 minutes or so. A bit harder effort but not to the point you're struggling and have to slow down at the end. Keep the pace even from first half and second half.
It's okay to run a flat course for your 2-hour run, but try to find some good cross country course for your mid-week 90-minute run. Try to include as many hills as you can.
All due respect, I think there IS benefit to go really long once in a while (regardless of what scientific research may have indicated). I don't think all the ultra distance work people like Hanlberg (30+ miles for 5000m), Seko (80km), Takahashi (70km) or Soh brothers (125km) did were wasted. I would question any research done that claims this so-called diminishing return first on what kind of subjects they used and second what quality they evaluated as "not-beneficial". What it does more than anything else is to make your legs stronger. The true benefit may only be felt in the last 2km of the marathon or last lap of 5000m after going through heat and semi; but I believe it's there.
Remember also that Lydiard's 100 miles a week is only a guide. There's nothing wrong with doing two 2-hour runs a week if you can handle them and feel the benefit; or alternate 2-hour every other week if you can't handle it. I used to do 18-mile every Sunday in about 2:10 but it was very hilly and I was quite happy with it. I quite often recommend young runners to do, instead of 100 miles a week, 100km (62 miles) a week so they can put some "effort" into the runs; except shoot for 2-hour on weekend (whatever the distance it may be).
It is important to note that details of the research which showed that more than 2 hours of training provided very little return upon invested time. It was done on rats and it was DAILY 2 hour runs (typicaly 5 days in a row) that caused limited gains, not once or twice a week. Lydiard didn't tell you to run 22 miles every day, did he?
So, a long run done periodically has great value. A long run done every day may in fact limit your gains. Tinman
I can handle the two 90:00's and the two hour run just fine. I've always taken two off days a week just because of family, job commitments. I also do some cross-training, tennis usually on the off days. How much of a benefit would there be to adding 30:00-40:00 on one of those days so that I'm running six days a week instead of five. What is the benefit?
As Nobby has said it is really important to remember that the whole deal with schedules is a guide.
As one of the guys who struggled to get to 100 miles a week I found that for me the long run was the key.
Basically when I started I always wanted to run 20 to 22 miles but then I found I went to the 2 to 21/2 hour club.
I probably went to the time factor because when I ran with Bill Baillie in the early 70's he had bad achilles tendon problems and we would literally shuffle away from his house at 10 - 12 minute mile pace. As we progressed and warmed up so the pace lifted. I don't recall finding the pace difficult at the end on those runs but we were not jogging along looking at the daisies.
Some Sundays I would not know how far I went, others I knew exactly. One year I ran 22 consecutive 20 milers (Cross Country)in Cornwall Park in Auckland for no other reason than I could not get over to New Lynn to run the Waiatarua,
(I was a poor student at the time).
That year : Mid week I would generally run 2 other runs of around 1 to 11/2 hours as well.
At the time (1978)I was not competing or that interested in doing so but assisting others with their work. ie training hack.
Sometimes the whole week could depend on what someone wanted to do. I ran a lot with a guy named Howard Healey who that year placed 5th in the Commonwealth Games 3k Steeple. Behind 3 Kenyans of course !!
Howard had also been Coached by Bill Baillie at one stage,
To me it is consistency of miles (not necessarily 100 per week) consistency of days, consistency of months, consistency of years. You throw a long run per week into that mix and you will go places.