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Few workout questions

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Few workout questions

Post  JohnP on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:12 pm

Looking for guidance as I am finding I want to modify my marathon training programs a bit rather than use the ones I have:

1) What is the harm in doing 20 milers each weekend if I have the time, the ability, and am not getting injured (I am talking about doing 5-7 of them the last few months of training)?

2) What is the value of doing a workout that includes 12 x 1 minute with 1 minute recovery? My plan has this in a lot and I feel I'd be better off doing longer intervals such as 440s or 880s.

3) How long should a tempo run get?I did 35 and 45 minute tempos and feel I could keep going. Should I go longer, or try to do the 45 minute tempos faster?

Thanks for any comments (except from Jerry Smile )
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Jerry on Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:34 pm

1. More miles, the better.
2. Can be a change, but not a regular workout.
3. Daniels' definition is 21(maybe 24, too lazy to check) with FCR style.

PS: it's hard not to speak as a third person.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  mul21 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:08 pm

I'd be leery of a build up of fatigue with that many 20s that late in the cycle. Over 16-18 weeks, I don't see a problem with 5-7 of them. I get really beat up by long runs though, so my perspective may be skewed.

Those 12 x 1 min reps seem to be an easy way to keep some leg speed without getting beat up by doing true interval work. If you're doing other speed work (i.e. tempos), I think that's a good thing at certain points in the cycle.

My longest true tempos have been just shy of 45 minutes spent at tempo pace. That works out to about 6 miles, but I've done them as a progressive workout where each mile is a bit faster than the last. For instance, my next one I have planned, I'll probably do on a mill and work down from 7:13 pace to 6:58 or 6:53.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Nick Morris on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:21 pm

1. I would worry a little bit about fatigue, but when I get to just about halfway through my cycles, all of my long runs are either 20s or a stepback 12-14 miles. I normally end up with 5-7 20s in my cycle.

2. I think the 12 x 1 would be a good change up run that could help you out with speed.

3. Usually my tempo runs are around the 35-45 minute range. I think that is a decent amount of time to work on some more speed type training.

No matter what you choose, if you start feeling fatigued, remember to let up a little and rest up. Definitely want to avoid an injury.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:25 am

1. Previously answered by others.

2. Leg turnover, leg strength, lactic acid tolerance + potentially clearance. I'm assuming the work intervals are at 5k pace?

3. McMillan defines tempos as being anywhere from 25min to 1hr+. Obviously, the 25min runs will be at the fast end of your tempo range, the 1hr+ at the slow end.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  fostever on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:42 am

There's something to be said about step back weeks to get some recovery before taking the next leap up the training ladder. You've done enough cycles to know how your body responds. You probably log most of your previous workouts (marathon cycles) along with record of injuries or setbacks to know if you can take these sustained levels of mileage. I'd be playing it by ear though and backing off if you feel the body rejecting it.

I think it is used to get some fast twitch muscles trained and firing to help in racing situations. I agree, since most marathons for us is against the clock and not trying to beat a competitor, the longer repeats seem more useful.

Depends on how you define tempo runs. If you mean marathon pace for the whole thing you could benefit with some as long as 10 miles which for you would be 1hour and 20 min. If it's a Hal style tempo which builds up from recovery pace to like 10K pace and backs down to recovery. I think those usually go 45 min.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:55 pm

1. Wouldn't work for me, but I'm like Jim and get beat up by the 20 milers; however, I could easily do 15-16 every weekend. I might alternate the 20s with shorter weeks of say 13-15.
2. No harm in these workouts and I do 6-10 striders after most of my slower,easy runs during marathon training. I also do many longer "speed" workouts involving mile repeats and such at least 1x per week.
3. My tempo runs are usually around 40 min, but it is whatever works best for you.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Diego on Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:10 pm

When you get to the point that you can complete 20 milers feeling pretty good, it's time to make those 20 milers faster, i.e. making it a progressive 20 miler or 2x3 or 3x3 mile @ MP. That's from Canova.

I think a good program includes 8-10 runs of 18-22 miles.

The 12x 1 minute is good.

I think you also need 3k-10k pace intervals once per week totalling no more than 5-8% of your total distance.

I like building my tempos into my long runs(e.g. 3-6 miles @ HMP) towards the end of the long run.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Dave-O on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:14 pm

1) What is the harm in doing 20 milers each weekend if I have the time, the ability, and am not getting injured (I am talking about doing 5-7 of them the last few months of training)? The main concern with that many 20s is your ability to recover. If you recover without residual fatigue 2-3 days later, I think running 20 every weekend is very beneficial. Doing so also allows you to log more 12-16 milers without needing recovery.

2) What is the value of doing a workout that includes 12 x 1 minute with 1 minute recovery? My plan has this in a lot and I feel I'd be better off doing longer intervals such as 440s or 880s. 1:00 fartleks and 400/800m repeats serve very different purposes. Including the 1:00 on/off surges into your long runs aids in running on fatigue legs, somewhat similar to replicating late race fatigue. I personally prefer these in your midweek long run - and prefer the weekend long run to be steady - but that's in part because of my endurance deficiencies.

3) How long should a tempo run get?I did 35 and 45 minute tempos and feel I could keep going. Should I go longer, or try to do the 45 minute tempos faster? Both. The 35-45 minute tempos should be hard, at your true lactic threshold pace. The longer "tempos" can be closer to goal marathon pace. Last time I PR's in the marathon, I had logged a 12 and 14 mile tempo, each time starting a tad slower than MP, progressing to 10-15 seconds faster than MP, and averaging just slightly faster than goal MP.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Ben Z on Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:01 pm

1) What is the harm in doing 20 milers each weekend if I have the time, the ability, and am not getting injured (I am talking about doing 5-7 of them the last few months of training)? Do it. Just try to cutback every third or fourth week to stay healthy.

2) What is the value of doing a workout that includes 12 x 1 minute with 1 minute recovery? My plan has this in a lot and I feel I'd be better off doing longer intervals such as 440s or 880s. To practice leg turnover without doing a full-fledged interval workout. You can do these often with less need for recovery. I.e., more total 'faster' running each week in a safe way.

3) How long should a tempo run get?I did 35 and 45 minute tempos and feel I could keep going. Should I go longer, or try to do the 45 minute tempos faster? Depends how you define tempo. If it means 15k to half marathon pace then 4-6 miles is typically enough. If it means marathon pace then as long as you can manage once per week the last 12 weeks. Note: I'm purposely not talking in minutes here because of speed differences. For tempo runs I think it's important that people are able to do the distance at pace. If not then marathon goals need to be evaluated.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  Chris M on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:25 am

Good answers above. I'll just add that on the tempos, I think it all comes down to what "style" of tempo you are running both in total miles/minutes and also whether it is a sustained pace (FCR) or "Hal-style" with a build up and back down.

My own preference is for the FCR and staying at tempo pace throughout the 30-40 minutes. Tempo-pace means anything from 10K pace to HMP and no slower for the shorter FCR distances (under 4 miles at a time like a 2x3 workout). I'll start at MP for a longer sustained tempo like 6 straight. For the longer ones like Dave describes, I prefer to hop into a half marathon and then run it as an MP run, maybe with a fast mile or two at the end if I'm really feeling good. Those are good workouts to do as well along with the 30-40 minute runs. Thinking....I've done the half marathon (20K once) at MP thing at least 6 different times.

I'd be surprised if you are able to do 5 miles straight in the 10k to HMP range and still be wanting more. Tempos are TOUGH.
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Re: Few workout questions

Post  JohnP on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:58 pm

I want to thank everyone for the great replies and advice. I didn't give much background to the questions and probably should have but I doubt it would have changed the responses. Basically, the past three months I've been buried at work meaning about I can do during the week is 5-10 miles a day but I have more time on the weekends so figured the longer runs each week would help somewhat. The best answer seems to be to keep up the distance if it doesn't compromise other training, and also try to do more faster (or progression).

Tempos are still somewhat of a mystery - I do the FCR style ones but my endurance in a marathon doesn't match what I can do in a tempo (i.e., based on my tempos, I should be able to do a faster marathon). From what I read, besides the FCR tempos, it might be good to incorporate soem longer MP to MP-15 or so runs into the schedule. This I will try to do. I still have 10 weeks left in the program and feel very good about my training so it's time to try to turn it up a notch.

Thanks again, great advice.
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