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Canova 101

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Canova 101

Post  Ben Z on Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:23 pm

So I am stuck on Canova at the moment. Reading about his philosophies on training makes a lot of sense to me. It makes sense to me that you need to build the necessary speed / turnover / muscles before you can extend it over distance. So that's exactly what I am doing this training cycle.

The 'new' training pyramid (http://runningtimes.com/Print.aspx?articleID=9254) as well as the Canova 101 (http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=26792) article from Running Times and this link (http://runningwritings.blogspot.com/2012/06/elite-marathoning-with-renato-canova.html) detailing Canova's training for Moses Mosop are my sources of inspiration.

Currently, I'm 11 weeks out from my marathon and I just did my first weekly 'long interval' session (using Canova's terms). It went very well and I am very excited about being able to build from it. The workout was an 18km run where I did ~3.5km easy to warm-up, with some dynamic stretching, lunges, strides, etc.) and then went in to 3 x 3km at goal pace with 1km 'recovery' at a goal pace + 30 sec/km (so still somewhat fast) before cooling down. I nailed it and felt great about it. This means I did almost 6 miles at goal marathon pace midweek, 11 weeks before my marathon. Might not seem like much but to me with the type of training I usually do, I would have struggled more with this workout this early in my training.

This workout came after a series of workouts the last 4-5 weeks where I focused on leg speed. From memory these were:


  1. 12 x 1 min 'on' (5kish pace I think), 1 min 'off' (easy pace) in the middle of a 10 mile 'easy' run
  2. 12 x 400m @ 5k pace, 400m recovery at an 'easy' pace
  3. 16 x 1 min on, 1 min off
  4. 5 x 300m all out uphill, 3-4 min walk back recovery
  5. 24 x 200m @ 5k-3k pace, 200m easy recovery
  6. 30 x 120m strides (5k-3k pace), 100m easy recovery

Note: I am still doing a good amount of 'easy' mileage and a weekend easy/moderate long run each week.

So I'm hopeful to keep progressing with this new system. My goal workouts from here on out will be primarily longer, intervals at goal marathon pace mid-week (building up to 4 x 6km, if possible with the 1km float 'recovery'), alternating every other week fast long runs (18-22 miles at 90-95% of goal pace) and a few 'special block' workouts where you do 2 workouts in a day totaling 20 miles or more with the bulk at goal pace +/- 10%.

What are your thoughts? Are you a believer like me?
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Re: Canova 101

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:50 pm

I guess I must be since I do a lot of the very same workouts. And if your hips are "old", I should be in a wheelchair.
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Re: Canova 101

Post  Chris M on Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:09 pm

My two complaints?

1. I hate anything using kilometers. I like nice round mile workouts like 6 x 1 or 3 x 2 etc. Hate kilometers for anything.

2. I have not found very short reps of 'on' (less than 2 mins) to help me as a marathoner. Might be just me but I don't think I need 400s or anything shorter than 800s. Those short repeat type workouts only really help me for short races and at most I'd do a 400 workout as a tune-up in taper. For marathon training pre-taper, I think I need much longer repeats and tempos only. I worry about the danger of being in heavy marathon training mode and doing such quick start/stops like 120M strides at 3K pace. Yikes, moving that fast while training for a marathon scares this creaky old man.
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Re: Canova 101

Post  mul21 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:02 pm

@Chris M wrote:My two complaints?

1. I hate anything using kilometers. I like nice round mile workouts like 6 x 1 or 3 x 2 etc. Hate kilometers for anything.

2. I have not found very short reps of 'on' (less than 2 mins) to help me as a marathoner. Might be just me but I don't think I need 400s or anything shorter than 800s. Those short repeat type workouts only really help me for short races and at most I'd do a 400 workout as a tune-up in taper. For marathon training pre-taper, I think I need much longer repeats and tempos only. I worry about the danger of being in heavy marathon training mode and doing such quick start/stops like 120M strides at 3K pace. Yikes, moving that fast while training for a marathon scares this creaky old man.

Says the guy who plays soccer and runs marathons on horse tranquilizers during his marathon training! Twisted Evil
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Re: Canova 101

Post  Ben Z on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:17 pm

@Chris M wrote:My two complaints?

1. I hate anything using kilometers. I like nice round mile workouts like 6 x 1 or 3 x 2 etc. Hate kilometers for anything.

2. I have not found very short reps of 'on' (less than 2 mins) to help me as a marathoner. Might be just me but I don't think I need 400s or anything shorter than 800s. Those short repeat type workouts only really help me for short races and at most I'd do a 400 workout as a tune-up in taper. For marathon training pre-taper, I think I need much longer repeats and tempos only. I worry about the danger of being in heavy marathon training mode and doing such quick start/stops like 120M strides at 3K pace. Yikes, moving that fast while training for a marathon scares this creaky old man.

Chris -

I won't be doing any short repeats now the last 11 weeks. That shorter, faster work came first. Now it's all HMP-MP workouts from here on out.
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Re: Canova 101

Post  Chris M on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:39 pm

@mul21 wrote:
@Chris M wrote:My two complaints?

1. I hate anything using kilometers. I like nice round mile workouts like 6 x 1 or 3 x 2 etc. Hate kilometers for anything.

2. I have not found very short reps of 'on' (less than 2 mins) to help me as a marathoner. Might be just me but I don't think I need 400s or anything shorter than 800s. Those short repeat type workouts only really help me for short races and at most I'd do a 400 workout as a tune-up in taper. For marathon training pre-taper, I think I need much longer repeats and tempos only. I worry about the danger of being in heavy marathon training mode and doing such quick start/stops like 120M strides at 3K pace. Yikes, moving that fast while training for a marathon scares this creaky old man.

Says the guy who plays soccer and runs marathons on horse tranquilizers during his marathon training! Twisted Evil

Ha ha, fair point. I was simply saying I didn't think the super short super fast stuff "helped me" for marathons. But yeah, there's FAR worse things you can do that negatively impact your race time!
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Re: Canova 101

Post  Chris Coleman on Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:46 am

@Chris M wrote:1. I hate anything using kilometers.
Me too. Miles (preferably nautical) any day. As a footballer, I suppose you're used to leagues.

2. I have not found very short reps of 'on' (less than 2 mins) to help me as a marathoner.
I don't mind the short distances, but for me anything faster than 3-5 km pace is inviting a hamstring injury.
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