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How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity
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Yes Paulo, I stole your title ; ^ )

I wanted to cover some basics of distance running, particularly regarding LSD versus higher intensity training. The question often comes up, "which is better?" to which I respond, "which is better for what?" You need both! Asking which is better is kind of like asking which organ is more important; your heart or your brain?

You will often see a question posted "how can *I* get better at running?" This is often followed up with, "how much are you running?" and replied with, "15 to 20 miles per week."

At that point you'll see either Desert Dude or myself (or Paulo, Qcassidy, Doug in Co, etocaj, and some others) simply say, "you need to run more"........which is often followed by a really long thread full of debates over the importantce of high intensity training versus LSD.

So, here I am hoping to try to clear up some misunderstandings about low intensity versus high intensity training.

IMO, THE number one benefit to low intensity training is that it minimizes the amount of stress you put on your body, thus allowing you to do MORE running. Running, unlike cycling and swimming, is a high impact activity. IT BEATS YOU UP! You need to, among other things, build up your body's tolerance to the activity.

"But what about high intenisty training? Many elites do lots of it." Yes, that is absolutely true. And YOU should do it too.....when you are fully prepared for it.

Early on in your running career, you will need many months of strictly LSD training before attempting higher intensity workouts. Some coaches suggest even as much as a full year before adding any significant amounts of speed. A novice runner may be best served by running LSD only for 4 months, and then incorporating a 20 minute tempo run once week for another month, and then incorporating an additional 5 weeks of 3-5 minute intervals with 2 minute breaks a bit faster than 5K pace.

However, if the same runner was to do this for 5 years, they will stop seeing improvements. Hence the infamous "More is more" thread. More training must be done in order to stimulate the body to improve. In this case, more training entails MORE slow miles during the base period, longer faster tempo runs during the transition (early quailty, preparation, etc.) phase, and more intense intervals during the sharpening phase. In fact, the sharpening phase may even be extended for a longer period.

And the process continues. To see more improvements, MORE must be done (disclaimer: this is assuming that you were doing optimal training....not over training.)



Now, to further explain this process, I'll go back to the original question. Which is better? The fact is, high intensity training will actualy stimulate more improvement in your running. Yes, now I am saying that high intenisty training is better. There's no argument. A well trained athlete will see their greatest short term improvements during their high intensity phase. However, this phase puts the most stress on the body. A better prepared athlete will be able to handle more stress.

"What do you mean by better prepared?" Someone who has run MORE MILES! Every now and then soomeone will point me to an article showing the high amounts of intensity that an elite athlete is doing and question why *I'd* suggest less intensity. To put it simply, YOU don't have the miles under your belt that HE does. Someone pointed me to a nice article today pointing out that Kenyans will perform 60% of their training at over 90% maxHR during their intense period. However, the article ALSO pointed out that they spent TEN YEARS prior running 100% of their training LSD!!!

So, if I can TRY to give a concrete summary:

Novice runner - MOSTLY LSD with short periods of intensity near goal race.

intermediate runner - MORE LSD. Add 1 Tempo run 3 months from goal race. Add 6K of V02max interval training 5 weeks from goal race.

Advanced runner - EVEN MORE LSD. More intensity during later phases. Later phases can be extended to 4 months and maybe 8 weeks.

Elite Runner (most elite triathletes don't even fit in this category) - More LSD still! Intense training still follows same fundamentals but these athletes may run a higher percentage of their over all training at high intensities. They may also begin adding in crazy workouts that are outside the realm of what is considered fundamentaly correct. They've done fundamentaly correct training for many years. They may need a different stimulous to continue to improve.

Summary: Many of you will improve if you run MORE first, then run harder later.

Makes sense?

** Runtraining10 **

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Last edited by: BarryP: Jul 17, 07 10:32
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Makes perfect sense. Good summary and well written. Thanks Barry.

So now I can go out and run 22 miles at threshold. ;)

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, awesome post. I don't know how many relatively beginner runners I have had to take off intervals etc and told to run more aerobically. At first people have lots of resistance, but then they see the gains.

I like this quote:

"But what about high intenisty training? Many elites do lots of it." Yes, that is absolutely true. And YOU should do it too.....when you are fully prepared for it.


Which is why for most triathletes, I encourage them to do most of their intensity work (in race season) on the swim and bike and just run steady. When you throw in tri sports and then try to hammer run intervals, it just complicates matters more. For most of us (especially the relatively pedestrian Ironman paces), high speed track work is just icing on the cake.
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry,

Good post, particulary how there's no "one shoe that fits all," based on where each athlete is at in their career. Makes it much easier to understand what needs to be done.
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry,

Nice post. I think the all-time best quote to this effect I've seen was courtesy of our own MattinSF, who penned this beauty:



Speedwork is the icing on the cake and you don't have a cake yet.



(I liked this so much I thought seriously about making it my signature line.)



The vast majority of us either "don't have a cake yet", or only have a crappy little sheet cake from the local quickie mart. I'm still baking my cake, so I haven't even thought about any icing yet.


float , hammer , and jog

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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [Markus Mucus] [ In reply to ]
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"So now I can go out and run 22 miles at threshold. ;) "

Actually, combining long runs, with LT intervals can be quite effective. An example would be 6x6 min with 5 or 10min rest intervals as the "middle set" of the 22 miles (15-18 miles would likely be more realistic). You wouldn't do this every week, but it could be used as a substitute for the Sat LT work/Sun Long Run scheme that people like. I like these workouts because they keep you out of the "no-man's land" zone 3--your either sub Aet or your at or slightly above LT for the duration of the run. Additionally, if you can recover reasonably well from these workouts, you know your ready for the pounding your going to take on race day.

"I really wish you would post more often. You always have some good stuff to say. I copied it below just in case someone missed it." BarryP to Chainpin on 10/21/06

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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [Murphy'sLaw] [ In reply to ]
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You're baking the cake already?!? I'm just trying to figure out what ingredients I need.

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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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thanks Barry as a runner(lol) who is just starting, but if i want to do tri's has to get better at running it is difficult to understand where to start with all the info given out by all the people who go fast. i.e just had a customer who has run 3 marathons in my store today and i told him i was running now and my pace 10:30-11:00 his comment was that was really slow. i did not let this bother me as i amtrying to go slow first but much more frequently and i know that my speed will come later. thanks again because this info is what us newbie runners need.

ken
trying to act like a runner
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry,

Good post, I agree with almost everything. Thank you for your contribution.

Now sit tight and watch how some people will twist what you're saying. It might even already started. I bet you'll need to write a follow-up in a couple of weeks.
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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How sure are you that kenyans don't do any intensity as kids? A lot of the euros that went to Kenya for training camps reported that the kids running to school and back kind of race each other all the time...

I think it's completely wrong to assume that west african runners and northern africans only do LSD work for 10 years...they do a lot of intensity early on...very much like swimmers actually.

Speedwork is not icing...it's part of your cake.
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [FM.2.0] [ In reply to ]
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Btw...it doesn't mean I disagree with your post...just correcting a little detail...
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I was hoping someone would summarize that other thread, which was all over the place. Very helpful. Thanks

_________________________________
I'll be what I am
A solitary man
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Clearly the brain is more important.

Fortunately for me, most triathletes are too lazy to keep their cake in the oven long enough. It gets messy when you try to frost a 1/2 baked cake.
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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But I know one guy who only did speed work and he ran a great marathon.................

(kidding)

__________________________________________________

You sir, are my new hero! - Trifan 11/13/2008

Casey, you are a wise man - blueraider_mike 11/13/2008

Casey, This is an astute observation. - Slowbern 11/17/2008
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, great post, Man I love your posts;-). I have a question for you, this may be slightly OT, Where would you put someone who was a runner for 10 years, putting in on ave 20-30 miles a week, mostly LSD work with about the only speed work being races and just some harder runs here and there, who then takes 5 years off of running. Does this person start all over again as a new runner, who has never run before, or do they start with LSD for a few months and then start to add in some speed work. I have a friend who is getting back into running, and wants to get his fitness back ASAP. I have already talked to him about the fact he is 38 yo now and not in his 20's so he will not recover as fast, but I do not know how long it will take him to get back to his 6 min miles for a 10K again that he was at. I guess my question is did he lose all of his fitness and any physiological changes to his body in that 5 years or is some of that still there? Any studies you have seen about this type of thing? Thanks

Mike

----------------------------------
Owner/General Manager North Central Cyclery, Dekalb IL
http://www.NorthCentralCyclery.com
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [TRIDOC] [ In reply to ]
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Ha! I thought you were talking about ME!!! That's eactly what I did.

I'll respon din more detail in a few hours. Wrapping things up here at work.

Thanks for the encouraging replies.



Re: FM - I was pulling information directly out of the article that was posted on the other running thread:

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0056b.htm

I was using it more to exemplify my point. More base yields the capability to do more speed.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry,

Great summery. Thank you.

Running is not that complicated - some people just want to make it more complicated, I guess.

Fleck


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you Barry. This one is a print 'er out-er.

mm
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry - 2 replies to your informative post.
First, clarification:

you wrote, " MORE LSD. Add 1 Tempo run 3 months from goal race. Add 6K of V02max interval training 5 weeks from goal race."
Do you mean per week here? (This might be a dumb question, but I'm not sure if you mean that as a one-time thing or somethign to put into a weekly schedule).

Second, more philosophical issue:
I'm perhaps unusual in this, but I came to triathlon, & running, after years of playing team sports. so over 10 years or so, I'd done tons of speedwork, but very little jogging. any LSD work was on my bike. i saw no reason to stop doing track workouts once i started doing tris. really, it's the wear & tear of jogging long miles that i had to get used to.

-Charles
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [Bob Loblaw] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, once per week. I gave a very generic cookie cutter answer. It i sreally meant to be more of what one could typicaly expect to handle and what would probably work well.

Re: team sports - I'm going to use a bit of conjecture here and state that I'd suspect someone like yourself to be able to handle the speed a little more and a little bit earlier in the game. Someone like yourself would really benefit from working with a coach and really try to figure out what works right for you. In the end, the fundamentals haven't changed. You won't become the first man ever to "win gold" off of minimal mileage just because you grew up playing rugby/basketball....etc. At some point you'll need to get the miles in. The easiest way to do that is to back off the speed.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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But Barry, how do I get faster at running without running a lot? ;)

In all seriousness, well put as always. You should think about becoming a coach...

--------------------------

Team Timex 2014
@ajhodges
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [TRIDOC] [ In reply to ]
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TRIDOC,

I went through the same process beginning about 5 years ago. After a couple of seasons of consistent improvement, i tried to step up my intensity beyond what my current fitness dictated I should do. The result was a flat performance.

He will have to start back at ground zero but expect the improvements to come a *little* faster then they did originaly. He'll need to be patient. Though my training was a little sporadic, my comeback was 18:30 after the 1st 6 months, 17:15 after the next 6, and 16:00 after the next 6.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Novice runner - MOSTLY LSD with short periods of intensity near goal race.

intermediate runner - MORE LSD. Add 1 Tempo run 3 months from goal race. Add 6K of V02max interval training 5 weeks from goal race.

Advanced runner - EVEN MORE LSD. More intensity during later phases. Later phases can be extended to 4 months and maybe 8 weeks.

Elite Runner (most elite triathletes don't even fit in this category) - More LSD still! Intense training still follows same fundamentals but these athletes may run a higher percentage of their over all training at high intensities. They may also begin adding in crazy workouts that are outside the realm of what is considered fundamentaly correct. They've done fundamentaly correct training for many years. They may need a different stimulous to continue to improve.
____________________________________

SPECIAL NOTE: I often forget to mention that this GENERIC example is geared toward a 5K/10K runner. A marathoner would see even more LSD where as a half miler would see a whole hell of a lot more intensity.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the post :) I like simple and easy to read explanations of training.

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: How can YOU get faster at running - LSD vrs intensity [Paulo] [ In reply to ]
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Now sit tight and watch how some people will twist what you're saying. It might even already started. I bet you'll need to write a follow-up in a couple of weeks.

___________________________________________

"Since when has the Emperor not had enemies?"

...............anyone know where I got that quote?

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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