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Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix.
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Barf!!!! Was that an awful title or what? I sound like I'm writting for Runner's World......or maybe the local middle school paper.

.......and yes, I LOVE to hear myself talk (or read myself write!). Give me a break, I've ben locked in a "secure" environment for a month with no access to the internet most of the day.


THE ANSWER: Run slower. Run more often. Run more.

If you are rolling your eyes right now it's either because A) you get it and know you get it (and don't need to hear it yet again) or B) you don't get it and don't know you don't get it (and don't want th hear it agin)......; ^ ) However I've read a few responses on the board this year and got a few PMs from people who have had great success by adopting this training regime for their running. I'll lead off with a disclaimer and say that this may not be the answer that YOU are looking for (especially if you already are a strong runner), but it has helped a lot of struggling runners.


It seems to me that most triathletes don't come from a running background. Most runners who excell at running tend to stick with running as their are pleanty of opportunities to contiue to compete while maintaining a normal lifestyle. So it seems like a lot of folks either come to triathlon from a swimmers/cyclists background or just jumped in with both feet from no background. So, the introduction of running comes not as a single program that one can dedicate 100% of their time to, but as part of a larger program (triathlon) where the time must be shared.

That's the first issue. The second issue is coming into running with a familiarity of swimming/cycling. Physiologically the endurance sports are very similar, but I believe there is one major difference. Most people (*most*) can't get away with pounding through workouts the way they may have become accustomed to while swimming or cycling.

I've been learning this from the other side of the equation. After barely getting into shape on the bike, I jumped into my first ever "A group" ride last night. After a short warmup we started pace lining, then climbed a HUGE hill, then chased a break, recovered, and chase a break again. I hammered for well over an hour while logging in 2 1/2 hours of riding. It felt great!!

As I headed home I remember thinking, "There's no way in hell an out of shape person should ever jump into a *running* workout of that magnitude." Running just simply isn't as forgiving as swimming or cycling. If you are unprepared, pounding through hard, fast paced workouts will BEAT YOU UP. They *can* be done, but only after the proper foundations have been laid.....and that takes months (even years!).


THE SOLUTION:

Running is primarily about raising your body's ability to tolerate heavy stress. The easiest, most efficient way (arguably) is to run a lot!.....or in the case of the struggling runner, RUN MORE. The more you run, the more time your body is stimulated to improve its "endurance" and the more time your body builds a resistance to stress.

The easist way to run more is to A) SLOW DOWN and B) RUN MORE OFTEN. You don't slow down for the sake of slowing down or run more often for the sake of running more often. You do it so that you can run more. If you struggle with running and typically get 2 runs of 45min-1:30 at 85% of max heart rate (Gordo's Moderately Hard zone), instead try running 6 times at 65%-80% of max heart rate ("steady" or even "easy"). Each run can be as short as 15 minutes. Once you get used to 6 short easy runs a week, gradually build the distance of 2 or 3 of them. Start off running no more pre week than you currently do, and then add 15 minutes a week over the course of several months until you get to 3, 4, ....as much as 5 hours a week of running (admittedly this may not be a "well balanced program".....but if you struggle on the run, you may need to shift your training to be "run heavy").

For the Ney Sayers out there, correct, this is not the end all be all of run training. Intensity is needed to achieve peak fitness. Time limitations can become an issue. Many have succeeded on a "hard all the time approach." However this is targeted at the struggling runner who has never tried a high mileage, high freduency, low effort approach. 9 times out of 10 I find this to be a neccessary 1st step in building a foundation for one's career as a runner. I highly recommend giving it a try for a good 4 month block and see the results.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Last edited by: BarryP: May 10, 07 7:45
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I fall into the category of "struggling running" and in feb i came to Barryp for some advice. This is the plan he suggested and i have seen some real results. Previously i was running 3 days a week, 30min, 40min, 90min at the one speed i knew which was as hard as i could go but typically 90 to 100% of my max. This just wasnt working and my run splits were awful with my PR for 5k being somewhere around 7:45min pace but my normal was 8:45 to 9 min mile pace. More importantly i was blowing up on my longer runs and in my two HIMs i needed to walk a good bit of the run.

I needed to take a step backwards to move forward but that is what i did. I started running much slower and added 3 more 15min runs to my routine all at 60 - 80% of my max. That took some discipline but when i got it i felt much better while running. Soon enough it wasnt much for me to do 6 runs a week (i would have never considered it in the past) and then i made my 15s into 30s and so on.

Today i am 4 months into this program and my race times have improved dramatically. I havent done a 5k race yet but in my runs i do around 7:30's at 80% of my max for my shorter efforts. Last week i did the broad st run and i finished 1:19 which is around 7:55 pace. That in itself isnt all that impressive but the i did it at 85% of my max and felt strong and could have easily continued for another 5 or so miles at that pace. Yes i understand its an easy course but coming from where i was last season this is huge for me.

Bottom line, from one struggling runner to another this is very sound advice.

Jay
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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BarryP,

Great advice again.

I would add that throwing in some strides and drills at the end of a few of those easy runs will help as well.

BarryP's drills from anther post:

2x10 high knees (run in place pumping your knees as high and fast as you can).
2x10 skips (skip and drive the forward knee as high as possible).
2x10 butt kickers (run in place and bring the heel up to the butt).
4x50 meter strides concentrating on lifting the feet off the ground without bobbing your head up and down.
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry,

Absolutly brilliant advice, seriously.

It's really pretty simple - probably too simple for people to get. Slow down and run more frequently, and do it for 4 months. The performance improvements are almost gauranteed.

But now back to talking about bike parts and bike riding :)


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [cdanrun] [ In reply to ]
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I would add that throwing in some strides and drills at the end of a few of those easy runs will help as well.
___________________

I always forget to add those. Thanks as usual for being on top of me!

I remember a big argument with triguy42 a while ago. He was recomending "speedwork" year round. As it turns out, those 50meter striders was exactly what he meant, and they should be done 3 days a week.....especially with all that slower running taking place.


Re: the drills - don't forget about my soup cans!! ; ^ )

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Excellent post. I have been proselytizing the same idea to many friends over the past year. Mainly because it is now something I am undertaking.

I have been running for 25 years. My basic workout was always no shorter than 4 miles (usually 7:xx pace). Over the years, no matter what the fitness, I could hit that workout with ease. My training was always sporadic and if I hit over 30 miles a week, it was something special.

Now that I have hit the mid 30's mark, things don't recover like they once did. I can't quite jump into the same stupid training that I used to do. Compound it with 10 lbs that came from santa this year and at least 20-25 lbs over race weight - and the old quick 4 miler turns into the "sore body maker".

Soooooo, what to do? Well, a few weeks ago I got back on the running horse. BUT I am now running 20 minutes a day. MINUTES. Why? Well, I can recover from it. I can ride as well and not add to the muscle breakdown. And because in a week or two I can bump 'er up to 25 minutes. AND I KNOW I CAN MAINTAIN IT. As the weight comes off, legs toughen up, and fitness accrues - I know I will be back to the "old me" and injury free.

For some of these shorter workouts, I like to use my treadmill.

Another little trick I have learned is to split your long days - run half in the am / half in the pm.

By far most of us should be following your ideas. WE ARE NOT PROS WE SHOULD NOT / CANNOT TRAIN LIKE PROS.


-----
"I do my best to slay" - Matt Pike
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [Buck Turgidson] [ In reply to ]
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WE ARE NOT PROS WE SHOULD NOT / CANNOT TRAIN LIKE PROS.
_________________

I occasinally run with former duathlon world champ Greg Watson. His program blows my mind away (and usually blows my doors off as well......I got my butt kicked on our last run). Yes, his program was more of the "harder is harder" approach. It takes a special talent and years of consistent training to pull that off, IMO.


BTW, years ago when I was fat and out of shape, I adopted a 3 miles a day program that included running as far as I could possibly run and walking the rest. I started with a 1 mile run followed by a two mile walk. I remember clear as day the time I went out for a woderful 5 mile run through town and realized that it felt good and that I was, for the first time in 4 years "in shape."

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, again excellent and timely post, as most are ramping up for the season by doing speedwork for a race months away. I have to admit that every time I move back to this strategy I improve dramatically, and feel good doing it. Thanks so much for reminding me!
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I think that part of the problem is that most MOP triathletes who struggle with running (actually, with any of the individual sports) suffer from two major problems, which are sort of related:

1) Their time frame is too short (ie they want to be faster in 1-2 months instead of saying "Starting today, I am going to do everything I can so that in 3 years I am as fast as possible, even if in the short term I get slower)

2) They are unwilling to fully embrace a single sport focus for an extended period. Usually, they claim they are afraid they will "lose their fitness in the other events." Training for 3 events makes it very difficult to have a big breakthrough in any of them.
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, even those who are able to run faster than average need to slow down on the slow days. I have dropped the pace on my slow days by 30-45 seconds per mile and have seen better gains during the Tempo, Track, and Long run sessions. Everyone should ask the question? where do they want to see improvement in their routine? Race day, quality days, EZ days? Hopefully, no one will answer EZ days.

-Woody
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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You're right. If you don't come to triathlon, especially with a very solid run history it should be a several year plan. It is also the mistake which I made that is jumping to IM too soon.



http://bigisland-will.blogspot.com/
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Pretty awesome post. I have been trying to tell that to a few folks. It is a pretty hard sell. Nice write up. Slowing down to get faster just does seem to make much sense, but it works. All it takes is patience and time, something most don't have or are willing to sacrifice a bit.

Consistency not intensity are keys to making great strides in performance.



Looking like a color blind super hero!
Damn triathlon.
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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If hampered by a tight schedule and limited to 4 days a week where I can run, would running twice a day accomplish the same goals as running 6 days a week? Or is it simply better to increase the distance on the one run a day?
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [LittleRingMan] [ In reply to ]
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If hampered by a tight schedule and limited to 4 days a week where I can run, would running twice a day accomplish the same goals as running 6 days a week? Or is it simply better to increase the distance on the one run a day?
___________________________

Evenly spreading your runs out is the best way to go. However, yes, twice a day 4 days a week (8 runs) is the next best thing.

So, for example, instead of running 50 minutes a day you can run 20-30 minutes every morning and 30-40 minutes every afternoon.

I'd start with just two doubles a week to make sure that your body is recovering in the 8-10 hours of rest between am and pm workouts. As always, start small and gradually build the mileage over time.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I would add that throwing in some strides and drills at the end of a few of those easy runs will help as well.
___________________

I always forget to add those. Thanks as usual for being on top of me!

I remember a big argument with triguy42 a while ago. He was recomending "speedwork" year round. As it turns out, those 50meter striders was exactly what he meant, and they should be done 3 days a week.....especially with all that slower running taking place.
Yep, and you made fun of me because I was using the wrong terminology, not being from a track background. Wink The OP is basically what helped me last year go from an "easy 9 pace" for 10-15 milers down to a "easy 8:15 pace" for the same courses, over a period of about 3 or 4 months. I did a lot of 5k and 7 mile distances, with occasional 5k-with-2x1mi-repeats. These mile repeats started out at 6:45/7:15 for 1st and 2nd, and ended up at 6:17/6:35 over that period. When I actually went out and did a max 5k I finally broke a 7:00 pace by a few seconds. I found that doing the occasional 0.25mi or 0.5mi stride in the middle of an easy 7 miler was a lot easier than trying to go to a track and do it. I frequently treated the last 0.2mi of my 7 milers as a stride as well.

This year hasn't had any speed improvement because I was training for a 50 miler, but the base of ~75%-of-max should allow me to convert to speed over the summer...I hope.


Mad
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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1) Their time frame is too short (ie they want to be faster in 1-2 months instead of saying "Starting today, I am going to do everything I can so that in 3 years I am as fast as possible, even if in the short term I get slower)
____________________________

I ran into exactly the same problem this winter. My recovery time took so long after my IM that I left myself with a short block of time to build ap for a race. I tried to sneak it in there and just ended up getting hurt. Now I have a race coming up in 6 weeks while my A race is in 5 months. I keep double checking myself everytime I think to "sneak" in a good performance in 6 weeks. "I'm just training through this one!"

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [triguy42] [ In reply to ]
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Yep, and you made fun of me because I was using the wrong terminology, not being from a track background. Wink The OP is basically what helped me last year go from an "easy 9 pace" for 10-15 milers down to a "easy 8:15 pace" for the same courses, over a period of about 3 or 4 months.
_______________________

Well I'm glad our little fight worked out for th ebetter ; ^ ) I actually learned a lot from that discussion....especially when it comes to terminology.

Those pickups in the middle and the end are a pretty good way to get a little "speed" in there.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for this Barry! I'm proof positive of the results of running more frequently. In my first season of tri in 2005, I ran 3 times/week, but last year, leading up to IMFL, I was running 5 times/week with two hill sessions in there and it really helped. I also became faster at shorter distance running shaving nearly a minute/mile off my run pace.

------------------
My business-eBodyboarding.com
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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From someone who spent 25 minutes today with a HR of about 130-135, max 178, Thank you Thank you. I wish I had read this thread about a month ago before I tweaked my achilles, or two months ago before I tweaked my calf. I am only on my first week of "back at it" and thought this time, maybe I will just take it slow for a little while before getting back into my normal 150-160 HR runs.

My plan was 3x/week 25-30 minutes at the 130-135 range.

I bike 4x, swim 3x.

Any suggestions to the "plan?" i.e., better to do 4 15 minutes?

BTW, I don't belong here, I am a 55 minute 10k pr who is still learning how to swim.

Thank you again.
Last edited by: bvfrompc: May 10, 07 11:11
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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As far as the big picture is concerned, i tend to agree with your philosophy. There are many different ways to achieve thee goals. One of my approaches is to do easy intervals. For example, I will do a set of 8 X 800m intervals. Each one will be slightly faster than the previous one. The first one could be at an 8-9 min pace and the last will be at a 6:30-7 min pace. The rest interval is about 30 to 60 sec.

This approach works well for me. It allows me to gradually gauge my exertion level, and I will back off if I find that I am overdoing it. These are not VO2 max. They start out easy and gradually go up to LT.
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [Dreadnought] [ In reply to ]
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But what you describe in your post is almost the exact opposite............

tfun~
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [bvfrompc] [ In reply to ]
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Any suggestions to the "plan?" i.e., better to do 4 15 minutes?
_______________________

It all depends on exactly *where* your limitations are. Typically its time, but not always. I recommend 6 short easy runs a weak (even if three of them are 15 minutes on the treadmill after a swim) until you build up to your time limit (maybe you only have time to run 3 hours a week). Once you hit your weekly time goal, then you phase out some of the runs and build up the other ones.

In th egrand scheme of things, 3 runs a week at 90% maxHR wowuld only be adviseable if you don't have the time to run any more than that. If, however, you could easily run more, I would make at least one of those a long easy effort, building up to at least 90 minutes.

.....that, of course, is way down the road. For now its lots of short easy runs.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I have been following this protocol through my program with Mitch Gold @ Counterpart Coaching and my run has improved and more importantly I have been injury free.

Related article from his website -- http://www.counterpartcoaching.com/slowdown.htm
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [mike419] [ In reply to ]
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Great article. Thanks for the link.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Runtraining7 - Struggling with running? Many have improved from this simple fix. [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Their time frame is too short[/quote]
#1 probelm I have with athletes who approach me to get faster. they want to be real fast, real fast. Doesn't happen that way if you want to sustain that real fast for real long.

Rockhopper1 also mentioned consistency- no consistency = you are not going to get faster. The consistency isn't for 1-2 or even 3-4 months, if for 4 -5-6-7-8-13-24-36 months. Try being consistent for a long time and good things happen. 70% of all triathletes I talk with are too impatient.

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
twitter & IG = @accelerate3
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