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(NEW SLIDE ADDED with PROPER SCALE) Running - Understanding how to balance your program
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EDIT: Graphics are not drawn to scale. In reality, the blue zone would be about 5 times larger.
EDIT: New slide added to show graphics drawn to scale (right below)


Above is a scaled drawing of how the program would actually be balanced.




Hello,

I haven't written anything in a while mainly because I haven't really felt like I've had anything worth contributing in a while, other than answering the occasional question or two. As ususal, I mainly hope to open up a topic for discussion. If you have an opposing point of view, please feel free to contribute.

For those that don't know me, my background isn't anything spectacular. I ran pretty well in college and spent some years as a high school track and field coach. I was fairly successful in that my athletes always improved leaps and bounds beyond what they did under their previous coaches and, sadly, did worse after I left. I did manage to help a couple win their state championship in a distance event (though I must credit them with a good work ethic and lots of talent).

I'm no exercise physiologist and haven't written any books, but I have read a lot of them and, if there's anything that I think I can offer, hopefully its simply a way of looking at training so it makes a little more sense for you (or, at worse, offer some misconceptions and be called out by someone more knowlegable. That's the beauty of a public forum ; ^ ).

This thread is mainly about understanding how to balance your training. I plan to follow this up with one on periodization, so be on the look out. Hopefully this will help you figure out what kind of changes to make when going from training for a sprint triathlon to training for a half, or a full (though my posts are often in the context of "run only" training.....it's always up to you to figure out how to modify it to suit your needs).

The motivation for this type of post is often the frustration I have when I see people run themselves into the ground run at paces that are often two high to really have the kin dof effects they are hoping for, especially given the amount of effort they are putting into their training. I can't tell you how many times I've met someone who runs 25 miles a week (run only training) and wants to get faster in a 5K by pounding out 400s at a minute per mile faster than there race pace. It's not that its a bad workout, but that the focus is just put in the wrong place.

Anyway, I've prepared some slides. This is kind of my answer to the O'Friel Triangle (which I've never liked). I hope this makes things a little more clear for people.






















This last slide, I hope, will also help you understand why a guy who runs a 2:10 marathon trains a little differently than how books recommend that YOU train for a 3:20 marathon. As far as his body is concerned, he is running a shorter race than you are and is running much closer to his lactate threshold than you will be. Hence, he places a little more emphasis on faster training. Likewise, Mark Allen or Chris McCormick will place more emhasis or threshold and track workouts for their sub 3 hour IM runs than you should for your 5 hour run/walk.

As a side note, I'm fairly confident with the 2, 11, and 60 minute mark (as backed by literature). The 3, 4, and 5 hour marks are based on a little bit of conjecture on my part. I can't say for certain that a 5 hour IM runner should do ONLY endurance running, but they certainly should make it a very very large focus of their training.

Questions, comments?




Runtraining11

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
Last edited by: BarryP: Dec 17, 07 6:43
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, would running hills be a form of speed work in your model?
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Very good stuff Barry! I learned a bit of new information and had a couple realizations of things I already knew or assumed.

I have a couple questions. Do you find the Mcmillan, Daniels, or other pace calculators to be useful and exactly how do those fit in? Do you think there are ideal training volumes (in miles per week) for racing given distances? (I'm really getting at the calculators that say you did this distance in X time so you can do that distance in Y time - well if that distance is significantly longer, you are going to have to increase overall mileage. I'm curious how much).

I'm looking forward to your post about periodization as it is something I have only recently started thinking about/trying to implement.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [ike] [ In reply to ]
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Yes and no.

I say yes because hills, for the most part, accomplish a lot of the same goals as, say, repeat 200s, however some people will do hills as part of a tempo run (threshold run) or even a V02 max workout on a cross country course.

Hills are an interesting beast. I have yet to really see anyone make the sell that hills are going to really make the difference in your next season, but I've also never seen anyone show that they aren't important.

I couldn't honestly tell you that they really fit into the model at all. I'd hate to say, for example, to do lots of them when training for a 400 meter race but none when training for an IM, because I coul dbe completely wrong. I think the safest thing to do is to make sure that you incorportate them regularly, focus on them more if you have a hilly race coming up, but don't center your whole prgram around them.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I like your stuff. But, I predict you will get a varying degree of comments because this applies to only the highly trained. That is, I believe none of this is applicable for average tri guy/girl that can race an upwards of 90% of their potential that day by just training in the steady zone. I also think that triathlon running is a very different species than running running.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Russ Brandt] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I also think that triathlon running is a very different species than running running.
Why?
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [mcdoublee] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Do you find the Mcmillan, Daniels, or other pace calculators to be useful and exactly how do those fit in?


Yes, VERY helpful! If you use Daniels, my zones (blue, gold, green, red) are simply his E, T, I, and R paces. The only thing I was really trying to get at was a way to look at how the different zones balance together.

I actually went though a couple of books' training schedules and counted up the numbers of miles run in each zone for given race distances in an attempt to get a graphis that was in proportion. The one I have above IS in proportion with one major exception.....the blue zone is about 1/5 as big as it should be. EVERYONE is advocating will large amounts of easy running when compared to the rest of your training (though triathletes can substitute a lot of this with biking and swimming, but only to a degree).

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Do you think there are ideal training volumes (in miles per week) for racing given distances?

Yes, but that is going to be highly dependent on the individual. A seasoned college runner, for example, would likely hit their highest mileage of the season about 2 months out from their goal race. Off the top of my head I'd say this is typically around 50-60 mpw for a mid distance runner, 60-70 for a 5k runner, 70-80 for a 10K runner, and 90-100 for one who would be crazy enough to train for a marathon. This, of course, is what I think of typical DI runner, excluding the very top programs.

Someone who is more likely going to struggle for a 3 hour marathon would more than likely be at about 2/3 of these mileages.

As an example, Mr. 3hr marathon guy may be capable of running 60 miles a week if training for that marathon. However, that's about all he can manage, and a vast majority of it is easy running. Lets say one season he really wants to runa fast 5K. Well, he'll need to add in more threshold runs (tempo runs), track intervals, and some more speed. There's no way he can do that without cutting back his mileage. So, even though he is *capable* of running 60 miles a week, he will lilkely cut back 40-45 miles a week when training for his 5K so that he can fit the other important training in.

As for how much mileage difference from event to event, liek I said, its individual, but use the numbers I gave you above and scale back to what you think you can handle. ie.....mulitplying you 5K training mileage by 1.3-1.5 will probably put you in the ball park......but that's really just a guess off the top of my head. Also remember that this is a "goal" mileage (I may explain this better in the periodization thread). A 5K runner might build up to 60 mpw over 3 months and then start adding in harder workouts. The marathoner would also probably take 3 months just to build up to 60, but then he might spend another few months to reach 75-90.

Also remember that, more importantly, a TRUE marathoner will give him self years to build up to that ideal mark.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [mcdoublee] [ In reply to ]
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Well, I guess I really mean starting at Ironman distance for sure, and maybe less so as the race shortens. In anycase, I define running running as the ability to run at a range of paces as the race unfolds and having enough left to throw down near the finish line. To run like this I would think training like Barry's model shows would be important. In most tris, the best strategy (especially the longer ones where more of my experience is based on) is usually finding the steady pace that can take you to the finish the fastest. Training for this type of race isn't very fancy.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Russ Brandt] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for your input Russ.

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......this applies to only the highly trained.


Not true at all. This applies across the board. I've used this for untalented 14 year girls who've never run before and have used it on myself as seasoned collegiate (and later adult) runner. I've also had success with BOP triathletes to the occasional FOP age grouper (I've also run my slides by a coach (who shall go unamed.....but he'll pop in eventually) who has had success with elites).

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I believe none of this is applicable for average tri guy/girl that can race an upwards of 90% of their potential that day by just training in the steady zone.


Actually it still applies to them. Yes, I'll agree that just training in the "steady zone" (blue on my graphic) will get you to 90% of your potential. I pointed out that it is THE most important training you can do for any race longer than 2 minutes. However, all that other training and how it fits together accounts for that last 10%. For a 40 minute 10K runner, that gets then to 36 minutes. For many that may not be worth it, but they probably won't be reading this anyway ; ^ )

Keep in mind, consistency trumps all. I won't argue that. Being steady and consistent will do you more good than properly mapping out your training. The DevPaul challenge will certainly make the bigger difference. Whenever I have friends who want to start running and want to know what I suggest, I always tell them "devote 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, to walking. Try running for at least 5 minutes of that. If you want to run more, that's great. After you've done this for 4 weeks straight give me a call and I'll put a program together for you."

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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so as a very good BOP runner running mostly slow (the endurance zone ) the 100 day challenge is not a bad thing to do

ken
trying to act like a runner
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, I see this as a good summary for stand alone running but what about folding this into triathlon training. I go back and forth on this, if I am training for oly distance should I be training for a 10k run pace or a 1/2 marathon pace (I know my run feels closer to the 1/2 pace). Seems you'd have to adjust. Also subbing biking/swimming for endurance running is fine but shouldn't you have some threshold/V02 wos in the those sports as well.

Hypothetical plan: (1) pick a goal race distance (2) find total hrs/wk (sbr) (3) divvy up the hours according to the zones outlined in the chart (endurance/threshold/V02 wos spread over all three events).

OK, so the thread is growing faster than I can type. If you've addressed this before please ignore and carry on.


Jim_n_La
...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but only until it kills you - Cousin Elwood
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Russ Brandt] [ In reply to ]
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Well, I guess I really mean starting at Ironman distance for sure, and maybe less so as the race shortens. In anycase, I define running running as the ability to run at a range of paces as the race unfolds and having enough left to throw down near the finish line. To run like this I would think training like Barry's model shows would be important. In most tris, the best strategy (especially the longer ones where more of my experience is based on) is usually finding the steady pace that can take you to the finish the fastest. Training for this type of race isn't very fancy.

YES! I think you mostly get what I'm saying.....you just didn't know I was saying it! ; ^ )

Go back and look at the slides. Notice that someone training for a 5 hour race (the MOP IM guy who'll run it in 5 hours) is doing ONLY steady running. OK....now look at the 60 minute race (8-10 miler). The gold triangle represents training at that "steady race pace" and it is the most important training to do aside from lots of easy running. There is also some faster training to be done, but that is in much smaller proportions AND, as you said, if it isn't done at all, it only affects your over all race time by a few percent.

If you slide all the way down to a 2 mile race, training at THAT race pace becomes more important.

The funny thing is, as simple as you stated it....a lot of people still want to hammer out 400 meter repeats as their focus of the week when they are training for a 10 mile race.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [drdivot] [ In reply to ]
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The 100 day challenge is only bad if you are injured (as I am right now) = (

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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"The 3, 4, and 5 hour marks are based on a little bit of conjecture on my part."

I think the 5 hr marathoner should get on the bike more!

joking aside, excellent post - particularly the importance of different training requirements based on finish time rather than distance - something many fail to grasp.

-----------------------------------------------
www.true-motion.com Triathlete Casual Wear since 2007
(Twitter/FB)
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Jim_n_La] [ In reply to ]
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Barry, I see this as a good summary for stand alone running but what about folding this into triathlon training. I go back and forth on this, if I am training for oly distance should I be training for a 10k run pace or a 1/2 marathon pace (I know my run feels closer to the 1/2 pace). Seems you'd have to adjust. Also subbing biking/swimming for endurance running is fine but shouldn't you have some threshold/V02 wos in the those sports as well.

Hypothetical plan: (1) pick a goal race distance (2) find total hrs/wk (sbr) (3) divvy up the hours according to the zones outlined in the chart (endurance/threshold/V02 wos spread over all three events).

OK, so the thread is growing faster than I can type. If you've addressed this before please ignore and carry on.

Building a tri plan can be tricky mainly because available training time starts to become an important factor.

Just as an example, most IM athletes need to simply run more rather than run faster. However, they simply refuse because they don't have the time to train more than 10-15 hours a week. So.....in that case they need to bump up the intensity.

I think your hypothetical plan has some merit. ie...no matter what, when training for a long race, like an HIM, you still want to focus more on threshold training than you do with V02max or speed. However, where it gets tricky is how much easy training do you do. The proportions should be similar given unlimited training time. However, once your training time starts getting limited, you have to start gradually bumping up the intensity.

Regarding training for 10K run versus half IM pace, the two types of training are so close that I don't think it really matters that much. Look at the graphic again to where I drew the lines for 20K and 10K....they're really in the same ball park.

Trust me...I struggle with this myself.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
This applies across the board.
Most of all this is opinion from each of us, but one thing that is as close to fact as you can get is that NOTHING applies across the board when it comes to the human body.
As far as your success with 14yr old girl, any 14yr old is gobs of potential waiting to be trained with ANY method and isn't the best example. I always thought it was funny when I'd hear high school coaches arguing about training philosophies and backing it up with their successful athletes. I'd bet $16 that you could have trained me 7 different ways in H.S. and 6 of them would have yielded the same level of success I achieved. I think most of the high achievers in HS and college are athletic bodies with close to the same ultimate potential, but the intangible qualities of intelligence, drive, work ethic...etc that seperate them after training is applied.

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However, all that other training and how it fits together accounts for that last 10%
I think its that last 10% you describe that buries most (with injury or fatigue) and that they really don't need until they are more highly trained.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think any of this is wrong (nor am I in any position to judge) but I think it complicates a not very complicated thing, getting in running shape for a tri.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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I'm confused, your figures state length of race. Are you talking pure running times (ie a 4 hr race is a marathon for most) or do you mean these apply for a triathlon that lasts 4 hrs?
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Russ Brandt] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Most of all this is opinion from each of us, but one thing that is as close to fact as you can get is that NOTHING applies across the board when it comes to the human body.
As far as your success with 14yr old girl, any 14yr old is gobs of potential waiting to be trained with ANY method and isn't the best example. I always thought it was funny when I'd hear high school coaches arguing about training philosophies and backing it up with their successful athletes. I'd bet $16 that you could have trained me 7 different ways in H.S. and 6 of them would have yielded the same level of success I achieved. I think most of the high achievers in HS and college are athletic bodies with close to the same ultimate potential, but the intangible qualities of intelligence, drive, work ethic...etc that seperate them after training is applied.

I just got this news letter from my former collegiate coach:


"........** Patrick Castagno's ('88) Tatnall girls' team again won one division

state high school cross country title and qualified for the national
meet. Zach Chupa ('98) and Lauren DiGennaro assist with the program.
Marnie Giunta's ('93) Padua girls' team won the other division. Mike
DiGennaro ('00) is an assistant for the St. Mark's boys' team which won

one state division title and Pat Riley ('04) assists the Archmere boys'

team that won the other division........"


ALL of the Delaware state team titles were coached by former athletes of his. What I wrote above, how he coached, and how they coached isn't magic. It really isn't any different that what Lydiard, Martin/Coe, Daniels, McMillan, Kellog, or Pfitzinger have written or done. However, when you want to discuss how a teenager can be coached 7 different ways and improve, I won't argue. But the fact remains that some coaches REPEATEDLY beat the teams of those who don't understand the basic fundamentals of distance training. ANY training will make you faster when compared to no training at all, but a properly trained athlete will be able to train more.

It's not a random coincidence that these teams won this year, just as it isn't random or coincidental that MOST teams who have knowlegable and experienced coaches succeed over those who don't.

I'm not urging anyone to do anything different with their training. All I am doing is putting the information out there. I suggest we let them decide if they want to do it or not.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [Russ Brandt] [ In reply to ]
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Running times. 4hrs would be a marathon for a 4hr marathoner, but it could be a 30 mile race for a faster runner, or it could be the run portion of an IM if it takes 4hrs to run it.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Well said. FWIW, the softball coach at University of Arizona said his success isn't so much due to teaching softball fundamentals, but getting 20 women together for a season without cat fighting (no pun) and bitching etc....all of the things that derail good teams. My point is that your high performing coaches prolly have a formula that consists of solid training (no mysterious formula here) AND teaching, developing, honing the intangibles that make champions (dedication, intelligence, toughness, discipline etc). Many coaches can do the former, but not many can command the latter on youngsters.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Nice post.

In Reply To:

I think your hypothetical plan has some merit. ie...no matter what, when training for a long race, like an HIM, you still want to focus more on threshold training than you do with V02max or speed. However, where it gets tricky is how much easy training do you do. The proportions should be similar given unlimited training time. However, once your training time starts getting limited, you have to start gradually bumping up the intensity.[/quote]
You've touched on this before and I think you mentioned something about a 9 mile easy run and a 3 mile tempo run being equal as far as training stress. Only the 3 mile tempo run is more costly in terms of recovery.

With that in mind: If an athlete has 15 hours, tops, at the beginning of a training program, a 15 hour week done mostly at a steady endurance pace will suffice as a training load (10-12 hrs may be enough). As the athlete progresses, additional training time isn't possible, so intensity is added. That additional intensity provides the training stress necessary to require adaptation.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for all your posts. I find them very helpful.



If my body isn't strong enough... I hope my wallet will be.
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure I'm reading your graphs correctly. The 10k pt in slide 3 looks like there's twice as much easy work as threshold/V02 and threshold/V02 is evenly split, at 20k it looks like there's maybe 80-90% easy with the rest threshold/V02. Also does threshold=10k pace and V02=1 mile pace? Maybe endurance is 90% of a successful training plan and speed the other 90% ;)


Jim_n_La
...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but only until it kills you - Cousin Elwood
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [BarryP] [ In reply to ]
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Actually it still applies to them. Yes, I'll agree that just training in the "steady zone" (blue on my graphic) will get you to 90% of your potential.

I wish someone would have explained this to me at some point before I learned it at age 35. I was a 24-year old walk-on in college and the coach made workouts and I ran them. Unfortunately, no one explained to me that the morning run of of four or five miles, done consistently, was probably as important over the course of the 18 months of my college "career" as were any of the workouts. I started training for a marathon after I finished school and low and behold, while doing 1000-meter repeats with the cross country team 10 days out from my race, I was running with the faster guys on the team and beating many of the others. It took me another 10 years to really make the connection.

I will be interested to see your periodization peice. My normal periodization normally consists of four months of volume building followed by a couple of months of time trials leading up to the A-race.

Chad
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Re: Running - Understanding how to balance your program [cdw] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
My normal periodization normally consists of four months of volume building followed by a couple of months of time trials leading up to the A-race[/quote] I swear we talked about this. You're killing me.

Brian Stover
Accelerate3 Coaching
twitter & IG = @accelerate3
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