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2009-09-01 10:26 AM

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Subject: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

Hello all,

I just did my 2nd sprint this last Sunday. I was wondering. During the race, felt quite a bit of pain during the run. Pushed it pretty hard, but was wondering.

How do you know if you are pushing to hard or not hard enough? I mean I want to avoid doing permanent damage, but I also want to test my limits.

Is there a way too tell? How hard do you push it?


2009-09-01 10:42 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
if you are doing lasting damage i want to know how you can push that hard.
2009-09-01 10:45 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
What sort of pain are we talking here?  Is this "I shouldn't run through it because something is going to break" pain?  Or are you talking just racing all-out?  Racing hurts - if it doesn't, you are just training IMHO .  Now if training hurts, you have a problem.  If during a race I have a limb or joint that is suffering, I know to back off if I don't want my season to be shot.  If I am doing a long race and my quads are burning 5 minutes into a 3 hr bike leg, I'd probably back off a bit.  If I have 1 mile to run and my chest is burning, I am probably going to keep trying to run faster or at least maintain the pace.  In your case, if you are talking serious knee pain, you might consider backing off.  How did you pull up afterwards?  Are you still able to train without pain?  You will learn what your body can handle given time.  Congrats on your second race.
2009-09-01 10:48 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
In a sprint, if you puke before the finish line, you've raced too hard
If you puke after the finish line, you didn't go hard enough.
You should puke ON the finish line.

It's really difficult to damage yourself to any extent in a sprint other than a pulled muscle.
2009-09-01 11:18 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
You should basically go all out in a sprint, and it will be painful (one of the reasons why I like the short coarse racing...).

When you train, do you add medium-short hard effort intervals? If not, how do you expect your body to react to that during a race in any other way then pain (which is a signal from your brain that you're above where it's comfortable)
2009-09-01 11:50 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
Is it fair to assume you are talking about legs perhaps, NOT crushing chest pain radiating to your jaw and left arm?

Had to ask...


2009-09-01 12:02 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
DanielG - 2009-09-01 8:48 AM In a sprint, if you puke before the finish line, you've raced too hard If you puke after the finish line, you didn't go hard enough. You should puke ON the finish line. It's really difficult to damage yourself to any extent in a sprint other than a pulled muscle.



Awesome!
2009-09-01 12:07 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
Hold on! It's never enough
It's never enough until your heart stops beating
The deeper you get, the sweeter the pain
Don't give up the game until your heart stops beating
2009-09-01 12:08 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
Slidell4life - 2009-09-01 2:02 PM
DanielG - 2009-09-01 8:48 AM In a sprint, if you puke before the finish line, you've raced too hard If you puke after the finish line, you didn't go hard enough. You should puke ON the finish line. It's really difficult to damage yourself to any extent in a sprint other than a pulled muscle.



Awesome!


Yeah - this is my new race philosophy. 
2009-09-01 12:35 PM
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Fort Lauderdale
Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

I had a cramp in my side, lungs were burning, and chest hurt too.

So you can't really over do it unless it's a joint thing?

I guess I am worried about pushing it too hard and having a heart attack or something. Silly I know.

I will push harder next time, it's not the pain but the fear of hurting my self. Perhaps I am making this up to wimp out.

What about in longer distances? I have an Oly in 10 weeks.



2009-09-01 12:39 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
frank38382 - 2009-09-01 1:35 PM
I had a cramp in my side, lungs were burning, and chest hurt too.

So you can't really over do it unless it's a joint thing?

I guess I am worried about pushing it too hard and having a heart attack or something. Silly I know.

I will push harder next time, it's not the pain but the fear of hurting my self. Perhaps I am making this up to wimp out.

What about in longer distances? I have an Oly in 10 weeks.





hmmm that's what i feel like everytime i run (minus the cramps) - asthma.  talk to your doc about it or get an OTC inhaler, this will help ease your breathing.  as for the side cramps, you probably ate/drank too much/too little before you ran. 

none of those feelings are dangerous, i wouldn't think.  if you freak, take a walk break and pick it back up.


2009-09-01 12:40 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
You are how old? With what medical history/risk factors?
Hard to imagine that all the training isn't a reliable stress test...but it isn't.
Bottom line? If you are having exertional chest pain you should get a cardiologist to tell you it is ok to give yourself a stress test 4-5x a week.

Assuming you are something on the order of 40+.
Exercise induced asthma is also worth a discussion...

Edited by RiverRat50 2009-09-01 12:42 PM
2009-09-01 12:45 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

I am 38. Mom and Grandfather(on Dad's side) have/had heart disease.

Just got a physical with an EKG that checked out.

I think I am okay risk wise. Although I have only been training for a little under 3 months.

Felt fine the next day and didn't come close to puking during the race. So I suppose I have a little more breathing room (so to speak) in how hard I can push it.

thanks for all the replies!
2009-09-01 12:53 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
You are probably fine...but...non-stress EKG may miss significant issue...
Stress test of some sort would make me "rest easier" when I pushed were I you.
2009-09-01 10:29 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
I agree with the above post that racing should "hurt" but not in a way that alters your form. If you find yourself favoring body parts (or favoring one side over the other) in an attempt to avoid pain, then you're on your way to an injury. Other pain, like a stitch in your side, burning in your muscles from fatigue, might "hurt" but you can run through it, because it's mostly just annoying, not dangerous or detrimental.

Also, it helps to do more training and race simulation to get a feel for what you can push your body to do. Both can make you more comfortable with the "pain" of pushing yourself, but also teach you your limits. You don't want to go so hard early in the race that you have nothing left in the tank to finish strong. You also don't want to feel like you held back.

Some people use heartrate monitors to understand how hard they're pushing themselves, which I've never tried, but might be helpful for you. Another route which I've taken, is using RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I use RPE as both a training mechanism and to know how hard I'm pushing in a race. As for workouts, bricks, tempo runs, sprinting in the middle of swimming/biking/running, and interval training have all helped me to automatically know where I am on the scale.
2009-09-01 10:38 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
frank38382 - 2009-09-01 1:35 PM
I had a cramp in my side, lungs were burning, and chest hurt too.

So you can't really over do it unless it's a joint thing?

I guess I am worried about pushing it too hard and having a heart attack or something. Silly I know.

I will push harder next time, it's not the pain but the fear of hurting my self. Perhaps I am making this up to wimp out.

What about in longer distances? I have an Oly in 10 weeks.





If you are going to have a heart attack then you are going to have one.  Pusing too hard will not cause it.  Coronary artery disease will cause it.  Why not go out on a high note with a great race.  Seriously though, if you are 38 and in reasonable shape, then nothing to do but keep pushing, you will not die beacuse you pushed too hard.  If you are going to die young of heart disease it will just happen.  Not much to do but have fun along the way.


2009-09-02 12:46 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
swishyskirt - 2009-09-01 8:29 PM Some people use heartrate monitors to understand how hard they're pushing themselves, which I've never tried, but might be helpful for you. Another route which I've taken, is using RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I use RPE as both a training mechanism and to know how hard I'm pushing in a race. As for workouts, bricks, tempo runs, sprinting in the middle of swimming/biking/running, and interval training have all helped me to automatically know where I am on the scale.


X2.  If you're racing, it'll hurt.  If it doesn't, you probably aren't anywhere near an effort that is "too hard."  400m and 800m interval sets on the run...hill repeats on the bike...good ways to punish yourself in small doses and get adjusted to max effort.

Oly hurts like a sprint, btw...just hurts longer.
2009-09-02 2:11 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

frank38382 - 2009-09-01 1:45 PM
I am 38. Mom and Grandfather(on Dad's side) have/had heart disease.

I had a 44 year-old friend suffer a heart attack this past Saturday while coaching his son's soccer game.  The guy was the picture of health but had some undetected congenital problems.

Based on your family history, I'd ignore all this ridiculous, irresponsible, macho "go 'till you puke" advice.  Talk to your doctor, discuss what you're planning and then let him give you some professional guidance.

I also have a congenital heart disease issue, but my cardiologist is fine with my training and racing provided that I wear a heart rate monitor and keep my heart rate in certain ranges.  Again, work with your doctor and make sure you know what your health risks are going in.

Good luck,

Mark

 

 

2009-09-02 3:04 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

sand101 - 2009-09-01 5:07 PM Hold on! It's never enough
It's never enough until your heart stops beating
The deeper you get, the sweeter the pain
Don't give up the game until your heart stops beating

New Order - Shellshock ?

Not sure Bernard Sumner was into Tri though.

2009-09-02 6:08 AM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

Davidson3
"If you are going to have a heart attack then you are going to have one.  Pusing too hard will not cause it.  Coronary artery disease will cause it.  Why not go out on a high note with a great race.  Seriously though, if you are 38 and in reasonable shape, then nothing to do but keep pushing, you will not die beacuse you pushed too hard.  If you are going to die young of heart disease it will just happen.  Not much to do but have fun along the way."

With all due respect...that is one of the most absurd statements I have read anywhere. Early signs and symptoms of coronary disease are variable. Partial occlusion of coronary arteries can create relative ischemia of the heart muscle and the symptoms described above. "Pushing too hard" can turn relative ischemia into dead muscle...a heart attack. An accute heart attack, that would otherwise not be fatal can cause fatal rhythms. Dehydration also inceases risk of a partial occlusion thrombosing (closing). A resting EKG is approaching worthless in detecting disease unless you have already had a heart attack. "if you are going to die young...nothing to do" OMG...kidding right??? We have come up with a few "things to do"...risk factor management, medications, interventions...that will keep you alive and well for your family and for the enjoyment of the pain in your next race. I think most are out here to improve health, have fun, compete, not go out with a bang on Sunday.

Frank. Ignore the fatalism and macho BS. Get a proper stress test with a cardiologist. I'd prefer to see you continue to post for years. Odds are still that you are just suffering getting in shape, but with a strong family history, even at 38...you should be sure.

John-neophyte triathlete-20 years vascular surgery

Edited by RiverRat50 2009-09-02 6:12 AM
2009-09-02 12:47 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
hagakure - 2009-09-02 3:04 AM

sand101 - 2009-09-01 5:07 PM Hold on! It's never enough
It's never enough until your heart stops beating
The deeper you get, the sweeter the pain
Don't give up the game until your heart stops beating

New Order - Shellshock ?

Not sure Bernard Sumner was into Tri though.



Ah, but he should have been!

(and yes that is from New Order).


2009-09-02 4:27 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
DanielG - 2009-09-01 9:48 AM In a sprint, if you puke before the finish line, you've raced too hard If you puke after the finish line, you didn't go hard enough. You should puke ON the finish line. It's really difficult to damage yourself to any extent in a sprint other than a pulled muscle.


I judge it more on where I collapse at, but if I collapse in my own puke on the finish line I know I hit the sweet spot.
2009-09-03 7:40 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
davidson3 - 2009-09-01 11:38 PM


If you are going to have a heart attack then you are going to have one.  Pusing too hard will not cause it.  Coronary artery disease will cause it.  Why not go out on a high note with a great race.  Seriously though, if you are 38 and in reasonable shape, then nothing to do but keep pushing, you will not die beacuse you pushed too hard.  If you are going to die young of heart disease it will just happen.  Not much to do but have fun along the way.


This is a dangerous attitude, even if intended as satire because too many people follow it.  If you have hidden heart disease there IS something you can do about it!!!!  Plenty of great stories at cardiacathletes.org.uk.  Why risk a heart attack/death now when you might look forward to years of athletic participation with proper therapy/intervention. 
Don't whistle past the graveyard.
2009-09-03 10:59 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race
you rqaced hard, it sounds you like you were not in the shape to race as hard as you did, and cramped up.

it doesnt hurt any less as you get better, you just move faster. and you will prob find ways to make it hurt even more.

sprint races for me, are a world of hurt. i hate my life from about 2 min into the swim until i finish.
during the bike and the run i am digging down into places i have only seen erging in the past.
2009-09-03 11:31 PM
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Subject: RE: How hard is too hard, effort level in a race

If you're crawling to the finish, you've pushed yourself too hard.

See video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTn1v5TGK_w



Edited by mrcurtain 2009-09-03 11:32 PM
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