General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2013-10-25 3:47 PM

New user
81
252525
Subject: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
My plan for next tri season is to focus on the sprint and Olympic distances and hope to compete for the podium, but I also love noncompetitive long trail runs (3-4+ hours, marathon/50k distances). In the context of a training program focused on shorter distances, what role does the weekend long run play? If I simply extend my weekend long run, will the extra mileage help my training or hurt it?

Background: I've completed an Ironman and 7 marathon or longer runs, several on trail, in the last 3 years, plus numerous shorter races. I tend to run about 40-50 mpw including a 20 mile long run when in form and 8-10 hours of cycling (bike commuting), but could swap some of the bike time for run time by running to work, at the rate of 1 hour biking = 12 miles running (and only in those chunks - can't run halfway and then pick up a bike ). A recent HM with no taper was a 1:38 PR; a recent marathon was 4:18 with little training. Minimal history of injury from running though this summer I got knee bursitis from mountaineering and didn't run much.

TIA for any help you can provide!





2013-10-25 3:53 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Master
2356
20001001001002525
Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Little clarification....do you still want to do the long, noncompetitive endurance (3-4 hours) runs?

Or do you only want to focus on sprint and Oly distance tri's?

btw, 40-50 a week with a 20 mile long run is a little lopsided. A long run should never be 40-50% of your weekly total.
2013-10-25 4:15 PM
in reply to: Fastyellow

New user
81
252525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Yes, I still want to do the long runs if possible. But if keeping the long runs inhibit developing speed at shorter distances too much, I'd cut them down. I've heard from some sources that at amateur levels you basically can't get too many miles i.e. the long runs are beneficial, but from other sources that these long runs inhibit your ability to do quality interval workouts and therefore are a bad idea. I should mention that when I'm focused on running, I only run this long every other week, with a 13 miler on alternating weekends.

From what I understand, the main risk of lopsided long runs is injuries, which haven't been a problem for me, probably because I run in barefoot shoes on trail much of the time or because I alternate weekends. Though I do also find that my muscles get sore late in long races, so this might be an argument for shifting a couple bikes to runs - though that would increase my total number of hours of exercise and might lead to overtraining.
2013-10-25 4:47 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Master
2356
20001001001002525
Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
This is a good place to start....

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...

If you do want to continue to do longer endurance running events, I would highly suggest keeping long runs on your schedule. Could they affect interval training? Maybe....but my guess is that at your level, you shouldn't be doing any interval training at all and if you do, it should be very minimal.

I would start by reading the thread I linked.
2013-10-25 4:56 PM
in reply to: Fastyellow

New user
81
252525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
I read that when you posted it (thanks for writing it, BTW). I've also read contrary opinions by Friel and the EN guys that argue for greater intensity, less volume. So far I haven't seen any definitive research to convince me one way or the other. In my own experience, when I've done intervals, I've gotten faster. But I suppose your advice to rack up miles must work "more or less" since many people use it with success. And it allows me to do both things I want to do. So that's a pretty good argument to keep up the long runs. Thanks!
2013-10-25 5:15 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Master
2356
20001001001002525
Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Actually, Shane MacLeod of ScotiaMultisport wrote it....not me.

His writings are not opinion as some people think they are. There is MASSIVE amounts of research that shows the greatest benefit to the vast majority of runners comes from steady consistent training. This is absolute common practice for the vast majority of run coaches.

If you read something else, they're usually trying to sell you on something or some aspect. As in "time crunched athletes" which is why EN promotes intensity over frequency and volume. However, that's a short cut for specific situations and should not be considered blanket solid run training advice.

Most people will see improvements with intervals and faster training...most will also more than likely get injured.


2013-10-25 5:34 PM
in reply to: Fastyellow

New user
81
252525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Oh, apologies to you and Shane, must've been looking at the wrong tab .

Here's the research I haven't seen: for experienced but not pro runners, with a solid running base, what are the injury and improvement rates for intensity vs. volume? i.e. if you're already training steadily and consistently at a moderate level, how much do you benefit from adding more miles vs. adding more intensity? All the research I've seen has been for novice runners with low base mileage or anecdotal evidence about what pros do. Also, if you exclude injured runners, what are the improvement rates? If you have this research on either question I would love to see it, because I've seriously looked all over the place for it. I seem to get hurt less than others so I may be a good candidate for a high-intensity approach, if it would be better in general but for injuries.

As a side note I'd be interested in this research for bike too.

2013-10-25 5:54 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Technically speaking, you don't even need to do "long runs." IMHO, they are vastly over rated for any type of training, even marathon training. Overall volume (or overall training load...which is the combination of volume and intensity) is going to end up being your bottom line whether you realize it or not.
2013-10-25 5:56 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Pro
5361
50001001001002525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training

I'm pretty much in the same boat.  have one more Oly left next weekend, then a HM and then I'm into upping my running and doing long trail runs for the winter- in prep for a 50mi ultra.  Here's what I figure.  

Putting that much time into LSD trail runs if fine, but it's sub-optimal for your podium dreams.  It's just that if you've got that much time to run, it's not that it isn't beneficial to your running speed (it is!), but that same about of time is probably better spent on the bike for your overall Oly time.

But an Oly is an endurance event.  the long runs will certainly improve your endurance efficiency, but when you start getting in runs over 3hrs, you ability to apply intensity and the amount of fatigue you generate from the long run is a diminishing return with performance.  i.e. it's good, but you're better off doing something else.

that said- my as yet untested theory here, is that technical trail runs are great training for hips and other muscles that you don't use much in road racing that are stabilizing and will further ward off injury (unless you take a tumble on the trail)

2013-10-25 6:09 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Expert
2192
2000100252525
Greenville, SC
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training

i got up on the podium for all my sprint/oly races this year and never did a run week of more than 30 miles, longest training run would be 13 miles.  i found it a lot easier to build an aerobic base on the bike (3-4 hour rides) and it didn't put too much stress on my body to keep me from getting a good effort during my interval training.  i could do 70-80 miles on my bike one day and the very next still do 45 minutes of 1 minute repeats with a warmup/cooldown included; i think a 20 mile run would have left me a little too stiff for that or at the least kept me from hitting my target wattage.

that being said... do what you enjoy.  if you like the longer runs then find a way that works for you for them to fit in your training.  

2013-10-25 6:17 PM
in reply to: Clempson

New user
81
252525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
So the net conclusion is the long runs are good, but not as good as spending the same time on the bike, but it's not a terrible tradeoff to make if I enjoy them.

I think I'll continue to do them but will augment my alternating-week 13 milers with a longer bike ride, and I'll avoid anything >20 unless it's nowhere near a tri, because those definitely have a big recovery cost that impacts my subsequent training.

Thanks everyone!


2013-10-25 6:23 PM
in reply to: DaveSeattle

User image

Master
2356
20001001001002525
Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
Originally posted by DaveSeattle

Oh, apologies to you and Shane, must've been looking at the wrong tab .

Here's the research I haven't seen: for experienced but not pro runners, with a solid running base, what are the injury and improvement rates for intensity vs. volume? i.e. if you're already training steadily and consistently at a moderate level, how much do you benefit from adding more miles vs. adding more intensity? All the research I've seen has been for novice runners with low base mileage or anecdotal evidence about what pros do. Also, if you exclude injured runners, what are the improvement rates? If you have this research on either question I would love to see it, because I've seriously looked all over the place for it. I seem to get hurt less than others so I may be a good candidate for a high-intensity approach, if it would be better in general but for injuries.

As a side note I'd be interested in this research for bike too.




The research you're looking for would be almost impossible to produce or reproduce in a lab setting. Injury, or lack there of, is almost impossible to test in short, small settings. Just like testing stretching and strength work and saying it prevents injury....it's almost impossible to prove or disprove.

You know yourself best. If you don't get injured doing high intensity running, , have at it. You'll see the greatest benefits from higher intensities assuming 1) you don't get injured and 2) you don't need long periods to recover and actually become detrained in that time period. Which is what happens to most people.
2013-10-26 6:55 PM
in reply to: Fastyellow

New user
81
252525
Subject: RE: Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training
The way you would do it is to take two groups of equivalent runners and ask half to increase volume while the other half increases intensity. Typically they'll pick a group of people all training for the same event.

For myself as for everyone there is only so much training stress I can take, so my purpose in asking the question was to understand what I'd lose by going longer on the weekend.
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Role of long runs in sprint/Olympic training Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

HIM training...how long for long bikes/runs??

Started by Kermat89
Views: 3173 Posts: 18

2013-08-05 1:48 PM svalenzuela

2 Sprints in the midst of HM training - Long runs advice

Started by nc452010
Views: 713 Posts: 6

2010-06-21 2:52 PM Donskiman

HIM Training-How long is your longest run?

Started by owl_girl
Views: 1953 Posts: 24

2010-01-23 5:31 PM newbz

Sprint/Oly Training: Half Mary as "Long Run"

Started by Ershk
Views: 900 Posts: 4

2009-06-09 11:56 AM JustTriDave

How long to train for a Sprint/Olympic Distance triathlon

Started by Radness
Views: 12279 Posts: 11

2009-03-15 11:12 PM Radness
RELATED ARTICLES
date : April 11, 2007
author : Coach AJ
comments : 0
Discussion on the walk/run technique, run injury and cadence, barefoot running, staying aero on long climbs and HIM preparation
 
date : November 9, 2006
author : BobbyMcgee
comments : 0
How long should the 1st long run of a new season be and how to determine volumes when beginning training for a specific event.
date : July 5, 2005
author : chrisandniki
comments : 0
You’ll find you can work these general routines around your work and family commitments, while keeping yourself fit enough for Sprint or Olympic triathlon distances.
 
date : September 10, 2004
author : Team BT
comments : 0
History of the triathlon and distances.
date : September 4, 2004
author : Gareth
comments : 0
Swimming for the triathlete.
 
date : September 4, 2004
author : Gareth
comments : 0
How to Breath Bilaterally.
date : September 2, 2004
author : Ron
comments : 0
A compilation from the old site.
 
date : August 31, 2004
author : smeeko
comments : 0
Bricks refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout.