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2014-01-06 1:38 PM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?

Without going into the whole discussion about which way is better...I will just say...yes, I have gotten good results in running races, especially in the 10k-half marathon race distance without ever running faster than half marathon pace in training.  And the times I did run half marathon pace...were few and far between.

 



2014-01-06 3:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?

Originally posted by yazmaster

I keep replying to LB's post though because I think the advice he's promoting, while not incorrect, is inherently dangerous to propagate here on a BEGINNER triathlete forum.

 

It is absolutely the worst advice you could give a new beginner triathlete who likely has done almost no serious run training in the past, to tell them that they should go out and do only a few workouts a week, with high intensity, like 4 x 400, because it's so much more efficient. You're setting them up for an inevitable injury. 

 

Perhaps the best advice you could give these same folks, is to just get out there and run. Run easy. Until the volume is significant. Forget the hard stuff for now and just get out there - the body will make huge adaptations by just doing that.

 

This advice isn't just for raw beginners either - it's applicable for anyone who's taken a lot of time off, and even those who are experienced but have still never done a lot of run volume. 

 

If this were a high-performance triathlon forum where you could assume most people were very experienced and racing for big PRs, I'd be all over the speedwork bandwagon. However, I feel that propagating this advice on BT is aiming it at the completely wrong audience. 

 

I'm going to ask LB myself - why aren't you doing the 15mpw with hard speedwork like 8 x 400s, and running 18:xx 5ks yourself if you believe in it so strongly across all groups? If anyone can, it should be you, since the genetics are clearly there for such performance, even at an older age. 

 

There was a day I was far below 18:00 for 5k....and truthfully, once I get this knee straightened out I'm going to go back to training much less miles and more fast intervals (liable to be laughable as far as "fast" goes....but still fast compared to my "long and slow"), although at 54, I know my true running days are long past. (and I'd like to grab my HS cross country coach by the throat for the 750 mile summers he had me run) I tried the high mileage stuff when I decided I wanted to do an IM......it's been a disaster for me...one injury after another.  I ran sprints and Oly's for over 25 years off and on with no injury to speak of.

Look, I agree with your idea that a true beginner cannot jump right in to interval work.....that's crazy.  I think that gets said enough on this forum and it's good, sound advice.  But there are a large percentage of people here who have been at it for 2,3, or 4 years and want to now try to get on the AG podium, or try to qualify for nationals, etc.  And they can surely incorporate some more focused work to get faster....at the expense of "more miles".

And for the record.....I'm not just talking about the training that my kid does.(this will only be his 3rd season, he IS a beginner)  However, because of him and his gifts, we've been exposed to the training and coaching of a lot of elite athletes up to the pro level.......I remain amazed at how little volume they do when it comes to running.....but it is very focused, closely monitored, and science based with training zones locked in.  You can do the same thing as an AG'er and get faster, have time for more swimming (very important as far as I'm concerned), and race better. 

 



Edited by Left Brain 2014-01-06 3:31 PM
2014-01-06 4:51 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?
In 2012 from January to early November I averaged about 80k a week. I did different running in that time. I did 5k pace intervals. I did tempo runs. I did marathon pace runs. For the most part I think I trained smart, I ran fast maybe 2 times a week. Otherwise I ran quite slow, maybe a 6:30 km. I ran a 3:59 marathon in May that year. I think that qualifies me for MOP for a 34 year old.

For the last 8 weeks of 2012 I jumped my mileage to 110k a week. I went so unbearably slow. Many runs slower than 7 min/km. No speed work. I walked lots for the first time in over a year.

In January I dropped my mileage and found I could dust my buddy in interval workouts. Now my buddy is faster than me over all distances. He had been following a fairly standard program and making gains. Not only was I dusting my buddy but I was crushing my old interval times.

Unfortunately, instead of dusting my buddy I should have been taking some time off and I got injured soon after so never had a chance to take the wheels out for a spin to see the gains I had made. But I tell you, when I dropped from 110 km per week to 80, I felt unstoppable.

I apologize if this reply has been too on point to the OPs original question .
2014-01-06 4:57 PM
in reply to: BigDH

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?

Originally posted by BigDH In 2012 from January to early November I averaged about 80k a week. I did different running in that time. I did 5k pace intervals. I did tempo runs. I did marathon pace runs. For the most part I think I trained smart, I ran fast maybe 2 times a week. Otherwise I ran quite slow, maybe a 6:30 km. I ran a 3:59 marathon in May that year. I think that qualifies me for MOP for a 34 year old. For the last 8 weeks of 2012 I jumped my mileage to 110k a week. I went so unbearably slow. Many runs slower than 7 min/km. No speed work. I walked lots for the first time in over a year. In January I dropped my mileage and found I could dust my buddy in interval workouts. Now my buddy is faster than me over all distances. He had been following a fairly standard program and making gains. Not only was I dusting my buddy but I was crushing my old interval times. Unfortunately, instead of dusting my buddy I should have been taking some time off and I got injured soon after so never had a chance to take the wheels out for a spin to see the gains I had made. But I tell you, when I dropped from 110 km per week to 80, I felt unstoppable. I apologize if this reply has been too on point to the OPs original question .

So....in short, you increased mileage and got hurt.  I can relate to that.  Is your buddy still running and improving?

2014-01-06 8:05 PM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?

Originally posted by spiderjunior Just curious if anybody on here does almost predominately all moderate work in practice. I've had a bad back with some bulging disc's for about the past 20 years. Seems like any time I try to incorporate and type of speed work into my practice sessions whether it be on the bike or run it seems like I re-injure my back. I would love to get faster but more important to me is staying healthy that I can just continue to train. I know most of the fast people on this site probably do a ton of speed work, but is there anybody on here that is MOP or so that can only train for the most part at moderate paces and still see's ok results? Just curious.

This has been my experience (with running only --- I haven't done a tri in a few years ) --- more miles have made me a faster runner and I don't get injured. Last year I ran almost 1800 miles and PR'd every running distance. I did add speed work but that was a small percentage of my running. I know that these aren't impressive times and it's certainly a lengthy progress, but I went from a 4:45 marathon to a 3:50 marathon in a few years without doing speedwork -- just continuous mileage.

So to answer to your question -- yes, I think you can see "ok" (depending on, of course, your definition of "ok" ) results running at a moderate (EASY) pace most of the time. If incorporating speed work hurts you back, don't do it. Like you said, staying healthy is A-number-1, and if speed work risks that, lay off of it. You will see results with consistent training, especially if you are a beginner.

2014-01-07 10:05 AM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?
Wow, some great stuff in here. Thanks for all of the replies everyone. After doing some reading up on "speed work" I think I may have been over doing it. Instead of interval training I was doing more of total workouts at an increased pace. I am very much a beginner, just started triathlons last year. I would do several workouts, running for instance, I would run 5 or 6 times very slow at about an 11 min/mile pace. I would feel great, so then I would add in a speed session, but instead of doing short intervals of maybe 30 seconds to a minute of increased pace, I would just try to go out and run a short distance, maybe like 2 or 3 miles but run them at a constant 9:30 min/mile pace. I would do the same thing with the bike. I normally avg about 16 mph or so and most workouts were about 90 mins duration, but on speed days I would try to avg 18.5 or so for about 60 mins. I noticed my back was hurting a bunch on the days following these workouts. I look back now and it seems I was doing these workouts wrong. Seems I should be doing more short interval bursts type of workouts. See how I do with that and slow add in an extra one here and there and keep building on that.

With that being said, over the past few months I have done nothing but slow running to try and build a base. I put in more miles over the past few months then I had ever before and was healthy the whole time. Hurt my back last week but it was non training related. I think I'm going to continue to build my base slowly but maybe once a week add a very minimal amount of speed work into my routine. Thanks a bunch for all the replies


2014-01-07 10:12 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?
Originally posted by spiderjunior

Wow, some great stuff in here. Thanks for all of the replies everyone. After doing some reading up on "speed work" I think I may have been over doing it. Instead of interval training I was doing more of total workouts at an increased pace. I am very much a beginner, just started triathlons last year. I would do several workouts, running for instance, I would run 5 or 6 times very slow at about an 11 min/mile pace. I would feel great, so then I would add in a speed session, but instead of doing short intervals of maybe 30 seconds to a minute of increased pace, I would just try to go out and run a short distance, maybe like 2 or 3 miles but run them at a constant 9:30 min/mile pace. I would do the same thing with the bike. I normally avg about 16 mph or so and most workouts were about 90 mins duration, but on speed days I would try to avg 18.5 or so for about 60 mins. I noticed my back was hurting a bunch on the days following these workouts. I look back now and it seems I was doing these workouts wrong. Seems I should be doing more short interval bursts type of workouts. See how I do with that and slow add in an extra one here and there and keep building on that.

With that being said, over the past few months I have done nothing but slow running to try and build a base. I put in more miles over the past few months then I had ever before and was healthy the whole time. Hurt my back last week but it was non training related. I think I'm going to continue to build my base slowly but maybe once a week add a very minimal amount of speed work into my routine. Thanks a bunch for all the replies

No! I don't think that you should take away from this that you need to be doing 30s - 1 minute intervals. At least, not unless you simply mean a few brief periods of faster running that folks here often refer to as 'strides'.

For biking, riding for periods of 10-60 minutes at a high effort is just what you want in order to get faster in endurance racing. Add some core exercises as suggested above in the hope that it will reduce the back pain. (My wife and I have both experienced _far_ less back pain since we started exercising regularly.) For running, the most important thing is to just run, but if you want to start on some faster running, then the place to start would be what is often called 'tempo' runs. That's much closer to what you'd need for a tri.
2014-01-07 10:25 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?

Originally posted by spiderjunior Wow, some great stuff in here. Thanks for all of the replies everyone. After doing some reading up on "speed work" I think I may have been over doing it. Instead of interval training I was doing more of total workouts at an increased pace. I am very much a beginner, just started triathlons last year. I would do several workouts, running for instance, I would run 5 or 6 times very slow at about an 11 min/mile pace. I would feel great, so then I would add in a speed session, but instead of doing short intervals of maybe 30 seconds to a minute of increased pace, I would just try to go out and run a short distance, maybe like 2 or 3 miles but run them at a constant 9:30 min/mile pace. I would do the same thing with the bike. I normally avg about 16 mph or so and most workouts were about 90 mins duration, but on speed days I would try to avg 18.5 or so for about 60 mins. I noticed my back was hurting a bunch on the days following these workouts. I look back now and it seems I was doing these workouts wrong. Seems I should be doing more short interval bursts type of workouts. See how I do with that and slow add in an extra one here and there and keep building on that. With that being said, over the past few months I have done nothing but slow running to try and build a base. I put in more miles over the past few months then I had ever before and was healthy the whole time. Hurt my back last week but it was non training related. I think I'm going to continue to build my base slowly but maybe once a week add a very minimal amount of speed work into my routine. Thanks a bunch for all the replies

On the other speed/volume thread I posted a video of running drills.  If I was you, I would start with doing those drills before your runs as you build your base, and definately before you started any type of speed work.  The drills are very low impact and get your legs used to firing where they need to for efficient running.

2014-01-07 11:38 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Good results with almost no speed work in practice?
Originally posted by Left Brain

On the other speed/volume thread I posted a video of running drills.  If I was you, I would start with doing those drills before your runs as you build your base, and definately before you started any type of speed work.  The drills are very low impact and get your legs used to firing where they need to for efficient running.




Thanks Collin who posted above you and thanks Brain. I'll take a look. Right now I am just happy with just getting my miles in and staying healthy but at some point I know I will want to speed things up.
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