General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse? Rss Feed  
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2015-02-11 8:37 AM

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Subject: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Hi,
this is my first season of any sort of running and I'm trying to get up to a HM distance. I've been running pretty consistently 3 times a week for about 6 months now and trying to increase the distances slowly. My runs for the last few weeks have been about 1:30-1:45 for the long run and 45 mins to an hour for the two shorter ones. I'm also decreasing these times every 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately however my part-time job is pretty active and I end up basically doing 1-2 hours of strength training 3-4 times a week in addition to about 3 hours of swimming and whatever cycling I fit in.
I'm starting to feel tired a bit too much at the moment and then ended up falling ill last week and was knocked out for a couple of days so I think my body is starting to find it a bit too tough. I'm going to drop back my training but I still have my first HM coming up in about 6 weeks and want to be ready for that. I'm therefore looking at reducing the length of the runs I'm doing but am not sure if I would be better simply scaling back a bit or dropping them down more significantly (say to 30-45 mins for the longest one) but trying to get in 5-6 runs a week so I'll still be ready for the HM. Any advice? Current plan is to try it and see how I feel. If I'm still tired then I'll cut back on the number of runs.

Brendan


2015-02-11 9:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
I think it is a very good idea. Frequent easy runs are the cornerstone of a good running base and for most people can reap great benefits. You currently say you do one 1:30-1:45 and two 60ish minute runs. So about 210 minutes of running. Over on Slowtwitch.com there is a guy named BarryP who has a very easy to remember but effective training schedule. It comes out to 3 short runs, 2 medium runs, and one long run. The length of these runs are also in a 3:2:1 relation to each other. So for you:

210 minutes, divvy by 10 and distribute as follows:
3 short runs of 21 minutes
2 medium runs of 42 minutes
1 long run of 63 minutes.

This equals your training time, but in more maneagable chunks. The only thing is that for a HM a 63 minute long run is probably going to be a bit short. So an option is to bump one of the short runs and add the time to your long run, so you end up with a long run of 84 minutes, or close to what your previous long run was. It's entirely possible that the same amount of trainingload is easier to absorb in these smaller chunks, and you will be able to run longer than this. In that case try to distribute your extra time among all of the runs so they remain proportional to each other. Generally the shorter runs are seen as recovery runs whereas the medium runs can be used to add some tempo running.

Edited by Snaaijer 2015-02-11 9:05 AM
2015-02-11 10:24 AM
in reply to: CircusBrendan

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Do you want to run a HM or strength train? Cut the strength training down to 2x/week, 30-45 mins max. Keep the running. 

2015-02-11 11:46 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
I have followed the 3:2:1 plan for many years with minimal injuries. The longest distance I have raced is HM and can normally get up to a 35 miles per week and do fairly well. THe runs would come out to be 1 @ 10 miles, 2 @ 5 miles and 3 @ 3 miles. The stress is pretty low and the nice part is that at this stage of training volume is going to do you better than intensity. Consistency is he word of the day And x2 on the strength training, I know there is value and it depends on your goals but is not necessarily needed. Especially this close to race day and would be better served for off season.
2015-02-11 12:49 PM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Originally posted by thebigb

Do you want to run a HM or strength train? Cut the strength training down to 2x/week, 30-45 mins max. Keep the running. 




Unfortunately I need to do that for the part time job (I'm a circus instructor - see profile photo). Most of it involves climbing ropes and going upside down so the strength training bit is more a means to an end rather than planned. :-)

Brendan
2015-02-11 12:52 PM
in reply to: CircusBrendan

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

I'm also wondering about the amount of strength training being done. Any reason for it as that seems like a lot with the HM training going on.

Also like the idea of more frequent and smaller runs. For a rough idea, spread your total mileage around into a few more smaller runs first and then see about growing a few (not all) of them out to the durations you're doing now. Should be more manageable by then.



2015-02-11 12:53 PM
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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Google the Barry P running plan.
2015-02-11 1:15 PM
in reply to: CircusBrendan

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Originally posted by CircusBrendan
Originally posted by thebigb

Do you want to run a HM or strength train? Cut the strength training down to 2x/week, 30-45 mins max. Keep the running. 

Unfortunately I need to do that for the part time job (I'm a circus instructor - see profile photo). Most of it involves climbing ropes and going upside down so the strength training bit is more a means to an end rather than planned. :-) Brendan

Well that would certainly justify it!

See about the running more often and then building that into more volume. As best you can make it work at least.

2015-02-11 2:05 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

I can't see how you could possibly be "overtrained" on that volume of work. 

2015-02-11 3:00 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Originally posted by Left Brain

I can't see how you could possibly be "overtrained" on that volume of work. 

I would agree; more like "tired" and not over trained. 

Strength training hours make sense now so maybe something else has to give a little? I'm not convinced it needs to be running just yet. 

2015-02-11 4:10 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Originally posted by Left Brain

I can't see how you could possibly be "overtrained" on that volume of work. 



It sounds like pretty high volume to me-- not just the running, but the 5-8 hours of strength training in the physical job, plus the swimming and cycling....


2015-02-11 4:58 PM
in reply to: CircusBrendan

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Agree with the above.  But I don't recommend going from 3 days a week running immediately to 6.  First, go to 4 days a week for a bunch of weeks.  If you have any more time to train.... put it into cycling.  Yes, the BarryP structure works well, and running 5-6 days a week is more optimal.  However,  You don't have that much time between now and your HIM, so don't take any undue risks.

 

2015-02-11 9:36 PM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Originally posted by Snaaijer


210 minutes, divvy by 10 and distribute as follows:
3 short runs of 21 minutes
2 medium runs of 42 minutes
1 long run of 63 minutes.



This is great advcie. I've also found the "rule of 9s" works well for folks that can't manage 6 days a week of running, but only 4 or 5.

210/9 = 23 min

2-3 @ 23 min
1-2 @ 46 min
1 @ 68 min

Not a ton of difference from the "rule of 10s" that BarryP uses, but I like to outline it sothe athlete has more flexibility. However I don't think this works unless they are able to get in at least 5 runs most weeks while building their fitness. Once they are ready to maintain 3x weekly with a longer long run works for awhile, but then at some point it makes sense to cut back to shorter rusn and try to add a day or two a week. The nice thing is that a run of 25 minutes hardly takes any time out of your day as opposed to say a swim of 25 minutes, whcih is really 2 hours.
2015-02-12 7:34 AM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Originally posted by thebigb

Originally posted by Left Brain

I can't see how you could possibly be "overtrained" on that volume of work. 

I would agree; more like "tired" and not over trained. 

Strength training hours make sense now so maybe something else has to give a little? I'm not convinced it needs to be running just yet. 

What do you mean by "give"? Most posts seem to be ok with the same weekly volume, but suggest redistributing the amount over more runs.

2015-02-12 7:38 AM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?

Originally posted by jennifer_runs
Originally posted by Left Brain

I can't see how you could possibly be "overtrained" on that volume of work. 

It sounds like pretty high volume to me-- not just the running, but the 5-8 hours of strength training in the physical job, plus the swimming and cycling....

Think more of the clinical definition of overtraining. That takes months to recover from at a minimum. I can see someone being tired from this work quite often, but not so much that a few easy/rest days shouldn't take care of it. So he might just be able to reconfigure his workout schedule and be fine.

2015-02-12 8:40 AM
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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by Snaaijer


210 minutes, divvy by 10 and distribute as follows:
3 short runs of 21 minutes
2 medium runs of 42 minutes
1 long run of 63 minutes.



This is great advcie. I've also found the "rule of 9s" works well for folks that can't manage 6 days a week of running, but only 4 or 5.

210/9 = 23 min

2-3 @ 23 min
1-2 @ 46 min
1 @ 68 min

Not a ton of difference from the "rule of 10s" that BarryP uses, but I like to outline it sothe athlete has more flexibility. However I don't think this works unless they are able to get in at least 5 runs most weeks while building their fitness. Once they are ready to maintain 3x weekly with a longer long run works for awhile, but then at some point it makes sense to cut back to shorter rusn and try to add a day or two a week. The nice thing is that a run of 25 minutes hardly takes any time out of your day as opposed to say a swim of 25 minutes, whcih is really 2 hours.


Very true, and nice application with the rule of 9 for sure. I think that for most triathletes, running 6 times a week is gonna be too much, even if 2-3 of those are short and easy. Five runs though would work out well where you'd probably want one long run with or without some quality, one medium with some form of intensity (threshold, tempo, repeats), and then maybe one of the short runs a brick run. Then there are two easy runs, one short and one medium. I also think for most triathletes two quality sessions a week will be more than enough. I like to have my medium run as a quality run and then alternate either some quality in a long run OR use one of the brick runs as a quality run (ran at race pace for some duration of the run, an easy brick run is maybe hard to designate either easy or quality). Again, BarryP is a great resource and it's working wonders for me.

Here are the links to the BarryP program by the way, its quite a read but well worth it:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2545826;
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2548469;
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2554998;

Edited by Snaaijer 2015-02-12 8:43 AM


2015-02-12 8:45 AM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Thank you all for your advice. I'll give that a go and let you know how it goes.

Brendan
2015-02-12 9:18 AM
in reply to: Snaaijer

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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Originally posted by Snaaijer
Originally posted by AdventureBear
Originally posted by Snaaijer210 minutes, divvy by 10 and distribute as follows:3 short runs of 21 minutes2 medium runs of 42 minutes1 long run of 63 minutes.
This is great advcie. I've also found the "rule of 9s" works well for folks that can't manage 6 days a week of running, but only 4 or 5. 210/9 = 23 min2-3 @ 23 min1-2 @ 46 min1 @ 68 minNot a ton of difference from the "rule of 10s" that BarryP uses, but I like to outline it sothe athlete has more flexibility. However I don't think this works unless they are able to get in at least 5 runs most weeks while building their fitness. Once they are ready to maintain 3x weekly with a longer long run works for awhile, but then at some point it makes sense to cut back to shorter rusn and try to add a day or two a week. The nice thing is that a run of 25 minutes hardly takes any time out of your day as opposed to say a swim of 25 minutes, whcih is really 2 hours.
Very true, and nice application with the rule of 9 for sure. I think that for most triathletes, running 6 times a week is gonna be too much, even if 2-3 of those are short and easy. Five runs though would work out well where you'd probably want one long run with or without some quality, one medium with some form of intensity (threshold, tempo, repeats), and then maybe one of the short runs a brick run. Then there are two easy runs, one short and one medium. I also think for most triathletes two quality sessions a week will be more than enough. I like to have my medium run as a quality run and then alternate either some quality in a long run OR use one of the brick runs as a quality run (ran at race pace for some duration of the run, an easy brick run is maybe hard to designate either easy or quality). Again, BarryP is a great resource and it's working wonders for me.Here are the links to the BarryP program by the way, its quite a read but well worth it:http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2545826;http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2548469;http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2554998;
Curious what you would consider "quality" inside a long run? I understand the quality for medium and short, but for long I always just do slow and steady.
2015-02-12 10:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Avoiding overtraining - would more frequent easier runs help or make things worse?
Today I ran 45 minutes at easy pace, then 30 minutes at marathon pace and ended with 20 minutes at threshold pace, and 5 minutes easy to cooldown. That's what I'd consider quality inside a long run (I'm training for a half marathon right now so for me 95 mins of running is long enough). Now this was quite a hard run for me. I don't do these every week but my planning this week called for some rest after a race last weekend and this way I was able to incorporate my weekly portion of threshold running inside my long run, all the while giving me a confidence boosting workout. A bit less stressful quality long run might be to divide your long run in 4 quarters and run 3 easy but do the last quarter at your projected marathon pace or half marathon pace (I would do this on your medium-long runs first, not necessarily on your 20 miler if you run those . And by projected I mean the pace that is an honest reflection of a recent race, so you could plug in a recent 10k time in any of the pace calcs or look at Jack Daniels VDOT table and get that pace. Jack Daniels Running Formula book is an excellent resource for figuring out quality training and the paces to run them at, as well as how much you should be doing (most people run too much intensity, or take too long or short rests).

Edited by Snaaijer 2015-02-12 10:32 AM
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