"The Long View"

Everything about the training process, including programs, experiences, etc.

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"The Long View"

Postby Jwolf » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:25 pm

Excellent article from Running Times about taking a long-term approach to training:

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-traini ... unninglife
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby MichaelMc » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Absolutely.

I think I sound like a broken record sometimes, but marathon is a long race and training for them is a long process. Ambition and patience are often seen as opposites, but LONG TERM ambition is best achieved with SHORT TERM patience. For example running more may be exactly what one needs in the long term, but NOW might not be the time to increase it.

Good article.

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby purdy65 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:23 pm

I feel like this is how I managed to qualify for Boston. I never set it as an immediate goal, until I absolutely knew it was within reach. I got there through 5 years of injury free, consistent running. About the 'learning curve' they mention.

I'm in a totally different place now, however. It's really taking time to come to terms with. I'm at a stage that simply by adding more miles will not improve my time. Only crazy speed work and hard workouts. I'm 50. I'm not sure those are even good for me any more. Plus I'm finding myself less interested in doing them. I'm regressing, but I think I'm getting as much joy out of my running as ever!

One of the girls in my clinic asked me what her BQ was. I went WHOA. Let's see how you do at the half first. I preached patience. Even though I think this girl might have it in her, I'm really working at reigning her in, before she gets hurt.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:34 pm

purdy65 wrote:I feel like this is how I managed to qualify for Boston. I never set it as an immediate goal, until I absolutely knew it was within reach. I got there through 5 years of injury free, consistent running. About the 'learning curve' they mention.

I'm in a totally different place now, however. It's really taking time to come to terms with. I'm at a stage that simply by adding more miles will not improve my time. Only crazy speed work and hard workouts. I'm 50. I'm not sure those are even good for me any more. Plus I'm finding myself less interested in doing them. I'm regressing, but I think I'm getting as much joy out of my running as ever!

One of the girls in my clinic asked me what her BQ was. I went WHOA. Let's see how you do at the half first. I preached patience. Even though I think this girl might have it in her, I'm really working at reigning her in, before she gets hurt.



I can relate to this.
I ran for almost five years before attempting the marathon distance.
I'm on the cusp of turning 60...I want to be active well into my 80's...hope I've inherited the longevity that my parents have.
Time on a finish line clock doesn't hold the same appeal it once did for me.
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"The Long View"

Postby Jwolf » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:01 pm

I don't think it just applies to the marathon or building distance though. It applies to any type of improvement and progression.
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Re:

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:42 pm

Jwolf wrote:I don't think it just applies to the marathon or building distance though. It applies to any type of improvement and progression.


Agree.
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Re:

Postby La » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:53 am

Jwolf wrote:I don't think it just applies to the marathon or building distance though. It applies to any type of improvement and progression.

purdy65 wrote:One of the girls in my clinic asked me what her BQ was. I went WHOA. Let's see how you do at the half first. I preached patience. Even though I think this girl might have it in her, I'm really working at reigning her in, before she gets hurt.

I've seen it in triathlon, too. People start with a try-a-tri and want to do Ironman next year. Hey, some people totally can do that, but the vast majority of us can't.

One woman I know (a medical doctor) qualified for Boston in her very first marathon. In training for Boston and Ironman the same year, she ended up with a stress fracture in her pelvis. But she was so goal oriented that she couldn't back off.

That said, some people don't WANT to have a long running/triathlon career, they just want to tick Boston or Ironman off their "to do" list. And that's fine. We all have our own path.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Blair » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:21 pm

Many runners want to use the 10% per week guideline for increasing their mileage. This can lead to overtraining very quickly. A 50km a week runner increases 10% per week for 10 weeks and, suddenly, their at 130km per week. While some bodies can handle this type of increase, it's more likely going to be too much training for most runners.

I love the line in the Running Times article "The maximum increase is about 10 miles a week per year...". This is taking a healthly, long term appoach. In just five years, a runner will have added 50 miles (80km) per week to their distance. But in five years, that runner will be more likely to be able to handle the extra stress of that kind of distance.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby 5km » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:48 pm

I'll be 67 years old in a couple of months. Therefore, "long term" and "short term" have relatively different connotations for me than for the majority of members of this forum.

My “long term” goal is to run for as many years as possible. I have been running for twenty-five years, off and on. It’s something I need to do. However, I need “short term” goals to keep me motivated and get me moving down the road. My dilemma is that my “short term” goals, involving racing with the best times possible, are at odds with my “long term” goal, as I can’t train as hard or as often as I could without becoming injured.

Common sense should prevail but ….

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Avis » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:15 pm

That article speaks so well to my recent pondering about running. As someone who started to run after the age of 50, I've had to come to terms with the limits on how hard I can push my body. I've learned that short term goals (improving race times, for instance) must take a back seat to the overall goal of continuing to run. I can make no progress while I wait for a running-induced injury to heal. So I've accepted the slow rate at which I can increase anything in my running: speed or total weekly distances. Slow progress is infinately better than no running.

It's a kind of patience, a kind of resignation, a kind of turning it over and being happy with how I am able to run right now.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Tisha » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:50 pm

Thanks for sharing the article! I have it bookmarked so I can reread it when I need to. (Often)

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Dstew » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:25 pm

To be a bit of a contrairan with regards to the lessons from the article, although the general argument is slowly build up and follow the classical method of marathon training over a 6 - 8 year period, they also did note twice that:

3. DO YOUR OWN THING
Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


How much base is the minimum you want to build up to for long-term improvement? There's no one-size-fits-all formula, but Williams says the "basics" are 25-35 miles a week for 5K, 40-45 for 10K, and 50-60 for the half marathon. Cournane cites similar figures, adding that you also want to be comfortable with long runs of 11-15 miles at 5K and 10K, and 15-18 miles for the half marathon.

But not all runners are alike. "We individualize our training," says McNeil. Recently, she had two 5K stars. "One trained like a 1500m runner. The other [trained] like a 10K runner. They did about the same


This is not to argue that the general principles put forth by the readers of the article are incorrect but to argue that there are exceptions to every rule. Having said that, I do not disagree with findings of the original author: My peak was at 4 years but the general idea that one starts with 5/10 K races and works there way up to a marathon over several years as opposed to months is sound. I started a two year plan before this article where before it was no more than a general thought. It has helped me mitigate my tendency to over do things as if I leave everything on the road for race one, what do I have left for race 2. My aerobic happens to be based on spinning and elliptical but that is a very specific need of mine and not applicable to most(?). And it does make sense that if one is doing something over a very long period of time that breaks, variety and fun would assist in that goal.

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby turd ferguson » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:33 pm

Dstew wrote:To be a bit of a contrairan with regards to the lessons from the article, although the general argument is slowly build up and follow the classical method of marathon training over a 6 - 8 year period, they also did note twice that:

3. DO YOUR OWN THING
Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


How much base is the minimum you want to build up to for long-term improvement? There's no one-size-fits-all formula, but Williams says the "basics" are 25-35 miles a week for 5K, 40-45 for 10K, and 50-60 for the half marathon. Cournane cites similar figures, adding that you also want to be comfortable with long runs of 11-15 miles at 5K and 10K, and 15-18 miles for the half marathon.

But not all runners are alike. "We individualize our training," says McNeil. Recently, she had two 5K stars. "One trained like a 1500m runner. The other [trained] like a 10K runner. They did about the same


This is not to argue that the general principles put forth by the readers of the article are incorrect but to argue that there are exceptions to every rule. Having said that, I do not disagree with findings of the original author: My peak was at 4 years but the general idea that one starts with 5/10 K races and works there way up to a marathon over several years as opposed to months is sound. I started a two year plan before this article where before it was no more than a general thought. It has helped me mitigate my tendency to over do things as if I leave everything on the road for race one, what do I have left for race 2. My aerobic happens to be based on spinning and elliptical but that is a very specific need of mine and not applicable to most(?). And it does make sense that if one is doing something over a very long period of time that breaks, variety and fun would assist in that goal.


Interesting.

Paul Greer, coach of the San Diego Track Club, says nobody should base training, mileage, or racing plans on what works for others. You can't train like Olympians Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall if you're on your feet all day at work; you may not even be able to train as intensely as your friend with a desk job. Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


I've said this a number of times - the way some people love to quote what the Hansens are up to, or what their favourite marathoner is doing in training, like we should somehow emulate that. Its like a beer league hockey player trying to follow Sidney Crosby's training program. And no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we're the beer leaguers.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby La » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:36 am

turd ferguson wrote:Interesting.

Paul Greer, coach of the San Diego Track Club, says nobody should base training, mileage, or racing plans on what works for others. You can't train like Olympians Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall if you're on your feet all day at work; you may not even be able to train as intensely as your friend with a desk job. Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


I've said this a number of times - the way some people love to quote what the Hansens are up to, or what their favourite marathoner is doing in training, like we should somehow emulate that. Its like a beer league hockey player trying to follow Sidney Crosby's training program. And no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we're the beer leaguers.

That's what I thought when I read the article. They were throwing out all these numbers for mileage, etc. (25-35 miles a week for 5k???) and I was thinking that would be appropriate for an experienced younger runner who was racing 5K races, not for a middle-aged, mid-to-back packer like me! :lol:

And as 5km said upthread, for those of us who are later on in years - especially if we started running later in life - short-term and long-term goals can conflict.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby MichaelMc » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:33 pm

Mileage always seems like such a hot button. If the question is "how many miles a week do I have to be training to complete a race?", the answer is often ZERO. Many people have completed marathon distances and more with absolutely no training, so there really is no minimum. Similarly, if the question is "how many miles per week would be the point where I get NO benefit from one more mile?", the answer is unknown. On average, the more miles you average per week in training the faster you get, to absolutely ridiculous mileage levels.

In the real world we all choose a compromise. Answering "how much should a 5k racer run" requires broad generalization or a lot of assumptions. Successfully completing them will take fewer miles than trying to improve as quickly as possible. As the article suggests, trying to improve FASTER than you can will actually slow down the process. The "right" number of miles depends and "should" is subjective.

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Jwolf » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:09 pm

La wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Interesting.

Paul Greer, coach of the San Diego Track Club, says nobody should base training, mileage, or racing plans on what works for others. You can't train like Olympians Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall if you're on your feet all day at work; you may not even be able to train as intensely as your friend with a desk job. Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


I've said this a number of times - the way some people love to quote what the Hansens are up to, or what their favourite marathoner is doing in training, like we should somehow emulate that. Its like a beer league hockey player trying to follow Sidney Crosby's training program. And no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we're the beer leaguers.

That's what I thought when I read the article. They were throwing out all these numbers for mileage, etc. (25-35 miles a week for 5k???) and I was thinking that would be appropriate for an experienced younger runner who was racing 5K races, not for a middle-aged, mid-to-back packer like me! :lol:


Some of the specific comments in the article apply more to competitive runners than recreational runners, but the basic principles can be applied to both.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby alexk » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:04 pm

I also found this article quite good. I like the mention of gradually increasing one's base (as in 10 miles/year). From my own experience (through trial and error), I've learned the more time I give my body to get used to running stress, the better it responds and adapts.

And, I agree with Michael, it's all very subjective. Running to your potential takes a lot of time and effort - not everyone wants to spend a good chunk of their free time training.

If you have a copy of the mag, the editorial by Jonathan Beverly is also good. He talks about resolving to run often (mostly EP) this year if you want to "be a better runner" (his words). It resonated with me and where I am, right now, in my running life.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Jwolf » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:45 pm

alexk wrote:If you have a copy of the mag, the editorial by Jonathan Beverly is also good. He talks about resolving to run often (mostly EP) this year if you want to "be a better runner" (his words). It resonated with me and where I am, right now, in my running life.


Here's a link to it: http://www.runnersworld.com/rt-columns/ ... itors-note
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby La » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:21 pm

Jwolf wrote:
La wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Interesting.

Paul Greer, coach of the San Diego Track Club, says nobody should base training, mileage, or racing plans on what works for others. You can't train like Olympians Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall if you're on your feet all day at work; you may not even be able to train as intensely as your friend with a desk job. Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


I've said this a number of times - the way some people love to quote what the Hansens are up to, or what their favourite marathoner is doing in training, like we should somehow emulate that. Its like a beer league hockey player trying to follow Sidney Crosby's training program. And no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we're the beer leaguers.

That's what I thought when I read the article. They were throwing out all these numbers for mileage, etc. (25-35 miles a week for 5k???) and I was thinking that would be appropriate for an experienced younger runner who was racing 5K races, not for a middle-aged, mid-to-back packer like me! :lol:


Some of the specific comments in the article apply more to competitive runners than recreational runners, but the basic principles can be applied to both.

But which principles are considered "basic?" I don't think it's as straightforward as that.
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Jwolf » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:33 pm

La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
La wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Interesting.

Paul Greer, coach of the San Diego Track Club, says nobody should base training, mileage, or racing plans on what works for others. You can't train like Olympians Meb Keflezighi or Ryan Hall if you're on your feet all day at work; you may not even be able to train as intensely as your friend with a desk job. Be realistic in the assessment of what you really have time and energy to do.


I've said this a number of times - the way some people love to quote what the Hansens are up to, or what their favourite marathoner is doing in training, like we should somehow emulate that. Its like a beer league hockey player trying to follow Sidney Crosby's training program. And no matter how seriously we take ourselves, we're the beer leaguers.

That's what I thought when I read the article. They were throwing out all these numbers for mileage, etc. (25-35 miles a week for 5k???) and I was thinking that would be appropriate for an experienced younger runner who was racing 5K races, not for a middle-aged, mid-to-back packer like me! :lol:


Some of the specific comments in the article apply more to competitive runners than recreational runners, but the basic principles can be applied to both.

But which principles are considered "basic?" I don't think it's as straightforward as that.


I mean the seven basic points in the article.

Especially the last one. :)
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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Dstew » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:06 pm

Jwolf wrote:
alexk wrote:If you have a copy of the mag, the editorial by Jonathan Beverly is also good. He talks about resolving to run often (mostly EP) this year if you want to "be a better runner" (his words). It resonated with me and where I am, right now, in my running life.


Here's a link to it: http://www.runnersworld.com/rt-columns/ ... itors-note


Running is very simple as there are three basic factors: Frequency, duration and intensity.

Rightly so, intensity gets the majority of the blame for injuries. Even in the FIRST program with three intense work outs, they argue that the number one mistake people make is setting a goal that is too fast for them and then basing training paces on that unrealistic goal. Not to advocate anything but for me, running fast is something that works for me on every level. I tend to more focused, I do not seem to get injured and I improve. And trade off is running only three to four times a week and with a resistance built base and hard "cross" training that focuses on the aerobic side of the equation.

The least controversial is likely duration. There are endless variations but almost every program has a 20 mile or so run for the marathon and for the runs other than the long run, it is based upon frequency and intensity. It is interesting that one can debate intensity or frequency but duration, there does not seem to be much disagreement as to when the law of diminishing returns starts to kick in.

Which then leads us to frequency. The advice provided from the above opinion piece is:

How often? As often as possible--you'll be a much better runner if you run five times a week instead of three, seven instead of five, or, if you're already running every day, adding some doubles. Running at different paces--sprint, interval, tempo, conversational--works all of your muscular and metabolic systems. And running mostly easy keeps you from getting injured or overtrained, and allows for the long-term changes that make you a better runner--provided you're running often.


I cannot believe that anyone with any amount of experience would seriously suggest that one should not only work their way up to running seven days a week but once that get there, add in doubles. The wear and tear on one's body aside, is there a better prescription for burn out and for the long term, is there more than a handful of obsessive compulsive people who run every day for ten years? Basic training principles are you overload your muscles and then rest to allow them to adapt. This advice of running as much as possible is a recipe for running to muscle exhaustion with no adaption. I did that over the last summer and it was fun for a time. But then it gets to a point where it then becomes something one must do, almost an addiction. So when the body and the mind is begging for a break, you have to go out to keep that streak alive, etc. I am sure that it works for some and may even be a good thing for someone with some experience and a proper base to get them to the next level but as an older runner, ever piece of advice is to find ways to train less in order to avoid injuries from too much running that a younger you once enjoyed. This also becomes a lifestyle choice: running every day or as often as possible might be something one wants to do but they have to rationalize or justify that through the argument it is to make them a better runner even though in reality it may not be doing anything.

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby Dstew » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:17 pm

MichaelMc wrote:
In the real world we all choose a compromise. Answering "how much should a 5k racer run" requires broad generalization or a lot of assumptions. Successfully completing them will take fewer miles than trying to improve as quickly as possible. As the article suggests, trying to improve FASTER than you can will actually slow down the process. The "right" number of miles depends and "should" is subjective.


Just wanted to say I agree 100%. Pushing too hard is the risk reward calculation: there is the obvious problem that one does not improve if they are nursing an injury but it can also be more subtle such as you push too hard in run number one and then the quality of runs 2 and 3 are hurt to a point that they lose their benefit.

In the general context of the article - how does one run for years rather than for the next race - the general principle of running slower and more miles does seem to have a certain appeal to common sense. But I also thought it was good for the authors to add in that it might not be right for the individual. 5, 6 or 7 days of running per week is not right for me from a physiological perspective and as important, it does not fit into my lifestyle or my general approach to running. I enjoy running but for me it serves as one weapon in my fitness arsenal. At one time I was asking how do I run faster, how do I run further, how do I run faster and further. Now it might be what is the best sort of run to help me with stress relief or to address a "spiritual" need [for lack of a better term]. Running can be a Zen like exercise but for me, I need to be at a certain speed where I am focusing on my breathing, my running form, etc. For me, long and slow may have Zen moments but then I seem to become attached to the suffering. So even if 5 days of running were better to optimize my results, that is no longer motivation for me to do so.

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Re: "The Long View"

Postby jamix » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:28 am

Just to add my two cents, I believe 6-7 + year progressions are possible, but perhaps only if one is living a relatively stress free lifestyle and they enjoy running enough that they will consistently focus on it over the long term. The latter is fairly obvious. Another idea worth highlighting from the article is that its harder for naturally faster runners to continually achieve gains than it is for slower runs. I'm not sure if this is true for everyone necessarily, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was true for some.
2013 GOALS:

- Compete in the "Early Bird Sprint Triathlon" in May
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- Complete an Olympic distance triathlon
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- Stay healthy and happy

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April 28th: Manotick 10km (40:16)
May 18th: Ottawa Early Bird Sprint Triathlon (DNF)
June 8th: Riverkeeper SuperSprint (2nd overall)
July 1st: Bushtukah Canada Day 5km (18:37)


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