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Author Topic: Increasing Mileage and Speed Work  (Read 7417 times)
Becky
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« on: January 24, 2013, 09:00:27 pm »

I have been running for three years now. I have done several HM and two fulls. I really want to qualify for Boston (who doesn't?). My issue has  been injuries. My first training program I ran 6 days a week but jumped from a 5k to a marathon. I had serious issues with my hip and ended up being laid up for four months and doing PT. Last year, I went to a three day a week running program with cross training on off days. I did speed, tempo, and long. A month before race day, I developed terrible shin splins. After the fact, they thought there was a stress fracture so I had to take another two months off. I don't know how much I should be running and what is going to keep me healthy. I also am not sure what my speed goals should be for tempo and speed. Any help would be appreciated.
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Chad Robinson
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 09:48:14 am »

In the simplest of terms 6 days a week easy and only as much as you can fully recover from.  Slowly increase the mileage over time and only remind your body how to run fast in small doses.  I would guess that at this point of your training that being able maintain relatively higher mileage weeks would yield you substantial improvement.
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Matthew Rowley
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 01:13:58 pm »

I agree with Chad.   With your history of injury I would be careful with how you increase your mileage and Speed work.   When you run you stress your body.  As you continue to run you body increases the ability to handle the stress.  If you add to much to quickly your body breaks or injures.  Speed work is a double edge sword.  Speed workout add large amounts of stress to your body.  If you have build up enough of a base that your body can handle the stress, you will see large increases to you fitness.   If you don't have enough of a base and you will get injured.  As Chad recommened I would also recommend slowly increasing the mileage of time.
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Jon Allen
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 06:31:16 pm »

You'll run far, far better by running 1 hr per day, 6 days per week of moderate pace (no speedwork) than by doing 3 runs a week with speedwork.  So like Chad and Matt said, if you can, build up to 1 hr per day and don't do any speedwork.  Consistency and mileage if far more important and less likely to see you injured.  Until you're at 60 miles per week or so, speedwork doesn't help.

There, now you've had 3 guys all tell you the same thing.

Here's my proof- I've broken my 5k PR 4 times in the past two years, all from high base mileage and minimal/no speedwork.  And my base is for ultramarathons up to 100 miles, so not fast at all.  Once your base is adequate, speed comes natural and lower injury risk.  For reference, my fastest speedwork ever is 6:00 miles, and I just ran a 5k at 5:09 pace. So base mileage enables you to race far faster than you train.
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Becky
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 07:42:32 pm »

Thanks for the advice everyone. This has been really helpful. I find there are so many conflicting messgaes out there it is hard to know what advice to follow. I have read two books on Run Less, Run Faster. I am wondering if their rational is that the runner is getting the extra miles through the cross training in particular biking. What are your thoughts on these training programs?
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Joe
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 06:19:14 pm »

Becky,

Preston (on this blog) has been using Run Less, Run Faster, or a variation of it, for awhile (http://ptatum.fastrunningblog.com/).  He might be able to answer some questions.

You might run a killer 5k or 10k but I don't think it'll get you there for the marathon.  I think the mileage is the one non-negotiable thing, though I am sure there are SOME exceptions.  When I finally got a BQ it was from doing 60 miles a week for awhile - I didn't even do many workouts...1-2 a week maybe.  Seems like running hard or long everytime you run would get you re-injured sooner than running every day at a nice easy pace - at least that was the case for me.

Good luck!
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 01:23:23 pm »

This is an old topic, but the problem is common enough that I believe it is worth addressing.

90% of the competitive runners suffer from an overachiever syndrome in some form. When properly controlled, it is a healthy part of personality that helps us achieve. Unfortunately when we are immersed in the modern day Western culture this quality becomes more of an illness. This overachiever syndrome makes us think the wrong way - we feel pressure to conform to some kind of a warped standard and it makes us lose a sense of balance. When a competitive driven personality loses that sense bad things happen - for a runner it is injury and overtraining.

Applying the above to Becky's situation. The key is gradual properly measured consistency. So we have some constants - train 6 days a week, learn to run the distance comfortably and injury-free before we try to run it fast, increase the volume or intensity gradually and not both at the same time. Throw away schedules, use principles instead to decide what you are doing in the next few weeks. Adjust the plans frequently - chances are you will not be able to predict what your body is going to do two months from now, so any hard training plan going that far in advance will be outdated. Listen to your body. Err on the side of caution. If your pace natural pace is much faster than 10:00 per mile, increase distance before you increase speed. Otherwise, work on being able to run at least part of your run at 10:00 pace.

Recovery is important - equally important with training. Training is useless if there is no recovery, though recovery will not happen without proper training. In fact, the reason we train is to make recovery happen - we absolutely do not get faster when we train. If you do not believe that, run a mile all out after just a short warm-up one day, then a few days later run 10 first, then run a mile all out and compare your results. You will likely observe that running 10 miles made you slower. So from this illustration you can see that you get faster when you recover, not when you train.

Usually a runner afflicted with the overachiever syndrome errs by neglecting recovery. I've heard many people say that they are going to increase their mileage, but relatively few that were planning to increase their sleep or healthy food intake to keep the balance. It has been said that miles make champions, but this requires clarification - it is the beds that actually make champions, miles only get them ready for bed. Many runners will do well by writing something on the wall in their bedroom or some other visible place to remind them of the importance of adequate recovery.
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Jake Krong
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 09:22:43 pm »

Great post, Sasha. Everything you said can't be repeated enough.
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