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 track workouts...
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Ryan

226 Posts

Posted - August 27 2009 :  19:29:06  Show Profile
I'm currently training for some undecided marathon. I have been logging 4 days with 11 milers, one day track and a 21-22 mile long run every week for couple weeks now.

Why do I look forward to 11-20 mile runs and dread a track workout. Can one ever really appreciate the track vs road?

That sh*t hurts.

I also feel like a 20 mile run and a 8X800 workout have the same fitness gained. Anyone agree?

Occhino

907 Posts

Posted - August 28 2009 :  05:36:12  Show Profile
Speed Kills !!!!
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gogogomez

4 Posts

Posted - September 13 2009 :  11:07:42  Show Profile
The long run and the track workout accomplish two totally separate things. The long run is designed to improve your body's ability to burn fat for energy---the better you are able to do that and limit your body's use of glycogen for energy, the longer you will be able to put off hitting the wall. Of course the catch is your body needs a little glycogen in order to burn the fat, and when you run out of glycogen is when you hit "the wall" no matter how much fat you have left.

While the interval workout is designed to improve your body's ability to increase its anaerobic threshold, which occurs when lactic acid builds up in your muscles. Interval workouts groove the anaerobic pathways so you can handle greater levels of lactic acid build-up without slowing down (this slowing down feeling is known in track circles as "the bear").

So you need to do both long runs and track work. Now, you do not need to necessarily do your interval work on the track, a 400-800 meter grass or cinder loop would work as well (I use the cinder trail in Delaware Park for my AT runs---see below) but I have also found that I just cannot push my body as hard as when I am on the track, although the track is MUCH harder on my aging joints.

If I were to offer you any unsolicited advice, it would be to add a tempo run (AKA anaerobic threshold or AT run) to your schedule once a week, start with 2 miles at 80 to 85% of your max pace and build up to 5 miles. Also, get a heart rate monitor if you do not have one already, it will take the guess work out of proper pacing in all your workouts. Oh, and do not do track work for more 12 weeks, beyond that you will just get stale. So pick a marathon no more than 12 weeks away and train for it, or if you cannot find one, pick a future marathon and then work 12 weeks back from it and plan your scheduled accordingly.

Hope this all helps.

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
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Ryan

226 Posts

Posted - September 13 2009 :  21:09:03  Show Profile
Well I have my own opinion of the long run and what it does for the body. I believe that the long run is also about strengthening the lower body to a point where running long distances becomes easier and then you become much faster. I train at 6 days a week right now and my normal run is at least 11 miles. I also include a 22 miler on the weekend and a tempo 13 miler during the middle of the week. I try to make it to the track once every other week for a killer 8x800 (2:52 or faster). I'm in the process of continually upping my mileage until I meet at least 100 miles or more a week (currently 72).

My general rule of thumb is to run smarter not harder.
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gogogomez

4 Posts

Posted - September 13 2009 :  22:01:02  Show Profile
I would do the track work weekly if I were you. Maybe alternate miles or 1200s with the 800s every other week. not sure if by doing 1 every 14 days, you are reaping the full benefits of the track work. My guess is no.


Biomechanically long runs do as I stated above. But by only do long runs you would lose out on training your fast-twitch muscle fibers, so you would only get faster to a point, and then you would require the seedwork to see any more improvements. Obviously you do not have that issue based on your training. Any other benefits you think you get from the long runs are just gravy. But the only way to race faster is to do speedwork.

Personally I find long runs sap my leg strength rather than build it up. Hill repeats I've found to be the best way to build leg strength if that is ones specific goal.

---Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
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Ryan

226 Posts

Posted - September 14 2009 :  09:50:46  Show Profile
"Personally I find long runs sap my leg strength rather than build it up."

I think it depends on how you take care of yourself. I can pound some food after a long run and take an ice bath and be completely fine the next day.

I also try to include some work into every run, whether it be hill or speed if I feel up to it that day.
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