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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Heart Rate Questions?

Ok folks, basics for Max Heart Rate are 220 minus age.

I am 51, so that makes my MHR = 169

I ran the Shamrock yesterday and Average Heart Rate was 170 bpm with Max HR of 183.

That puts my average at 101% for 5 miles with a peak at 108%. This just seems stupid to me. Should I take up underwater basket weaving before I keel over?

Target Heart Rate for working out vigorously is supposedly what, 65-80%?!

Obviously, running more, and being in better shape will not increase my MHR, but I assume that it will lower my actual Average when running at a given pace.

If I get in better shape, that will drop my lower end of my THR as my resting heart rate goes down.

After looking at the numbers, not real happy with my heart at the moment.

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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 06:21 AM
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The formula for HR max is just an estimate. Your real max HR is unique to you as an individual.

Personally, I only use HR as a guide. I barely ever even wear my HR strap unless there is something specific in my training or workout I'm looking to figure out or correct. I should wear it more. But to me it's almost worthless. When I run my HR max is 210. On the bike I'm closer to 180. The difference is so big in my case it's really hard to design training around it. With running I usually train around a known race pace from a previous race or a goal pace.

Brian. Your HR is abnormally high for your age. That either means you've stayed in good enough shape to fight off the inevitable drop with age or you are genetically gifted. Nothing to worry about with your HR there.

If you want to use the data you've gathered to do HR based training you should calculate zones off the max you had in the race, not the estimated calculation.

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 06:32 AM
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Brian,

My is abnormally high for my age too. I workout everyday of the week, I skip maybe one or two days a quarter. When running intervals up ever increasing slope, I get my rate maxed out @ 170, but my recovery rate is very fast. I figure if I blow a gasket, it will be at the gym. Everyone tells me I should worry about it and train in my TR, if I do that I don't feel I have accomplished a thing. FYI I hate intervals....good job on the SS run

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 06:58 AM
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HR is personal and means very little in the way of performance and health. Once you have an idea of max HR, you can adjust your training and guage your race performance to that number. I am 45 and averaged 184 during the 15K last year with a max of 197. That doesn't mean too much to anybody else except me, which means I tried REALLY hard that race.

It's possible you tried hard too and came close to your max, but with such little training it's hard to draw any conclusions based on that. Once you start training regularly, you will tell what your HR is doing relative to perceived exertion and performance, and adjust things accordingly. A high HR does not mean you are more in shape or less in shape.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
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HR is personal and means very little in the way of performance and health. Once you have an idea of max HR, you can adjust your training and guage your race performance to that number. I am 45 and averaged 184 during the 15K last year with a max of 197. That doesn't mean too much to anybody else except me, which means I tried REALLY hard that race.

It's possible you tried hard too and came close to your max, but with such little training it's hard to draw any conclusions based on that. Once you start training regularly, you will tell what your HR is doing relative to perceived exertion and performance, and adjust things accordingly. A high HR does not mean you are more in shape or less in shape.
Good stuff.

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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 07:24 AM
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As others have said the formula is just a starting point. Mine should be 172 per the formula, but Ive had it at 200 bpm so I know that 172 is not my max. I've read and I believe that your body will shut down before your heart gives up, so I don't worry about my HR being high during a tough workout.
I usually where the monitor when I run, but I don't try to stay in a certain zone. I basically use it to see if I'm really working as hard as I feel I am. It's also interesting to look at the effects hydration, heat and humidity play on your HR.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 07:27 AM
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IMO I'd still go off data from the race. Especially, with so little training to go off of. I'm pretty sure that the adrenaline rush of the race for you contributed to your high avg and max. Probably above what you are able to achieve now in training. Those are the numbers I would shoot for if you are going to be HR training.

Mines abnormally high too. I'm 37 so mine should be 183. That works for me on the bike. But with running you recruit much more muscles and some people can achieve higher numbers. I've seen 210 on tough interval sets

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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback folks. My main concern was that I would blow a gasket while running. Reality is that my heart rate was NO different than it is in training. I wear the monitor virtually every run, and I am always in the 175-185 range.

Currently, whenever I hit 180 plus and notice it, I back off until heart drops below 170, which only takes anywhere from 6-15 seconds normally, and then I pick pace right back up again.

As long as I am not going to blow a gasket, I won't worry about it. Usually, my limiting factor is my breathing more than anything else.

So what I am pulling from this, please correct me if I am wrong: Go out and train as hard as you want, MY Max Heart Rate is whatever my highest number is. Track this, and train against THAT number, not the 220 - Age number.

I assume the more that I train, and of course, get some coaching, the more efficient my stride will be, the more my lungs and legs are used to the motions, and the lower the level of required effort for the same pace.

Thanks guys, glad that I am not pushing it too hard, too fast. That is what I normally do, and that has stopped me before form getting into running. Everything that I read says to BUILD UP, distance, pace... etc... for running.

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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:19 AM
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There are a ton of things I have learned over the course of a few years of running, so ask up whenever you have questions about anything. Chances are, I've made the same mistake at least once or twice. For now, concentrate on conditioning by running regularly fairly slow, as often as possible. Not necessarily long or hard, but often. Once you have a decent base you can work up to longer runs making your body more efficient and also sprints making you faster. If you try this stuff without a decent base you are very likely going to get injured.

Also, what are you training for? That plays a part in how you train. Weight loss, fitness, racing, etc. all have different plans.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Thanks for the feedback folks. My main concern was that I would blow a gasket while running. Reality is that my heart rate was NO different than it is in training. I wear the monitor virtually every run, and I am always in the 175-185 range.

Currently, whenever I hit 180 plus and notice it, I back off until heart drops below 170, which only takes anywhere from 6-15 seconds normally, and then I pick pace right back up again.

As long as I am not going to blow a gasket, I won't worry about it. Usually, my limiting factor is my breathing more than anything else.

So what I am pulling from this, please correct me if I am wrong: Go out and train as hard as you want, MY Max Heart Rate is whatever my highest number is. Track this, and train against THAT number, not the 220 - Age number.

I assume the more that I train, and of course, get some coaching, the more efficient my stride will be, the more my lungs and legs are used to the motions, and the lower the level of required effort for the same pace.

Thanks guys, glad that I am not pushing it too hard, too fast. That is what I normally do, and that has stopped me before form getting into running. Everything that I read says to BUILD UP, distance, pace... etc... for running.

Yes, your max is what it is, not some formula. We can't tell you to train as hard as you want. However, you're not going to blow a gasket due to training hard. If you blew a gasket it would be because of another problem. Not everyone does this, but I consulted my docotor and had a stress test and some other tests done before I started racing. Next time you have a cold, go to the doctor and mention "chest pain". You'd be surprised how much attention you'll get! Seriously, I didn't know this was going to happen, but I had the flu and my chest hurt. My doc is a triathlete and knew I was going to start racing. He made me cancel my first race, because of the flu, and had me go for a full Heart work up before I continued training. Just a little piece of mind.

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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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I have this stupid idea that I might be able to run the Chicago Marathon this year. Trick is, my knee needs to hold out. SO... started early this year so that I have longer to get ready for it. I figure 30% chance that the knee can hold, but without training for it, chance is ZERO.

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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
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I have this stupid idea that I might be able to run the Chicago Marathon this year. Trick is, my knee needs to hold out. SO... started early this year so that I have longer to get ready for it. I figure 30% chance that the knee can hold, but without training for it, chance is ZERO.
Brian

check out www. halhigdon.com . They've got a good beginner marathon plan. You'll have to count back the days from your race and start the program on the appropriate day. In the meantime. Best advice I've been given is:

Run often, sometimes hard, but mostly easy.

Ken's got the right idea. Build frequency. Before you start a training program be sure you're comfortable with the first week of the program. Start running 4 days a week, even if it's 2-3 miles. If you're only running you can even start doing it 5 times a week.

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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meulen View Post


Run often, sometimes hard, but mostly easy.
I say this to myself sometimes during a run when I think I should be running faster. It keeps me doing what I'm trying to do which is build endurance.

Thanks for this quote!

I do need to go faster though

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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:04 AM
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I say this to myself sometimes during a run when I think I should be running faster. It keeps me doing what I'm trying to do which is build endurance.

Thanks for this quote!

I do need to go faster though
It's hard!! I find myself pushing long runs too much a lot. The fact is, a long in run training doesn't have to break any records! If you are doing a medium distance speedwork run that's much easier to recover from than a tempo paced long run. Lately, I've been using run keeper and having it remind me of my pace every 10 minutes. If I'm running more than 10 miles and start seeing an 8:30 or better avg pace I know to back off. Especially since my speed work is on Friday and long run is on Sat/Sun! I have to make sure I can recover from 2 days of hard work. Long runs are only to acclamate the body to long distance pounding! Your not making speed progress with them. Slow down!! (that's what I need to keep telling myself cuz I like to cruz at 7-7:30ish all the damn time! )

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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I have Hal Higdon plan and I did the pre-Marathon program last year, and the first 8 weeks of the Marathon program last year after that, until I tore my meniscus. Doctor told me to stop running for 4 months... so, no Marathon in 2011. Hoping to build knee slowly this time and make it all the way to the event.

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post #16 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:38 AM
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With little to none training, I ran that shuffle yesterday with a Suunto HRM.

Average HR: 176. Max HR 190.
At 48 years of age, I'm way over that 'recommended' max of 172 as well.

You were correct to 'back off' the pace a bit until the HR came down; that's good planning. As you work out more, and the efficiency increases, you'll find that average HR dropping.

Previous to this, I ran based on perceived exertion. This time, I ran as much/fast as I could with many, many walk breaks.... with practice comes stamina, and with that, more efficient muscles, you'll be able to be below 90% for most of the race, only 'turning on the burners' at the end when you want to. (well, thats my plan, at any rate).

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post #17 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
I have Hal Higdon plan and I did the pre-Marathon program last year, and the first 8 weeks of the Marathon program last year after that, until I tore my meniscus. Doctor told me to stop running for 4 months... so, no Marathon in 2011. Hoping to build knee slowly this time and make it all the way to the event.
How did you feel 8 weeks into the plan (not counting the knee) ?
You have a good three months to work on a base before you would have to start training specifically for the marathon. As others have said, try to start running maybe 4 times a week, low miles though so you don't re injure the knee or anything else.

I had about 1.5 years of regular running before I started training. I seem to always be on the verge of injury.

I say go for it! Misery loves company

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post #18 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
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I seem to always be on the verge of injury.
Ain't that the truth!

I find that stretching and rest days are key for this 'new to the sport' older guy.
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post #19 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:49 AM
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Ain't that the truth!

I find that stretching and rest days are key for this 'new to the sport' older guy.
Nice to see I'm not the only one who decided to start at an advanced age

I never used to stretch, but now I'm so worried about not making it to the starting line that I stretch after every run.

I'll turn 49 a couple weeks before the race, maybe I'll try my first triathlon at 50?

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post #20 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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How did you feel 8 weeks into the plan (not counting the knee) ?
You have a good three months to work on a base before you would have to start training specifically for the marathon. As others have said, try to start running maybe 4 times a week, low miles though so you don't re injure the knee or anything else.

I had about 1.5 years of regular running before I started training. I seem to always be on the verge of injury.

I say go for it! Misery loves company
I was following the plan, and doing a good job. Probably made 95% of the runs in the 18 week program. I did the 12-week Pre-Marathon training (Spring Training), and the first 10 weeks of the Marathon training.

I think I was on track to make it, slow albeit, but make it. I tore my meniscus tripping on a rock running about 5 miles from my hotel. Not happy about that one. It was 2 weeks before I got back to the US and had a chance to see my ortho. He is a runner, and said time to fix it, and to forget about 2011.

Anyhow, today, my right knee is VERY loose, and unstable. The rest of my body is a little sore, but nothing major. I figure give my knee 2-3 days rest, and then I'll try a slow two-miler. If all goes well, I'll go bak to running 2 every other day, and throw some quick mile runs in between when I have time. In a week or so, start to extend the distance 2 runs per week.

If that goes well, I'll hop back on the Higdon program, and start to follow that religiously. I don't expect to make it through, but at least I'll give it a shot.

It amazes me how many people run, and how well they run. Looking at the miles that you guys pile up is just amazing to me. And the PACE that you run, doesn't even compute. I can imagine getting to sub-9 perhaps for a 5k if I run a ton, and for a long training period. But the times and the speeds that many of these people run... all I want to do is FINISH the events, at a good pace for ME. That is fulfillment enough.

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post #21 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 10:06 AM
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If you are training for a marathon, don't even worry about speed, because endurance is what is going to kill you. With a big enough base, you'll be amazed at what your 5K time will drop down to, without actually training for it. It won't be spectacular unless you do speed work, but it will be faster than you ever though with just base miles. You can do 12 minute miles now without much effort, and soon that will drop to 11, then 10, then 9, and you won't know what happened really. Then in a 5K race you can push it and see what you can survive at.
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post #22 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 10:09 AM
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Damn..this thread makes me feel shitty, knowing that folks twice my age are in much better shape.

I need to hit the GYM.
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post #23 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
I was following the plan, and doing a good job. Probably made 95% of the runs in the 18 week program. I did the 12-week Pre-Marathon training (Spring Training), and the first 10 weeks of the Marathon training.

I think I was on track to make it, slow albeit, but make it. I tore my meniscus tripping on a rock running about 5 miles from my hotel. Not happy about that one. It was 2 weeks before I got back to the US and had a chance to see my ortho. He is a runner, and said time to fix it, and to forget about 2011.

Anyhow, today, my right knee is VERY loose, and unstable. The rest of my body is a little sore, but nothing major. I figure give my knee 2-3 days rest, and then I'll try a slow two-miler. If all goes well, I'll go bak to running 2 every other day, and throw some quick mile runs in between when I have time. In a week or so, start to extend the distance 2 runs per week.

If that goes well, I'll hop back on the Higdon program, and start to follow that religiously. I don't expect to make it through, but at least I'll give it a shot.

It amazes me how many people run, and how well they run. Looking at the miles that you guys pile up is just amazing to me. And the PACE that you run, doesn't even compute. I can imagine getting to sub-9 perhaps for a 5k if I run a ton, and for a long training period. But the times and the speeds that many of these people run... all I want to do is FINISH the events, at a good pace for ME. That is fulfillment enough.
Brian,

Higdon plan's have some pretty aggressive jumps in volume. If you already have an injury you need to watch that. You should maybe be comfortable with the first 3-4 weeks of his plans before starting. Now this is important: forget about any speedwork at this point in time! At the level you are running at you will see gains from frequency and added volume. You don't need to do speedwork. Frankly, it's too risky for you right now.

As far as volume, especially for people prone to injury, take the time to calculate this stuff out and log it for yourself. Here are some good rules to follow when building volume:

1. Don't do more than 10% more volume than you did the week before.
2. Your long run should not be more than 33% of your total weekly volume.
3. Speedwork should be at most 1x per week, 2-3 weeks on/ one week off
4. When something hurts.....STOP!

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post #24 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Brian, going to be printing that out, and putting it on the wall in front of my desk!

I don't really understand speed work yet, but I'll get to that later. For now, just getting out there every other day (plus some in between days here and there) will be my goal.

Brian, CP, Steve... thanks for all the help.


Mike, based on pace, you and I need to be following the same plan... LOL!

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post #25 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 11:11 AM
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Speed work means higher intensity of training at various short distances, like intervals. Unless you are planning on running the marathon at a 5 minute pace, you don't need to work at that pace ever. Whatever you want to be good at, you need to train exactly like that. Marathons are about endurance and efficiency, not speed. I can beat most all marathoners in a 5K, but never a marathoner in a marathon. I don't train that way, and they don't train for 5Ks. Hard core runners will train for every distance and include speed work into their training as well as longer distance runs.
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post #26 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 11:25 AM
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Speed work, to me means anything more than your easy run pace. Intervals and tempo runs are speedwork. Easy runs should be 1:00 -1:30/per mile off race pace. I usually like to be able to complete the distance before I start working on speedwork. I actually will do speed work for marathon and most marathoners will. They do shorter runs for speedwork. Long runs are easy till raceday. It's too hard to recover from longer intervals and speedwork at long distances. For marathon and 1/2 marathon I'll do 8 mile run speedsets tops! It will make you faster come race day and you can recover from that and do another workout in a day or two, as opposed to a 26 mile run!

You'll find most marathoners will run blazing fast 5k's. They just don't usually do them, so CP can have his day in the spotlight! LOL Running longer distances will make you faster at shorter distances.

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post #27 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meulen View Post

You'll find most marathoners will run blazing fast 5k's. They just don't usually do them, so CP can have his day in the spotlight! LOL Running longer distances will make you faster at shorter distances.
Oh boy, here we go. Yes, as a general rule, running longer distances WILL make you faster at shorter distances, versus never running long. You become a better "runner" if you run more often. If you specialize at running long and easy only (what I consider a marathoner) you will NOT have a faster 5K time than someone who is training for a 5K. Read up on slow twitch muscle fiber versus fast twitch. If you don't train to build fast twitch muscle fiber, you won't build any. It's that simple. And most of the "marathoners" I know, are overweight, very efficient runners, that can run 9-10 minute miles all day long, but would have a grabber if they were to bump up that pace to even 8 minute miles. Not a chance someone who only trains at slow paces will run a 5 or even 6 minute pace 5K time. And I earn my days in the spotlight, they are not given to me.
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post #28 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, makes perfect sense. Well articulated.

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post #29 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 12:04 PM
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I have this stupid idea that I might be able to run the Chicago Marathon this year. Trick is, my knee needs to hold out. SO... started early this year so that I have longer to get ready for it. I figure 30% chance that the knee can hold, but without training for it, chance is ZERO.
You're nuts...that will trash your knees

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post #30 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
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Oh boy, here we go. Yes, as a general rule, running longer distances WILL make you faster at shorter distances, versus never running long. You become a better "runner" if you run more often. If you specialize at running long and easy only (what I consider a marathoner) you will NOT have a faster 5K time than someone who is training for a 5K. Read up on slow twitch muscle fiber versus fast twitch. If you don't train to build fast twitch muscle fiber, you won't build any. It's that simple. And most of the "marathoners" I know, are overweight, very efficient runners, that can run 9-10 minute miles all day long, but would have a grabber if they were to bump up that pace to even 8 minute miles. Not a chance someone who only trains at slow paces will run a 5 or even 6 minute pace 5K time. And I earn my days in the spotlight, they are not given to me.
Yes here we go!! I'm sure they know what we mean. But quit confusing people with your loose terminology! LOL "Marathoner" means pro in one sentence and amateur guy, you could beat in another! Even amateurs running 7-7:30 will more than likely beat what you're doing in 5k's.

But, "marathoners" pro or amateur, trying to run a quicker pace are not all training slow long miles. The ones I know all do some sort of speed work. Most of them also kill it in 5k's! I don't even consider myself a marathoner and I can clip 8:30 all day long!! 9-10 minutes is pretty beginner, not very competitive in the running world, at least in my AG. The guys doing 7 minute miles, or under I gurantee, are not all doing long steady running. Yes, if you are training for short distances a lot of speed work pays off in a different way. Speedwork and intervals are also different specific to race. A marathoner may do 1/2 mile intervals at :40 below race pace, or 1/4 intervals at 1:00 below race pace. A shorter distance guy will do 100m sprints at 1:40 below what would be their 1/2 marathon pace! BUt both do speed work and get faster at shorter distances.

btw.... pro marathoners are doing 26.2 miles at more than 2min/mile faster than we are running 5ks!!!

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