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Angelo Z
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
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Location: LA, California

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that you understand the whole running process perfectly, here is what it will look like for you in the future:

Starting from your very last day of track, you take 2 weeks off without running at all. You can go to the moon, bike, etc. but just don't run for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you simply start by building up to 60 miles which will take you another 2 weeks. You have to take it easy because you can't just jump through mileage the way you want to, you have to be patient. All of the runs should be at your easy pace, no tempos, no speed work. Trust me, you don't need 16 mile long runs, none of that stuff. It won't make much of a difference because all it is, is running an extra 4 miles from 12 miles at your easy pace. It only helps you to run farther like if you became a half marathoner or you were going to build up to 90 miles a week which you don't need because you're a miler.

Week 1 @ 45 miles:

Sunday: 10 miles
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 4 miles

Total: 45 miles

Week 2 @ 60 miles:

Sunday: 12 miles
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday: 9 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 10 miles
Friday: 7 miles
Saturday: 6 miles

Total: 60 miles

Real training begins (June-August or until XC starts):


Week 3

Sunday-12 miles @ easy pace (7:30)
Monday-8 miles @ hard pace (6:45ish)
Tuesday-7 miles easy (7:30)
Wednesday-9 mile fartlek with every other mile @ 6:16
Thursday-4 miles @ easy pace (7:30) AM, 4 miles @ 6:00 pace PM
Friday-8 miles @ hard pace (6:45ish)
Saturday-6 miles @ easy pace (7:30)

Total: 58 miles

It is very important that when you run long fartleks, make sure that you do not go slower than your easy pace. You run the first mile in 7:30, then the second mile in 6:16, then the third mile has to be 7:30 again, no slower than that or else it would defeat the purpose of improving your endurance. Those 5 miles in between the 4 6:16 miles in the 9 mile fartlek are not recovery miles, they are still part of the workout. You have to run them at 7:30 or under, no exceptions. Running 8 miles hard improves your endurance significantly, but the downside to it is that you are running at a hard pace the whole time without any variations to compare feel in your mind. That is when the fartlek comes into play because when you run at your 7:30 neutral pace between the 4 faster paced (6:16) miles, you will be transitioning from running a 6:16 mile to all of a sudden running a 7:30 mile which will feel very easy on your legs which is a lot different as opposed to running 7-12 miles at your easy pace straight. It is that very easiness you feel when you run the next mile in 7:30 that helps your body learn to improve faster and help you get that easy pace down to 6:30 as time goes by. Now at the same time, your whole endurance is being worked as well because the total workout lasts for 9 miles. Later on, you can even change it to a 10 mile fartlek and run every other 2 miles at 6:10 pace. The reason I say 6:10 is because your endurance will have already improved by then.

Now towards the end of your endurance work, your training will look something like this:

Sunday-12 miles @ easy pace (6:45) then going into progression on the last 4 miles at about 6:20 pace
Monday-8 miles @ hard pace (6:20ish)
Tuesday-7 miles easy (6:45)
Wednesday-10 mile fartlek with every other mile @ 5:55
Thursday-4 miles @ easy pace (6:45) AM, 4 miles @ 5:40 pace PM
Friday-8 miles @ hard pace (6:20ish)
Saturday-6 miles @ easy pace (6:45)

Then at the very end when you hit 6:30 as your easy pace, you will be doing your hard 4 miles runs at 5:25 pace, your long hard 8 milers will be at about 5:55 pace and your fartlek at 5:45. All the paces are a rough estimate, but that's where you will fall around.

When XC starts with your easy pace already being at 6:30, your 5K time will be somewhere around 16:10 easily slightly before the season even starts. At the end of the season, expect to break 15:30 in the 5K. After XC ends, winter will begin. When winter starts, you'll do something similar to what you did over summer except that you'll only spend one week on building your mileage or starting at 60 miles because you would be good enough by then, and then you'll start by doing the fartleks, long, and short tempos again like you "did" last summer training all the way until XC started. That will get your easy pace down to roughly 6:20 or 6:15, your tempo runs will almost be about 5:05, your long tempos at about 5:30, and your fartleks at about 5:20.

Then you start track again during your senior year and you'll be able to just slightly break 4:40 for the mile at tryouts or something in the very beginning. By the end of the season, your mile should be around 4:15-sub 4:10. Yes that's right, you will have so much endurance that you will jump from a 4:40 mile to a 4:10 mile in just a few months. That's because when you break 15:30 in the 5K at the end of the XC season, that would pretty much be the plateau for your endurance instead of your speed like you had before (couldn't progress much through the 4:00 range). So when you start doing the speed workouts that your coach offers you, your speed will improve so much more because of your endurance that you would be running 65 sec. 400s as your standard 400m workout pace. All of this is just an example of what happens if you follow the process correctly.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Angelo Z
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 1159
Location: LA, California

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, so it's time to talk about what you are doing now in track. I have to warn you about something. Whatever happens, do not eliminate your easy runs. Here is another secret: while it makes sense to keep the mileage low during track in order to recover, do not take out everything and just leave the speed workouts with their warm-ups and cool-downs. If you just do the speed workouts alone with no long run and no running on Sunday, you will actually get worse. It is because you break that balance between easy running and fast, track running. You cannot break the balance by doing too many easy runs and having a very high mileage during track season, and at the same time, you can't just leave the speed work by itself.

Trust me, off days are bs. People do not understand, they just think that a day off acts like a break, but they really don't. When you take a day off, it disrupts your training balance because your body is in that constant training state and all of a sudden you give it a day of no running.

You do not make your body recover by not running at all, you make it recover by running easier.
This can mean two things: either having easy days to prevent overtraining between speed workouts, or having extra easy running to keep your training rhythm going. I know that it sounds weird but it's true. You get worse if you run 30 miles a week all speed workouts, as opposed to 45 miles a week with the same amount of speed workouts, but 2 extra days of running (most likely on weekends).

I have personally taken days off before and it didn't do squat. In fact, when you take off a day, you break that rhythm like I said before and your body goes into a long term recovery state where it will actually let you down and refuse if you try to train hard after that. Maybe your brain knows that you will run the day after, but your body does not. It reacts right when something changes, it does not know procrastination. I highly doubt that it hasn't happened to you either and you thought, "What the hell, I was supposed to do better!"
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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ssteve235
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Joined: 06 Nov 2008
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Location: Goshen, NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't cut out the easy runs out of my workouts. I took an easy 8 miles today at 7:30 pace after a hard tempo yesterday. Also for the last two weeks, i have been taking short easy morning runs before school, so my mileage isnt as high as it was in the past but its also not too low. I personally at this moment in time, need one off day a week. I have tried running 7 days a week before in the past and all it has done is force me to burn out/get sick/injured. That may also have been from the high mileage i was doing when i really wasnt ready for it, but either way I just want to get through this track season without burning out or getting injured like i have the past couple.

Back to what you said about my summer training...laying it all out like that, makes it seem so possible. It is definatly something I will think about when my summer training starts and most likely a plan I will follow. I just dont want to think too much about it now with my entire spring track season ahead of me.
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally. But about your training now, there is another thing. You need to have the energy for the longer workouts. Fast workouts that involve short distances are too easy because you don't really lose your speed from overtraining, so fast workouts do not prove anything even though you do really good in them. You know when you are overtrained when your body lets you down on repeats of 800m+. While we can calculate so many paces that we need to run at in running, feel is also involved. This leads me to the main point: between very hard days or on days right before your race day, run as slow as you can. Not 7:30 pace, not 8:30 pace, but 9:00 pace+. When you run very, very slow when your body has been hit hard, it feels really good.

Maybe you have probably never ran at a very slow pace. I think that you just kept it at 7:30 pace last year and anything slower than that was unheard of. Nourredine Morceli who ran a 3:44 mile would have 60 minute runs at 10:00 pace. It's basically a very slow recovery that babysits your body so that it can make you feel good while you run. How can you make running feel that good if you're not running in the first place? Try it out at least once on the day right before your race day. Run so slow that you can't feel the slightest strain on your body. Literally try and base the run 100% on feel. 7:30 pace is basically from where your real running pace starts where there will be some amount of stress (your breathing is more regulated, you sweat, you feel a very slight challenge whenever you climb a hill). The very slow running is not meant for directly improving you or loosening you up. It is all about experiencing that easiness when you hold yourself back and your legs want to move a bit faster. Once you've experienced it and raced the next day, you'll understand. It doesn't matter how ridiculously slow you ran, when you break your mile PR the next day, it is what it is. It's not written anywhere what you can and can't do.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually did the exact thing today. I ran a pretty hard fartlek yesterday and a hard tempo 3 days ago and my body was really feeling it so I took an extremely easy 45 minute run. Im not sure on the pacing but it was closer to 9+ then to 7:30. And along with those longer track workouts, within the next few days im planning on doing some hard mile repeats.
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ran a hard tempo, run a short 7:30 pace run the next day. If you ran a workout with intervals of 200-2000m, run the next day as slow as you can, between 9:00 and 10:00 pace. Here is the main reason: tempo running is right at threshold pace where you're about to build up lactic acid. Lactic acid does not just stay in your muscles during the workout, it stays in your body for a day to a few days. So when you do a workout that builds up your lactic acid, make sure you run the next day extremely slow. If you keep running all of your easy runs at 7:30 pace, you don't let your body recover and get rid of that lactic acid. So as you do more workouts, you get worse and worse and when the race starts, you will feel really good energy-wise, but your legs will just give up on you. I have had that happen to me before in time trials. The first time, I felt like something was missing from me, like I didn't have the aggressiveness in me, but I still felt really good after the time trial. The second time, I paid attention to see what exactly was holding me back, and it was my legs. They felt heavy, they didn't feel fluid, and they certainly did not feel like I could totally blow away on the last lap.

Here is an example of what your track training should look like:

Sunday: short run (30-45 minutes) at 7:30 pace
Monday: hard workout of 200s-2000s
Tuesday: 30-40 minutes of extremely slow running
Wednesday: tempo
Thursday: short run (30-45 minutes) at 7:30 pace
Friday: hard workout of 200s-2000s
Saturday: long run (starting very slow and building up to 7:30 pace)

I put in a tempo on purpose on Wednesday so that you can see how you would be running the next day. If you ran a tempo and also did some lactic work after, then make it a recovery run.

In track, you do not really have the opportunity to run in the "middle" very often. You either run very hard, or very easy.
The only reason that you can pretty much run at your neutral, 7:30 pace during the summer and winter without breaking down is because you do not really have any workouts that raise your lactic levels. Again, if you do not run very slowly after a lactic day, then more lactic acid will accumulate within your muscles from the next upcoming hard workouts and you will start to see that your legs will give up on you in workouts and in races. One more thing, running 6+ miles at long tempo pace of 6:30ish pace after a day of intervals is a recipe for disaster. Not only does lactic acid impede your performance, but trying to put in an effort again when you already have lactic acid even though that effort of running at 6:30 pace doesn't build up your lactic acid theoretically, it will cause lactic acid to build up because of the previous lactic acid in your muscles. You're 6:30 pace run basically becomes based on struggle and mental strength in order to get through it. It is the dumbest thing that you can ever do to your body. Even 7:30 pace would cause further lactic acid build up.

When you do those hard mile repeats, make sure that you run the next day closer to 10:00 pace for 30-40 minutes. Mile repeats are a lot faster than tempo pace which means that they are beyond your threshold pace, which then means that your body begins to accumulate lactic acid. The most common misconception is that it only stays in your muscles when you work hard. Wrong, lactic acid stays in your body like THC from smoking marijuana would.
_________________
My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•


Last edited by Angelo Z on Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Angelo Z
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 1159
Location: LA, California

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In track, do not worry about running fast enough on the easy days. It is all about the speed training. Run like a slug on the easy days, and run like a monster in the workouts. It's that simple. That is why there really isn't any in-between running because track training involves a lot of speed work. So 1.) keep the mileage lower than your base and...2.) run your easy days very slow. 7:30 pace counts as easy pace when you are running through summer and winter, but in track...9:00 pace+ counts as your new easy pace. The only exception to sometimes running at 7:30 pace is if you have planned everything accordingly and you have ran very slow between workouts and are running during the weekend or something like that. You should just feel your legs kind of dragging along the ground with tiny strides and very little time spent in air. How many miles you run...how fast you run the continuous runs (except that you run them extremely slow)...makes absolutely no difference in how much you improve during the track season. If you are doing "stellar" in your workouts, then you know that you are doing everything correctly. Because basically, if you fail in workouts, you fail in racing. And by "stellar," I mean not holding on with the other runners in your group, but actually having a lot more strength in that tank and blasting past people during intervals.

The harder you run, the slower you have to run. On a scale of hardness of 1-10 where you run a workout at a 10, then your easy run better be a 1. 7:30 would be like a 5 because your body will be weak meanwhile, so it hurts. You have to get every little benefit out of the workout as you can. The slower you run, the more benefit you gain. The more benefit, the more of a beast you'll be in races. I know people from the track team who dropped from a 5:09 to a 4:50 mile as their PR within 2 meets spread 1 week apart and they've never ran faster than a 5:09 before. All of your focus should go into being as recovered as possible for the speed workouts. 95% of all of your improvement during track comes from the speed workouts. They are the base for actually gaining speed. If you have a whole lot of ambition, dump it into the workouts and run like a snail between them. It really pays off, you will always be feeling great and kicking ass...especially when you race. Your legs will feel so lithe, that you will easily put more force into the ground and fly past people. Don't just run the day before your race like a snail, you have to do the same between your workouts if you want to have 100% strength when the race comes.

If your long run is right after a hard workout, then make sure that you run the first 45 minutes of it at about 9:00-10:00 mile pace, and then take the pace down to 7:30 progressively on the last 45 minutes. You will not be running 12 miles, but by definition, a long run is not based on distance. It is based on duration. It is acceptable to get in 12 miles for a long run by running all of it at 7:30 pace when you're not training like you would during the track season. The only other exception to running the whole long run at 7:30 pace or slightly faster is if it is not the day after a workout day (interval workout, not a tempo). Big difference between intervals and tempo runs. With a tempo, you do not accumulate lactic acid, so there is nothing to worry about. If you do get lactic acid during a tempo, then by definition, you are not running a tempo run.

Your warm-ups should be at 7:30 pace or faster. It only makes sense to get the blood flowing before a hard workout and not run like a slug before it. Cool downs however, should be extremely slow and you only need 15 minutes of them at the most. I know what 7:30 easy pace used to feel like. It didn't feel very hard, but it did hurt and feel tiring on the day after an interval workout. Everyone else that runs at their "easy", 7:30 pace on your team after an interval workout is just afraid of running much slower than that.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Angelo Z
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
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Location: LA, California

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you ran that hard tempo and then the 8 miles the day after at 7:30 pace, you did everything correctly except for one thing. 8 miles is too much after a hard tempo the day before, especially during the track season. You have to chill with the mileage if you want to flourish throughout the competitive season and not break down like others. 5-6 miles would have been enough. Those extra miles just don't get you anywhere. Remember when you said you built up to 70 miles during track season? That's got to be the craziest thing and you probably already learned that it did nothing but hurt you. Extra mileage just doesn't improve your speed during the track season. Only the workouts will. The only reason you still have some of that mileage such as mandatorily running a long run during the week, is so that you can preserve your endurance and like I've mentioned before, not break that hard/easy proportion part of your training. Because then again, if you're just doing the speed workouts without running the long run or anything else between them, then you'll get worse. You can run 7 days a week. Just run a 4 mile run on that 7th day at 9:00+ mile pace if after an interval workout day.

On top of everything else, make sure you do some circuit training as a supplement during the week. Lots of ab exercises, push-ups, some pull-ups, etc. Go with quantity and short rests for them, you do not need weights and stuff, only your body weight. Also, eat a lot and varied with vitamins as well so that you can have energy and repair even faster, and get in 8-10 hours of sleep. I recommend you eat within that 1-2 hour window of opportunity after your workout. That is when your body is looking for nutrients the most to repair itself right away. It helps shorten your recovery. Now, if you really need some good recovery on top of running very slow between the interval workouts, eating, and sleeping like I've mentioned, take a 15 minute ice bath. The cold temperature causes your veins and capillaries to contract which is supposed to flush out some of that lactic acid from your muscles. You don't need ice. Just go home, plug your bath tub's drain, and turn the cold faucet all the way and just sit there for 15 minutes. It sucks because everything from where the water level was and below will turn red and your toes and finger tips will be especially numb because those are the "end parts" of your body. When you're very cold, more blood is supplied to your core and organs that comes from your legs and hands because really, you don't need your legs and hands to survive...right? Laughing

Before a workout or a race, only stretch dynamically. They are stretches that you don't hold down. For example, leg swings while holding on to some fence. Only do static stretching after the workout or race. The reason is that you don't want to be too loose before your workout or race. You have to have that "elastic rubber band feel" where your leg muscles just "snap back" during your turnovers. And never ever, forget to do your cool downs between races and after workouts. Right when you finish your race and you stay in that placement line so the people there can check you off/give you your time, jog a lap or two on the infield.

Do strides 6-10 strides as well during your long run, and your other easy runs. The key is to not make them 100m sprints. Instead, start slow and focus on moving your legs somewhat fast through their full range of motion towards the end. They act like a transition from running very slow, to running very hard the day after. And again...if it was a very hard workout in particular...don't do the strides after your very slow run the next day.

Race Preparation


Make sure that you warm up thoroughly. Do some of those wide legged knee tuck jumps like the sprinters do. Some strides, and some drills. You have to have that aggressiveness set in you right before the gun goes off. The last thing you want is starting off just like you started jogging around in the infield. Drink a lot of water as well. Eating candy and drinking some soda will not kill you. Just make sure you don't chug it and that you don't eat too many sweets at one time. As weird as it sounds, they won't kill you during the race. We're talking about a few races of a 4x800m relay all the way up to the 2 mile. It's not that bad. Some simple carbohydrates are necessary so that you can kick pretty aggressively towards the end. I personally show up in sweats no matter how hot it is outside before my time trials. I usually tighten my shoes at the very top and leave the rest loose to have more better flexibility, but it's really up to whatever is more comfortable for you. When you're about to start the race, make sure that you get in the last few lanes so that you can cut across diagonally in order to establish a spot and not get boxed in like the fools starting in lanes 1-3 do. Always make sure you start off behind some 1-3 people during a race unless you're just plain faster than everyone else. The only exception is if you are running the 800m. Just go out like it were a sprint, it doesn't matter if you're a front runner in that race. In fact, being a front runner in the 800m will more likely get you a better time and place because catching up to people and trying to overtake some more positions costs a lot of energy and time in such a short race. Better to just sprint the first lap hard, and hang on in for the second lap.
_________________
My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Angelo Z
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Joined: 11 Aug 2007
Posts: 1159
Location: LA, California

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read this: http://thepenguin.runnersworld.com/2009/08/easy-runs.html/comment-page-1

Here is part of Norredine Morceli's (3:44) mile training:

90 minute run at 6:20 pace.
65 minutes fast pace at 5:10 pace
60 minutes very very easy. Can be as slow as 10 minute pace.
12 x 400m in 55 sec with 40 sec jog rec 60 minutes very very easy. Can be as slow as 10 minute pace.
Fartlek run with easy striding on soft grassy surface.

Got it from http://members.iinet.net.au/~peterg1/run/aths.html

This is a sample of Paul Tergat's (2:04:55) marathon training: Sunday
6:00 a.m. 60 min at 5:40 pace
10:00 a.m. 45 min at 5:40
pace
Monday
6:00 a.m 12 miles at 5:20 pace
10:00 a.m 5 miles at 4:50
pace, then 15 x 200m hills
Tuesday
6:00 a.m 9 miles in 5:30 pace
10:00 a.m 9 miles at 4:50
pace
Wednesday
6:00 a.m 14 miles at 5:40 pace
10:00 a.m 6 miles easy
Thursday
6:00 a.m 9 miles at 4:50 pace,
then 20 strides practicing form
10:00 a.m 9 miles fartlek
Friday
6:00 a.m 9 miles in 4:50 pace
10:00 a.m 5 miles at 7:00
pace
Saturday
6:00 a.m 7 miles at 7:00 pace
10:00 a.m Off
Sunday
12 miles at 6:00 pace '

As you can see, he has no runs as slow as 9:00 pace+ because he isn't doing any real form of lactic speed work. Forget about the morning runs because you have to keep your mileage low during the track season. You don't even need 45 miles to get good in track. Alan Webb ran on just 30 miles a week. I've already mentioned when running at 7:30 pace is reasonable, but other than that, you must run at 9:00 pace + on every day between your speed work days. From what you said, you've only done this once. Make sure you do it every single time. I only mentioned doing your runs at 6:45 pace because I thought you still haven't started the track season. You can still do them, but they count as workouts and you should only do tempos and long tempos every now and then. The main focus should be in speed/lactic workouts. Who cares how fast everyone else on your team runs, you stick to your sluggish 9:00 pace+ and kick their asses when it comes to the workouts even if it means that that you have to run by yourself. You will definitely not break down like you did last season, don't worry about that.

It's for your own constitution, no one else's.
_________________
My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch German Fernandez's interviews:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqSnbSYcYpE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JYFfJ2bnYE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHq70hpjfPE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX4Tpj3SUSA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIJaO85jb0o&feature=related

As you watch the whole thing, you will see that he seems like a pretty normal guy. On milesplit.us, he dropped from a 4:21 mile to a 4:05:57 mile in just 2 months and 1 day from March 14, 2008, to May 15, 2008. If you want to see a humongous improvement in your mile time going from a 4:56 to a 4:36 in just a week or two, you have to do just two things. I'm not even kidding, all of that "hard to get through the 4:00 range" is bs. You can show up feeling so good one day and easily take off 10-20 seconds from your PR.

1.) Don't do the morning runs. It's all useless mileage and a waste of time. When your plan doesn't work, then it's time to do something about it. Just stick to your everyday running that your coach tells you to do. Your mileage should be as low as possible, as low as 7 days of running. No doubles or anything like that.

2.) From now on, I will be referring to the very sluggish, 9:00 mile pace running, as recovery. The most common mistake that you and your whole team does is only running a recovery run the day before your race. While it helps you to maybe break your PR by just a few seconds the next day, it is not enough. If you want to see a 20 second improvement in your mile time, you must run a recovery between every hard workout. No exceptions. You should be running slower than slow, free from any pain, stress, with the exception of sweating under the sun. It should feel challenging to run that slow, but it is necessary for all of the benefits from the workouts you do to stack up and keep you free from any lactic acid on race day. It is not about your fitness level at all. Trust me, your coach isn't stupid enough to give you consecutive workouts without having an easy day between them. On those easy days, run at recovery pace. Fall behind everyone else, do whatever you can, but no matter what, run at that recovery pace. The next workout after that will feel totally different and go very nicely for you. A recovery run in track is not just a run you do every once in a while. It is a run you do after pretty much every workout you do in track. Because in terms of track workouts, they are all pretty much lactic speed work besides tempos. What ever it is, hills, 400s, 1000s, 600s, etc. they are all considered hard workouts and you need to run recovery the next day. That is when you see the greatest difference, not by just taking the day before the race easy.

Put the ambition where it needs to be. Even if you do not take off 10-20 seconds from your PR, chances are you'll still be first in the race unless there is someone very fast, and you'll be thinking, "Wow, that was so easy that I could have gone much faster." So it's ok to be unsure at first. As long as you finish in the top 3 or so and felt like the race was so easy, then you know you have a lot more potential than that and run much faster during your next race. Alright?

It sucks to have regrets and not win. Because man, you can think you have some good times, but what about actually winning a track meet and being first? That's what makes you stand out. Racing should be fun for you, it is the fruits of your labor. It is just not right to not become the champion and breaking down through the season just because of not running slow enough between the workouts.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main philosophy here is organized progression. If you can do your own workouts, I recommend you do it like I do. Instead of doing 15 different workouts throughout the entire season, you can do 3 types of workouts that will make it much easier for you to track your progress. Too much variation and you lose track and it gets too difficult to see patterns relative to your performance just because the workout variety is too varied and complex.

First off, I like to keep it simple. 6x1000, 4x2000, 10x400m, etc. Now here is the main key I use: I have 3 different workouts to affect different parts of running during mile training, but I stick to them meaning that I only do those same 3 workouts throughout the entire season. The only other flexibility that I allow is by swapping around the workout days. Instead of running 400s on Monday, I run them on Friday.

The reason that I do the same 3 workouts throughout the entire season is because it allows me to accurately check my improvement.

Here is an example for you:

You do the 10x400m workout every single week on either Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. You run them at a pace of 70 seconds with 2:30 rests.

Now here is what makes everything seem so simple: you set a rate at which you decrease your resting times. The goal is 60 second rest and the estimated rate is a 15 second recovery time decrease every 2 weeks. By doing so, you have an organized method of progressing. Since you do the same workout once a week, you can actually see a lot more accurately how you are improving because it's the same old workout, you ran it last week, let's see how you run it this week.

I do this with all types of intervals ranging from 200m to 600m. In order for the workouts to feel challenging energy-wise, I start off by setting a fast paced set of intervals with a realistic recovery time that's just long enough to challenge my body at recovering during the intervals.

Keep in mind that these workouts are not neuro-workouts. Neuro workouts would be 6x400m at like 64 seconds for you with 4:00 recoveries. I tend to sometimes alternate between a neuro version and a normal version of a workout in case I feel like I need more brute speed or to help with the normal version. I really only have a neuro version of a workout if the intervals are 600m or less. This is because the longer the interval, the fewer you would run. It would be ridiculous and defeat the purpose of a workout if I went out running 2x2000 very fast.

After reaching 10x400m @ 70 seconds with 60 sec. recoveries, you then raise the bar and start all over again. 10x400m @ 66 seconds with 2:30 recoveries.

The mile for the most part, is not about the speed. It is about the speed endurance. You can run a 55 second 400 and it won't even be close to indicating what you can run the mile in. Now if you can run 10x400m @ 70 seconds with 60 second rests...that means you have potential to run sub 4:40. So if that is a better indicator, than that means that the mile is based on speed endurance.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that someone ran a 5:19.04 mile. Have you been taking the days extra slow between the workouts? Don't worry, the 5:19 mile doesn't mean anything. It is all because you've been running yourself into the ground. I'm telling you, if you take the days between the workouts extra easy, then you'll recover and start to improve. Right now, it would take about a week going into the second week to recover. It's because you'll still have workouts so you'll only be able to recover slowly bit by bit as opposed to dedicating a few days to just easy, slow running.

Either you've been running hard after every workout, or you've been doing consecutive workouts. Don't try to run the days between the workouts at 6:50 pace. Like I said, they count as workouts and you only do them either as a workout day during the track season, or during some other time. Other than that, you should be running at 9:00 pace+ after every workout...

An 11:20.15 3200m and a 5:19.04 mile is not you. All you need to do is learn to place a much greater emphasis on recovery and then you'll see good things happening.
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ssteve235
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not sure what you saw but I havent run a 5:19 mile or a 11:20 2 mile lately. I ran a 5:06 mile, but it was my first meet of the year and we took it pretty easy since it was a dual meet that didnt really count. I ran the 800 today in 2:14 (pr is 2:13 but ive never ran it fully rested or all out), but I have to say was that is was total BS. The officials had us at the clerking desk for almost 45 minutes just standing around and then immediatly after they clerked us, they put us on the track with no time inbetween. Kids were still tieing their flats on the line, they didnt even wait for the number 2 seed to get on track, we went off without him. I feel as if im in shape to run a 2:08 and run around a 4:45 but I havent had the chance yet. I may not get the chance soon because at the end of the 800, i lost my balance at the line and fell hard on my ankle. I had x-rays which said it is only a sprain but ill most likely be out a week at the minimum.
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah sorry, I must have looked at the wrong Steve, hah. And talk about poor hosting on their behalf! If you're not going to run for a week, then I'd suggest you ride your bike or something. If you just take off a straight week, then it will take another week to get back because all those days off will deregulate your rhythm and the body will just get used to being lazy. If you can at least pedal, then that would be excellent for staying active.
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My favorite all time race: Hicham El Guerrouj - Prefontaine Classic Mile 2002 http://youtube.com/watch?v=4YykUTHzOL8
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Angelo Z
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright Steve, track season is approaching the end soon since anything beyond that is based on qualifying times. The easiest way I can put this is by using an example. How fast do you think a 4:20 miler can the 5K in and a 4:00 miler respectively? 14-15:20 because it is impossible for a miler that fast to be running a 5K any slower than a 15:20. It's like you running a 20:00 5K, it just won't happen. Now what is the difference between the training you do in track and the training you do for the 5K? Huge difference, you'll never be running 800s for a 5K.

Right after track ends for you, you don't necessarily need to take 2 weeks off unless you feel totally spent which I doubt because you already have gained some experience. Instead, run 1-2 weeks at this mileage:

Monday: 8 miles easy
Tuesday: 7 miles easy
Wednesday: 10 miles
Thursday: 7 miles easy
Friday: 6 miles easy
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 16 miles easy

It is just to get used to it, don't worry, it's easy. And same with the long run, it's only 4 miles longer than it was before. But remember, if you want to run a 4:10 mile, then you need to be able to run the 5K in the 14:00 range and to do so, you need some massive power endurance. The reason I say power is because it's not going to be a silly 90 miles a week at a slow pace. It will be at about 60 miles, long & intense days.

I have refined what the training should look like for you during the summer:

Monday: 9 miles (60 minutes) hard at 6:30 pace
Tuesday: 7 miles easy
Wednesday: 10 mile fartlek with every other mile at 6:15 pace
Thursday: 7 miles easy
Friday: 20 minute tempo at 6:00 pace alternating with 3x3000m every other week
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 16 miles

Total: 61 miles (65 miles when running 4 miles AM on Friday during the summer) Mileage will go up a few miles by the end because of your easy runs. You will automatically get faster so since you're running 7 miles in about 52:00, you'll be running more miles to still meet the time.

That example of a week is done every single week of summer. No other types of workouts or anything. The reason I say that is so that you can keep track of the 4 paces for the Mon., Wed., and Fri. workouts from the beginning to the end. By keeping the workouts the same, you'll get to see how you progressively improve each week in pace.

When XC comes, go for it. When it ends, it is back to 5K training which will have lower mileage and workouts like 6x1000 and 4x2000 instead. Indoor track is a waste of your time when you could be improving. Outdoor track is really all you need to polish your speed.
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•London 2012 XXX Olympiad•
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