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Discovering ones true running ability/potential

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Discovering ones true running ability/potential Empty Discovering ones true running ability/potential

Post  Stephanie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:54 am

I am just starting to read "Run Faster From the 5K to the Marathon" by Brad Hudson & Matt Fitzgerald and in the first few chapters he mentions frequently one runner's fast-twitch fibres and another's slow-twitch fibres and how this affects each of them both in their running ability and how they should train. Now I know I am still in the early stages of this book, and maybe he will get to my question further on in the book, but he has me wondering how does one know where their true potential lies?



You probably know that I am still quite a newbie and don't have too many races under my belt, but I can't help but wonder what race will be my distance and how will I know that it is *my” distance? I used to run track very seriously growing up, from elementary school and all through high school. I excelled at the 400m. I started out with 100m and through the years moved up to the 400m. I tried longer track distances... sucked at them, and I hated cross-country, so does my natural attraction to and ability in the 400m as a teenager indicate that I'll probably be better at 5k & 10ks than halfs or fulls or is the only way to find out by running every distance?



How do you know about your best distance and whether you have more fast-twitch vs slow-twitch muscles fibres? Were there any indicators early on in your running days that you can look back at now and see why your current best distance is your best distance now.
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Post  Julie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:30 pm

I'm not sure, you might have to just keep running and figure out what distances you enjoy the most and then there are calculators that can give you a % for your time at each distance. So I always thought I did better at longer distances but the calculator said my best race was the 10K and I've never raced anything shorter than a 10K.

I would just do what you enjoy and if you want to run a marathon or a half marathon then train well for it and see how you do. Not scientific, I know. Very Happy
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Post  T Miller on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:40 pm

I think you have to run races at the various distances and plug your times into the McMillan calculator. It will become apparent when one race predicts that you can run a much better time at a different distance that you can actually run. It is hard to say from your 400 experience in high school.

Then, once you find your weakness, you can focus on improving that distance and you should see improvement across the board.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:36 pm

+1 to what Tim and Julie said. The McMillan calculator will be really helpful. For example, if you're running a 40min 10k and a 4hr marathon, you've got a ton of endurance to improve upon. If it's a 3hr marathon and a 45min 10k, gotta work on your LT (tempo) range more.

Also, there's nothing wrong with running the distance you enjoy the most, even if it's not your "best"... Smile
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Post  Stephanie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:30 pm

Well, this may have been a funny post for me to even to bring up. From reading this book and reading about so many runners' training in this group everyone has their own strengths... some run some major miles, some work on lots of speed work, some don't need to run crazy high mileage that it all got me wondering how runners get to knowing which is approach is best for them. I look forward to finding this out about myself. Smile
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Post  Julie on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:50 pm

Just experiment and figure out what works for your life/schedule/climate/body/everything and find something you love! Very Happy
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Post  Nick Morris on Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:26 pm

@Julie wrote:Just experiment and figure out what works for your life/schedule/climate/body/everything and find something you love! Very Happy



+1...everyone is different. Find something that you are comfortable with.
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Post  Chris M on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:19 am

@Mike MacLellan wrote:+1 to what Tim and Julie said. The McMillan calculator will be really helpful. For example, if you're running a 40min 10k and a 4hr marathon, you've got a ton of endurance to improve upon. If it's a 3hr marathon and a 45min 10k, gotta work on your LT (tempo) range more.

Also, there's nothing wrong with running the distance you enjoy the most, even if it's not your "best"... Smile



If you are running 7:15 pace for 10k (45 mins) and 6:52 for the 3:00 marathon, you've got even bigger problems than your LT/tempo pace. Might need to have that race course checked.



The one thing I would caution against is making any assumption based on what you did in HS. Things change a ton and while you may never "love" grinding long distance over the shorter stuff, it may be that is what you are best suited for. You'll quickly find what you are now best at by running all out races at a variety of distances and comparing the results using a calculator.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:12 am

Shoot, is that what the paces equate to? I was trying to give a 10k pace that was BARELY faster than 6:52. I didn't use any sort of calculator. Dang. You know what I meant.
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Post  Jerry on Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:12 am

fast-twitch vs slow-twitch, I thought I read you can do lab test on it.
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Post  Jeff F on Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:41 am

I like this topic. I know I have more talent for shorter races but wanted to accomplish some long distances goals such as a BQ, running an ultra, etc. Now that I have accomplished the long distance goals I have been contemplating whether I revert back to some shorter distances where I know I will be more competitive in my age group. Still haven't answered the question, but I am giving it some thought.
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