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What to do in the final 30 days before a marathon or half marathon

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What to do in the final 30 days before a marathon or half marathon Empty What to do in the final 30 days before a marathon or half marathon

Post  Diego on Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:45 pm

I have included this article by Owen Anderson for discussion. Whether or not it applies to folks here on this board probably depends on how well balanced their programme has been. Anyway, have fun!



Remember, just like any program, you can adjust the mileage appropriately.



http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/marathon-training-planning-a-30-day-running-programme-702
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Post  Jim Lentz on Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:53 pm

Very interesting and quite a departure from conventional marathon training wisdom.
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Post  Julie on Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:14 pm

interesting! I won't be changing my plan this close to the race but I am sure people are successful with it.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:05 pm

Interesting article. I do believe in upping the intensity and running shorter distances and I do that myself, and I can say that I do not run lots of 20 milers in my training anyway. After 36 marathons over 20+ years, I know I can run 26.2 miles, and I have also found that I can run it quite well off lots of 15-16 milers. We are all an experiment of one however, and I wouldn't change tactics now if I didn't know what already worked for me.
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Post  Glenn on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:25 am

A lot of the ideas here make sense. But some of it is existing wisdom repackaged in new theory. The idea of maintaining intensity while reducing mileage (as in Hal's programs) accomplishes much of this - even if the theory behind Hal's program isn't exactly the same as here. The idea of not doing any really long LSDs in the final 30 days? Not so sure about that - for me at least - because (1) after 7 marathons, I know I will feel fresh on race day with a 20 miler 3 weeks out; and (2) I have always struggled with my weight - its why I originally started to run. If I didn't have at least one peak mileage week in the last 30 days, I think I would have trouble getting to the starting line at a weight where I could really exploit any advantage this approach might have.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:46 pm

Friel (cycling/tri coach that started TP) also suggests the high-intensity/low-mileage thing for tapering (he calls it peaking, but it's the same thing). I'm not sure I'd stop my LSDs 4 weeks out, as I, too, like the last 20 to be 3 weeks before race day. But I usually make it a substantial workout, like 10GA Sat + 20 w/ 10@MP Sun. 3 weeks is enough for my legs to heal.
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Post  fostever on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:57 am

We marathoners are a stubborn lot, aren't we? One of the main points of this article is a long run of 18-22 mi within 4 weeks of the marathon produces muscle damage that will not completely heal by marathon day and that this long run is unnecessary to produce any real added benefits. So if that is true, why would we do it? Because conventional wisdom by the experts states a completely different thing and we trust them. This article states some research facts that affirm some things that I've long suspected. After four marathons following mostly Hal's framework I've never felt that I had completely fresh legs going in and that the last 6 miles were usually brutal especially on the legs. Also during that last taper period I could feel the legs recovering and going in to the marathon my intuition was telling me, "if I could just have a week or two more of recovery running I'd have completely fresh legs." I still believe Hal's programs are good and have been time tested to produce adequate results, but maybe tweeking them a bit could produce even better results. I like the concept of feeling strong at the end. I'm kind of committed to pace that 20 miler for my running club 3 weeks out this time around, but will definitely be wiling to give this a shot for Boston.
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Post  healdgator on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:23 pm

Interesting.
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Post  mul21 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:20 pm

So, this same article was posted at the other board and one of the posters there came up with the following:

I've done a bit of research on this claim by Mr. Anderson and this is
what I've come up with: Short Version: His claim is totally unsupported
by the research he cites. Long version below:

In the article referenced by fostever, Mr. Anderson states the following:

We
know about the lingering effects of long-run-induced damage because of
the useful research carried out several years ago by investigators at
the Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. That work demonstrated
that after a very long run, runners' leg muscles were seriously
incapacitated. Portions of some muscle cells had disappeared, other
cells were swollen, blood vessels near the muscle cells were damaged,
glycogen was absent, and mitochondria (tiny structures within muscle
fibres which are absolutely necessary for aerobic energy production) had
degenerated. It took about a month for the muscle fibres and their
associated structures to get back on the job (in fact, the repairs
weren't complete for 10 to 12 weeks), which tells us that fitting in a
long run within the month before your marathon ensures that you won't
run the race as well as you possibly can.

Now, this is very
misleading with respect to what the actual study he is quoting
researched. The study is this: Skeletal Muscle Injury and Repair in
Marathon Runners after Competition,' American Journal of Pathology, Vol.
118, pp. 331-339, 1985

In his statement above you see that Mr.
Anderson states that the study demonstrated that after a very long run,
runner's leg muscles were seriously incapacitated. This is HIGHLY
MISLEADING. The very long run Mr. Anderson is talking about is actually a
marathon, not a long training run at all.

This study is often quoted by Mr. Anderson in a number of articles that he has written(I've counted at least 5).

The
suggestion that this study can be used to support the claim that a 18+
mile long run produces muscular damage that takes at least 4 weeks to
heal is apparently incorrect since the study itself measure the muscle
damage (as the title itself claims) in marathon runners AFTER completion
of a marathon, not a lower mileage and intensity long run. Clearly you
cannot compare the after effects of a 26.2 mile race with the after
effects of a 18+ mile much slower and much less intense long run. I
might add that even after the marathon, the study indicates that within
3-4 weeks the damage is mostly healed. This bodes very well for the
after effects, or mostly lack thereof of any damage resulting from a 20
mile training run.

From what I can gather, Mr. Anderson markets
himself as a authority whose specific claim is that intensity over
volume is the key to better marathon performance and his recommendation
to lengthen the taper and avoid a 20 miler 3 weeks out is repeated many
times in the various articles that he has published on the net. Each
time, he references the Havard/Tufts study above as support of his
theory, but I think that clearly that study does in no way, shape or
form offer any support of his claim what-so-ever. Clearly the study
(you can read it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih....amjpathol00173-0165.pdf) deals with a particular set of circumstances very different from a 18+ mile training run.

I
want to point out that I'm not saying his claim is not valid, but
rather the research he is citing to back it up, is not relevant.

In light of that info, I have to think this guy is trying to sell training plans based on "his" idea rather than truly having any significant scientific data backing him up.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Does that mean that me "racing" a 50k on the Saturday 3 weeks before my 50-miler and running a 20-miler the day after is okay? Very Happy
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Post  mul21 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:41 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Does that mean that me "racing" a 50k on the Saturday 3 weeks before my 50-miler and running a 20-miler the day after is okay? Very Happy

I'm not a licensed psychiatrist, so I tend to shy away from making judgments on anyone's mental status. afro

Oh, you were talking physically! That seems a little aggressive to me!
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Post  GregC on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:44 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Does that mean that me "racing" a 50k on the Saturday 3 weeks before my 50-miler and running a 20-miler the day after is okay? Very Happy

We all find justification for our insanity wherever we can (even if we have to make it up sometimes).
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Post  Diego on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:25 pm

@mul21 wrote:So, this same article was posted at the other board and one of the posters there came up with the following:

I've done a bit of research on this claim by Mr. Anderson and this is
what I've come up with: Short Version: His claim is totally unsupported
by the research he cites. Long version below:

In the article referenced by fostever, Mr. Anderson states the following:

We
know about the lingering effects of long-run-induced damage because of
the useful research carried out several years ago by investigators at
the Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. That work demonstrated
that after a very long run, runners' leg muscles were seriously
incapacitated. Portions of some muscle cells had disappeared, other
cells were swollen, blood vessels near the muscle cells were damaged,
glycogen was absent, and mitochondria (tiny structures within muscle
fibres which are absolutely necessary for aerobic energy production) had
degenerated. It took about a month for the muscle fibres and their
associated structures to get back on the job (in fact, the repairs
weren't complete for 10 to 12 weeks), which tells us that fitting in a
long run within the month before your marathon ensures that you won't
run the race as well as you possibly can.

Now, this is very
misleading with respect to what the actual study he is quoting
researched. The study is this: Skeletal Muscle Injury and Repair in
Marathon Runners after Competition,' American Journal of Pathology, Vol.
118, pp. 331-339, 1985

In his statement above you see that Mr.
Anderson states that the study demonstrated that after a very long run,
runner's leg muscles were seriously incapacitated. This is HIGHLY
MISLEADING. The very long run Mr. Anderson is talking about is actually a
marathon, not a long training run at all.

This study is often quoted by Mr. Anderson in a number of articles that he has written(I've counted at least 5).

The
suggestion that this study can be used to support the claim that a 18+
mile long run produces muscular damage that takes at least 4 weeks to
heal is apparently incorrect since the study itself measure the muscle
damage (as the title itself claims) in marathon runners AFTER completion
of a marathon, not a lower mileage and intensity long run. Clearly you
cannot compare the after effects of a 26.2 mile race with the after
effects of a 18+ mile much slower and much less intense long run. I
might add that even after the marathon, the study indicates that within
3-4 weeks the damage is mostly healed. This bodes very well for the
after effects, or mostly lack thereof of any damage resulting from a 20
mile training run.

From what I can gather, Mr. Anderson markets
himself as a authority whose specific claim is that intensity over
volume is the key to better marathon performance and his recommendation
to lengthen the taper and avoid a 20 miler 3 weeks out is repeated many
times in the various articles that he has published on the net. Each
time, he references the Havard/Tufts study above as support of his
theory, but I think that clearly that study does in no way, shape or
form offer any support of his claim what-so-ever. Clearly the study
(you can read it here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih....amjpathol00173-0165.pdf) deals with a particular set of circumstances very different from a 18+ mile training run.

I
want to point out that I'm not saying his claim is not valid, but
rather the research he is citing to back it up, is not relevant.

In light of that info, I have to think this guy is trying to sell training plans based on "his" idea rather than truly having any significant scientific data backing him up.



Thanks for the update. If true, that means that Owen's article came out in 1990-1991(because the article was published in 1984) and he continues to use the information 20 years later, which isn't exactly cool, for many reasons.



Nevertheless, it doesn't take away the idea that intensity in the final weeeks is very important. Working out in hot weather during the taper or running at higher intensity while dropping off longer runs is still key. I also like the idea of doing strength training "calisthenics" twice a week.
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Post  Dave-O on Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:07 pm

Goddammit I've been meaning to get to this article for a week now...
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Post  ounce on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:19 pm

With the amount of weight lifting expressed in the paper, it made me believe that I should continue doing the weight lifting I'm presently doing until late in my marathon training.



I think the weight lifting has balanced out my muscles to the degree that my long runs do not present any of that post-run stiffness that I use to have. And the core work has made my body more vertical, so my back doesn't hurt during or after a run.
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Post  Nick Morris on Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:16 pm

Run...
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