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Speed & Plateau

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Post  Schuey Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:26 am

Just in case you guys missed these articles are would like to read them again I decided on two articles that I have found useful and that I enjoy.

The first one is "Speed Work for Marathoners" and the second one is "The Performance Plateau" by Greg McMillan.

The first article is something that has been very debatable by me. Maybe not openly on the forums but more so with myself and some close running friends. I just haven't been a full believer on running short speed workouts for the marathon. I know that VW is a big on doing the short speed stuff. I guess I will just have to have him and others to convince me that I need to do more shorter speed work for the marathon.

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=20190

The second article has always been one of my favorites to read on a normal bases just to keep me from falling into the 5 mistakes runners make. To be honest I still fall into some of those mistakes but I am trying to get better.

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=20802

Happy reading and I would like to hear what you all think!
Schuey
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Post  Martin VW Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:17 pm

To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.

Then I have to throw this article out there.
Work Where You're Weak

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=17252

This would tell me to do less speedwork and more endurance work. Which is what I've been doing for the past year or so.

So, I think you have to add all the pieces together, figure out how to execute them to get the most personal benefit, and then stick to the plan. At some point, I think you do need to get the advice of a professional, to help put the pieces together in the right order. Articles and books are fine, but we're all unique, so we need unique solutions.

And if you think abou the number of hours we spend running and preparing for races, a few hundred working with a coach would probably have a pretty high ROI.
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Post  Schuey Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:39 pm

Martin VW wrote:To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.

Then I have to throw this article out there.
Work Where You're Weak

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=17252

This would tell me to do less speedwork and more endurance work. Which is what I've been doing for the past year or so.

So, I think you have to add all the pieces together, figure out how to execute them to get the most personal benefit, and then stick to the plan. At some point, I think you do need to get the advice of a professional, to help put the pieces together in the right order. Articles and books are fine, but we're all unique, so we need unique solutions.

And if you think abou the number of hours we spend running and preparing for races, a few hundred working with a coach would probably have a pretty high ROI.

Yep thanks for posting those two articles VW.

Yes I'm a believer in periodization and I am a believer in speed work for the marathon. I guess I should have been a little more clear, I just don't know were I would benefit from doing 200's, 400's, 800's or even mile repeats for marathon training. Well let take that back I goes I can see some benefits from doing the mile repeats. I guess when I think of speed work for the marathon I'm thinking more along the lines of doing longer repeats like 2000's.

I guess right now for were I am at I'm a bigger believer in volume, the longer runs and doing more LT type of workouts. Right now my philosophy is that the LT workouts is what is going to allow me to hold the faster pace for longer in the marathon. I do like to do the 100m strides to help with leg turnover speed. the more I think about maybe I do do the short stuff but I guess it is more hidden in my long fartlek runs.

It is good that you have been working on your endurance right now. I think that you will benefit big time by that.

So you really think that seeking the advice of a coach is something need down the line? I mean I learned things from Kevin Beck and I'm sure you have learned things when you used McMillan but I don't know if it is a 100% thing someone has to do. In a way look at Ryan Hall it seems like he is doing better on his own but then again he is seeking advice from Daniel's! I guess it all depends. I did like learning from Kevin Beck, like Dave-O I have been thinking about paying for Hudson's services in the future.

But I do agree with what you have said. The great thing about running is that we all have different styles and ideas and how we approach running. I know I have said that over and over in the past but that is what makes this sport wonderful. Also I like reading about it because it does help give me a different view on how to go about training. And there is no doubt at some time my training and philosophy will change.
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Post  Martin VW Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:52 pm

When I'm in a speed phase, my track workouts are 12 miles in total. 2 warm-up, 8 miles of speedwork, 2 cool down, . That's like 10 x 800 (400 recover), 21 x 400 (200 recovery), 32 x 200 (200 recovery), all at 5K speed. IMO you're going to benefit at any race distance from that type of volume, more than a 12 mile GA run.

I've not done the 200s very often, but as you've pointed out, McMillan believes they're helpful, so who am I to argue? Smile
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Post  Dave Wolfe Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:16 pm

Martin VW wrote:To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.


Thanks Martin -- I was going to post this article. I am working this into my training this time around. What I find somewhat surprising is how short the speed-work block is -- 4 only weeks.
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Post  Martin VW Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:45 pm

Dave Wolfe wrote:
Martin VW wrote:To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.


Thanks Martin -- I was going to post this article. I am working this into my training this time around. What I find somewhat surprising is how short the speed-work block is -- 4 only weeks.

True - but there's still a steady diet of uptempo stuff in McMillan's peak phase too. Just longer repeats, 1000 - 3000 m, plus tempo runs and steady state runs.
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Post  Schuey Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:01 pm

Martin VW wrote:
Dave Wolfe wrote:
Martin VW wrote:To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.


Thanks Martin -- I was going to post this article. I am working this into my training this time around. What I find somewhat surprising is how short the speed-work block is -- 4 only weeks.

True - but there's still a steady diet of uptempo stuff in McMillan's peak phase too. Just longer repeats, 1000 - 3000 m, plus tempo runs and steady state runs.

I also believe that short block of speed-work your talking about Dave comes at the end of training cycle which would be used more for the sharpen phase going into taper if I'm not mistaken. I could be wrong, I do know that Pfitz does the same thing towards the end of a training cycle.
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Post  Dave Wolfe Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Schuey wrote:
Martin VW wrote:
Dave Wolfe wrote:
Martin VW wrote:To adequately reply I have to add another McMillan article
Time To Rethink Your Marathon Training Program?

http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9254

So, if you believe in periodization, there's a time for speedwork in your marathon training progression that will make you a better marathoner. Physiologically, since speedwork, hill repeats and weight training add many of the same benefits, I'd rather do speedwork and get the anciullary benefits of increased VO2Max, improved form and running economy, and more miles than go to a gym.


Thanks Martin -- I was going to post this article. I am working this into my training this time around. What I find somewhat surprising is how short the speed-work block is -- 4 only weeks.

True - but there's still a steady diet of uptempo stuff in McMillan's peak phase too. Just longer repeats, 1000 - 3000 m, plus tempo runs and steady state runs.

I also believe that short block of speed-work your talking about Dave comes at the end of training cycle which would be used more for the sharpen phase going into taper if I'm not mistaken. I could be wrong, I do know that Pfitz does the same thing towards the end of a training cycle.

Martin -- I thought the more long up-tempo work, being more marathon specific, McMillian considered "stamina" workouts. Anyway gonna give it a try.

Shuey -- exactly right but the article VW references intentionally changes the order of the phase. I think the idea is that the tempo and pace work at the end of the cycle is more race specific.
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Post  Schuey Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:24 pm

Dave Wolfe wrote:Martin -- I thought the more long up-tempo work, being more marathon specific, McMillian considered "stamina" workouts. Anyway gonna give it a try.

Shuey -- exactly right but the article VW references intentionally changes the order of the phase. I think the idea is that the tempo and pace work at the end of the cycle is more race specific.

Dave yes you are 100% correct, I just went back and looked at the article here in my folder. I like to do the Tempo runs/ LT work throughout the whole training phase but do believe in doing more of my MP workouts towards the end of the phase. Pfitz will have the MP work early in his plans and actually has the last MP run in week 10 of a 18 week plan. Actually I just looked at his "more then 85 miles a week" plan. 1st one being week 17 (8 miles at MP), week 14 (10 miles at MP) and the last one week 10 (12 miles at MP). I believe three workouts like are good but I do them later in the phase now like McMillan talks about in that article. Actually for me I have been throwing in more a few more MP runs, something I have been learning about through the Brooks Hanson plans is doing even more MP runs.

I can also see were you could think of the McMillan work as Marathon specific rather then "stamina". I think that when McMillan speaks of stamina isn't referring to being faster then MP correct?
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