From bobg@Radix.Net Mon Apr 26 14:57:52 EDT 1999 Article: 170430 of rec.running Path:!!not-for-mail From: bobg@Radix.Net (Robert Grumbine) Newsgroups: rec.running Subject: Training report addendum to race report Date: 25 Apr 1999 15:02:02 -0400 Organization: RadixNet Lines: 77 Message-ID: <7fvora$4ka$> NNTP-Posting-Host: Xref: rec.running:170430 There have been a number of comments lately on training pace(s) versus race pace and I've been reluctant to be quite as vehement as I might have since I didn't have an actual hard 10k race in hand. Now that I do (see other note) some comments: I took over 40 seconds per mile off my previous 10k best. (Might have been another 10-20 available if I'd been confident/agressive enough.) This is a lot. In doing so, however, I ran very little distance faster than I actually ran the race in. In fact, the only time (since coming off cold/flu/weather/icks March 11) I was under race pace were two days when I tried mile repeats. Two days (in 6 weeks) totalling 6 miles. (Plus one tempo run of 2.5 miles, 15 seconds/mile slower than I raced.) Everything else was at least 1 min/mile slower than the race. As I've said in notes to others: the problem (challenge) in running a distance race is typically to hold your speed, not to learn to run 'fast' in the first place. An awful lot of 'hold your speed' is learning to run efficiently, and training your body (mitochondria, nerves, etc.) to be accustomed to working hard (and in the pattern of efficient running) for long enough to complete the race. I finally convinced _myself_ of this, and this year have already taken off over 5 minutes on my 10k PR. This in only a few months, after 2 years of doing my long runs too fast, my 'relaxed' runs too fast, and doing far too much tempo and speed work. (Those 2 years managed only a 3 minute improvement in the 10k PR). Slow down, run faster is an old saying, and now that I'm actually doing it, I see it working. But I'm doing my long runs almost 1 minute/mile _slower_ than I used to, and my relaxed runs 30 seconds/mile _slower_ than I used to. On the other hand, I'm now running 20-25 miles/week now (_capable_ of doing so since I'm not overdoing the other days) instead of 15 or so. Slightly more generally, we've heard recently from people running their first 5k and 10k race, and their race times were again faster than they ran either ever or for much distance. Additional note: Biking and swimming There's some argument about the value to runners of other exercises. And there's some weight to both points, depending on who you're looking at, to both sides, I think. If you're looking at someone who is already in very good general physical condition and who is trying to train for elite times in, say, 10k, then I wouldn't be too surprised at a result saying that swimming or biking (or weights) didn't/don't do much good. But ... I (for example) have _not_ been in good general shape. 15+ years of not running and not much of any other exercise. Starting up running was a good thing for my fitness, but there are an awful lot of muscles in the body, and running doesn't train them all. The problem is two sides: first, if you're going to be generally fit, you _should_ train them all (pretty much), and second: if you're _not_ generally fit, then your running form (I think) is likely to change in response to this. That is, if some secondary knee muscles (or arms, shoulders, abdomen, ...) aren't really up to par, then your running form changes to something that won't overload those weak secondaries. If they _are_ in shape, then the running form can take advantage of the strength and give you more power/speed/whatever. I definitely noticed this kind of result since I started some biking and swimming. The swimming, especially, has helped with the upper body, back, and abdominals. No way of telling which side (slower slow runs vs. alternate additional exercises) made how much of a contribution. But running the long and relaxed runs slower was something recommended on grounds of being better training (than what I was doing) and alternate exercises are good things in their own right (and helped me a _lot_ in getting back to shape after that month off). So, usual anecdote: Worked for me. My thanks to the people in the group who continued to provide this good advice through a couple years of me not taking it. I'm fully on the bandwagon now. -- Robert Grumbine Science faqs and amateur activities notes and links. Sagredo (Galileo Galilei) "You present these recondite matters with too much evidence and ease; this great facility makes them less appreciated than they would be had they been presented in a more abstruse manner." Two New Sciences