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Winter running
Saturday, 17 December 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hey guys, so it's that time of year when my part of the state gets absolutely dumped with ice and snow. I have a couple of questions: if I am trying to hit goal times, but it is slow because of the snow and ice, am I still getting the same benefits of the workout as I would if it was not snowy and I was able to hit the times? Does anyone have any advice On how to get in good workouts when it is snowy? I do not have access to any indoor tracks or treadmills... Thanks!!

Kev500 says:

Running on ice and snow is going to be a lot more work, though it is difficult to assess how much due to varying conditions, e.g., snow depth. There are charts available on-line to give comparative times to account for the temperature differences however, as your performance begins to drop off below 40 degrees.

It all takes its toll. I ran in the open race at Nike XC Regionals in Boise a couple years ago. There was between 2-6 inches of snow on the course and it was 10 degrees. It was the hardest 5K of my life, even though I was more than 30 seconds per mile slower than I was capable of running.

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Monday, 05 September 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hi guys, how can I become more confident in my running? When I race, I am always way slower than I should be because I doubt myself. I know that I have trained for it, but when I go to race, I just don't believe I can do well. How can I get over the mental side and be able to just run?

adigerati says:

Negative splits. Try to run each mile faster than the last. If you start out too slow due to low confidence it's ok, just keep going faster as the race progresses. Most experts feel that negative splits are the correct way to run a race anyway, so you are actually on the right track.

ycmrun says:

I'm not a fast runner by any means but I have been able to marginally improve over the years. I can only share what seems to have worked for me past few years. Its possible my goals & running distances may be quite different to what you are planning to do.

Firstly I believe that "Setting A PR Starts With Running Relaxed". Making sure to stay relaxed is essential to running with good form. The stress of wanting to run faster and over-thinking can often wind up slowing you down.

I've also learnt repeating hard workouts over and over will gradually improve the confidence. I used to be scared of doing intervals on the track or even doing 10-15 minutes hard paced tempo runs. I accepted all the apprehensions and continued to do these workouts. That approach certainly helped me with improving my pace and also enter into shorter races with bit of confidence. I agree with attempting to negative split every time you are doing a interval / fast paced workout. It may not happen all the time but when it happens its an incredible feeling and makes you want to do it again.

Approach all your workouts with a positive mindset and stop focusing too much on the end result for sometime. Your job is to just race and let the results be the outcome that you look at after the race or a workout instead of them becoming stressors before or during the race. Good luck and let us know whatever you learn.
It might be useful tips to all of us.

Post edited by: ycmrun, at: 2016/09/07 09:34

Post edited by: ycmrun, at: 2016/09/07 09:36

Kev500 says:

I presume from your earlier posts you are a HS XC runner. HS and MS runners are notoriously bad for going out way too fast. But that doesn't seem like your problem. I kike the negative splits recommendation, but that still requires a lot of confidence and courage to do, especially in HS and MS races. Here are a few other options:

1. Even pacing. Set a target goal for your first mile. When you hit it (or even if you are too fast), throw caution to the wind and keep going at that same rate.

2. Use your team. Choose the girl that is a little faster than you and tell her you plan to stay with her for as long as you can - then do it. If you can run in a fast pack with her, that is better. Most of the best teams run as a strong pack, mentally pushing and pulling each other.

3. Imaging. Set a clear goal for a time or place for each meet. Write it down and put it on the wall or ceiling of your bedroom and look at it before going to bed. Before going to sleep, "visualize" at least 2 times what the race will look like to reach that goal.

4. Adrenaline can be a good thing in small doses. Get fired up!! If your team does a chant, really get into it. Run 2 or 3 really hard accelerations/strides in warmups. And listen to your favorite upbeat music about 10 or 15 minutes before.

5. Write it on your hand and say it over and over again: I CAN DO THIS.

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Bad race
Thursday, 25 August 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hi guys, so today I had my first scrimmage, and I ran so awful. My time was 2 minutes slower than my slowest time last year, and I haven't run that slow since 2014. I'm just not sure how to get over it. I work so hard in practice. I am always under pacing my workouts, so it's not that I've started slacking. That's what's making me so frustrated and putting me down... I just feel like I'm never going to run well again...Do you have any advice?

Kev500 says:

You can't dwell on it. I can offer you the same advice I offered my son after he bombed at state a few years ago. Tomorrow, go out on your own and just enjoy running. Don't worry how far you go or how fast. Just go to enjoy the run. Take in the scenery. Listen to your favorite songs if you desire. But just go and run for the love of running.

Don't try to diagnose any problems yet. Just go and fall in love with running again first.

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Thursday, 04 August 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hi guys, so the xc season is coming up fast, and I am going to have to get new running spikes. I know there are two kinds, the ones that are basically like running barefoot, and there are the ones that are more like a shoe. Which ones are best recommended for racing better? Also, does it make a difference how many holes the shoe has for the actual spikes to go in? Thanks!!

Kev500 says:

I think I understand what you are asking, but if you could provide two models that you are considering, that might help.

If I understand your question, you are comparing one pair of XC spikes with little cushioning, very minimal heel drop, and no arch support (in other words, similar to a middle distance track spike) against a shoe that has more cushioning, especially on the heel and provides some protection (if not support) to the arch (similar to a light trainer or a road racing flat). Examples of the less supportive shoe might include the Saucony Shay or the Brooks Mach 15. Examples of a more supportive shoe might include the ASICS Hyper XC or the Puma Haraka.

Answer: It all depends. . .
1) Do you have a history of foot injuries? I suffered for all of last year with plantar fasciitis and can no longer wear spikes, period. If you have foot problems, you may want more support.

2) What distance will you race? High school girls race 5K and college women race 6K. Neither of these are excessively long distances that normally require extra support. However, if you are going to race open XC races of 10K, you may consider additional support.

3) What surfaces will you run on? If you race on golf courses, you don't need much cushioning. If you run on courses with large rocks, you probably need to protect your feet more.

4) Do you land on your heels or your forefoot? If you are a heel striker, you may want a little more cushioning there.

5) How light and flexible do you want your shoe to be? Generally the less cushioning and support, the lighter and more flexible the shoe.

Kev500 says:

I don't think it makes a difference whether the spike plate has 4 or 6 spikes.

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Benefit of workouts
Friday, 15 July 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hey guys, so I have a question that is a bit scientific. When I do a workout, how long does it take my body to get stronger from it? Also, when I do get stronger, do I have to keep doing that same workout to get even better? If I never do that same workout again will I lose all the benefit? Thanks!!

Kev500 says:

I've started to respond to this three times but gave up every time. There is so much that can be said in response. I will only scratch the surface. I recommend you read any one of a number of books on training. Since you are a young athlete and working towards the 5K (cross country I presume), I recommend Training for Young Distance Runners by Greene & Pate.

Just a few points:
1) Other than, perhaps, mental strength, you will not get stronger from a single workout. Your will get stronger through conditioning over time.
2) There is nothing wrong with doing the same workout over time. In fact, it is a good gauge of how much you are improving. But to get better, you either have to increase Volume (mileage) or Intensity (speed/effort) or both over time. I know the University of Portland, one of the top distance programs in the nation, has three quality workouts that they repeat several times through the summer until late in the cross country season. But they run them progressively faster throughout the season.
3) You need to condition your body to use energy. A simplified list of the sources:
a. Burning sugar (glycogen in muscles and liver) with oxygen (oxygenated blood). This is your aerobic conditioning, including long runs and other continuous activity for over 15 minutes, workouts that are designed to improve your body's ability to transfer oxygenated blood to the muscles. This is about 75% of your energy needs during a 5K, therefore, it will be the bulk of your conditioning, especially before the season and early during the season.
b. Burning sugar (glycogen) without oxygen. This anaerobic source meets up to 25% of the energy needs in a 5K. This is the energy source that is used for going very fast for up to 2 minutes. As you get towards the end of the season, an emphasis will shift to more speed work (anaerobic conditioning) to get ready for the biggest meets.
c. Burning fat with oxygen. This is not a significant energy source for a 5K. For races over 10 miles it becomes significant . It is important to marathoners and very important to ultramarathoners, some of whom have adapted to living and running on a high fat diet, as opposed to those of us (normal) runners who try to eat a lot of carbohydrates.
d. Creatine phosphate. This is sometimes called "free energy" because it is immediately available in the bloodstream. it is the source of explosive energy sprinters use to get out of the blocks and weight lifters use to clean and jerk heavy weight. It is only good for about 12 seconds or so and then the body needs 2-3 minutes to replenish it. Though it is a very minor energy source during a 5K, distance runners may use it during a fast start, final kick or a mid-race surge. Therefore, more distance programs are starting to include sprints with full recovery to condition the body to effectively use this energy source.
4) Periodization means dividing your training into phases. I believe I discussed this on another post. During the summer you are in the "base phase," emphasizing aerobic conditioning. As the season progresses, you will have less emphasis on volume and more emphasis on intensity, in other words, you move from aerobic conditioning to increasing anaerobic training.

Kev500 says:

A simple way to look at training is to remember that the goal is causing the body to respond to repeated stress. When faced with the same stressors over and over again, physiological changes occur as the body seeks to return to equilibrium (a new normal) (homeostasis).

If you only do a workout once, the body can't adapt to that one-time trauma.

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Recovery time
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
Hey guys, I was wondering if I should run every day or should I have a day of no running once a week? And if so, should it be one day or two, etc. I was reading about a professional athlete, and it said that a two mile run was as close to a day off as he would go, but then again he is professional. He has been running and training a lot harder and longer than me. Most running websites and other sources say to take at least one day off of running. I'm just not sure whether it is better to run all days or take a break. Is it just personal preference or is there a system to it? Thanks!!

Kev500 says:

One recovery day will likely be good for you. Bernard Lagat credited taking Sundays off with allowing him to stay competitive into his early 40s. I recommend an "active rest" day instead of complete rest. Do some non-impact aerobic activity (swimming, bicycling, walking) at a moderate intensity for about 30 minutes.

ycmrun says:

I believe in active recovery days too.

Currently im training for a marathon and I only run four days a week.

Tuesday ( Speed or Hill work)
Wednesday (Recovery run on some trail)
Thursday (Tempo runs)
Saturday (Long run).

I try to do some weight lifting / balancing on Bosu and core work before all my week day running ( Tue- Thu). Mostly different muscle groups each day as I dont have time to do all muscle groups in one day.

Fridays I usually do some kind of kick ass cardio with workouts like plyrometrics, jump rope skipping & Burpees / mountain climbers .

Sundays a long bike ride (usuaally for same duration as my Saturday's long runs)

That gives me Monday for active recovery and I hit the pool for swimming laps at very comfortable effort.

Post edited by: ycmrun, at: 2016/07/07 08:09

Post edited by: ycmrun, at: 2016/07/07 08:09

rcblu2 says:

+1 on the recovery days. I am not sure of your age, but the older you get the more time you need for recovery.

Also +1 on cross training days. Allows you to continue with conditioning but with different muscle groups.

Finally, from past marathon training, I always liked and agreed with the step down weeks where activity was decreased every 4th week to allow the body to recover and prep for the next stage of training.

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Answer to question
Monday, 27 June 2016 - Written by Alexandra3point1 [profile]
My highest mileage so far for one week was 25 miles.

Kev500 says:

If you are able to do 25 without any significant issues, then plan for 35. I recommend you add 2 miles for each of the next 2 weeks, (up to 29/week), then have a recovery week of, perhaps 20 miles, then add 2 more miles for each of the next 2 weeks after that (33 miles), then one recovery week of, perhaps, 25, then jump to 35 miles.

Here's the catch with the 10% rule , though. You can only add 10% effort for volume or intensity, not both. So if you are increasing intensity (speed), then you probably should only add one mile per week instead of 2. Thirty-five is still a good target, but it will take longer to get there, of course.

Plan for building up to 40-45/week next summer.

Continue your lifting too!

Post edited by: Kev500, at: 2016/06/30 00:18

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Am I digging myself into a hole?

5k long runs

Mystery pain

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