Benefits of running a long run slow

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  randys 14 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #1385

    randys
    Member

    In the morning I will do a final 24 before my May 2nd marathon. My goal for the race is a BQ (need a 3:30, @46/m) so my mp will be 8:00.

    I am not a ‘super’ high milage runner (I hope to be in a few more years) but I am a ‘steady’ medium milage runner who has gradually been adding milage for 2 years.

    I have averaged in the 60’s for the past year, and the 40’s and 50’s the year before; my first year. That average is very steady; its not skewed by high milage and low milage weeks, I run very close to the average every week.

    I also do lots of long runs of 20-24 (at least every other week, year round for 2 years now, alternating with a 16 miler on the ‘easy’ week) and stay in shape to go over 20 on any given day of the year.

    I added this background info because many on this site feel that long runs should not be over 20%-25% of weekly milage. I agree with that position but feel that if you have been running steady milage and not mearly building for a marathon then exceeding that percentage is not a problem. I do it every week without injury, on a 7 day schedule, without compromising the intensity of my tue and thurs quality workouts.

    During the 5 months leading to this race I have been running long runs much closer to mp then ever before. I am doing this to hopefully overcome my weakness during the last 10k of the race. In my last 2 races I managed to maintain mp until mile 20 only to fade (3:37 and 3:38 for these tries) during the final miles.

    The average time of the long run is close to mp but I actually start off about 40 seconds slower and pick up the pace until by mid-way I am at mp, then continue to accelerate over the second half, finishing around 30 seconds (or more) faster than mp.

    My last 3 long runs of 22,24 and 16 averaged 8:02, 8:12 and 8:03.

    Now for the questions:

    It seems that everything I read makes it seem so critical that long runs be done ‘slow’ for maximum benefit. They talk about ranges from 30 to 60 seconds slower than mp, I have even heard some recommend 90 seconds slower.

    This seems crazy. Yes, I understand that you combine the endurance of the long run and the speed of the quality workouts on race morning. But lets get real, is anybody really able to pick up the pace on race day by 90 seconds over their training pace? Thats a huge difference in pace; I find even running at 9:30 to be painful because its so bio-mechanically inefficient. And in my last 2 races, where I did train 30-45 seconds slower than mp, I faded in the end.

    I have also read advice that unless you run the long runs slower you are not maximizing the abilty to use fat as fuel come race day.

    I know that at this point the ‘hay is in the barn’ for the race but still want to get the most from my final long run. I still have a 16 and 13, plus a few 10’s before the race, most (except the 16) at or faster than mp.

    I will also drop milage as follows: this week 65 (with the 24), then 57, 48 and finally 22 on race week. I also will be pushing the intensity up as the race gets closer and the volume goes down. More speed or tempo workouts, easy runs at mp pace, etc.

    For this last long run I was thinking of 3 stregegies:

    1. Take it real slow; discover the ‘magic’ of fat burning that I have read others post about. Not that I believe the ‘fat burning’ thing as much as it would give me an excuse to run it slow without feeling like a slug.

    2. Plan to run the same average pace as my other long runs following a different strategy. Instead of starting off slow and making it up by speeding up run the entire distance at mp+15 seconds (maybe after a short warmup mile or two). This would get me out of the ‘habit’ of the slow start-fast finish long runs of the last 5 months.

    3. Just keep doing it like the other long runs, change nothing; its been working for 5 months dont mess with it now.

    Any last minute recommendations about the final 24 miler or anything related to these final days leading to the race would be appreciated.

    Randy

  • #14121

    danm
    Member

    Randy, that is a lot of good information about you and there is a lot to say about it. One thing I think you should be aware of is the current pace you are running does have some impact regarding all the rules about long and slow.

    I will go back to the philosophy of maximizing your aerobic conditioning. The 9:30 pace feels difficult to you because the effort to run that pace is slightly different in what your pysiological needs are for that pace vs 8 min pace.

    If I were your coach I would strap a heart rate monitor on you and set you out on a flat course for 1 to 1:15 hour run at 9:30 pace and have you tell me the HR for each mile. IF you can stay within 5-7 beats for one hour you can forget about the 9:30 pace.

    Now, the rule for running 60-90 seconds slower than your marathon pace does not exactly apply to an 8 min per mile marathoner. A 6 minute pacer, yes. The reason you die off in the last few miles is that you run out of fuel. If you can train your body to get more miles per gallon of fuel you can last longer. So even though these ideas seem to contradict each other, the fat as fuel is the most important thing to know as a marathoner.

    Your sole purpose is to teach your body to run at the optimum pace for the marathon whereby you use your supply of fuel up right as you cross the line.

    More later…

  • #14122

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Basically, what Dan is getting at can be found here: http://www.ffh.us/cn/hadd.htm

    More specifically, this page holds something interesting on what you are asking: http://www.ffh.us/cn/part3.htm

    HRMs are optional of course. Basically, Hadd is rehashing Lydiard and other versions of rehashing Lydiard are done without HRMs. It just depends on who you end up reading.

    Personally, for the last long run, I’d probably do most of the run at about 1:00/mile slower than marathon pace, then do up to the last 5 miles at a pace at or faster than marathon pace. However, the most important thing at this point is doing what you are comfortable with and what you have the most faith in.

  • #14123

    danm
    Member

    The reason a HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) is so crucial today for some one like Randy (and I am sure if Lydiard had access to this tool he would have undoubtedly used it) is that you don’t have a coach who can stand next to the edge of a track while you run laps and prick your finger and take blood samples to find out your lactate levels. But you can get the point at which your LT level spikes from the comfortable 2mmol level (where you can run a marathon) to 4mmol and up.

    From this information Randy, you will then know at what paces you must train. Right now you are mostly going at it as a shot in the dark. It’s like the guy who thinks he wants to run a 34 min 10k saying, OK, that’s 5:30 pace, everyday I am going to just come out here and blast a 5:30 pace for as long as I can and eventually I will be able to add distance until I get to 10k. WRONG!

    When you die near the end of a marathon you have borrowed too much from anerobic system to fuel your aerobic system. If you had taught your body to burn fat as a fuel vs glycogen you can run longer.

    Yes, a quote from Hadd.

    Let’s look at some major negative effects of “borrowing” from your anaerobic ability in a distance event (anything from 5k upwards). (For those of you who do not think you are doing this, just note that if you have a poor(er) pace relationship as the distances increase, you are.)

    1. When the muscle cells in your legs build up too much acidity (caused by running anaerobically), those cells shut down since the acidity inhibits enzymatic action and contractibility in the cell and energy breakdown can no longer continue. So, the more you are trying to stoke the boilers, pour on the speed, and fire on all cylinders, the more some of those cylinders are shutting down. This is not so if you use those self-same cells/fibres aerobically.

    2. Breaking a molecule of glucose down into energy anaerobically is horrendously wasteful of fuel. It will result in fuel economy the equivalent of “2 miles per gallon”. Breaking that exact same glucose molecule down into fuel aerobically results in “36 miles per gallon”. If you are going far enough (HM or marathon), you better be as economical as possible and get as many miles as possible per gallon because otherwise you are going to run out of fuel and crash long before the finish line. Note that the muscle cells that are operating anaerobically will be unable to access your huge store of fat as a fuel (which would give you wayyy better than even 36 mpg). Fuel which would ensure you get to the 20 mile mark and still find you can pour it on.

    Think of it like this. Put the smallest compact car you can think of, and a Ferrari, side by side. Empty both fuel tanks, give both of them one gallon of fuel and tell them to go as far as possible. Which is gonna win?

    Since your LT measures at what pace you change over from aerobic to (increasingly more) anaerobically-fueled running, it is also a measure of when you stop being economical and become more and more uneconomical. So, we can also say that a low (poor) LT also means poor fuel economy.

    Many of you will be able to give examples of guys (I know at least two) who can crank out 20 mile long runs at 6.00m/m and yet not finish a marathon at that pace. Why? Because, due to their precise fuel economy (or lack thereof) they cannot store enough carbohydrate to get them through the final 6.2 miles. Their fuel economy, and therefore their LT, is too low.

    I have access to more information then this Randy if you are curious. But the one thing I will re-iterate is if you are interested in LT type training as a marathoner and the science that is involved, without having direct access to someone pricking your finger, an HRM is the only thing you can use as a substitute. There is no denying this despite what others, who don’t really know, say.

    But that is not to say you can’t become a great marathoner without one, you can. People have done it for years. But wouldn’t it be nicer to really know what you are doing rather than taking a stab in the dark?

    Dan

  • #14124

    danm
    Member

    One other thought on this subject.

    Besides getting the constant feedback that an HRM will give you this information will, in turn, allow you to know within a minute of what you can expect to run for the marathon. Come race day, given decent conditions, you should know almost exactly what pace you will be capable of.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to know this about your NEXT marathon rather than having to attempt two or three more marathons and have them all be unknowns?

    I predicted my last marathon within 6 seconds! And when I toe the line at Chicago in Oct. I will predict on this forum what I will run within one minute. If the conditions are right and I don’t hit it, I will buy all those present a round of beers. Promise.

  • #14125

    randys
    Member

    Dan,

    I downloaded and printed out the Hadd document you referred to. It has a wealth of useful information but alas with the marthon less than 3 weeks away its too late to apply to my current race.

    I plan to study this information and determine how to fit it into the training for my next race.

    As far as todays long run is concerned; things did not go as planned.

    I had decided to run the entire distance about 20 seconds slower than marathon pace. Normally I start out much slower and pick up the pace over the second half. That usually results in an average pace for the run of 8:10 or so. This time I wanted to run even splits of 8:20 for the entire distance which is closer to how I plan to run the race (even splits).

    My pace was good but I ran into ‘bodily function’ issues. I had already gone past the 1/2 way point and was retracing my route heading home. About mile 13.5 I all of a sudden ‘NEEDED’ an outhouse bad. Luckily by changing my route and heading to a main road I found an open bagel store with a bathroom.

    After almost a 5 minute break I resumed the run but within a couple of miles had the ‘urge’ all over again. This time I decided to take the direct route towards home and I managed to make it before needing another ‘break’. That was 18 miles and after that stop I decided to call it a day.

    So I ran 8:20 pace for 18 miles but the ‘stops’ are scary. Last year something like this happened at Philly. Until last November all my marathons were small races of less than 1000 runners.

    In October I ran Mystic as a goal race. Shortly after the race I decided that with 4 weeks to recover I could run another marathon for the ‘experience’ of doing a large city race.

    So as I was beginning training for my May 2nd race, I ran Philly as a long training run to begin building my base. During that race, and for the first time ever in a race, or even in training, I NEEDED the porta-potties. Those stops cost me about 15 minutes but since the race was just for the fun I didn’t lose any sleep over it.

    Something like this happening during a goal race, after working 5 months to prepare, would be pretty devastating.

    Being as compulsive as I am I probably will tack those last 6 miles onto my Sunday 9 mile MP run. I figure I’ll do a 15, the last 9 at MP and the first 6 about 30 seconds slower.

    As I said, my endurance was probably not going to change based on this one run but its disappointing none the less.

    Randy

  • #14126

    danm
    Member

    I know before you used to run a loop and set out water. What else are you eating/drinking for the long runs and what is your plan for the marathon?

    You should go over the things you have eaten in the last 24 hours or so. Did you have any milk products, raisins, fig newtons, high fiber content foods?

    Figure out now what is causing this problem and you should be able to avoid it on race day.

    I understand you are too close to the marathon to change things now. I think you have put in a great amount of miles and you should not have a problem getting to your goal. My only question, as I stated above, is what is your fueling plan for race day?

    Like I said I have access to a wealth of information about LT training above what you can find online that I would be more than willing to share with you should you decide to go that route for a future marathon.

    Like I told Zeke though, I think your next goal should be to get that 5k time way down before attempting another thon.

    Keep asking questions. Dan

  • #14127

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    The reason a HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) is so crucial today for some one like Randy (and I am sure if Lydiard had access to this tool he would have undoubtedly used it) is that you don’t have a coach who can stand next to the edge of a track while you run laps and prick your finger and take blood samples to find out your lactate levels. But you can get the point at which your LT level spikes from the comfortable 2mmol level (where you can run a marathon) to 4mmol and up.

    Lydiard has access to HRMs now and I have never heard of him using or even suggesting that one should use them. My bet is he would have undoubtedly said that they are not needed. As for not having access to a lab, you don’t need access to a lab or a HRM to train effectively just because you don’t have someone to prick your finger. Just as some people say with things like walking breaks or other things like that, when I see a significant number of elites using them, I’ll consider them. As of now, almost none use them and that should tell us something about the need for them.

  • #14128

    danm
    Member

    A perfect, stubborn, typical reply and reason why Americans are so lousy at the marathon. They think they know best. It takes being coached by a non-American to see the light and the error of our ways. No excuses.

    Lydiard is not training anyone anymore.

    It is not the only way, but a great way to know what to expect come race day. Show me one other method that can claim that.

  • #14129

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    A perfect, stubborn, typical reply and reason why Americans are so lousy at the marathon. They think they know best. It takes being coached by a non-American to see the light and the error of our ways. No excuses.

    Couldn’t have said it better. As evidence of what I mean, try to find where some of the best coaches in the world today, such as Volker Wagner, Gabriele Rosa, or Jos Hermenes strap HRMs on to their athletes. It seems as though Americans are stuck focusing on science while the rest of the world is just training hard and making Americans look slow.

    danm wrote:
    Lydiard is not training anyone anymore.

    No but he does a lot of advising and speaking and I have never once seen any sign of him supporting HRM usage.

    danm wrote:
    It is not the only way, but a great way to know what to expect come race day. Show me one other method that can claim that.

    Just ask Pski. He’ll tell you what you’re going to run to the minute. 😉 Heck, I have never not known just what I was capable of and I have never strapped anything to my chest.

  • #14130

    danm
    Member

    Tell that to Lance Armstrong.

    It is all about science. He has trained purely by LT methods using all the available scientific methods there are, including using an HRM on every ride. He will win a 6th Tour.

    This is 2004 not 1964. If Lydiard had those tools perhaps he would have had even more success.

    You have no idea the scientific methods of the coaches you mention. You only know what you read in the press. I do not claim to know their methods either.

    I do know that when you get to the top of a sport, science plays a huge role. When I was on the National Speed Skating team (top 12 in the country) and was trained at facilities such as the Olympic Training centers in Co. Springs, Lake Placid and Northern Michigan Univ. I was subjected to every sort of scientific test there was at the time. It is still that way. That is why the Americans are the most decorated Winter Olympic athletes vs every other winter sport combined! A sport where we have 200 competitors beating countries who have 1000’s.

    If you had two control groups and you trained them as follows, you tell me which group you would want to be a part of.

    Group 1. We are going to train you using only the tools of Lydiard. We will go by feel and effort, run a few races then enter you in a marathon and see if we can figure out (predict) how you will do.

    Group 2. We are going to train you using the methods of Lydiard but before we do, we are going to subject everyone to the entire gamut of scientific testing we know about. We will get max HR readings, Submersion tank body fat testing, lung capacity, V02 max tests, Conconi tests, muscle biopsies. We will monitor your training by taking periodic blood samples to measure the acidosis in your blood, we will also use heart rate monitors and adjust pacing based on the biofeedback we get from all tests. We will perform numerous stress tests and get unbiased measurments throughout the training cycles. We will also run a few races. In the end we should know precisely how you will perform to within a minute of your final time, all things being equal.

    Now I am not claiming one group will necessarily beat the other, but group 2 will know more about what to expect come race day. Please don’t insult me or anyone else by claiming this not to be true.

  • #14131

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    Tell that to Lance Armstrong.

    It is all about science. He has trained purely by LT methods using all the available scientific methods there are, including using an HRM on every ride. He will win a 6th Tour.

    Anyone who really knows about running and/or cycling knows that, while these both are endurance sports, training for them is apples and oranges.

    danm wrote:
    This is 2004 not 1964. If Lydiard had those tools perhaps he would have had even more success.

    You can speculate that. I will speculate that he would have had no more success.

    danm wrote:
    You have no idea the scientific methods of the coaches you mention. You only know what you read in the press. I do not claim to know their methods either.

    So we should assume that they, as well as those who have followed them, are lying?

    danm wrote:
    I do know that when you get to the top of a sport, science plays a huge role. When I was on the National Speed Skating team (top 12 in the country) and was trained at facilities such as the Olympic Training centers in Co. Springs, Lake Placid and Northern Michigan Univ. I was subjected to every sort of scientific test there was at the time. It is still that way. That is why the Americans are the most decorated Winter Olympic athletes vs every other winter sport combined! A sport where we have 200 competitors beating countries who have 1000’s.

    I never claimed that the application of science isn’t important. Elite runners have a team of people working for them, including massage therapists, nutritionists, and others. However, you don’t see anyone pricking their fingers and you don’t see them wearing HRMs.

    danm wrote:
    If you had two control groups and you trained them as follows, you tell me which group you would want to be a part of.

    Group 1. We are going to train you using only the tools of Lydiard. We will go by feel and effort, run a few races then enter you in a marathon and see if we can figure out (predict) how you will do.

    Group 2. We are going to train you using the methods of Lydiard but before we do, we are going to subject everyone to the entire gamut of scientific testing we know about. We will get max HR readings, Submersion tank body fat testing, lung capacity, V02 max tests, Conconi tests, muscle biopsies. We will monitor your training by taking periodic blood samples to measure the acidosis in your blood, we will also use heart rate monitors and adjust pacing based on the biofeedback we get from all tests. We will perform numerous stress tests and get unbiased measurments throughout the training cycles. We will also run a few races. In the end we should know precisely how you will perform to within a minute of your final time, all things being equal.

    Now I am not claiming one group will necessarily beat the other, but group 2 will know more about what to expect come race day. Please don’t insult me or anyone else by claiming this not to be true.

    Please don’t insult me or anyone else by telling me what to state as truth. The truth is this test has been done. It’s called Nike’s Oregon Project. They hand picked America’s brightest running prospects. The results speak for themselves. Dan Browne is the only one who lived up to expectations in the marathon. Browne is the only one who even qualified for the Olympic Trials, although every one of them was capable of this when the group was formed. I consider Chad Johnson a good friend but I doubt that their HRM usage and all their other technology would have predicted his 2:25 at NYCM. Hanneck and Donnelly have virtually disappeared from the scene. Meanwhile, Browne, at best, has maintained the progression curve he was following before using all the technology.

    Meanwhile, I’m looking through the website of the Hansons group, one that has outperformed the Oregon Project with less talent. I see no reference anywhere of HRMs or LT testing. The most technology I see referenced are shoes and watches.

    Forget about cycling and speed skating, sports that have shown no direct application to distance running. Here we have direct application of technology in the sport of discussion and the results speak volumes.

  • #14132

    randys
    Member

    I couldn’t take it anymore. After 3 hours of sitting around feeling depressed and sorry for myself I said ‘fu*k it’. suited up and ran the last 6 miles.

    I know that 18+6 is nowhere near as good as 24 alone but at least I put in the miles. In the morning it will be raining and doing 15 in the rain had me even more pissed; 9 in the rain I can deal with better.

    I really felt good doing the last 6, I ran better than a 7:30 pace, as fast as 7:10 for some splits, for the workout. My average pace for the full 24 dropped to only 8:09.

    I am still disappointed but I at least I can blame my activities the night before for what happened today. On Friday, thinking I would be working late, I ran in the morning to get it done. On weekdays I almost never run in the morning.

    Anyway, we wound up leaving work earlier than I thought and because I had already done my run (I usually would go home to run) I joined a friend from work for some ‘carbo-loading’ at a local pub. When I got home dinner was long over and I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I loaded up on the kids junk food, mostly ice-cream sandwichs, stuff I usually don’t eat.

    As far as the debate about HRM’s goes. I have one which I use when I am on the treadmill. It mainly shows that I am making progress by showing a drop in heart rate over a period of months, under the same conditions and pace. When running outdoors I usually don’t wear it.

    Before this training cycle I used it much more; almost on every run. I intentially put it aside, except when I am on the mill, to see if perhaps I was holding back because of the number on the dial.

    To be honest, another reason I put it aside is my new GPS watch. I always wear that when running so that after I get home I have a record of my pace and splits for the run.

    Since the HRM would require a second watch I gave it up because of the ‘pain in the ass’ factor.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t feel it has a valid place in training. Almost every published coach, at the very least, relates heart rate to the various workouts in their plan.

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it is at Colorado under Wetmore. In the book ‘Running with the Buffaloes’ it is used during some track workouts. Its only mentioned in passing so its not clear how the coach expected it to be applied.

    Well I hope everyone has a nice day on Sunday. I will start the day in the rain but feel much better about that now then I did a few hours ago.

    Randy

  • #14133

    magpie
    Member
    RandyS wrote:
    It mainly shows that I am making progress by showing a drop in heart rate over a period of months, under the same conditions and pace.

    Actually, it shows that the cardiovascular system is becoming more efficient/fit and clearly this would doubtlessly still occur without use of an HRM — stating the obvious, I know. Progress will happen due to consistent training, believe it.

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it is at Colorado under Wetmore.

    Bullcrap. The frequency is so high that I cannot keep track of the number of times I have seen some internet know-it-all believe that he can read one person’s account of a single season that took place nearly five years ago and can then go around making assertions like he really knows something.

  • #14134

    randys
    Member

    magpie.

    When you quoted my last post you left out the next two sentences.

    In the book ‘Running with the Buffaloes’ it is used during some track workouts. Its only mentioned in passing so its not clear how the coach expected it to be applied.

    I cleary stated where the information came from and that it was simply mentioned in passing within that source. I did not imply that it was a core element of his (or anyones) coaching system.

    btw: Also based on the account in this book I would not be suprised if the CU runners aren’t wearing gps watchs soon. In almost every chapter the runners know their exact split for every mile of every training run. They know this to the fraction of a second which implies they are wearing a runners watch. This also implies that someone must be measuring and marking all these routes.

    This is not like the hrm, only refered to once or twice in the book, the exact splits are available for practically every workout. In fact in one chapter (page 179) they even have a footnote explaining the missing split info for ‘Valenti’ due to a ‘watch problem’. The information is present for the other dozen runners listed on that page.

    How much easier to press ‘start’ on the gps watch and ‘stop’ at the end of workout. The coach and runner gets the split information without the runner needing to keep an eye out for the mile markers or remembering to press the ‘split’ button.

    It would be fair to argue that the information is not needed and should not be collected because it has ‘no value’. But if it is being collected because someone feels the need to know it then its tough to argue against a device that does the collecting without the athlete participating. Seems the runner could be more focused on the workout if he didn’t need to keep an eye out for the mile markers.

    Randy

  • #14135

    magpie
    Member

    Again, this is what you claimed:

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it is at Colorado under Wetmore.

    Is it still unclear why your veracity would come under question when you make a claim regarding details of how Wetmore trains any and all of his CU runners today based on an account which you read from 1998?

  • #14136

    randys
    Member

    magpie,

    I assume you are quoting my statement because you can demonstrate it to be false? Does it even matter if its true or false. Even if you have evidence that it is false today it was true for part of 1 season 5 years ago.

    Besides, why do you even care. It clear you do not, and will not, use a hrm in your training. Thats fine; knock yourself out.

    The posters who suggested using a hrm to improve my training were being helpful. The article by Hadd has no problem recomending the use of a hrm; its discussed on almost every page. From what I can tell Hadd seems to be well respected by many and is often quoted in forums.

    The Hadd article, and Dan and Ryans posts are suggesting things I can do to improve my training. The only advice you offer is ‘train more and you will improve’. Thats hardly advice. Thats a given. How do I train more and get the most from the time invested (my original question focused on the long run).

    Dan and others are offering useful information that I might integrate into my training this summer. You only seem to be interested in discrediting hrm training. How does that help me (or anyone) improve?

    If your only advice to me is not to use a hrm in training then you can stop offering it. I am well aware that you don’t use these devices. In your words from another thread, these gadgets would not be used by a ‘serious runner’.

    Randy

  • #14137

    danm
    Member

    Look guys, we have strayed from the main topic here and I apologize for adding to it. But precisely to the point, a runner like Randy, while trying to improve his marathon time would benefit from the use of an HRM to help guide him thru specific training paces.

    His exact questions about wanting to know whether he should run his long run paces at 60 to 90 sec slower than MP could be answered by using an HRM to learn where and at what levels he accumulates lactic acid. Learning to use fat as a fuel and the pace in which this occurs is in direct correlation to the LT type test readings he could get from a monitor.

    Who wouldn’t want to know this information?!!

    Randy seems to be the type of person who is curious and is seeking out knowledge about the sport. Perhaps hrm/LT training isn’t for Randy or Ryan or magpie. But the honest to goodness truth is one can use the tool to know exactly what pace to run come marathon race day if used correctly during training.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you can run a great marathon with nothing but the shoes on your feet and the time you put in them.

    I used to be the biggest non-believer about HRM’s in the world! And if anyone were to ask me if it has made training any easier I’d say they were a fool. It has made me have to work harder than I have ever worked in my life at the sport. But the HRM coupled with the information I have been privy to has had a profound, enlightening effect on my running. I know exactly what is happening to my body at every phase, speed and distance I run. Most runners do not.

    Ryan you have a decent understanding of the training principles but I doubt you have an understanding of the scientific reasons for what exactly is happening to your body just by feel. It is fine to develop your own plan by piecing together a training formula from what you feel is right about many different training philosophies. But to me that is like taking the longest route to the goal. Why not take the shortest route and know precisely where you are fitness-wise during every phase? To me, the longest route is absurd.

    I have had the good fortune to be under the guidance of someone who can tell me what is happening and why. I will not claim that I will necessarily be hugely faster come Chicago in the fall but I will walk up to the line knowing without a doubt how I will run that day.

    And I think it is that knowledge that Randy is seeking. With LT training there are no surprises.

    Dan

  • #14138

    magpie
    Member
    RandyS wrote:
    I assume you are quoting my statement because you can demonstrate it to be false?

    You got it. In asking this shall I, in turn, assume that you are confessing to an inablity to demonstrate it to be true?

    Does it even matter if its true or false[?] Even if you have evidence that it is false today it was true for part of 1 season 5 years ago.

    Yeah, it does matter, because that is not what you had claimed, and your original claim is a mistruth. Are you sure that you are unable to figure out what is wrong with spreading falsehoods? Would you want to gain the reputation of being a liar?

    Besides, why do you even care[?] It [is] clear you do not, and will not, use [an] hrm in your training.

    I care because the result is broadcasting untrue statements about Wetmore, someone for whose work I have great respect. Why you would figure that the application of HRM use to me would have any bearing at all is an utter mystery. The only view of mine that your untrue statement violates is that lying is wrong.

    Unfortunately, the rest was a waste of time and space, as I have actually expressed no views at all in this thread as to the efficacy of how you train and race, and how you train and race actually does not bother me in the least and I have stated this previously in no uncertain terms. Do whatever you feel like, more power to you, knock yourself out, it has zero bearing on me whatsoever — in short, I have not bothered to offer any advice to you here, so I cannot figure out why you have imagined that I might have. Also, if you are going to try to quote me, then at least get it straight — not just what you have wrongly believed that I have stated — or do not bother. It would be unfortunate if making untrue statements were to become a habit. I merely take issue when I notice oblivious and potentially slighting statements regarding something or someone — in this case, Wetmore and the job he has done — which I believe is due sincere respect.

  • #14139

    randys
    Member

    magpie,

    After a quick scan of the book I found an account of a track workout where Wetmore is handing out HRM’s to most of the team. It includes accounts of discussions with runners about HR ranges he expects the runners to hit.

    If you are interested in who participated in this workout (essentially the whole team, but many people are named) see page 56 of the Chris Lears book. I assume some of them have told you that this is an inaccurate account?

    If this is an inaccurate description of what happened then please enlighten me. What evidence is there that this is not accurate?

    Has Wetmore spoken out against this account? I do not want to ‘gain the reputation of being a liar’ so if you could present the evidence you claim exists I will be sure to revise my future references to reflect the truth.

    Randy

  • #14140

    magpie
    Member

    Simply incredible. Do you normally have such a major problem with honesty and confronting/handling your own mistakes? How weaseling and/or obtuse must one be to be unable to fully realize and admit that

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it is at Colorado under Wetmore.

    carries a significantly different meaning than

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it has been at Colorado under Wetmore.

    or

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it was at one time at Colorado under Wetmore.

    or

    It seems to be a part of at least some college programs too. At least it used to be at Colorado under Wetmore.

    ?

    If you had chosen to use either of the final three as your statement, then it would have actually been true and I could not take issue with it. Fact of the matter is, whether you have the wherewithal to own up to it or not, you only know what was true in an account of an instance from 1998, not what is true today. Should I be surprised by this continued refusal to face the truth? Your statement indicated in no uncertain terms that you were commenting on the current training methods of Wetmore’s runners at CU. I know that I have made it perfectly clear that I meant the present. You learned what you know from what you read in a book that is an embellished historical record. Since you have referred to nothing besides that then it is apparent that you have never been to a workout at Potts field or Buffalo Ranch while the CU runners have been there, nor passed them on a long run out by the Rez or at the tank, nor have you socialized with any of the runners featured in that book or their associates, nor have you been in any other sort of position to personally observe them in their training or receive first-hand accounts regarding such. I have.

  • #14141

    Zeke
    Member

    …lying is wrong.

    I’m glad you learned your lesson, magpie.

  • #14142

    Double
    Member

    I could see running with a HRM. I have never been opposed to the idea that they could help. I’m more of a detriment to myself. I just put on the shoes and go. My complete lack of following warning signs and the laziness to do anything about them usually lays me up a couple times a year.

    I measure my resting heart rate when I arise first thing in the AM. It can be a good indicator of how tired I am. It is not an exact science, but it does mean something to me when I’m running high 3-4 days in a row. If I’m in the high 50’s then I usually good, but when it’s close to 70 I’m generally working to hard, or have finish a killer workout the day before.

    Right now, I’m going to hobble along until the Ice Age 50. Then I think I’m going to skip the 100 miler and maybe take a month off to get healed up. This way I can possibly ease into June and by August crank it up for a race somewhere.

    A HRM is a tool. I can’t fathom how it wouldn’t be usefull if used properly. That I don’t wear one doesn’t mean I’m opposed to the idea. In fact, if anyone knows where I can get one for a song (I’m cheap by nature) I may experiment with one myself.

  • #14143

    magpie
    Member
    Double wrote:
    In fact, if anyone knows where I can get one for a song (I’m cheap by nature) I may experiment with one myself.

    I got one you could have por gratis — it is nothing fancy and you would have to replace the battery in the receiver/watch.

  • #14144

    Double
    Member

    Mags,

    Check for an email on the HRM

    Double

  • #14145

    magpie
    Member

    Gotcha, DD.

    Zeke wrote:
    I’m glad you learned your lesson, magpie.

    If only you would learn yours. I can certainly understand, though – there was a phase in the past where I gladly associated with the likes of LetUsRun in all its toothless, feckless inanity, too. 😛

    And to clear up one more misconception:

    RandyS wrote:
    Also based on the account in this book I would not be suprised if the CU runners [are] wearing gps [watches] soon. In almost every chapter the runners know their exact split for every mile of every training run. They know this to the fraction of a second which implies they are wearing a runners watch. This also implies that someone must be measuring and marking all these routes.

    I consider this to be complete bunk, too. Quote/give page numbers that clearly exhibit this. I will go look it up and if I am wrong then I will have no problem at all admitting my error.

  • #14146

    randys
    Member

    magpie,

    I already posted a specific page number where it is clear the runners are recording splits with running watchs. The majority of chapters have this type of information so I thnk it is you that needs to demonstrate otherwise.

    In any event I want to thank you for offering several acceptable variations of my original statement and in offering support for what I said in the new form. Your endorsement of my position, given your involvment at CU, is especially valuable.

    I assume you object to my original statment because what ‘was’ true is no longer the case. Without your intimate knowledge of current CU activities I had no way of knowing that.

    I wonder how you reconcile the use of HRM, which you admitted took place at one time at CU based on your quote:

    If you had chosen to use either of the final three as your statement, then it would have actually been true and I could not take issue with it.

    with this statement:

    This is why I deem such devices which provide feedback that does not lead to improved performance to be ultimately useless for serious runners.

    Why would a team of serious runners, under a coach you have stated you respect, use a device that does not contribute to improved performance?

    Seems like either your statement is in error, or these are not considered serious runners, or coach Wetmore is wasting time on a device that does not contribute to improved performance.

    I believe the runners are ‘serious’ based on what they have acomplished, and I doubt a well respected coach would waste time and effort on something that has no value. I am left to conclude that your statement is untrue. Be careful magpie, you wouldn’t want people to think of you as a liar.

    Have a nice day.

    Randy

  • #14147

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    Ryan you have a decent understanding of the training principles but I doubt you have an understanding of the scientific reasons for what exactly is happening to your body just by feel. It is fine to develop your own plan by piecing together a training formula from what you feel is right about many different training philosophies. But to me that is like taking the longest route to the goal. Why not take the shortest route and know precisely where you are fitness-wise during every phase? To me, the longest route is absurd.

    Believe whatever you want. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I’ve done more studying of the science of running than most people out there. However, I also know when to separate science and lab results from real world experience. It’s nice to know why things work but it’s even more important to know what works. Based on a lot of research of what the best of the best do, including personally talking/running with some, there is no reason to believe HRM training works any better than running by feel and by pace.

  • #14148

    magpie
    Member
    RandyS wrote:
    I already posted a specific page number where it is clear the runners are recording splits with running [watches]. The majority of chapters have this type of information so I thnk it is you that needs to demonstrate otherwise.

    So then back up all your talk and point out more pages. You see when you make a claim, it is up to you to support it with specifics and evidence – any educated person should know that. Being a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society does not make your view right, nor does saying, “well, it looks flat!” constitute adequate proof. Your claim has been challenged and you have been asked to point to details which would support your contention. The burden of providing the proof is on the person who made the original claim. It is ridiculous, even idiotic, to expect anyone to prove a negative. Those times on that single previously cited page are for repeats, not splits on every run. I shall remind you of the claim you made:

    In almost every chapter the runners know their exact split for every mile of every training run.

    Being that there is more than one chapter, that means that much more than one page citation — in fact, it would take at least one per each of the more than 75 chapters — would be necessary to support the claim, though I would accept in the neighborhood of twenty pages where it can be found that in no uncertain the runners “know their exact split for every mile of every training run.” I read through the book last night and, lo and behold, saw nothing of the sort. I did see precise recorded times for the interval workouts, but not consistently for “every mile of every training run.” If I have missed something, then do point to specific examples and pages which support your belief. Should I be surprised if rather than defend your position in an adequate manner, you instead revert weasel-and-divert mode?

    In any event I want to thank you for offering several acceptable variations of my original statement and in offering support for what I said in the new form. Your endorsement of my position, given your involvment at CU, is especially valuable.

    And you are, of course, ever so welcome. I am sure that the last thing you would want to do is make misleading statements, even if those misleading statements happen to support an agenda. You see, if you had made the effort to do even some cursory further research, you would know that Wetmore is a coach whose methods are never static — he is always researching information and revising what he includes and what he excludes — nor are they uniform for every runner – i.e. he will have different runners on the same team doing different things in training, as evidenced by him not issuing him heart rate monitors to all of his top runners in that noted workout, let alone the whole team.

    I assume you object to my original statment because what ‘was’ true is no longer the case. Without your intimate knowledge of current CU activities I had no way of knowing that.

    Precisely, which is why claiming that something done in one instance nearly five years ago — even in the workout, he tells them to run by time, not heart rate — should not be assumed to be the case today, especially with a coach like Wetmore, whose methods are ever evolving.

    Why would a team of serious runners, under a coach you have stated you respect, use a device that does not contribute to improved performance?

    This can easily be explained by another Wetmore anecdote. He once was asked if he has his runners lift weights and why. His answer was that he does and that while he was unsure of the efficacy of lifting weights for distance runners — and was, in fact, unconvinced that it did help any — he would be damned if he left any stone unturned. Knowing what I know, my own estimation is that is precisely why he broke out the heart rate monitors that one time early in the season, because he did not want to ignore any potentially useful facet, even if in the end it turned out to have no positive effect. He and his runners have the relative luxury of throwing a bucketful of ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. I do know this, I have never seen a single CU runner (or post-collegian) sporting a HRM on any training run or workout I have seen them in — and this is not something that would have escaped my notice. Take that for whatever it is worth. If you have insider information that they still break out the heart rate monitors for the same early-season AT workout to this day, then I would be open to considering that. To claim so without definite knowledge, considering that Wetmore’s training is not absolutely the same year after year, is an assumption, at best, and misleading.

    Seems like either your statement is in error, or these are not considered serious runners, or coach Wetmore is wasting time on a device that does not contribute to improved performance.

    And it would not be the first time that Wetmore would have done so, nor the last. On the same token, Wetmore also knows what is most important and does not question the efficacy of it. When Shannon Butler, former NCAA 10,000m champion, approached Wetmore not long ago to ask if he would coach him on his post-collegiate comeback, Wetmore’s advice to him was: ‘run 100 miles a week for a year and then come back and ask me again.’ Damn that Wetmore for offering advice which a razor-sharp mind such as yours would deem ‘hardly advice.’

    I believe the runners are ‘serious’ based on what they have acomplished, and I doubt a well respected coach would waste time and effort on something that has no value.

    Then, once again, you would be mistaken.

    I am left to conclude that your statement is untrue. Be careful magpie, you wouldn’t want people to think of you as a liar.

    Unfortunately, your conclusion is just as uneducated as the others. No, I would not care to give the impression of being a liar nor would I wish to cultivate a reputation for making uninformed statements. I guess not everyone shares that view.

    😆

  • #14149

    magpie
    Member
    danm wrote:
    It is fine to develop your own plan by piecing together a training formula from what you feel is right about many different training philosophies. But to me that is like taking the longest route to the goal. Why not take the shortest route and know precisely where you are fitness-wise during every phase? To me, the longest route is absurd.

    I must be pretty simple, too, because I cannot figure out this argument. What you are claiming, if I am understanding correctly, is that the best way to train is to check signs which may — may — be signals of training adaptions and then with that information gaze at tea leaves while sniffing cinnamon or something to determine alterations to the training? Or does it mean that the best way to train is still the same Lydiardesque way, but with the ability to track signs which again may — may — indicate the desired adaptions to training? Should this apply to all those who already do know precisely where they are fitness-wise during every phase without looking at heart rate or blood lactate or toenail fungus levels or aura reading? How to measure readiness for kung-fu tournament?

    So, this technology has been around for at least ten years now, right? Where are the numbers of sub-2:20, sub-2:30, sub-2:40, sub-2:50, etc. marathoners to rival those of the glorious 80s, when runners did not have such wonderful, supposedly dramatically-route-shortening technology and were forced to take the “longest route” yet were still able to easily and consistently outperform you? To me, thinking that anyone is actually taking the “longest route” when they have the background and education level in the sport of someone like Ryan is most absurd — about as absurd as dupes who go around with the belief that they have invented a better wheel or have found secret shortcuts.

    😆

  • #14150

    danm
    Member

    Ryan, I am not discounting your knowledge of the science of the sport but yours (or anyone’s) ability to guage it my feel. Feel is an imperfect, subjective science.

    Don’t get me wrong (again), more people have had success with and will continue to have success going by feel. But if you had a tool to measure, precisely, what is occuring scientifically, and you had a coach who could interpret, precisely, what is happening at any point in the training phases, who wouldn’t want to use that tool? Especially if their main objective was to get better.

    I see going by feel as a method that is based more on luck and guessing.

    I feel a tool, coupled with a coach who can evaluate the results of the tool would be a more precise way toward faster times with less “experimenting.”

    By the way, on my quest towards success in speed skating, I was a category 2 bike racer. Cyclists train their aerobic systems and anerobic systems almost exactly like a long distance runner. There are long rides, intervals, tempos, fartleks, hill work, speed work, strength training not to mention the other facet which is much more important for cycling that in running such as; saddle height, bike geometry, wind resistance/drag/body position, pedaling cadence/motion. If Lance didn’t have access to the best coaches and science regarding the sport he would not have had the success he has today. Lance would be a great cyclist no matter how you slice and dice it but if you have ever watched OLN and seen what he goes through in such things as wind tunnel testing to acheive the absolute greatest aerodynamic position on a bike you would understand how science plays such a huge role in his success.

    He is a HRM disciple. Why leave it to luck!

    Dan

  • #14151

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    Ryan, I am not discounting your knowledge of the science of the sport but yours (or anyone’s) ability to guage it my feel. Feel is an imperfect, subjective science.

    As magpie referred to, so is heart rate measurement.

    danm wrote:
    Don’t get me wrong (again), more people have had success with and will continue to have success going by feel. But if you had a tool to measure, precisely, what is occuring scientifically, and you had a coach who could interpret, precisely, what is happening at any point in the training phases, who wouldn’t want to use that tool? Especially if their main objective was to get better.

    My first reaction was to ask you how knowing “precisely” where you are at any moment helps you become faster. However, I then realized that I know just as “precisely” where I am at any moment simply by monitoring my body’s signals and occasionally timing workouts and/or races.

    danm wrote:
    I see going by feel as a method that is based more on luck and guessing.

    And I see going by feel/time as a method that is based more on real world variables, as do a number of high level coaches and athletes.

    danm wrote:
    I feel a tool, coupled with a coach who can evaluate the results of the tool would be a more precise way toward faster times with less “experimenting.”

    And I feel a body’s signals are the best tools for this job, again as do a number of high level coaches and athletes. Notice a pattern here? If so, it’s because I base my beliefs heavily upon what those who have proven to know the most about the sport believe.

    danm wrote:
    By the way, on my quest towards success in speed skating, I was a category 2 bike racer. Cyclists train their aerobic systems and anerobic systems almost exactly like a long distance runner. There are long rides, intervals, tempos, fartleks, hill work, speed work, strength training not to mention the other facet which is much more important for cycling that in running such as; saddle height, bike geometry, wind resistance/drag/body position, pedaling cadence/motion. If Lance didn’t have access to the best coaches and science regarding the sport he would not have had the success he has today. Lance would be a great cyclist no matter how you slice and dice it but if you have ever watched OLN and seen what he goes through in such things as wind tunnel testing to acheive the absolute greatest aerodynamic position on a bike you would understand how science plays such a huge role in his success.

    Are you trying to prove my point for me? You just showed how science can be used in cycling that is an unrealistic application for running as well as some of the variables in cycling that are much different, if they exist at all, in running. You also forgot to mention many of the training differences between running and cycling, such as the fact that one can recover faster in cycling because cyclists don’t have to worry about the high impact factors of the sport.

    FWIW, I think it’s fair that you know you’re having this discussion with someone who has tried HRMs in the past. It’s not like I’m coming into this discussion not knowing both sides of the equation. I found the HRM to be useless and, at times, limiting.

  • #14152

    Jeff
    Member

    Article about the Oregon Project. Interesting that it’s titled “Project puts the U.S. back into Running”. By whose standards I wonder?

    http://www.registerguard.com/news/2003/06/03/e1.sp.Salazarproject.0603.html

    It’s from June of 2003. But it talks a little about the technology that they are using and what Salazar thinks about it.

    Here’s a snippet:

    What Salazar and company know now increasingly involves the use of computer-aided training methods. Oregon Project runners regularly have their blood analyzed for lactic acid and red blood cell count. They live in a house that has four sealed rooms that simulate life at 12,000 feet. And they use a treadmill and a breathing tube to measure their oxygen consumption.

    Jeff

  • #14153

    danm
    Member

    And amazingly Dan Browne has an HRM strapped on his chest…

    what do they know that the rest of us don’t? Guess we’ll just have to keep trying new things until the clock strikes 12!

    Thanks Jeff

  • #14154

    Jeff
    Member

    From the article:

    “In track, in the 5,000 or 10,000, the Africans are so fast and dominant, it’s very hard to break in at the medal level,” Browne said. “But in the marathon, there’s just some neat opportunities, that if you can get yourself to a certain level of fitness, on that given day you can do what Bill Rogers and Frank Shorter and Alberto did.”

    That’s a pretty big IF, isn’t it?

    JEff

  • #14155

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    danm wrote:
    And amazingly Dan Browne has an HRM strapped on his chest…

    what do they know that the rest of us don’t? Guess we’ll just have to keep trying new things until the clock strikes 12!

    Thanks Jeff

    Apparently not much, considering the fact that the Oregon Project started with five hand picked individuals with tons of potential and you only saw one of them even running in the Olympic Trials. Browne has done nothing but continue the progression curve he was on before joining this group. The other four have fallen off the progression curves they were on. At best, a 20% success rate. One could argue even worse. Compare that to the Hansons, for whom one of the Oregon Project runners left because he felt he had progressed beyond their top runner and now has been passed by a few of them (it hurts me to say that as he is a friend of mine but it is the truth), which is truly developing top American runners from second-tier college grads. The most amazing part is that the Hansons are killing the Oregon Project in terms of actually developing runners and doing so with a dearth of technology.

    What do the Hansons know that the rest of us don’t? Guess we’ll just have to keep trying new things until the clock strikes 12!

  • #14156

    Jeff
    Member

    Two different styles? Sure sounds like it.

    ”To be a good runner takes a long-term investment and we live in a country of instant gratification. It takes eight years to get a distance runner at the level they need to be.” –Kieth Hanson, Hanson Distance Project

    “If we compete against some of the naturally talented athletes that we’re going up against, we felt we had to train athletes smarter than we ever have,” Salazar said. “There’s no doubt that the African athletes, particularly, are the greatest distance runners in the world, and to compete against them we feel we’ve got to train as smartly as possible – basically not leave any stone unturned in trying to develop athletes.”

    – – Alberto Salazar, Nike Oregon Project referring to new technology.

    I don’t know what style is better but since I’ve been doing some reading on both projects, it seems that the Hanson Project is making more progress.

    I foud it interesting that the article that I posted a link to states that Dan Browne was produced by the Oregon Project. I don’t quite see it that way. From what I gather is that Browne already had great ability and he just continued to progress that ability and would have regardless if he would have joined the OP or not.

    Anyhow, I’m finding this topic very interesting. I’m doing more research on them too.

    JEff

  • #14157

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    Jeff wrote:
    I foud it interesting that the article that I posted a link to states that Dan Browne was produced by the Oregon Project. I don’t quite see it that way. From what I gather is that Browne already had great ability and he just continued to progress that ability and would have regardless if he would have joined the OP or not.

    This is precisely the point. When Browne joined the group, he was already a very good runner with a ton of potential. Anyone who doesn’t realize this doesn’t follow running that well. All he has done since joining the group is continue the progress that one would have expected to see him make before joining the group. Meanwhile, the other four (technically five) athletes have fallen short of what one would expect of them before joining the group. Sounds like a ringing endorsement for high tech training, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, the low tech Hansons group is showing that persistence and hard training pays off, regardless of how many high tech devices you employ.

  • #14158

    MothAudio
    Member

    I used a HRM for three years and found it puzzling. I consistently found myself running out of “zone”, regardless of workout or race. My max HR was 195 and I had real trouble running less than 140 bpm. And averaged 167bpm for a marathon. The HRM was most useful dialing in my LT pace and late in races, like the marathon, it was my “watchdog” making sure my HR didn’t drop under 160. It was helpful in monitoring my fitness or fatigue.

    The HRM was a very useful tool but after applying that knowledge I found myself relying on it less and less in daily training. Though I usually used it for LT workouts and races.

    Like the gentlemen who started this thread, I discovered that I need to run my marathon prep longs runs [last 2 months] faster then what was typically recommended. I also focused on my HR / condition and strenght by picking up the last 1-4 miles of those long runs. Running 2 minutes slower tham MRP is fine for building your base but since I wasn’t putting in more than 60mpw I needed to focus more on quality.

    The one often overlooked or just forgotton aspect of marathon training is the accumulative effect that one year has on the next. My first year back to wanting to run a quality marathon the long runs just killed me. And two years later I was running faster and longer, but the recovery was MUCH better. You can’t become a good runner in one year, it takes many years.

    MikE

  • #14159

    Zeke
    Member

    I used a HRM for three years and found it puzzling. I consistently found myself running out of “zone.”

    Well, if you’re consistently out of your zone, then you’re not using the monitor correctly. Especially in the early stages of using the monitor, you have to keep those easy runs very easy. I’d say within 8-12 weeks you’ll be running 60+ seconds per mile faster with the same HR.

    My max HR was 195 and I had real trouble running less than 140 bpm. And averaged 167bpm for a marathon. The HRM was most useful dialing in my LT pace and late in races, like the marathon, it was my “watchdog” making sure my HR didn’t drop under 160.

    My max HR is also around 195 and the lowest I go is 140-145. I’d probably average 170-175 for a marathon, 167 seems a little low. Also, if I wear my HRM for a race, it’s strictly for post-race info. I never look at it to provide feedback on pacing during the race, definitely not “late in races”.

    I’m not sure what you mean about “making sure my HR didn’t drop under 160”. If you’re averaging 167 for a race, why would you be dropping below 160? You should be cranking it up at the end.

  • #14160

    MothAudio
    Member

    Like another poster, I found that the HRM was counter-productive in that it had me running slower than I thought I should. I may be wrong about my average marathon HR. And I know that I’ve averaged higher, when I wasn’t in peak condition.

    I found the HRM to be effective in providing instant feedback, instead of waiting for mile splits I could maintain the proper effort late in the race when I was inclined to slow down. Actually, I was a bit surprized by my HR dropping as I assumed that it would rise as the effort increased. Just the opposite. It would only take a 10 second PM dropoff for that to happen and the HRM was helpful in making sure I pushed the pace. “Cranking it up” late in the race isn’t an ez thing to do. I would be very happy to just maintain my goal pace.

    Perhaps I wasn’t using my HRM correctly, but inspite of that I still found it a useful tool.

    MikE

  • #14161

    danm
    Member

    I think yo have hit on a good point. There aren’t many American coaches who are very familiar with HRM training and therefore most of the basic stuff you read out there is lacking in knowledge.

    Here is a case in point. My workout for Sunday was to be 1 hour and 45 minutes whereby 60 minutes in the middle were to be run at 155-160 HR. This is just below my LT. I took off running and as I warmed up I hit the 3rd mile in 6:34 and my HR was 133. I felt great but I knew from experience that this is a tell-tale sign of one of two things. I proceeded into the hour part and was cranking along at 6:05-10 pace. Like I said, I felt good but could not get my HR up to what is usually a very easy range for me to hit (my maxHR is 183).

    I finished the run and wrote an email to my coach. He immediately confirmed for me exactly what I had thought. I was suffering from low glycogen levels. I had put in quite a few hard days over the past week.

    Here is where the runner who lacks knowledge like this gets it wrong. Even though I felt great for the workout, the HRM told me something was wrong. Typically, another runner would see this as a good sign and hammer again over the next few days thinking they had just made a break through. This would actually take them in the opposite direction of where they wanted to go. I saw it as a warning sign that my body needed a few days of easy jogging and my coach, who has over 20 years of LT coaching and HRM use confirmed this.

    There is nothing that can give you better feedback than this. Had I gone “by feel” I would have been wondering why the next few workouts or even races would have FELT flat.

    Now I’ll be ready to rock and roll come Sunday’s race.

    Dan

  • #14162

    r-at-work
    Member

    from a mid-packer… even without a HRM I probably will never run faster than I should… but that’s not the point I want to make…

    when you discuss tools (HRM, GPS and even a stop watch) you have to think about how it relates to the physiology of the runner (talented or not).. is the runner in good condition, or is it talent carrying the load… talent only goes so far if the conditioning isn’t there…

    so the idea is that you want to use the tools to access conditioning throughout the training cylce to see if the runner is progressing… trainning ‘by feel’ would work fine IF the runner knows what he is feeling… before you laugh at that even a lowly midpacker (me) discovered that ‘perceived effort’ may not correlate with the physiology…

    In my case I haven’t learned to ‘push through’ some of those ‘perceived effort’ barriers (still working on it)… but for the elite runner I could imagine that the opposite might be true… is it possible that a runner who is very driven could believe he was capable of pushing through when he really was at his limit (because of his stage of training)… isn’t that the idea behind taking your resting HR first thing in the morning?

    on the other hand I’m hoping to develop a better ‘feel’ since I’ve found that the HRM is distracting, but that’s me… but I find a coach distracting and I’m signing up for this season anyway, I figure I NEED to be distracted from my comfort zone… I’m also hoping I’ll listen to the coach more than the HRM…but that’s another issue

  • #14163

    Zeke
    Member

    from a mid-packer… even without a HRM I probably will never run faster than I should

    Rat,

    I disagree with your statement. Do you think only elites or front of the packers run “too fast”? I have a friend who’s getting back into working out. She wants to do a triathlon and signed up with a coach. He put a HRM on her and she couldn’t figure out why she had to go so slow. I tried to explain the benefits of hard/easy. She was under the impression that if she was working out, it had to be painful.

    In my case I haven’t learned to ‘push through’ some of those ‘perceived effort’ barriers (still working on it)…

    I’m not sure if you “learn” to push through those barriers, at least not on a single run or race. It has more to do with improving your fitness. Like Wetmore says in Running with the Buffalos, it’s not like he’s looking for superhuman performances from his runners. He just wanted them to perform up to their fitness level.

    NOTE: I’m paraphrasing there, just so magpie doesn’t jump on every word I wrote and turn this back into an “I know the Colorado running scene better than anyone else” thread.

    …but for the elite runner I could imagine that the opposite might be true… is it possible that a runner who is very driven could believe he was capable of pushing through when he really was at his limit (because of his stage of training)… isn’t that the idea behind taking your resting HR first thing in the morning?

    I think one of the things that sets elite runners apart is their mental toughness. They probably don’t believe in limits (within reason) regarding what they are capable of pushing through.

    I’m not sure where resting HR came into the mix. I think a lot of people use their resting HR as a sign of increased stress.

    I figure I NEED to be distracted from my comfort zone.

    Like I mentioned above with my friend, NOT every run has to be out of your comfort zone.

  • #14164

    MothAudio
    Member

    Like I mentioned above with my friend, NOT every run has to be out of your comfort zone.

    I didn’t want to imply that. What I meant was that the recommended threshold for my easy runs was just too ez in my opinion. I agree that it’s just as important to know when to run ez as it is to run hard. Can’t do one without the other.

    Btw, the last couple of HRMs I used were Polars. Any recommendations for what is available now. Thanks.

    MikE

  • #14165

    danm
    Member

    I have the Polar S120 which is nice. Woody uses the S210. The difference is his has its own code so as to not interfere with others and a backlight.

    There are some cool GPS/HRM things out there too.

  • #14166

    Zeke
    Member
    MothAudio wrote:

    Like I mentioned above with my friend, NOT every run has to be out of your comfort zone.

    I didn’t want to imply that.

    MikE

    MikE,

    I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to my friend that I mentioned at the beginning of my post and it was in response to Rat’s post.

    I think Polar is still the market leader.

  • #14167

    magpie
    Member
    Zeke wrote:
    Like Wetmore says in Running with the Buffalos, it’s not like he’s looking for superhuman performances from his runners. He just wanted them to perform up to their fitness level.

    NOTE: [blah, blah, blah]

    I paraphrased, too. So long as you are not posting inaccurate, misleading statements in the interest of pushing an agenda, why would anyone object?

    Cannot get enough of the cheap shots, though, eh? Have at it, hope it helps you feel better about yourself. :mrgreen:

  • #14168

    Birkierunner
    Member

    Hello

    This is my first visit to this site after getting very tired of another site, so I am catching up on some discussions you folks may have already become tired of. I read on page 3 of this topic a statement by MothAudio that caught my attention and I might have a reasonable explanation (sorry I have to figure out the quote function):

    “I found the HRM to be effective in providing instant feedback, instead of waiting for mile splits I could maintain the proper effort late in the race when I was inclined to slow down. Actually, I was a bit surprized by my HR dropping as I assumed that it would rise as the effort increased. Just the opposite. It would only take a 10 second PM dropoff for that to happen and the HRM was helpful in making sure I pushed the pace. “Cranking it up” late in the race isn’t an ez thing to do. I would be very happy to just maintain my goal pace.”

    MothAudio, I was thinking that when you said your “effort increased” what was going on was that your body had begun to accumulate more lactate and you started to feel worse. Your body couldn’t keep up that pace due to the effects of lactate on your leg muscles and you were forced to run slower. This would translate into a lower HR even though you felt like you were working harder. The HRM allowed you figure out that you had to increase your effort even more to get back to the previous HR – which probably cause even more lactate to be produced.

    I’m not weighing in on the issues discussed in this thread. Just wanted to comment on Moths observation – whether I’m right or not is up to someone else to figure out. Anyway, I am experimenting with HRMs also and have not decide how much I will let it dominate my training. Right now I’m a low 2:50s marathoner (age 43) trying to break that darn 2:50 barrier, but my love for x-c ski racing may prevent me from putting in enough running/year to reach that more elusive goal of sub 2:40.

  • #14169

    MothAudio
    Member

    Brunner, welcome to the forum, like yourself I’m new here after becoming disillusioned with another site. As far as your HR theory, it’s been a while since I studied the HR subject in detail but you bring up an interesting point. After an injury I’m slowly re-building my level of running/fitness and not using a HRM. I’m not even using a watch either, just base building and fartlek right now.

    I may get another HRM down the road, but never run your pace. I’m 47 and just trying to run a 3:35 for Boston in 2007. MikE

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