How to prep for shorter races

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    • #5850

      Hi all–

      I read this forum daily even if I rarely post as there is much to learn from those who post here (thank you Ryan for providing a great discussion forum).

      I started running in 2001 and really just ran not trying to do anything.  After a couple years, and a couple races, I ran a marathon and liked it and have concentrated only on that since.  I just ran 2:47:04 at CIM 10 days ago.

      For the first time since I've started running, I've wondered what I could do in shorter races like 5ks to 10ks and have decided to make 2007 about that (at least the first half but probably all of it).  Only problem is, I have no idea how to do it. 

      Here's the full background:  I'm 28, 5'9″ 155-160 pounds (though I'd like to be 150).  I will be around 4000 miles for 2006 so I can run high mileage.  My big workouts for marathon training have typically been long threshold workouts, hilly medium long runs, and a few vO2max thrown in.  I did maybe 6 vO2max workouts in 2006.

      I plan to spend Jan – Mid March working on my base.  And then spend the rest of March, April, May, and June racing and peaking.  Once I get the non-base stuff, I don't know exactly how I should train so I'm hoping this thread can be a good discussion of both philosophy and practical application so I can figure this stuff out for the shorter races.

      Thanks in advance everyone.

    • #22277

      I'm going to leave the advice to those in the know but I'm glad to hear you are looking at racing the shorter distances. It will be good for you & your running, a different type of training from the marathons, mentally & physically. 
      With your determination, dedication & tenacity you'll do well. 

    • #22278

      Nice time at the CIM!  Good day for a race, wasn't it?  In response to your inquiry, if you are coming off a marathon, your base should be in tact.  I would hate for your training to stagnate while you create a base that is aleady there.  Do you have a goal weekly mileage?  You must be around 80 right now.  Depending on your goal, that should be a sufficient base to begin working on a strong 5k time.  Is there a specfic 5k you have in mind.  It may be a little early to begin fine tuning for a race that is several months off.  That does not mean, however, that you can't throw mix in some workouts (hills, track, tempo or fartlek type) over the winter.  Run some hills to improve strength and form (remember how impotant running downhill is to your form and leg turnover rate)  I would also include tempo runs into your program.  They will keep your body accustomed to running fast, which extended periods of LSD may cause your body to forget.  Try to keep the tempo portion of these workouts between 10-20% slower your 1/2 marathon pace.  I could be wrong, but I would leave track and fartlek type workouts out of the plan until early spring to maximize the benefit for race season.

      It'll be interesting to hear what others have to say.  To me, it seems important to keep faster running in the program.

    • #22279

      Thanks for the response rehammes.

      I am not doing really anything but some short jogs between now and the new year.  I firmly believe that post marathon time is best spent letting the body and mind recover.  For now I won't be breaking 30-40 miles tops.  If I run 20 this week I'd be shocked.  After 4 weeks of pretty much nothing, I'll be ready mentally to get back to it.

      I'm set on following a Lydiardian plan.  I realize I could run pretty quickly right now, but that's not the point.  The point is to someday run the fastest I possibly can, and that means following periodized plan after periodized plan and not skimping on the base phase.

      Base does not mean LSD, I don't ever do LSD running.

      I've never heard of tempo pace being slower than half marathon pace, would you mind elaborating on what you mean?

    • #22280

      Your time from the CIM indicates to me that you are quite fast.  It looks like you ran pretty much even for both halves of the race although I can only assume that your half marathon race pace would be much closer to 6 flat.  If you want to do little more than build a base for the first months of the new year, I can't argue with that.  The only point I was trying to stress, and forgive me if I get sidetracked, is that is important to remind your body what it feels like to run fast.  While my suggestion of 10-20% slower than 1/2 pace may not be conventional, it certainly won't get in the way of your ultimate goal of a substantial base while keeping your form and stride sharp at the same time.  Using the new revised definition of the S in LSD (steady rather than slow), I think we all do an amount of LSD running as it is at the heart of building a base.  An extended period of that, and nothing but, I believe could harm the strength and endurance that you built in the previous year.

      I will have to admit that I am not at all familiar with Lydiard, even though he is often mentioned in this forum. 

      Personally, I have always had a hard time regaining focus after an extended rest period.  I'm sure there is a balance there, I just haven't found it yet.  I took my week off after the CIM, but I am trying to get my mileage back up as quickly as possible.  We'll see how it works out.  It does seem like you have a pretty good handle on what works for you.  Best of luck on the new distance!

    • #22281

      Personally, I think you're doing a wise thing by taking a bit of a break right now and planning to take some time to rebuild or extend your base. Of course, base training doesn't mean all slow. Tempo runs and fartlek runs should not be eliminated during base training. Also, denton brought up a good point about strides elsewhere (if you haven't seen it, let me know and I can offer a link).

      As for what to do, if you want to do true Lydiard, you could follow his advice for race prep training. Otherwise, the basic idea is that a shorter and faster race requires your focus to shift to shorter and faster workouts. That doesn't mean ignore tempo runs and other workouts you would do for marathon training but it means placing more focus on the VO2max and raw speed type workouts like 800-1200 repeats and 200-400 repeats.

      For both of you, here is a must read for anyone who wants to base their training on Lydiard's philosophy or anyone who simply wants to know more about his philosophy.

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