New article: It’s Not Quality vs. Quantity

Welcome! Forums Running Forum New article: It’s Not Quality vs. Quantity

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 13 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #2181

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    It’s Not Quality vs. Quantity

    Also can be found in the menus under Training/Ryan’s Random Thoughts (you may need to clear your browser’s cache to see it in the menus there).

    I know the idea of discussing new articles when they are added to the site came up before. This is your chance.

  • #17505

    Ed 1
    Member

    I really liked the comparison to the race car – plain, simple and matter-of-fact. This made the authors point clearly. There are many components of a runner’s system involved in distance racing and all need to be in balance. I can hit a speed under a 5 minute mile pace – but not long enough to mean anything. It is all about maximizing my distance endurance at my maximum speed – balance.

  • #17506

    Bart
    Member

    I agree; for a runner to reach his or her potential a solid foundation of mileage and specialized/speed training are both important. I think many people concentrate on the speed workouts and not the foundation because they are always training for the next race. If a runner is racing three marathons, two half marathons, and a few shorter races in a year, there just isn’t enough time to recover and then build up the endurance before entering a 16-week training plan. Another reason that runners (including me) prefer the quality workouts is that we get addicted to our watches. It’s more fun (and it’s a confidence builder) to look at your watch and see that your average mile for your workout was 7:00, rather than running more miles at a slower pace.

    Ryan wrote:
    From the article: It may be the case if you’re doing more than your body can handle, likely in terms of running too fast but possibly in terms of running too far, on your recovery days.

    The above statement caught my eye. Occassionally I see in different running forums people say that they cut their mileage and do almost all quality workouts because they’ve been injured and feel that higher mileage will cause another injury. While I understand that each person and each injury is different, I’ve always felt that short, hard workouts were a greater injury risk than long, easy runs.

    Just my two cents,

    Bart

  • #17507

    stealthycat
    Member

    Very good artcile, thank you for posting.

    Bart wrote:
    I’ve always felt that short, hard workouts were a greater injury risk than long, easy runs. Bart

    Bart – I don’t consider myself a very experienced runner, but when I think in terms of a long easy that could be detrimental, I think of a long easy (sloppy) run where you are just slugging through the miles. If you are running a long easy which is well supported by your weekly base, and are able to maintain a decent pace (relative to your own fitness), as well as good form, it could only help your training in terms of endurance. Am I lost? 😕

    Just throwing thoughts out there. 🙂

  • #17508

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    Bart wrote:
    I’ve always felt that short, hard workouts were a greater injury risk than long, easy runs.

    I can’t agree more. People blame volume on injuries when, if you look at all the variables, they are frequently running way too fast on their easy days.

    stealthycat wrote:
    Bart – I don’t consider myself a very experienced runner, but when I think in terms of a long easy that could be detrimental, I think of a long easy (sloppy) run where you are just slugging through the miles. If you are running a long easy which is well supported by your weekly base, and are able to maintain a decent pace (relative to your own fitness), as well as good form, it could only help your training in terms of endurance. Am I lost?

    I think the most frequent problem is that people have a warped concept of what a “decent pace” is. I know some people who run races much slower than me but are not willing to run a single step as slow as I do some of my easy and base building runs. Also, consider the fact that Lydiard says don’t even worry about pace on many days. Just get out and log the miles. I recall a quote from him that said something about it is very possible to run too fast but it is not possible to run too slow. By running slower, you may not get quite as much benefit per unit of time running but you will not cause harm.

  • #17509

    stealthycat
    Member

    I think the most frequent problem is that people have a warped concept of what a “decent pace” is. I know some people who run races much slower than me but are not willing to run a single step as slow as I do some of my easy and base building runs. Also, consider the fact that Lydiard says don’t even worry about pace on many days. Just get out and log the miles. I recall a quote from him that said something about it is very possible to run too fast but it is not possible to run too slow. By running slower, you may not get quite as much benefit per unit of time running but you will not cause harm.

    Interesting. How slow are you talking? I try not to aim for a particular pace for my easy days, but try to keep it at an effort level that feels like I am doing something. My 5K race pace is around 7:10-7:15 (right now ;)) and my easy runs are usually between 8:30 and 9:45/mile…

  • #17510

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of 7:30 pace running. However, there are witnesses on this forum who would tell you I have no problem running 8:00-9:00 pace if that’s how the run develops.

  • #17511

    stealthycat
    Member
    Ryan wrote:
    Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of 7:30 pace running. However, there are witnesses on this forum who would tell you I have no problem running 8:00-9:00 pace if that’s how the run develops.

    Well, trying not to back track here, but I do think it is more about how you are feeling that day than any certain “pace” per se, as you don’t want to get yourself stuck at a certain pace forever. That said, I don’t mind running as the wether, terrain (or my body) allows pretty slowly, but I do like to make sure and be out there for a reason, not just “jogging” along all of the time if that makes any sense… (Although I am the first to admit that pretty much all of my running could be considered jogging at this point) On the flip side of that, I do want to be sufficiently recovered as to get the most out of my hard days (intervals, long runs, tempos)… Is that sounding wishy-washy? I’m trying to say I don’t mind running slow if need be… It seems to me that sometimes there is a fine line to find balance between running tired to improve and recovery… Am I wrong here?

  • #17512

    r-at-work
    Member

    very good article (on Q vs Q)… then I read the news article on Kipruto… “That is when he first became familiar with a proper training system, training three times a day”… obviously these are professionals… they don’t have to sit in an office 40 hours a week, shop, cook, clean, do laundry, drive the kids around, etc.

    I think the Q vs Q arguement is kinda like the chicken and the egg, you have to have some quantity in order to judge quality… with those truly gifted individuals we call the elite they seem to have both…

    the best we mortals (who have to do lots of other things every day) can hope for is the balance of Q&Q that keeps us not only injury free but improving… I continue to find that it is not only different for every person but different for each of us every year… and almost as important, and sort of understood in the idea of quantity, is consistancy

    my question is(and this is rhetorical), if you are not at 100% effort does that make it less quality? would that mean we should stop doing warmups & cool downs? obviously not.. I think the answer is to know WHAT the goal is for each run… I like the motto “plan the work and work the plan”

    -Rita

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