Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hmmm, let's see...

...I've averaged about 8 hours per week training over the last couple of weeks. And it took me 5 minutes to post my question on the blog yesterday. So, let's see...16 hours...5 minutes...well, it looks like I did spend more time training than trying to find the answer to my question. Oh, and I almost forgot. I already knew the answer to the question before I asked it. So, really it took no time away from training at all. So, I guess I'm in good company. Still, keep the ass-kicks coming, friend. They're always welcome. :) Oh, and who's looking for shortcuts in training? We should talk.

The subject from yesterday's post came up first for me last year during Katy Fit. As you know, USA Fit divides up into Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue based on your training pace or "ability." Of course, last year, I fit into the Red group, and rightly so, being not only a slowbee but a complete marathon noob. The USA Fit schedule includes hill work, interval training, and tempo runs. It was recommended, though, to the Red group that we not do ANY of the speedwork sessions because we would risk injury. I remember thinking that was odd. It was good advice for ME but what if there were Red group runners that had been running for a long time? And what about the "speedy" runners in the Yellow group who had been running for a very short time? Is it ok for them to do speedwork and risk injury? Didn't make any sense to me.

To me, the question of doing harder, more advanced workouts, increasing mileage, increasing the number of days per week you run is really a matter of ability. And that's what prompted me to ask the question. What is meant by ability? I'm of the thought that beginners (with some exceptions, of course), should concentrate on building up gradually, building both an aerobic base as well as strengthen their muscles, ligaments, and tendons. And I agree with most of the comments in the previous post that it has nothing to do with pace.

Dividing up into long run groups by pace is logistically necessary and frankly the best way to go. But to preclude a runner from doing a hill workout or pounding out some 800's, or to say that a runner should not participate in a more advanced training program, just because he or she is a 5:00+ marathoner makes no sense to me.

Pleae don't read into anything I've posted here. I'm not talking about any particular person or training program or Olympian. I'm just putting some ideas out there for discussion. Oh, and by the way, I waited until AFTER my 5 mile treadmill run this evening to post this. And this post took 10 minutes to nut out. My 5 miler took a little over an hour so I'm still safe. :)

Yesterday's topic was cross-posted to the RW forum if anyone wants to read the responses.


J~Mom said...

Good questions!

TX Runner Girl said...

Good food for thought Vic! Hey, I did the speedwork and hills during my 1st year with Houston Fit...many of us newbies did. It was the one and only year I didn't have injuries. Two years later, I went to the speedwork and hill sessions and I ended up with achilles tendonitis. :-)

jamoosh said...

I can't speak for Katy Fit, but Houston Fit does not necessarily condone speed work for noobs, but they also don't want to exclude a runner if he/she wants to do it.

I think the injury concern is valid, but I would like to perhaps see a little extra coaching for the nubies on how to do speed work properly.

As you probably know, speed work isn't about running sprints as fast as possible. This is exactly how people get injured because they think it's a race and do not understand that you pace yourself during speed work just like you would during a marathon.

Further, good/excellent form is very important during speed work and you have to be very aware as well.

I can honestly speak from experience because my last injury happened during speed work.

Houston Fit has several coaches who are excellent when it comes to Speed and Hill Workouts. They not only teach you how to do the workout properly, they impart a wealth of knowledge so you get great benefits from each session (other than aches and pains of course). There are also one or two Coaches that I avoid.

Anonymous said...

Vic,I will always be there to knock you down and pick you back up again.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your 8 hours a week of running for the last two weeks. At a 15 min/mile pace your have run 32 miles/week and exceeded your goals. This marathon is yours.

Anonymous said...

Come on Vic--where is your summary from this weekend?? NYC is just around the corner and some of us who didn't get in want to make sure you make the most of this gift. You are doing us a service by training hard for this esteemed race and are only (which I know is not true) doing us a disservice by not training as you should. No excuses. Get on it.