...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.