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Boards Beginner Training By Debate

  • 15-02-2019 3:24pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭


    Don't know if this will take off but back in the old days in the time of the dinosaurs, this forum used to have boards training plans by debate. I see a ton of questions around here from beginners about what they should do this week or that and I think the first step is often the hardest in trying to understand why and what to do because you don't have any knowledge to draw on and piece together so it can be all a bit jumbled up. Might be a useful thought exercise for those who are newer to running all the way up to experienced runners and provide a useful resource to new runners who don't know where to start and where value is best attributed.

    This thread doesn't require a level of self-appointed expertise to chime in on, for someone who is completely new to running, anything written on a blank slate is valuable and anyone chipping in with a question as to why or doesn't clearly understand is more than welcome, any question worth asking is a question worth answering.

    What are the most the valuable aspects for a beginner to implement in training?

    1...
    2...
    3...as many as you want

    What are some myths/things to avoid as a beginner?

    1...
    2...
    3...as many as you want

    What do you look for when deciding on a training plan?

    Just some questions to get it started, ignore or expand on points if you want. If it takes off, it might be good to start other threads which would expand on intermediate and advanced plans where more nuance is added to the knowledge and experience on this thread


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    1. Run regularly. Know at the start of the week when you are going to run, and be prepared to run at those times. If you don't have a schedule, you end up missing days because you are stuck to the couch, and missing more days because you missed days, and every long break makes it harder to get back out. If you're not prepared to run, you end up missing your window because you can't find your shorts/leggings/ipod....

    2. Take it easy most of the time. Run at a comfortable pace, where you could hold a conversation, for almost all your runs. Try too hard and you get injured, or you get demotivated ("running is too hard!"), and you start missing runs.

    3. Go faster sometimes. Maybe a parkrun a couple of times a month. Or maybe once a week run some sort of intervals (pick specific parts of your run and run them faster than you could do the whole thing, and do the rest slower to recover).

    4. Run some races. Having a target to aim towards helps with motivation. (If you are worried about coming last, you can usually check the results of the race from the year before and see that there are people slower than you)

    5. Join a club. You don't have to be a certain standard, you don't have to go to all the training sessions. But if you can go to some sessions, you'll have people to do the faster runs with, people to go to races with, people you can meet for easy runs. Pretty much every club will have people of your standard, or people who used to be at your standard, remember what it was like, and will encourage you along.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer


    Avoid plunging straight into training for a marathon! Ideally you'll have a few years of running and have followed a training plan or two for shorter distance races before stepping up to the marathon distance.

    Don't worry too much about diet, runners, stretching, what elites do, and a lot of what you read online and hear from people (other than this thread I guess). Almost all improvements will be through boring, consistent running along the lines of what Ray suggested above.

    In the early days you will probably get some aches, pains and injuries through "overuse" (i.e. you are now using different parts of your body a lot more than you used to, and running puts a lot of stress on the body). Do keep an eye on these and don't make things worse by trying to run through them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭Shaque attack


    Agree with the above regarding running regularly and at a moderate pace. Didn't do either last year and abandoned running by March. This year I've 3 x as much as last year and feel much steadier on my feet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Don't put too much weight or emphasis on pace. Train by effort level instead.

    One week a particular pace will be easy, the next week it will feel hard. It's disheartening but it's normal.

    Dial it back when it feels hard, your body only understands effort.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 EobardThong


    Pace. If you feel you are running easy enough, you aren’t slow it down

    Training.If you think you run enough, you don’t run more (often)

    Length. If you think long runs are the only way to build endurance they arent, there are far more draw backs to long runs (excess of 10 miles) than benefits

    Stride.If you think have good running form you don’t work on running with good form and guidance from (good) coaches

    Base. If you think easy miles are the sole answer, it’s not you are setting yourself up for short term gains and a vicious cycle of plateauing and injury due excessive miles relative to your ability.

    Motivation. If this sounds like too much hard work. It is and the sport is probably not for you


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Can you expand on the Base bit. ^^


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 EobardThong


    Lazare wrote: »
    Can you expand on the Base bit. ^^

    You don’t chuck a beginner into a pool and tell them to swim length after length but yet everyone in running is sent on there merry way without being able to run even 800 metres efficiently

    Most people never learn how to run and these days Joe Bloggs has spent the last 15 years sitting on their a$$ in an office chair before they pick it up so.

    Running is a skill like anything yet no one takes the time to learn it we just keep adding volume to paper over the cracks


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    You don’t chuck a beginner into a pool and tell them to swim length after length but yet everyone in running is sent on there merry way without being able to run even 800 metres efficiently

    Most people never learn how to run and these days Joe Bloggs has spent the last 15 years sitting on their a$$ in an office chair before they pick it up so.

    Running is a skill like anything yet no one takes the time to learn it we just keep adding volume to paper over the cracks

    Joe Bloggs doesn't want to be a high performing athlete, usually.

    He doesn't care to learn how run 800m efficiently.

    If he did, where does he and the other 10,000 Joe Bloggs' go for running lessons?

    Given he is where he is, average plodder, hobby jogger, why is easy mileage a bad thing? Why will it set him up for plateauing and injury?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 EobardThong


    Lazare wrote: »
    You don’t chuck a beginner into a pool and tell them to swim length after length but yet everyone in running is sent on there merry way without being able to run even 800 metres efficiently

    Most people never learn how to run and these days Joe Bloggs has spent the last 15 years sitting on their a$ in an office chair before they pick it up so.

    Running is a skill like anything yet no one takes the time to learn it we just keep adding volume to paper over the cracks

    Joe Bloggs doesn't want to be a high performing athlete, usually.

    He doesn't care to learn how run 800m efficiently.

    If he did, where does he and the other 10,000 Joe Bloggs' go for running lessons?

    Given he is where he is, average plodder, hobby jogger, why is easy mileage a bad thing? Why will it set him up for plateauing and injury?

    800 wasn’t a reference to a race distance it was an arbitrary short distance to signify that form breaks down very early on in any run.

    People should learn to sprint as well as run (doing aimlessly does not equate to learning to run)

    People go through following routine

    Run inefficiently, too hard either due to effort or breakdown of form, don’t make the improvements they should for the amount of time they put in, work more to try and shore up this gap between work and reward and breakdown because there body can’t handle this extra work.

    You see it all the time people running +20 min for 5k despite putting in 40-50 mile mile weeks when they could probably be running a min or two quicker off 25-35mile weeks by putting in the foundation work they can then build mileage at later date spending less time on feet and keeping injury risk lower despite similar improvements


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    Probably a smaller sample size than you but everyone I'm aware of that's putting in 40+ mpw is performing well.

    Running is natural to homo sapiens, is it possible that form, economy and efficiency improve with repetition?

    People generally note improvement with increased mileage.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 EobardThong


    Lazare wrote: »
    Running is natural to homo sapiens, is it possible that form, economy and efficiency improve with repetition?

    People generally note improvement with increased mileage.

    Go down to local 10k and see how many actually run and look natural? We are a country of shufflers reporting of poor movement patterns won’t magically change said patterns

    People equate mileage increases with improvement because it’s easily quantifiable. And if someone running with poor form increases mileage they will see improvement to a point the problem is that poor form puts a low c idling in training capacity and performance ability.

    Anyway said my piece beginners probably won’t like what I have to say but if it gets through to one person it’s not a fruitless soundbite as most social media is about running training


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5 EobardThong


    Repitition of poor movement patterns*


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    We are where we are though. Maybe poor technique is endemic. With the numbers taking up the activity it's not possible to have a structure in place to teach it.

    Thing is though, most people, especially your Joe Bloggs, don't care enough. They just want to run, and improve.

    Your advice fits an 18 year old looking at the possibility of great things in athletics. It doesn't fit Joe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,415 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    You can’t argue that learning good technique is a good thing. One question asked above is: Where?

    I’ve been a club member for 4.5 years and have had a single lesson on form. That was by accident as I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The coaching was interesting but not sustained, and related mainly to a technique for finishing out a race: “pick ups”. Tbh I’ve forgotten most of it!

    Unless people have their own coaches, or ask to be coached by a busy club volunteer (as discussed in another thread), they are on their own, at least in the beginning.

    Good point though. You do see people with obvious weak form, or obviously heavy-footed technique, and fear for them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    Murph_D wrote: »
    You can’t argue that learning good technique is a good thing. One question asked above is: Where?

    I’ve been a club member for 4.5 years and have had a single lesson on form. That was by accident as I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The coaching was interesting but not sustained, and related mainly to a technique for finishing out a race: “pick ups”. Tbh I’ve forgotten most of it!

    Unless people have their own coaches, or ask to be coached by a busy club volunteer (as discussed in another thread), they are on their own, at least in the beginning.

    Good point though. You do see people with obvious weak form, or obviously heavy-footed technique, and fear for them.

    You can learn technique from the same place you learn about marathon training and marathon plans. Lots of people read books about running hundreds of miles in preparation for a 26 mile race and yet very few people read about more fundamental stuff like how to improve form on each and every step.

    I would strongly recommend Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. I wish I had bought it years ago. Science of Running by Steve Magness is decent as well.

    A few all-out 6-second hill sprints at the end of easy runs essentially force you to improve your form and have very little injury-risk.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    I think form and speed is undervalued. Race pace speedwork i.e running at 5k and 10k is the way a lot of people go when they hear speedwork, that's not really speedwork.

    If you don't have the resources available that beginners don't have, some forms of sprinting can accomplish form and sprint improvements. Short hill sprints lasting 10 seconds, 80m sprints to get started before anyone gets to the level where they have actual teachers.

    Might be getting too technical here for a beginners thread but that might be gone now so like the toothpaste analogy of easy runs squeezing endurance up from the bottom to get all of the potential out of the tube. Speed should be squeezed up too by starting at the bottom by teaching your body to sprint too and get the most out of it. Being able to sprint faster and more efficiently should complement your endurance to.

    If you look at the running calculators out there for example, If you run faster for 5k, you get a better potential marathon time, think how much difference a faster 200m time opens up your potential at the longer distance. In my opinion because that's all it is, it doesn't have to be all or nothing on the enduance side or speed/technical side. You can have a mix and sprint training doesn't have to detract from getting mileage in or vice versa.And that would probably be my one bit of advice to beginner runners about training.

    Forget about interval training or tempo's and all that jazz for now, work on getting runs in runs in consistently and increasing mileage gradually and if you want to do a workout, I'd recommend 5 or 6 short sprints on the flat or a hill after a run once or twice a week. You don't have to be breathing hard to increase your speed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    You could argue that running is a natural motion, but sitting down is not natural and we spend eight hours a day doing it, so our natural motion goes out the window.
    Most people don't have the opportunity to get coaching, but regular strides and hill sprints would do a lot to improve form.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    In terms of tips...

    Consistency is the most important thing.

    You don't have to run slowly all the time. You don't even have to run easy the whole time. But it's easier to be consistent if the level of effort or commitment is sustainable. That might mean starting out 2-3 days a week.

    Whatever you do, figure out what will motivate you to be consistent. You have to want to do what you're doing.

    Pay attention to your body.

    If you're enjoying running, join a club.

    Even if you can't make sessions (and loads can't), it'll give you more opportunities for running through club competitions, including cross-country running, track racing and other team competitions. The main benefit is the combined knowledge of hundreds of people of all ages (coaches, national champions, olympians) who've accumulated thousands of hours of experience on the journey you're setting out on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    In terms of debate, I do not think the advice for beginners to run easy the whole time is useful. Who would ever start running if that's all they could do?

    There is nothing wrong with interval sessions. You could design a programme for a beginner doing 20 miles over 3 days a week with 3 interval sessions and it would be better for them than running 20 miles slowly. The point is they have to be run at an appropriate pace.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    Sacksian wrote: »
    In terms of debate, I do not think the advice for beginners to run easy the whole time is useful. Who would ever start running if that's all they could do?

    There is nothing wrong with interval sessions. You could design a programme for a beginner doing 20 miles over 3 days a week with 3 interval sessions and it would be better for them than running 20 miles slowly. The point is they have to be run at an appropriate pace.

    Yeah, I agree that you could have them run a whole week of interval sessions and it might be better for them but it adds so much more complexity to the situation and how a workout is structured. Most people think of interval sessions as redlining workouts.They could do diagonals or fartleks and all that but the amount of info to process is huge when thinking about that with no knowledge to draw upon in manipulating workouts. A typical workout you see people doing when they first start is 3x2 miles at 10k pace, no one running 20mpw and new to running should be doing those imo and it always ends of being them workouts every week of the year. I find easy running quite enjoyable, as an 800/1500 runner, you probably find them horrible. We both have our bias here.

    I know we won't find a common ground here as we are on opposite sides of the quality vs quantity debate but surely we can agree that even beyond beginners, a proper base of aerobic type training and sprintwork is missing?

    Starting from a low fitness level and torching every run is probably the number one reason people quit in my opinion(running is too hard they say)and almost everyone who starts comes from the mindframe that runs have to be hammered to get benefit.

    I'm probably drifting way off point here and adding consfusion to a topic that's already going to be confusing for a new runner


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    El CabaIIo wrote: »
    Starting from a low fitness level and torching every run is probably the number one reason people quit in my opinion(running is too hard they say)and almost everyone who starts comes from the mindframe that runs have to be hammered to get benefit.

    I'm probably drifting way off point here and adding consfusion to a topic that's already going to be confusing for a new runner

    But "torching every run" applies whatever the run they set out to do. Intervals, like easy runs, have to be run at an appropriate pace. Problems occur when they're run too hard, as with easy runs.

    So, if you can convince people to run their easy runs easy, then you can do the same for intervals. And you can make intervals as easy as you like: can't get much simpler than 1min on/1min off. And that can be entirely aerobic too.

    By the way, I love easy running and I do my easy runs slower than anyone I know!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    Sacksian wrote: »
    But "torching every run" applies whatever the run they set out to do. Intervals, like easy runs, have to be run at an appropriate pace. Problems occur when they're run too hard, as with easy runs.

    So, if you can convince people to run their easy runs easy, then you can do the same for intervals. And you can make intervals as easy as you like: can't get much simpler than 1min on/1min off. And that can be entirely aerobic too.

    By the way, I love easy running and I do my easy runs slower than anyone I know!

    Fair enough, I think we both agree with eachother but are using different terms and maybe I'm pushing bare bones simplicity too much. When I said intervals, I was talking more about avoiding a lot race pace intervals rather than something like you are suggesting with the 1 on/1 off fartlek.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    Great idea for a thread.
    El CabaIIo wrote:
    What are the most the valuable aspects for a beginner to implement in training?

    I do agree that form is important but I don't necessarily agree that it should be something a beginner overly concerns themselves with starting off. Running sounds simple but it's anything but simple really. I think the most important thing for a beginner is keeping it simple, building the miles sensibly and get running as many days a week as possible. Keeping it easy to start and then start introducing some speedwork. I think once consistency is built then they should start worrying about supplementary stuff. Don't get me wrong. If someone is able for it and isn't confused by it all then for sure all the extra stuff up front would be great but more often than not I see beginners struggle with how they should structure their week without making things more complicated by talking to them about form, Drills etc.

    El CabaIIo wrote:
    What are some myths/things to avoid as a beginner?

    Avoid;

    Running too fast.

    Running too fast.

    Running too fast.

    Running pbs in every training run is counterproductive. Don't do it!

    Myths;

    You need the latest pair of Nike flyknit to run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 cumminsciaran


    I would consider myself a fairly new runner, I used to be competitive as a kid/teen with athletics and then played various sports up to my late 20's early 30's untill life got in the way. After a break due to family I am back trying to gain some form of fitness. I like to read about what I am doing and why I am doing it, this does not always translate into a structured routine/plan, and it also doesnt mean i understand it all either. But from some of the books I have read from the likes of Hanson, Higdon and Lydiard am I wrong in thinking that long slow runs in an aerobic state is your basic foundation to everything else? Enabeling the physiological changes needed to for your body cope with the demands that will be put on your body. Form will only be changed through coaching and practice but what good is form if you cant sustain it. Its all well and good debating which facet of running is more important (Form, LSR, speed work, strenght & conditiong, rest) but realistically there are a number of areas to be mastered to run well and they cant all be mastered overnight, it takes alot of dedication and work and people are only going to look into that much information after they have already started running for pleasure and find they like it and want to progress with it. People who take up running just want to run plain and simple. Personally i think if people firstly know the basics and dont over train themselves at the start which is what causes burnout and injury they will develope onto everything else.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    Part of the reason you find slower running emphasised is because it's often neglected - and for a while was purposely ignored. So, a lot of very talented runners just ran hard the whole time. But running slowly or easy is not an approach to training in itself and I can't think of any training approaches that call for people to run slowly or even easy the whole time and that don't involve some intervals.

    What you sometimes read about are guys who, even at the top level, were aerobically underdeveloped because their training was disproportionately anaerobic. These runners benefit from greater aerobic development. But, again, that's about balance.

    As with Lydiard, a lot of the longer runs in his plans were higher end aerobic efforts "near best aerobic effort". Where prescribed, easy running balanced steadier efforts.

    Similarly, race pace intervals were mentioned in a previous post too, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them either! Everything has its place. The problems arise when they're run too hard or when there's too much volume at a given intensity - the same problem beginners have with easy runs, long runs, mediums runs.

    The specific benefit of interval sessions is that they give you a much greater degree of control over your workout (rep pace, recovery time, total volume, etc), which is important for a beginner, who may not understand what terms like "too fast" or "too many" mean in practice.

    Here's a good overview of Lydiard's training from Steve Magness: https://www.scienceofrunning.com/2016/11/arthur-lydiard-the-father-of-modern-training.html?v=d2cb7bbc0d23

    And Magness on Interval training: https://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/02/interval-training-why-its-misunderstood.html?v=d2cb7bbc0d23

    You'll get good insight from reading training logs or talking to other athletes who have started from a similar background to yourself or are doing similar events, especially those who seem to be progressing year-on-year. Which is part of the reason clubs are a good idea as they give you an opportunity to talk to - and see (just as important!) - other runners.

    I think it's important for beginners to see training in practice, so that they can see how any of these ideas are actually applied and make a judgement on how they might apply them themselves.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    Sacksian wrote: »
    Part of the reason you find slower running emphasised is because it's often neglected - and for a while was purposely ignored. So, a lot of very talented runners just ran hard the whole time. But running slowly or easy is not an approach to training in itself and I can't think of any training approaches that call for people to run slowly or even easy the whole time and that don't involve some intervals.

    What you sometimes read about are guys who, even at the top level, were aerobically underdeveloped because their training was disproportionately anaerobic. These runners benefit from greater aerobic development. But, again, that's about balance.

    As with Lydiard, a lot of the longer runs in his plans were higher end aerobic efforts "near best aerobic effort". Where prescribed, easy running balanced steadier efforts.

    Similarly, race pace intervals were mentioned in a previous post too, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with them either! Everything has its place. The problems arise when they're run too hard or when there's too much volume at a given intensity - the same problem beginners have with easy runs, long runs, mediums runs.

    The specific benefit of interval sessions is that they give you a much greater degree of control over your workout (rep pace, recovery time, total volume, etc), which is important for a beginner, who may not understand what terms like "too fast" or "too many" mean in practice.

    Here's a good overview of Lydiard's training from Steve Magness: https://www.scienceofrunning.com/2016/11/arthur-lydiard-the-father-of-modern-training.html?v=d2cb7bbc0d23

    And Magness on Interval training: https://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/02/interval-training-why-its-misunderstood.html?v=d2cb7bbc0d23

    You'll get good insight from reading training logs or talking to other athletes who have started from a similar background to yourself or are doing similar events, especially those who seem to be progressing year-on-year. Which is part of the reason clubs are a good idea as they give you an opportunity to talk to - and see (just as important!) - other runners.

    I think it's important for beginners to see training in practice, so that they can see how any of these ideas are actually applied and make a judgement on how they might apply them themselves.

    They are brilliant articles that are a must read for everyone one and Lydiard type training is something everyone should start with in uderstanding the phases and overall structure but I know from my own experience that it took me years of research to slightly understand the difference in manipulation of workout paces, recovery and distance of reps and how it contributes in the energy system. You need to have a fairly good understanding of the energy systems to do that.

    For instance, If I put two workouts out there and asked which one was more anarobic and which was more aerobic?

    12x400m w/30sec recovery
    12x400m w/2min recovery

    Most even very experienced runners would pick the first as anaerobic when that's actually the most aerobic workout. It's counterintuitive stuff and I feel like it's information overload for a newer runner. Same when talking Lydiard phases, I know because I've been talking about phased training here for years and it gets a lot of resistance even though it's the foundation to all good modern training.

    Thiese were things something I was hoping we could go into on on the on Intermediate and advanced thread in the future as I was saying in my op. I think it's important to remember that we are a few years down the road and this stuff nd gained knowledge on it gradually. This is going from scratch beginner to coach level intricacies in 2 pages. I agree with you that being oversimplified sets up barriers and was something I always said here in the past but when there is no knowledge base to draw on, the very basics of training are hard enough to get across and for people to grasp and information overload is constant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    El CabaIIo wrote: »
    I agree with you that being oversimplified sets up barriers and was something I always said here in the past but when there is no knowledge base to draw on, the very basics of training are hard enough to get across and for people to grasp and information overload is constant

    EC - I bow to your superior knowledge of energy systems and coaching intricacies!! :D I only mentioned Lydiard to clarify how he used long slow running.

    But I'm trying to keep it as practical as possible. Which is why I suggested the 6s hill sprints for form or getting together with other runners to see how other people train. And that a beginner should run a range of paces - something intervals are good for.

    I think you might be misunderstanding my point about intervals. What I'm saying is that, practically, intervals may be simpler than saying to an absolute beginner to "run easy".

    "Easy", "too fast" and "too hard" are all relative terms, whereas an interval session can be designed with more absolute controls. In this way, they're a very basic way of keeping things under wraps for beginners (whatever the distance) without them doing too much or going too hard.

    I do think a thread like this needs concrete suggestions for a beginner beyond "run easy".

    I began running in my mid-30s with no real background in athletics training for a marathon doing two interval sessions (one which was probably anywhere between 3-10k or so pace and one which was closer to 16-30k pace) and a long-ish run handy enough every week.

    If I could change anything about my approach, which was more or less cobbled together from various workout-of-the-week articles, it would be to do shorter - not faster - intervals and break them up into sets to get more volume that way.

    I would also put more emphasis on time rather than distance (i.e. specified minutes instead of metres, miles, etc) for the interval durations e.g. 3min segments, rather than 600m or 800m.

    And I would only run the intervals at a pace that enabled me to jog the recoveries, as opposed to standing recoveries, and always finish faster than I started.

    But, otherwise, I found them very useful to get comfortable and economical running at a 'fast' pace so that when the marathon came along, it did feel like jogging, until the last 10k!

    So, that would be my recommendation for a beginner.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    Sacksian wrote: »
    EC - I bow to your superior knowledge of energy systems and coaching intricacies!! :D I only mentioned Lydiard to clarify how he used long slow running.

    But I'm trying to keep it as practical as possible. Which is why I suggested the 6s hill sprints for form or getting together with other runners to see how other people train. And that a beginner should run a range of paces - something intervals are good for.

    I think you might be misunderstanding my point about intervals. What I'm saying is that, practically, intervals may be simpler than saying to an absolute beginner to "run easy".

    "Easy", "too fast" and "too hard" are all relative terms, whereas an interval session can be designed with more absolute controls. In this way, they're a very basic way of keeping things under wraps for beginners (whatever the distance) without them doing too much or going too hard.

    I do think a thread like this needs concrete suggestions for a beginner beyond "run easy".

    I began running in my mid-30s with no real background in athletics training for a marathon doing two interval sessions (one which was probably anywhere between 3-10k or so pace and one which was closer to 16-30k pace) and a long-ish run handy enough every week.

    If I could change anything about my approach, which was more or less cobbled together from various workout-of-the-week articles, it would be to do shorter - not faster - intervals and break them up into sets to get more volume that way.

    I would also put more emphasis on time rather than distance (i.e. specified minutes instead of metres, miles, etc) for the interval durations e.g. 3min segments, rather than 600m or 800m.

    And I would only run the intervals at a pace that enabled me to jog the recoveries, as opposed to standing recoveries, and always finish faster than I started.

    But, otherwise, I found them very useful to get comfortable and economical running at a 'fast' pace so that when the marathon came along, it did feel like jogging, until the last 10k!

    So, that would be my recommendation for a beginner.

    Why do you always take backhanded shots at me in these threads? I'm being more than reasonable and open here and I find these threads to be the most frustrating where I know I know our ideas are close. You can bash me on theory here if you want but I'm talking from a place of experience too. In the 5k correlation thread, I got smashed for mentioning these pratical workouts and example weeks a perfectionist theorist who was disregarding form.


    8-12 second Hill sprints
    Strides
    100's &200's
    Flying 30's and 60"s

    And this training week which was regularly what I done. I was started with this kind of week as I was coming back from a long layoff and was unfit so focused on just building the volume up and running reguraly for two months.


    M: Easy
    T: 20 minute LT
    W: Easy
    T: Easy
    F: Off
    S: Long run
    S: Easy

    Which morphed into this after those 2 months when I was running 6/7 days a week.


    M: Easy
    T: Med long w/MP tempo of 40-60 minutes
    W: Easy
    T: LT tempo 25 mins
    F: Easy
    S: Long Run
    S: Easy w/6x8s hill sprints

    Cumalating in both a 5k/hm PB after 6 months of training from couch to race and an 8 minute drop in half marathon time from July to December.

    Its incoprated all pratically too and everything I learned or tried to learn was a result of trying to figure out my mistakes, it's not just theory, I ran the best I ever have off of that training and it's bueaty is in it's simplicity and repeatability and if I was going back to my beginner days, it's exactly what I would do now but first I'd work my way up to be able to run frequently and build the distance before I added the workouts just like Lydiard did with his runners, they didn't start out running alot of their runs steady, they built into it first by just completing the runs and volume.

    I think if you look at the plan I've outlined, you'll see our difference of opinion is miniscule.

    Out of interest, what kind of structure would you have in a week if you went back to your beginner days?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    Hi EC - sorry, I'm not having a go at you at all. It was just a joke - hence the smiley!

    Anyway, I was just trying to keep it simple in this thread, and all I'm saying is that intervals might even be simpler even than saying "run easy".

    I think I'd do the same as I did but with the modifications I suggested above. Maybe work up to 4-5 days a week over a few months. I don't think a beginner needs to run 5 or 6 days a week. I'm really only doing 6 consistently now.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 354 ✭✭El CabaIIo


    Sacksian wrote: »
    Hi EC - sorry, I'm not having a go at you at all. It was just a joke - hence the smiley!

    Anyway, I was just trying to keep it simple in this thread, and all I'm saying is that intervals might even be simpler even than saying "run easy".

    I think I'd do the same as I did but with the modifications I suggested above. Maybe work up to 4-5 days a week over a few months. I don't think a beginner needs to run 5 or 6 days a week. I'm really only doing 6 consistently now.

    I'm not saying that a beginner should do 6/7 days perse. Just that I think the focus should be on building frequency, volume and consistency in training before getting tricky with workouts. Here's the thoughts of a few renowned coaches on beginners and intermediate runners training.

    Luke Humpreys, coach of Hansons.
    "The beginner runner has very basic needs, and that is to improve endurance by covering ground. Their biggest obstacle will be the mileage itself, so with this group, my concerns are simple: As slow as you need to in order to run the entire distance. That may be two minutes per mile slower than marathon pace itself. That’s fine, I don’t care. I only care that you run conservatively enough that you can cover the distance. The more improved your fitness becomes, the faster these runs will naturally improve.

    Don’t make the first couple long runs on your schedule more difficult than need be. I see so many newbies go out and just start running marathon pace for their long run and end up cutting the run short. The common rationale is that, “If I can’t run it on a regular long run, then how will I do it for the race.” Well, simply, you shouldn’t because you are already fatigued from the rest of the week’s training. Also, physically what you can’t accomplish now, doesn’t mean you can’t in 2-3 months. You just have to be patient!"

    Renato Canova, widely renowned as one of the greatest coaches in history replying to average runners on letsrun
    "Gimpy, it sounds like you are not following correct training plan for best results. When I hear young athletes talk about training they do, I listen very closely to words. The words I hear from you are "tired", "injured", "confused", and "unhappy". You must listen to my words clearly my friend. The biggest problem that you have is you do things in wrong order. How do I know this? Very simple. The words you use to describe your training give me picture of your training plan. Yes it is true that I don't know exactly what training you do. But trust me Gimpy, you do things wrong way.
    Here is my advice. And other people give their advice, and you decide what you want to do. But as for Renato, here is my advice for Gimpy.
    Take summer months, June, July, and August. For 8 weeks you do three types of runs. Long easy runs, long steady runs, long medium runs. I make this very simple. You know what these paces are. It is time to be simple. Build your kilometers each week. Start with many long easy runs, then progress to some long steady and long medium runs. In July add 8x100 meters two times per week. In August you add tempo runs one time per week, maybe 8k - 10k runs, also it is important that you add hill fartlek workouts in August one time per week. Everything else is long easy, long steady, and long medium runs. This three month cycle is very simple and easy. Why does Renato write workout plan for me that is not extreme, and complicated, and the same as he writes for his world class athletes? My friend, the reason is that the answer to your problem is to get simple, not complicated. Too many young athletes try to copy Shaheen or Kwalia workout plan. This my friend is very stupid. You need simple plan. You have simple plan. Now do it and stay healthy. This is not science that is molecular, it is common sense training. Gimpy my friend, when you get to 13:00 for 5k then we talk about rocket science training. But for now my friend, this will help you stay healthy."

    Arthur Lydiard, one of greatest coaches in History wanted his runners to stay in Aerobic training for as long as they could with no anaerobic interval training(3 months minimum). His training philosophy is a bit old and Canova has improved on it by adding hill sprints and 200's etc but the message is clear.


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