In this episode of the A to Z Running Podcast, Zach and Andi and listener Q & A about intensity, changing plans, & easy efforts.
Stick around after that for the latest from the world of running.
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MAIN TOPIC: INTENSITY, CHANGING PLANS, & EASY EFFORTS
Today’s episode comes from questions you’ve sent into A to Z Running!
From Cathal (Ireland)
I’m a 50 yr old marathoner in Ireland who is usually nursing a niggle and straddling the injury line…aren’t we all!
Just wondering your thoughts on cross training…..specifically the elliptical. A lot of the top UK runners seem to be embracing it more and more… I know Charlotte Purdue did all of her second effort, on her double days on the ellip prior to her PR in London last year.
Also what are your thoughts on using it for intensity…. I normally do 1 session a week and do some M or HM pace intervals in my long run… typically 4x 1k, increasing to 4 x 4k.
I’m often nervous doing fast work again 3-4 days later and so am wondering on the effectiveness of doing threshold work at LTHR (2×20 for eg) as a substitute for the midweek faster work?…perhaps even on alternate weeks.
Follow up question:
One other small question (apologies if it’s already been answered) do you recommend super shoes on or off for long runs? On or off for tempo or speed work? If goal MP is 4:00/km would you recommend my MP efforts be slower if not in super shoes…..?
- XT: elliptical is great! When needed…
- XT: always a good choice for extra efforts/supplementing training
- XT: careful of replacing running with elliptical if not needed (less musculoskeletal stimulus)
- XT: for intensity? Recommend even less because now you’re talking a loss in muscle recruitment and neuromuscular stimulus in addition to musculoskeletal
- Intensity: not specifically your question, but if it’s risky for you to do fast work more often than 1x every 3-4 days, you’re going too hard
- Super shoes: off for regular training / on ONLY for race prep (getting the legs ready to handle long efforts in the shoes especially)
- Super shoes: only need to do a few weeks of 1-2 efforts/week in the shoes, better to have the efforts be comparable to race
- Note on pace: you know what I’m going to say next because you’re a listener… you’re too focused on precise paces and HR data.
- Pace-based training is less effective at building fitness
- Pace-based training is more likely to result in injury
- HR-based efforts are helpful for conditioning our intuition
- HR should not be the end-all goal (think: HR monitor is an external monitor of an internal function… learn to recognize it yourself and you don’t need the monitor)
From Pete (Michigan)
So when you are coming back from an injury and the original goal race is coming up soon…when/how do you make the call to defer/not run it? (Cough…Indy…)
- Depends on race distance…
- This one is a marathon: for marathon, you don’t want to run one if your body can’t handle the load
- For sure call it if you get 6 weeks out and you’re not able to run yet
- Want to be able to handle 2-3hr runs healthily for 2 weeks or more before the race
- If you’re not healthy enough to build up to 2-3hrs 2 weeks before, it’s too risky
From Becky (Georgia)
You’ve challenged me to try to build my musculoskeletal system and run aerobically prior to jumping into spring marathon training. The challenge I’m finding is that I run a hilly routes and I can’t make it up many of the hills without crossing heart rate zones/hearing my breath. Even at a walk—these hills are legit. 20 years of running experience tells me that hills are important and I don’t want to avoid them completely on my base training. How would you suggest navigating this challenge? Thanks so much for your consideration!
- Your intuition is good here!
- Hills are valuable and HR spikes on hills are inevitable
- One key reminder NEVER FORGET: effort is the goal, not pace, so expect to slow on substantial hills (even nearly to a walk depending on the hill)
- Side note: hills in base training need to be approached cautiously still because if strength is not yet built up…
From Paul (Michigan)
Question: (1 of 2)
When you talk about musculoskeletal training at an easy effort and being able to run 2:30 runs at an easy effort is it Zone 2 or Zone 3 running or both? I have continually been confused by “easy” because what feels “easy” ends up being Zone 3 which is defined as Aerobic by Garmin. Zone 2 being defined as Easy by Garmin seems unproductive and too easy. Thanks!
Question: (2 of 2)
AtoZrunning after I asked in the previous comment I searched and found your article on running with rhythm and found that ultimately helpful. Today I ran as best I could with Rhythm and what felt easy (16 miles @ 7:05-7:30 (7:13 avg)) and I experienced cardiac drift as is expected. The more specific question I have now is if I should break rhythm to prevent my heart rate from entering Zone 4 and ultimately Zone 5 even if effort, pace, and rhythm feel consistent from start to finish?
- First reminder with easy efforts: it’s highly relative depending on who is saying it
- Let’s define it: 50-70% of max effort
- Because of the large window, there is a range of tolerance
- Garmin HR zones: reference point is max HR
- Our definition of easy is reference to max effort for a duration
- In most instances, our def of easy is slower than easy zones relative to max HR
- Further: unproductive isn’t a term we use when running. All running is productive, it’s just a question of whether it is as effective/efficient as an alternative
- Easy long runs goal: first is musculoskeletal which means the degree of effort is largely irrelevant.
- Can you cover the distance at any effort without a problem? That’s goal #1
- The aerobic gains will come more easily when the structure is resilient
- The question about rhythm is the NEXT step in the process
WORLD OF RUNNING
- Andrew HM PR, 1st AG
- Sam ran 5k, took 2nd
- Kristi, Martha relay
#1. World Record in Berlin
- Many have claimed this race in Berlin to have the perfect marathoning conditions, 50s.
- Eluid Kipchoge broke his own world record in Berlin, lowering his own world record in the marathon- 2:01:09 hours
- Andamiak Belihu was with him through the sub-2 pace half marathon of 59:51.
- Kipchoge is now 32 seconds faster than the next-fastest human but he’s still 69 seconds away from sub-2:00:00.
- 1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) — 2:01:09 WORLD RECORD
- 2. Mark Korir (KEN) — 2:05:58
- 3. Tadu Abate (ETH) — 2:06:28
- 4. Andamiak Belihu (ETH) — 2:06:40
- 5. Abel Kipchumba (ETH) — 2:06:40
- 6. Limenih Getachew (ETH) — 2:07:07
- 7. Kenya Sonota (JPN) — 2:07:14
- 8. Tatsuya Maruyama (JPN) — 2:07:50
- 9. Kento Kikutani (JPN) — 2:07:56
- 10. Zablon Chumba (KEN) — 2:08:01
- DNF. Guye Adola (ETH)
- At 37 years, 324 days old, he is 216 days older than when Kenenisa Bekele set his 2:01:41 pb in Berlin in 2019.
- From Let’s Run
- k: 14:14
- 10k: 28:23 (14:09)
- 15k: 42:33 (14:10)
- 20k: 56:45 (14:12)
- Half: 59:51
- 25k: 1:11:08 (14:23)
- 30k: 1:25:40 (14:32)
- 35k: 1:40:10 (14:30)
- 40k: 1:54:53 (14:43)
- 42.2k: 2:01:09 (6:16 which is 14:16.5 5k pace)
- Kipchoge averaged 4:37.2 per mile and 14:21.4 per 5k for the entire race.
- On the women’s side there was a surprise winner with a MASSIVE breakthrough race.
- Tigist Assefa 2:15:37
- Course record
- Previous best was 2:34:01, which was her debut which she ran last march.
- She is an olympian at the 2016 Rio games in the 800m run and has clocked a sub-2.
- 4 women under 2:19!
- 1. Tigist Assefa (ETH) — 2:15:37
- 2. Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) — 2:18:00
- 3. Tigist Abayechew (ETH) — 2:18:03
- 4. Workenesh Edesa (ETH) — 2:18:51
- 5. Meseret Sisay Gola (ETH) — 2:20:58
- 6. Keira D’Amato (USA) — 2:21:48
- 7. Rika Kaseda (JPN) — 2:21:55
- 8. Ayuko Suzuki (JPN) — 2:22:02
- 9. Sayaka Sato (JPN) — 2:22:13
- 10. Vivian Chepkirui (KEN) — 2:22:21
- Keira D’Amato was the first American woman.
- Even though her run at Berlin was not a PB, it was still the 10th fastest time by an American woman in history.
- She went out in 69:27 but faded over the second half and wound up 6th in 2:21:48.
- 40-year-old Natasha Wodak broke Malindi Elmore‘s 2:24:50 Canadian record by running 2:23:12 but that only placed her 12th.
#2. Anna Dalton wins her first US Title
- Anna Dalton of Alaska won the US Half Marathon Trail Championships
- We had Anna on the show discussing how to run in adverse conditions.
- We don’t have a ton of information about the event.
#3. Marijuana stays on doping banned list; opiate tramadol added
- Athletes who use cannabis were consulted by WADA-appointed experts whose conclusions included that it was “against the spirit of sport,” the agency said.
- WADA also noted the high threshold level to register a positive test for THC which is “consistent with a significantly impaired athlete or a frequent user.”
- Positive tests for THC at races and events, though not in training, can therefore continue to trigger bans as short as one month.
- In a separate decision, the opiate tramadol will now be banned.
- Adverse side effects of tramadol are dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention, which may endanger other competitors.
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