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2014-02-24 10:34 AM

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Subject: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

We've all heard the "mostly easy, sometimes fast" philosophy when it comes to run training. Or, if not, now you have!

So - how do you determine what is "fast"?

Is it anything above a conversational pace?

Is it a certain deviation from your usual training pace/effort?

Is it HR based - Z3 and above?

Is it based off of McMillan or similar?

Is it any effort where you consciously try to run harder than usual?



2014-02-24 10:38 AM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

We've all heard the "mostly easy, sometimes fast" philosophy when it comes to run training. Or, if not, now you have!

So - how do you determine what is "fast"?

Is it anything above a conversational pace?

Is it a certain deviation from your usual training pace/effort?

Is it HR based - Z3 and above?

Is it based off of McMillan or similar?

Is it any effort where you consciously try to run harder than usual?




Depends on distance. You can do short distance speedwork, run a fast 5k, do a fast 8 miles etc.

I would think fast as described in the old saying is generally in that range that you're leaving little nothing on the table for the given distance. So for me assuming I'm rested, that's:

1. speed work on the track
2. A 20 minute high zone 3 low zone 4 5k
3. A sub 42 to 45 minute 10k
4. A sub 1 hour 8 miler
5. A sub 1:45 13 miles
2014-02-24 10:44 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Since following Matt Fitzgerald's plan for the marathon and utilizing the running portion of his Olympic plan on Training Peaks, I've been following PZI (pace zone index).  

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/using-pace-zone-index-(pzi)

It follows the same concept of Jack Daniels' VDOT (used by the McMillan calculator), but it specifies the "gray zones" that you want to stay out of when training.

For me Zone 6 is fast but I can hold it for a while (usually Fitz likes to build to a 2x20' workout using this zone).  Zones 8 I can clarify as fast.  Zone 10 is hard, but it has its place in training.



Edited by msteiner 2014-02-24 10:46 AM
2014-02-24 10:53 AM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
I base my times off McMillan, but that's with the caveat that I test often (at least every 6 weeks) and monitor HR regularly to validate the tests. If I find I'm able to comfortably hold a higher speed at a lower HR zone over a few sessions, I'll re-test and benchmark accordingly. For speed and hill work, I generally try to bury myself; if I'm running right on the edge of vomiting, I'm going hard enough. For long runs, I initially gauge pace on McMillan, but if I feel like it's even a *little* bit fast or uncomfortable, I go slower.

For testing I warm up for 1 mile, run a 5K all out, then repeat a day later. I use the average of the two as a trial.
2014-02-24 10:55 AM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by msteiner

Since following Matt Fitzgerald's plan for the marathon and utilizing the running portion of his Olympic plan on Training Peaks, I've been following PZI (pace zone index).  

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/using-pace-zone-index-(pzi)

It follows the same concept of Jack Daniels' VDOT (used by the McMillan calculator), but it specifies the "gray zones" that you want to stay out of when training.

For me Zone 6 is fast but I can hold it for a while (usually Fitz likes to build to a 2x20' workout using this zone).  Zones 8 I can clarify as fast.  Zone 10 is hard, but it has its place in training.

The link didn't work for me, but I found the page. If you Google Training Peaks Pace Zone Index, it's the first link.

Interesting concept, but I struggle with totally pace-based efforts. Effort level and pace don't always quite match up due to fatigue, weather, etc... 

Though, apparently, they're attempting to address that: "Extreme shifts in temperature or radically different footing will obviously affect your ability to train in paces that correlate correctly with your PZI. Similarly, running up and down hills will result in situations that make it difficult to prescribe proper intensity based on PZI. Training Peaks is actively working on Environmental Shift Factor™ and Altitude Normalized Pace™ algorithms to remedy these situations."

In Tucson, when it's 50 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon, that's a big enough shift to affect pace, for sure.

So, you consider, by those standards, Z6 and above to be "hard"?

2014-02-24 11:03 AM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Originally posted by msteiner

Since following Matt Fitzgerald's plan for the marathon and utilizing the running portion of his Olympic plan on Training Peaks, I've been following PZI (pace zone index).  

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/using-pace-zone-index-(pzi)

It follows the same concept of Jack Daniels' VDOT (used by the McMillan calculator), but it specifies the "gray zones" that you want to stay out of when training.

For me Zone 6 is fast but I can hold it for a while (usually Fitz likes to build to a 2x20' workout using this zone).  Zones 8 I can clarify as fast.  Zone 10 is hard, but it has its place in training.

The link didn't work for me, but I found the page. If you Google Training Peaks Pace Zone Index, it's the first link.

Interesting concept, but I struggle with totally pace-based efforts. Effort level and pace don't always quite match up due to fatigue, weather, etc... 

Though, apparently, they're attempting to address that: "Extreme shifts in temperature or radically different footing will obviously affect your ability to train in paces that correlate correctly with your PZI. Similarly, running up and down hills will result in situations that make it difficult to prescribe proper intensity based on PZI. Training Peaks is actively working on Environmental Shift Factor™ and Altitude Normalized Pace™ algorithms to remedy these situations."

In Tucson, when it's 50 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon, that's a big enough shift to affect pace, for sure.

So, you consider, by those standards, Z6 and above to be "hard"?

Yes.  Z6 is reserved for Tempo efforts and other threshold type workouts.  It's pretty close to what your 10K pace would be.  Z8 is a hair faster than your 5k pace.

I don't see much Z4 used at all in the Olympic tri plan, but in the marathon plan it was used as a "race sim" in your long run to get a better feel of what a marathon at race pace is.  That kind of running doesn't really have a place in short course.

Z2 gets used more for warmup and recovery run efforts.

Z3 is where most of the long run and foundation efforts get done.  The current plan I'm on has me running most of my time in Z2/3 with some running in Z6 and Z8.  This follows the "mostly easy, sometimes hard" mindset that people like to post about.



2014-02-24 11:07 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Stephen Seiler gave an interesting presentation that points to the base of "mostly easy sometimes hard"

http://www.canal-insep.fr/fr/training-periodization-deep-root-cultural-heritage-and-innovative-paradigms-2013/ei_13_10_va_pr_stephen_seiler-mov

The punchline is that across various sports elite athletes spent 80% of their training at "easy efforts" and 20% at "hard efforts".  Another study that was referenced in the presentation found that even for time limited athletes (i.e. people like us) also benefit from a similar approach.  

While reading "Racing Weight" I noticed that Matt Fitzgerald referenced Seiler's research, and I found looking back in my marathon plan (which was written by Fitzgerald) that my approach was very similar to what Seiler recommended in reference to training load.  While I did not reach my goal in the marathon, I did PR in my 10K by over 30s using a far easier training approach than I did the first time I broke 40s.  



Edited by msteiner 2014-02-24 11:09 AM
2014-02-24 12:02 PM
in reply to: fisherman76

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by fisherman76 I base my times off McMillan, but that's with the caveat that I test often (at least every 6 weeks) and monitor HR regularly to validate the tests. If I find I'm able to comfortably hold a higher speed at a lower HR zone over a few sessions, I'll re-test and benchmark accordingly. For speed and hill work, I generally try to bury myself; if I'm running right on the edge of vomiting, I'm going hard enough. For long runs, I initially gauge pace on McMillan, but if I feel like it's even a *little* bit fast or uncomfortable, I go slower. For testing I warm up for 1 mile, run a 5K all out, then repeat a day later. I use the average of the two as a trial.

Back to back all-out 5k's every 6 weeks? Ouch!

I guess if it works well & keeps you on track, it's all good though

2014-02-24 12:08 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
It works like a kick-a$$ tempo session, really. Realistically, if I feel like nothing has moved that much I'll skip a cycle and continue at the same paces. I've plateaued before for months before I felt a breakthrough.
2014-02-24 12:58 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by msteiner

Stephen Seiler gave an interesting presentation that points to the base of "mostly easy sometimes hard"

http://www.canal-insep.fr/fr/training-periodization-deep-root-cultural-heritage-and-innovative-paradigms-2013/ei_13_10_va_pr_stephen_seiler-mov

The punchline is that across various sports elite athletes spent 80% of their training at "easy efforts" and 20% at "hard efforts".  Another study that was referenced in the presentation found that even for time limited athletes (i.e. people like us) also benefit from a similar approach.  

While reading "Racing Weight" I noticed that Matt Fitzgerald referenced Seiler's research, and I found looking back in my marathon plan (which was written by Fitzgerald) that my approach was very similar to what Seiler recommended in reference to training load.  While I did not reach my goal in the marathon, I did PR in my 10K by over 30s using a far easier training approach than I did the first time I broke 40s.  

So, you'd consider fast to be anything above Z4 aka "10 percent slower than marathon race pace"?

Simplified - to you, fast in training is training at or below your marathon pace? If you'd run it in a race, it'd be fast in training?

Makes sense to me... but what I don't like about this definition is that my marathon PR (my ONLY marathon) is waaaay slower than it should be

2014-02-24 1:07 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

I use the Daniel's VDOT approach using current race times to dictate different training paces.

Training paces are pretty specific for training different "systems" and depends on the purpose of the workout. 



2014-02-24 1:16 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

My very loose and personal description of "fast" is anything 30k race pace and faster.  It's basically a pace I can run "sometimes" while still building good volume and not overdoing it.

IOW, I can't run 40-50% of my training miles at 30k race pace or faster.  I can run about 20% of my training miles that way.  I'm sure others are different...and as always...YMMV.

2014-02-24 1:22 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Originally posted by msteiner

Stephen Seiler gave an interesting presentation that points to the base of "mostly easy sometimes hard"

http://www.canal-insep.fr/fr/training-periodization-deep-root-cultural-heritage-and-innovative-paradigms-2013/ei_13_10_va_pr_stephen_seiler-mov

The punchline is that across various sports elite athletes spent 80% of their training at "easy efforts" and 20% at "hard efforts".  Another study that was referenced in the presentation found that even for time limited athletes (i.e. people like us) also benefit from a similar approach.  

While reading "Racing Weight" I noticed that Matt Fitzgerald referenced Seiler's research, and I found looking back in my marathon plan (which was written by Fitzgerald) that my approach was very similar to what Seiler recommended in reference to training load.  While I did not reach my goal in the marathon, I did PR in my 10K by over 30s using a far easier training approach than I did the first time I broke 40s.  

So, you'd consider fast to be anything above Z4 aka "10 percent slower than marathon race pace"?

Simplified - to you, fast in training is training at or below your marathon pace? If you'd run it in a race, it'd be fast in training?

Makes sense to me... but what I don't like about this definition is that my marathon PR (my ONLY marathon) is waaaay slower than it should be

Z4 actually between 10% slower than marathon pace to marathon pace.  Like I said before, when training for tris I spend zero time in this zone. 

For marathon training, Z4 could probably be considered fast, but in tri training I would consider Z6 and above fast.

As for the last point, my marathon PR is slower than it should be in theory as well, but marathons (for me anyway) are really, really hard to train.  My last full was early January, and my pacing was dang near perfect until the infamous mile 20 wall.

The fact that your PR is slower than it could be means that we're both probably missing something, and from what I've read the answer is probably not enough volume.

 



Edited by msteiner 2014-02-24 1:23 PM
2014-02-24 1:28 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by msteiner

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Originally posted by msteiner

Stephen Seiler gave an interesting presentation that points to the base of "mostly easy sometimes hard"

http://www.canal-insep.fr/fr/training-periodization-deep-root-cultural-heritage-and-innovative-paradigms-2013/ei_13_10_va_pr_stephen_seiler-mov

The punchline is that across various sports elite athletes spent 80% of their training at "easy efforts" and 20% at "hard efforts".  Another study that was referenced in the presentation found that even for time limited athletes (i.e. people like us) also benefit from a similar approach.  

While reading "Racing Weight" I noticed that Matt Fitzgerald referenced Seiler's research, and I found looking back in my marathon plan (which was written by Fitzgerald) that my approach was very similar to what Seiler recommended in reference to training load.  While I did not reach my goal in the marathon, I did PR in my 10K by over 30s using a far easier training approach than I did the first time I broke 40s.  

So, you'd consider fast to be anything above Z4 aka "10 percent slower than marathon race pace"?

Simplified - to you, fast in training is training at or below your marathon pace? If you'd run it in a race, it'd be fast in training?

Makes sense to me... but what I don't like about this definition is that my marathon PR (my ONLY marathon) is waaaay slower than it should be

Z4 actually between 10% slower than marathon pace to marathon pace.  Like I said before, when training for tris I spend zero time in this zone. 

For marathon training, Z4 could probably be considered fast, but in tri training I would consider Z6 and above fast.

As for the last point, my marathon PR is slower than it should be in theory as well, but marathons (for me anyway) are really, really hard to train.  My last full was early January, and my pacing was dang near perfect until the infamous mile 20 wall.

The fact that your PR is slower than it could be means that we're both probably missing something, and from what I've read the answer is probably not enough volume.

 

I 1000000% agree with that statement. 

My only marathon was ~12 weeks after a 70.3. The 70.3 was the "A" race, and I took a rest week, a build week, then did a 10 week plan averaging like 35mpw I think. I could probably dig up the numbers.

I know I could run it a lot faster with a longer focus and more of base going into marathon-specific training.

2014-02-24 1:36 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by Asalzwed

I use the Daniel's VDOT approach using current race times to dictate different training paces.

Training paces are pretty specific for training different "systems" and depends on the purpose of the workout. 

Using a 48:00 10k...

"Long/Easy" is in PZI Zone 3

"Marathon" is at the fast end of PZI Zone 4

"Threshold" is at the fast end of PZI Zone 6

"Interval" is 0:01 faster than PZI Zone 8

Lots of correlation between the two systems.

2014-02-24 1:40 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Originally posted by Asalzwed

I use the Daniel's VDOT approach using current race times to dictate different training paces.

Training paces are pretty specific for training different "systems" and depends on the purpose of the workout. 

Using a 48:00 10k...

"Long/Easy" is in PZI Zone 3

"Marathon" is at the fast end of PZI Zone 4

"Threshold" is at the fast end of PZI Zone 6

"Interval" is 0:01 faster than PZI Zone 8

Lots of correlation between the two systems.

That's not a coincidence.  "PZI represents a practical evolution of the principles developed by legendary running coach and author Jack Daniels. "

What PZI does is specifically categorize the paces outside of those zones as zones to be avoided while explaining why in a less technical way than JD does.



2014-02-24 1:54 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by Jason N

My very loose and personal description of "fast" is anything 30k race pace and faster.  It's basically a pace I can run "sometimes" while still building good volume and not overdoing it.

IOW, I can't run 40-50% of my training miles at 30k race pace or faster.  I can run about 20% of my training miles that way.  I'm sure others are different...and as always...YMMV.

Makes sense. Similar to the "less than marathon pace = fast" crowd.

2014-02-24 2:08 PM
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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

We've all heard the "mostly easy, sometimes fast" philosophy when it comes to run training. Or, if not, now you have!

So - how do you determine what is "fast"?

Is it anything above a conversational pace?

Is it a certain deviation from your usual training pace/effort?

Is it HR based - Z3 and above?

Is it based off of McMillan or similar?

Is it any effort where you consciously try to run harder than usual?




I think it would be more accurate as "mostly easy, sometimes hard"

For me, hard is a combination of pace and duration. During tougher workouts, I will run "hard", "threshold", "tempo".

Hard is for intervals, up to mile repeats. Depends on the interval length. I use McmIllan paces.
Threshold is between 10k-15k pace. McMillan calls it tempo
Tempo is close the HM pace. McMillan calls it Steady state.

Tempo for 40min is pretty hard.
Threshold for 25min is hard.
Multiple mile repeats is hard.
Doing Tempo or Threshold in the middle of a long run is fun.

Everything else is "easy"

Edited by marcag 2014-02-24 2:09 PM
2014-02-24 2:17 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

When I first started I was doing HR training, spending most of my time in Z2.

Over the last couple of years I've moved more towards a combination of  RPE and the McMillan calculators.

Most of my volume now is at a "long" pace as per McMillian.

I'll maybe do one tempo run per week, but most of my 'speed' work comes from doing more free-standing 5K's, about one a month or so.  I use a rolling average of my  most recent 5K times to periodically re-calculate my McMillan training times.

Mark

2014-02-24 3:48 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

We've all heard the "mostly easy, sometimes fast" philosophy when it comes to run training. Or, if not, now you have!

So - how do you determine what is "fast"?

Is it anything above a conversational pace?

Is it a certain deviation from your usual training pace/effort?

Is it HR based - Z3 and above?

Is it based off of McMillan or similar?

Is it any effort where you consciously try to run harder than usual?

I think it would be more accurate as "mostly easy, sometimes hard" For me, hard is a combination of pace and duration. During tougher workouts, I will run "hard", "threshold", "tempo". Hard is for intervals, up to mile repeats. Depends on the interval length. I use McmIllan paces. Threshold is between 10k-15k pace. McMillan calls it tempo Tempo is close the HM pace. McMillan calls it Steady state. Tempo for 40min is pretty hard. Threshold for 25min is hard. Multiple mile repeats is hard. Doing Tempo or Threshold in the middle of a long run is fun. Everything else is "easy"

Ah, these are some interesting callouts as well.

I definitely agree with the "mostly easy, sometimes hard." Because the terms fast and slow are totally different than easy and hard. Not to further complicate things...

2014-02-24 5:05 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Originally posted by msteiner

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Originally posted by msteiner

Stephen Seiler gave an interesting presentation that points to the base of "mostly easy sometimes hard"

http://www.canal-insep.fr/fr/training-periodization-deep-root-cultural-heritage-and-innovative-paradigms-2013/ei_13_10_va_pr_stephen_seiler-mov

The punchline is that across various sports elite athletes spent 80% of their training at "easy efforts" and 20% at "hard efforts".  Another study that was referenced in the presentation found that even for time limited athletes (i.e. people like us) also benefit from a similar approach.  

While reading "Racing Weight" I noticed that Matt Fitzgerald referenced Seiler's research, and I found looking back in my marathon plan (which was written by Fitzgerald) that my approach was very similar to what Seiler recommended in reference to training load.  While I did not reach my goal in the marathon, I did PR in my 10K by over 30s using a far easier training approach than I did the first time I broke 40s.  

So, you'd consider fast to be anything above Z4 aka "10 percent slower than marathon race pace"?

Simplified - to you, fast in training is training at or below your marathon pace? If you'd run it in a race, it'd be fast in training?

Makes sense to me... but what I don't like about this definition is that my marathon PR (my ONLY marathon) is waaaay slower than it should be

Z4 actually between 10% slower than marathon pace to marathon pace.  Like I said before, when training for tris I spend zero time in this zone. 

For marathon training, Z4 could probably be considered fast, but in tri training I would consider Z6 and above fast.

As for the last point, my marathon PR is slower than it should be in theory as well, but marathons (for me anyway) are really, really hard to train.  My last full was early January, and my pacing was dang near perfect until the infamous mile 20 wall.

The fact that your PR is slower than it could be means that we're both probably missing something, and from what I've read the answer is probably not enough volume.

 

And it's not just you

Additionally, there is a whole heck of a lot that can go wrong in 26.2 miles so it's very difficult to have a perfect race. Plus, it's not like you can just get back out there and do it again the next weekend like you can some distances. 



2014-02-24 8:39 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
I tend to rely on HR to gauge my efforts, and what counts as hard/fast varies, depending on my fitness level. Roughly speaking, hard/fast is something that I would need a couple of days to recover from. So when I'm in better shape, and can recover better, the definition of 'hard' changes.

HR values, approx.

180+: 5k-10k pace
170-175: HM pace; I can hit this in bike intervals, but don't do corresponding run efforts
160-165: M pace; it's rare that I would go beyond this in training
150-160: brisk steady run
140-150: comfortable steady
130-140: easy, recovery

The vast majority of my running is in the 140-160 range.
2014-02-25 6:41 AM
in reply to: colinphillips

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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?
I'm not very scientific. It's fast if it feels hard. I have used a HRM for tempo runs before and then I would say anything above Zone 2, sometimes even the upper end of Zone 2, but I just know what pace I can run different distances at. Anything below marathon pace is somewhat "hard" (i.e. harder than I would usually choose to go if just fun-running with no particular training goal in mind), so that would be "fast". Okay....what did you expect from someone who didn't bother with a watch for her first marathon, or, for that matter, first tri?
2014-02-25 8:18 AM
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Subject: RE: What do you consider "fast" running while training?

Out of the 5x I'm suppose to be running a week.  Typically only once "maybe" twice will I run "fast".  Now for instance this upcoming Saturday of nine miles I will run marathon pace that I want to hold.  Which means about a 7:00- 7:05 pace.  I know that's not "super hard effort for me" but, after 13 or so miles it starts to get a tad taxing..  Was doing speedwork on Tuesdays and Thursdays up until a few weeks ago but I typically will still run under 7 or so for a couple miles on Tuesdays here and there.  Otherwise it's typically zone 2-3.

 

Found this cool acapella of Radioactive this morninghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgS33TnYZI0



Edited by Bevie 2014-02-25 8:19 AM
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author : KevinKonczak
comments : 0
Off season training, nutrition, faster run, strength training, treadmill and more.
 
date : July 5, 2005
author : Michael Silva
comments : 1
I don't really strength train (because I never have and don't really know much about it) and feel like my lack of upper body strength is the reason why I'm not getting faster.
date : July 4, 2005
author : KenMierke
comments : 0
Despite what most runners and their coaches believe, technique plays an enormous role in sustained fast running.
 
date : December 12, 2004
author : econway
comments : 0
With my first triathlon scheduled for March, when should I start to worry/concentrate on getting faster? And how do I get faster?