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Thread: improving speed over distance without being a CC-head page

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    Bananabonobo's Avatar
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    improving speed over distance without being a CC-head

    I have a question about speed/distance training in running.

    Let me first say that I'm not a chronic cardio geek at all - my preferred methods of fitness are play (surfing and hiking and climbing and whatever) and daily bodyweight reps and/or high-intensity intervals (lovingly ripped off Bodyrock before it got skanky and annoying), peppered by very occasional running sprints. I used to be into CC - I ran a very slow marathon once (5:25) and the occasional 10k and half mara - but I was never fast; usually 10 minute miles over medium distances like 5 miles, and 11-minute miles afterward, are what I could expect from myself in those days. Since switching to a Primal approach, I've noticed my short distance speed is better -for example, in the sub-3 miles area, I can maintain a better pace. (I found this out by accident, as I don't go out and do tempo runs because of the CC fear.) I'm not planning to become a running addict because I like my current way of working out. (I'm injury-free, barefoot, and far more flexible than I was in my previous way of life.)

    However! I would REEEEEAALLLY like to improve my speed in a consistent way, so that should the urge ever strike me to do a race, I can do a race at a respectable (not winning! just respectable!) speed, over about 15 miles. My question to the court is whether there are Primal-friendly ways to do this. I've googled around a bit looking for speed training programs, and they've all made me just a bit leery with statements like "make speed training no more than 10% of your weekly mileage" (which would be daft for me, as my weekly mileage for running would be like 10 miles of relaxed for-the-hell-of-it-cos-it's-nice-out running). My justification for this not being chronic cardio would be that running for me usually counts as play, and being able to run a bit faster would enable me to improve other play activities like fooling around in the mountains.

    So how bout it? Is there a primal-friendly way to get myself to do 8:30/miles for 15 miles comfortably, without falling into the chronic cardio pitfall of stress, inflammation, and injury? I picked that number because one of my closest friends, whom I do a lot of mountain play with, can run that in a race without feeling terrible AND being primal, and I'd like to do more hill runs with her with a bit more speed maintained. Between the two of us, I'm the strong one and she is the fast one, and I would like to be equals.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    look into the book Paleo for Athletes and Run Less Run Faster. Interval training always helped me. I wish I could sustain my mean little sprint kick.
    Oh and check out Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run program. I'm a big fan. His theories make sense (you're able to sustain a faster pace b/c the rwr method is continually using different muscle groups)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    look into the book Paleo for Athletes and Run Less Run Faster. Interval training always helped me. I wish I could sustain my mean little sprint kick.
    Oh and check out Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run program. I'm a big fan. His theories make sense (you're able to sustain a faster pace b/c the rwr method is continually using different muscle groups)
    cheers... but anything specific? the book's not over here.

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    Sorry I have nothing to add re: the running.

    I just wanted to nod my head in agreement about the skankyness of Bodyrock.

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    I'm with you on this one and currently reading everything I can get my hands on from MDA and other sources. I just hit my 10 year mark in the Marines and I'm about finished with the stereotypical physical training that is being taught.

    But, on the plus side, I do see a heck of a lot of Vibrams in the gym nowadays (although I'm one of the only nuts I know that does the three mile fitness run for time in them). The Navy and Marine Corps have absolutely embraced them on that front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    look into the book Paleo for Athletes and Run Less Run Faster. Interval training always helped me. I wish I could sustain my mean little sprint kick.
    Oh and check out Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run program. I'm a big fan. His theories make sense (you're able to sustain a faster pace b/c the rwr method is continually using different muscle groups)
    And thanks for the recommendations! I will absolutely look into them and get back to the group.

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    Sorry, this is a bit boring and too long.
    I think, that 10 weekly miles will not lead to fast 15+ milers very soon...and 15M at 8:30/mile will not be primal anyway, but doing it rarely enough is not going hurt (permanently..).

    There is naturally variation per person, but for that goal you would need to add easy volume. Most runner-athletes (even for track distances 800m and up) do 70-80% of miles on easier aerobic pace and the rest faster.

    First one needs to build the aerobic base (e.g. lots of tiny capillary veins in muscles), relax walking/running under aerobic threshold (e.g. 140 bpm, HRM needed..), then when later gradually adding speed work (less during base training, more closer to the "race") the handling of lactic acid improves.
    If you skip the base build up and jump to hill work directly, training ends up to be "chronic cardio.
    Easiest exercises, removes lactic acid and improve you recovery..

    You would need plan with progression each week more distance, and longest run longer, with easier weeks and rest days in between. Try to have atleast 3 aerobic runs each lasting minimum 20 mins, 1 run getting longer and longer each week and max 1 speedwork/interwall a week.

    When the speed difference between short and long runs is big, then it's probably about aerobic base (which would allow faster break down of lactid acid). If you are happy with your 5k time it means you might have already good VO2max.
    There was some (danish ?) study made on distance runners and HIIT-training, with result, that just doing intervals, will reduce aerobic capacity.

    Food-vice normal paleo should be OK. But depends how wall fat-adapted runner you are, might need to add carbs up a bit.

    I made my first 1/2 marathon in 2 hours, by just training on speed work heart rates, ended up overtrained with very poor aerobic base. Then focused on doing easy aerobic like 95% of volume (~20 miles/week) and switch even to walk/runs and improved my time 15 mins for next years run.

    disclaimer: I'm just reading great books from Noakes, Maffetone etc..

    (HRM = Heart rate monitor)

  10. #10
    BenP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runningout View Post
    Sorry, this is a bit boring and too long.
    I think, that 10 weekly miles will not lead to fast 15+ milers very soon...and 15M at 8:30/mile will not be primal anyway, but doing it rarely enough is not going hurt (permanently..).

    There is naturally variation per person, but for that goal you would need to add easy volume. Most runner-athletes (even for track distances 800m and up) do 70-80% of miles on easier aerobic pace and the rest faster.

    First one needs to build the aerobic base (e.g. lots of tiny capillary veins in muscles), relax walking/running under aerobic threshold (e.g. 140 bpm, HRM needed..), then when later gradually adding speed work (less during base training, more closer to the "race") the handling of lactic acid improves.
    If you skip the base build up and jump to hill work directly, training ends up to be "chronic cardio.
    Easiest exercises, removes lactic acid and improve you recovery..

    You would need plan with progression each week more distance, and longest run longer, with easier weeks and rest days in between. Try to have atleast 3 aerobic runs each lasting minimum 20 mins, 1 run getting longer and longer each week and max 1 speedwork/interwall a week.

    When the speed difference between short and long runs is big, then it's probably about aerobic base (which would allow faster break down of lactid acid). If you are happy with your 5k time it means you might have already good VO2max.
    There was some (danish ?) study made on distance runners and HIIT-training, with result, that just doing intervals, will reduce aerobic capacity.

    Food-vice normal paleo should be OK. But depends how wall fat-adapted runner you are, might need to add carbs up a bit.

    I made my first 1/2 marathon in 2 hours, by just training on speed work heart rates, ended up overtrained with very poor aerobic base. Then focused on doing easy aerobic like 95% of volume (~20 miles/week) and switch even to walk/runs and improved my time 15 mins for next years run.

    disclaimer: I'm just reading great books from Noakes, Maffetone etc..

    (HRM = Heart rate monitor)

    +1 for what you've just written. This is my approach - probably a split of 90% low intensity stuff and 10% HIIT.

    The low intensity stuff, either running at or below MAF (for me 140-145bpm) or walking (I have a treadmill desk to help get this volume up), has also helped me get fat adapted pretty well so energy levels are great now and very consistent (i.e no peaking and troughing)

    I did a trail marathon along these lines last year in 4hrs (a friend did it in 3 1/2 hrs and he runs normal road marathons in sub 3 so it probably had a 40min or so handicap) so it clearly works well... Or at least I find it does...

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