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|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 09 March 2011 17:34|
QUALITY VS QUALITY
I’ve always known that weekly mileage is a poor judge of fitness and training, but sometimes emotionally I forget this and use it as an easy benchmark to judge my training. I’ve described this to others in the past and heard it from others as well.
Let me share my experience that perhaps can help those runners putting in "dead miles" to shed light on a new perspective on training. Between 2011 and 2012, I went through 2 foot surgeries and one minor leg surgery. During this time I was literally forced to not run for weeks at a time. This was a big blow to me more emotionally than physically. Although I did realize my ignorance at the time. Once back on my feet, I felt behind and out of shape! Those mental demons! Distance was an issue with my foot. The only way for me to overcome this mind set of pulling back on mileage was to make my miles count! I did not exceed 16KM prior to my half marathon in Hawaii Feb. 2012. I must also confess, that I did cross training that also counted as well. I focused on biking hard for one hour each week, bringing my body to breathlessness - or as some of my runners well know - RTYP! Ask the veterans, they will share with you what that means! Training at Twist Sport Conditioning for 75 minutes of pure intensity - mostly anaerobic classes. This method of anaerobic conditioning has proven to assist distance runners in a very big way. Going to the start line with my brain asking me: Are you serious? You have not gone 21 KM in how long? Crazy! To my surprise I pulled off a great time and felt very strong at the finish. This was 3 weeks post leg surgery, only running 3 times in January! Prior I had been cross training with effort and pushing my runs with speed - Quality! Thinking this may have been a fluke - brain demons again! - I had to train the same for Around The Bay. My longest run was actually the half in Hawaii in Feb! I felt strong and was very pleased with my performance.
A lot of runners training for marathon or any distance above assess their running in terms of a weekly mileage. While it is very useful to record how far one runs in a session, how many miles one runs in a week etc, and while it often makes a lot of sense to aim for a specific mileage in certain circumstances (say, if one has never before run a marathon, or is aiming to tackle a first ultra etc), we tend to think that how many KM's a person runs each week is almost irrelevant. Obviously a person does need to do a reasonable amount of running to train for an ultra (so not say 10 miles a week or something), but just aiming for a specific mileage figure isn’t (or shouldn’t) be the point. One needs to look at :
1) The pace at which the miles are run, including the top speed in training and the average pace maintained
Let’s apply some of the factors we looked at with weight training to running. So let’s say,
person A) runs 100 miles each week
person B) runs 50 miles each week
person C) runs 40 miles each week.
Which one has done the most work in training?
On the surface most people would say person A) because they have the highest mileage, but let’s imagine we have a few more details…
essentially miles run with higher intensity (for example, faster than race pace, or with incline/decline, or with XL etc) are “worth more” than miles run at lower intensity (e.g. below race pace, on smooth terrain etc). Additionally, cross training counts toward improving running even if it doesn’t add miles to a weekly total.
Success in running isn’t directly proportional to the number of miles run – although many think it is!
I hope I have shed some light on a new perspective of your training.
I have been asked the question about carb loading and fueling before a race on many occasions. Since we are coming to a peak with our "race" season, I thought it best to address some concerns.
The Old Carbo-Loading Theory
The older regimen had endurance athletes go on a low carb diet for 3 days, followed by a 70% carb diet for 3 days. This supposedly increased the glycogen in the muscles. However, it was found that eating a moderate 50% carb diet followed by 3 days of a 70% carb diet increased the glycogen just as much. And simply staying on a 50% carb diet all week still increased the glycogen, although not as much. There was no performance difference between any of these groups.
Dangers of the Pre-Race Pasta Party
The worst thing you can do for your marathon comfort is to load up huge plates of pasta and salad and high-fat salad dressing the night before the marathon. As one expert commented, "Constipation is unknown among marathon participants." You don't want the extra weight in your digestive tract the next morning. You don't want any roughage, such as from the salad. You don't want the extra weight, period. If you have been eating a balanced diet the week before the marathon, you have already loaded your muscles with glycogen.
How to Eat the Week Before the Marathon
As you taper your activity in the week before the marathon, you should eat a balanced diet with 60-70% carbohydrates and not overeat or undereat. Watch your sugar intake! Eat as clean as possible. No preservatives! If mother nature provided it, you are safe to consume.
Two Days Before the Marathon
If you want a traditional pasta party, the time to do it is 2 nights before the marathon. Do not overeat. Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of water. However too much water can be dangerous too! I recommend drinking Biosteel Electrolyte drink. No sugar and only 5 calories. It contains a high amount of magnesium which is difficult for some to get in their diet. A giant bowl of pasta and a huge salad with lots of roughage are not recommended - you need moderation.
One Day Before the Marathon
Eliminate any high fiber foods and foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, bran cereals, etc. If you are lactose intolerant, eliminate milk products. If spicy foods speed up your gut, eliminate them. Stick with low-residue foods and eat only enough to satisfy your basal metabolism. Eliminate alcohol and reduce caffeine to the bare minimum.
Morning of the Marathon
Many marathoners can't eat anything before the starting gun. Whatever you choose for breakfast should be bland and high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. If you must have some coffee, have as little as possible. Drink a large glass of water or electrolyte drink 1-2 hours before the start and have nothing more to drink until the starting gun. That starts you off well-hydrated but gives you enough time to eliminate any extra.
No you do not need to carb load for a 10K or a 5K event! Your glycogen stores take about 2 or more so 2.5 hours to deplete. Each person responds differently to pre race preparation. Personally I eat a few more carbs two days before the race. The night before my pre race meal involves roasted potatoes with some protein. That is it. Morning of my marathon is either a banana and a yogurt or a small portion of oatmeal and a banana. The day before and morning of, I have my Biosteel electrolyte drink.
DURING THE MARATHON
Always remember to have your protein shake after your training runs and races. Hopefully within a half hour. Always consume your protein with a form of carbohydrate.
Hoping this information will help you with each and every race!
|Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2013 16:12|