Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Running Calculations and Strategies : Opinions Needed

Oh the long runs have began for me! The one good thing about the long runs is that they give you uninterrupted time to really think about things. Lately I've been thinking about different running strategies that people have for running. I'm not saying one way is any better or worse than another, I'm just saying that I have questions about why some runners do some of the things they do. I wonder if perhaps I should be doing things that way too.  So one of the great things about having a running blog is that I can ask these questions and hopefully get some feedback from other runners.

Here goes.......

So when a runner is marathon training and they have 16 miles scheduled for a Saturday, why is it okay that they do 8 miles in the morning and 8 miles later in the afternoon.  Why is it okay to split those miles up? I thought the idea of doing 16 miles was to build up the endurance and tolerance to run that distance all at one time?   I don't see where this strategy of breaking up your long run is going to help you on race day. Am I missing something?

When I started the Galloway run walk, I started with run 3 minutes, walk 30 seconds.  Then in some of my longer races I ran the first three miles before taking any walk break and then only walked once after completing each additional mile. This method worked great for me and I ended up having some of my best race times running this way.  However, since my injury I've had to start "learning to run" all over again. I started having my watch set to  2:1 intervals, and then 3:1. I am finding that I am not ready to stop running only after 3 minutes. I want to run more. However, I want to keep my intervals consistent and I don't want to get "greedy" with my running intervals.  I now have cut my walk breaks down to 45 seconds, and then 30 seconds. I haven't officially changed my watch settings though, I just keep my eye on the time and judge it.  When I tried to officially set my Garmin, I couldn't figure out how to set for 45 seconds. To all you Garmin Forerunner owners out there: Can you only set the interval counter in 30 second intervals?

I've missed my interval beeps a few times and ended up skipping some walk breaks and I felt just fine. I feel like I could do that more often but then I worry if I am setting myself up for injury later on. So now I struggle with 1) should I continue to do what is working?  OR 2) should I break out of my comfort zone and try doing a little more?  How do you know when it's time to push more?


Speaking of run/walk, I have always made an effort to keep my walk breaks at a pretty good pace.  I don't walk like I am completely exhausted. I walk like I am power walking.  With that said, I just read up on the Galloway training plan and he says to avoid injury do NOT Speed walk or power walk during your walk breaks.  What???? Well perhaps that is why I was injured for so long.  I can't help but try to walk fast on my breaks. I am normally a fast walker just in everyday life so this is one habit I don't think I'll be able to break.  Who's to say what a fast or slow walk is?

And Speaking of the Galloway plan, what exactly is that Magical Mile he speaks of? If you know, please tell me how you are integrating this into your training?

I'm sure I'll come up with more running related questions on my next long run, but that's all I have for now. What's your opinion on any of this?  -M

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31 comments:

  1. The speed of the walk intervals was a puzzle to me until I heard the phrase "walk purposefully". I did a half on Sunday and repeated that phrase to myself during the walk intervals and that made a huge difference. I found a good pace that was no longer a stroll or a powerwalk.

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    1. I am normally a fast walker and continue to do so on my walk breaks. This will be one habit that will be hard to break!

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  2. I too don't understand the purpose of splitting the long run. I thought it was all about time on the road. I don't think that strategy would work for me, mentally.

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    1. I have never tried it but I don't see where it would be beneficial either.

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  3. The way understand the magic mile, I ran a magic mile with a Galloway training group, is putting a lot of effort into one mile only. Time yourself when you do it and if you use walk breaks include them in your mile. This mile represents how fast you can go. In training w the walk run method the point is to improve your overall runs to get as close to that magic mile time.

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    1. Ha, I feel I put the most effort into EVERY mile...lol

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  4. I naturally walk fast as well! And especially if my legs are warm from running, it is hard for me to walk leisurely. I like what Miss Seiler said about walking with a purpose. That makes sense. As far as breaking up long runs, I have never done that, but the more I read about different training plans, the more I am convinced I know NOTHING except what would potentially work for me! There are so many ways to train out there.

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    1. Yes, there are so many different ways to try. This training cycle i'm actually doing my own plan. Don't know if it's right or wrong but it's working for me!

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  5. Here's the info on Magic mile: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/magic-mile/

    In terms of splitting up a long run, I think most people who do that do it because of time constraints. Most of the time when I read about it, it's presented under the guise that rather Than skipping the long run, break it up so you do the total miles (as opposed to zero miles).

    I've read several of Jeff's books on walk run and he really stresses consistently with intervals for maximum effectiveness. I've always done longer intervals like 4-1 and 9-1 so maybe increase your run duration to try to find something that feels good. -C

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    1. Thank you for that info. I can definitely see where 2 shorter runs are more beneficial than no run at all. I would still feel like I needed to get that long run in later that week.

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  6. The only time I've split my long run, that's why as well. It was more about that being the only way I could get the miles in and I'd rather avoid it whenever possible.

    As far as the garmin thing do you have the 220? I think it goes in 15 second increments so you should be able to do 45 seconds. But there is a different way to set the intervals (it also allows you to continue getting mile splits instead of splits based on your intervals). Here is the blog post that I used to learn how to do it that way. Maybe that will help? http://www.4wellrules.com/home/garmin-forerunner-220-setting-intervals-and-mile-pace

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    1. Thank you so much for this info. I'm gonna go play with my Garmin and see what I can get it to do!

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  7. I've never split my runs up in one day. I am like you, as it doesn't seem to make sense in regards to building up endurance.

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  8. I never understood splitting the long run, either - to me, it becomes two separate runs at that point.

    I recently read that you do most of your "recovery" in the first 30 seconds of the walk interval, so I tried to shorten mine to 2:00/:30, and I did OK for a shorter (3 mile) run. Not sure that I would last for 13 miles doing that, however. I do like knowing, especially when I'm in mile, say, 9, that I "only" have to run for two minutes before I get a walk break...and sometimes, I need that dang walk break for my mental state as well as for my physical state.

    On my Garmin, you can set the intervals in 15 second increments (it's a 220, which I LOVE).

    I never understood the magic mile either.

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  9. Yay for getting started with those long runs! :) I'm with you -- I've never split mileage. As much as the idea tempts me, I feel like I need that extra time on my feet so that I can truly experience the struggle and agony that I know awaits me on race day, lol. :)

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  10. I'm interested in all the answers here... I have been changing my interval time with weight shedding & feeling a little lighter... I ran the full 2 miles the other day without stopping & was like, is this good or bad? :) haha... I dont know what to do myself for the 'long haul' - so when you find out what works for you - be sure to share!

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  11. I have never split a long run nor tried a run/walk method. However, as I currently have an injured foot but am still scheduled to run the Disney marathon in January, I may choose a run/walk ratio to help me successfully finish this race. Of course, there is some healing that has to happen first! Good luck with your training! Hope to see you there!

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  12. Yeah, blogs are great for getting feedback! To split a long run up would make it much easier than doing it all at once so I feel more confident about my ability to finish a marathon after completing a long run that I've done all at once.

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  13. I don't know any of these answers, but I'm interested in learning about all these things. My local running group does Galloway training, and they use the magic mile to calculate your pace and walk/run ratio. I'm not sure how they do that calculation, but I know the faster runners run a longer run interval. Do you have a local running group you can check with? I might be helpful to consult with them on some of these questions.

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  14. I have no answers for you! Just stopping in say hi. I hope you find out and then post the answers because now I want to know too!

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  15. I actually asked Jeff Galloway about this personally! As a new mom, I had to divide my 4 mile runs even! I was told that as long as you don't it for all of your long runs, you can divide a few. It works for my lifestyle. But I try not to!

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  16. I have never set my Garmin I always carry a Gym boss, it just clips on my running belt. When it is cooler out I do better walking at a good clip ( about 3.5 miles an hour) in summer I walked like I was a zombie lol

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  17. Splitting a long run actually disqualifies it as a long run. The purpose of the long run is to train your body and feet to adjust to the hours and time running on them.
    I think a lot who do that are first timers or people who get to comfortable with the run less training plans. I wouldn't listen to them if it were me:)
    As for the run walk , I'm not much of an advocate of them. Just the opposite I think sometimes they bring more injuries to runners than just running them fully. They also mess with a runners mind too much telling them they can or cant do something.
    I am kind of a believer in this. If you want to run more and don't feel like walking, then don't. Your in training you can train your body and mind to do whatever you want it to.
    If your enjoying running more then do it. If you prefer walking more do that.
    Running more now is just going to make it a lot easier on your body come race day. You'll be much better conditioned.
    I attended a runners conference at a marathon I ran years ago and the speaker talked about the popularity of the run/walk programs. He said they were created for first timers who it helped reduce the fear of running the entire time and still being able to finish one in their life. I think they are great for those who want to use them time after time. But after your first or second marathon you might just be hooked. Why not run more, go for PR's and train the brain that you can love running as much as you want to do.
    I wouldn't worry about injury, that tends to only happen when distance building and speed are combined at the same time. Your training smart and gradual, you have time before your race. I think you can make it be however you want, you can very likely train to run the entire race if you want:) Or you can walk half of it. Thats the beauty of choice:) At this point I would say decide what you want to do and then do it. your only limitations are what you set for yourself. There is no rule that says you can't create your own training plan that specifically puts you into what you want. Well that and never listen to anyone who tells you to split your long run lol

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  18. Splitting a long run actually disqualifies it as a long run. The purpose of the long run is to train your body and feet to adjust to the hours and time running on them.
    I think a lot who do that are first timers or people who get to comfortable with the run less training plans. I wouldn't listen to them if it were me:)
    As for the run walk , I'm not much of an advocate of them. Just the opposite I think sometimes they bring more injuries to runners than just running them fully. They also mess with a runners mind too much telling them they can or cant do something.
    I am kind of a believer in this. If you want to run more and don't feel like walking, then don't. Your in training you can train your body and mind to do whatever you want it to.
    If your enjoying running more then do it. If you prefer walking more do that.
    Running more now is just going to make it a lot easier on your body come race day. You'll be much better conditioned.
    I attended a runners conference at a marathon I ran years ago and the speaker talked about the popularity of the run/walk programs. He said they were created for first timers who it helped reduce the fear of running the entire time and still being able to finish one in their life. I think they are great for those who want to use them time after time. But after your first or second marathon you might just be hooked. Why not run more, go for PR's and train the brain that you can love running as much as you want to do.
    I wouldn't worry about injury, that tends to only happen when distance building and speed are combined at the same time. Your training smart and gradual, you have time before your race. I think you can make it be however you want, you can very likely train to run the entire race if you want:) Or you can walk half of it. Thats the beauty of choice:) At this point I would say decide what you want to do and then do it. your only limitations are what you set for yourself. There is no rule that says you can't create your own training plan that specifically puts you into what you want. Well that and never listen to anyone who tells you to split your long run lol

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  19. Oh my goodness! I have so many thoughts to share based on all these questions! But I'll summarize my answer to a few things with one basic statement: When you are recovering from injury and/or when you are doing the run/walk method, BE CONSERVATIVE.

    I've learned from experience that getting too ambitious early on can lead to problems further on down the line. I liken it to when you are starting a race - the temptation is to go all out at the beginning, because you feel so good! But then, that often results in a tough second half of the race. I think it's always better to be more conservative than less conservative. I've heard it said that it's better to show up at a starting line healthy and undertrained than well-trained but injured or approaching injury.

    If you do want to push things beyond what is prescribed, do it very, very gradually. I say this because I have rushed back from injury only to reinjure myself and end up spending even MORE time sidelined in the end! I know how tough it is mentally to take things slowly, but in my opinion it's not worth the risk! Take care of the one body that you have, you know?

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  20. Interesting post. I blogged about why I split a few long runs during my Boston training plan, if you are interested you can read it here http://www.lifebetweenthemiles.com/2014/03/12/splitting-your-long-run/ but I think with every method/plan/etc there are pros and cons and you just need to find what really works for YOU and go with it. Different strokes and all that...you know?

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  21. I think it's just a way to A) save time and B) build stamina if 16 together is too much. Either way... that's impressive! Good luck!!! :)

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  22. I am no help with the Galloway plan as I just run the whole time, but I am all about listening to your body and what it tells you to do.

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  23. Splitting a long run doesn't count as a long run as far as I'm concerned as a coach. I totally agree. However, if it's the ONLY way you can get the miles in, then you need to do what you need to do, but it isn't ideal.

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  24. All these questions are over my non-marathoning head! The only time I ran twice in one day is when I was training for Ragnar, since I usually only run on alternate days.

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  25. so i signed up for galloway training plans coaching and have LOVED it so far. it has been very beneficial. I was able to do my first true magic mile (and i was pushing the pace. it should be hard to the point you couldnt run more than 50 more yards) and from there, we set my new interval 60 sec/30 sec. To get used to the short switching, i have been working on acceleration drills that help with starting and stopping and cadence drills to get up to 180 per minute. I am running more on feel and have seen great things in a short few weeks (I did a tempo mile on feel and ran a 9:47 mile which is my fastest mile ever in training paces and was not tired at all).

    i have found shorter interval, gives me more energy throughout the whole race and i could push harder (I did it in my marathon over the weekend and in 91 degree weather, and PRed by 28 minutes).you definitely should not be tired from your interval. I am focused on getting in all my walk breaks as Jeff Galloway says, the most important walk breaks are the ones in the beginning.

    i think splitting a long run only works if there is no other way to fit it in for that weekend. i could not see myself doing it every week though.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.