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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-12-2005, 10:43 AM   #1
John Walsh
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One thing I have not improved on much is distance running. By distance I mean anything over a mile. So you marathoners can stop scoffing at me. I used to be pretty a pretty fast sprinter but never put much into running far. At 5’9” 210 I’m not really built for a 5-minute mile but I’d still like to get up to a 7 or 8-minute mile pace. It seem as if all I know how to do is go all out or slow. So I can either sprint or jog. If I sprint I won’t get too far. If I jog my 5K time today will be about 50 minutes. Can anyone recommending anything to improve my distance running?
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:02 AM   #2
Graham Hayes
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I suck at this as well; something like "do this and don't ask questions" would be nice...that's how I like to go.:happy:
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:12 AM   #3
Sonia Ng
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John-one has to gradually progress for any "long distances"(relative term,depending on who you speak to) one has troubles with.

eg. aim to complete the first mile all running...then "fartlek" run/walk another mile or whatever your goal for that day is. Soon,you'll be able to cut the "walking breaks" and just keep running.

Progress varies from person to person...also depends on the running surface.


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Old 05-12-2005, 11:16 AM   #4
Gary John
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A lot of the WODs throw in 400 meter runs. Do sets of 400 with 100 meter rest. That will get you 2 miles. Walk, jog or shuffle the rest. If you can, try the 400 at 90 seconds. You need to get to that magic 20 minutes of running.

Find a nice long gradual uphill. Hopefully at least a half-mile. Run up chanting "No brain, no pain." Turn around and experience the joy of running downhill. Gets great results.

Don't go for 5k runs. They're boring.

Run 5k with some young kids. They'll be chattering away, while you are suffering in shame.
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Old 05-12-2005, 01:01 PM   #5
Ross Greenberg
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Sounds like you need some tempo work. What I mean is you need to set a goal 5k or mile pace and then practice running at that speed for much shorter distances, so your body can learn how to run at that speed comfortably. Running quickly for longer distances is all about staying comfortable and efficient even at fast speeds.

Ex.
If you want to be able to run a 5k in 24:00 start by running several half miles on 4:00 with a slow recovery lap in between. You could also practice quarter miles on 2:00 or three quarter miles on 6:00, just concentrate on getting used to the pace.

P.S. I'm the opposite of you. I hate slow running, I hate sprints, but half mile to three mile runs just feel right.
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:19 AM   #6
Eugene R. Allen
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John - My background is fairly far removed from the intensity of CrossFit and might be why I like CrossFit so much. I think nothing at all of a 40 or 50 mile bike ride and or a 10k or 10 mile run, sometimes one right after the other. I've raced at distances from 5k to marathon and from sprint to Ironman triathlons and have done a 1:37 half marathon. What has guided me toward CrossFit is that endurance sport seems to if not promote, at least create weakness. The very long, slow efforts, the loss of body weight, the "strength" workouts with pathetic weights and a total lack of intensity all conspire to give us endurance people runway model physiques.

You are coming from the other end of the spectrum and rather than lithe and willowy you are having to move some mass when you go out on a run. The strength is there, you have some fast twitch muscle to power you through the sprints, but what you lack is the aerobic engine and the muscular stamina for long distance work.

First of all it is clear that you are realistic about your running goals. Just as I will never snatch much more than a stick, you don't have the build to go out and knock off 7:00 mile cruise intervals on the track or run a 10k in 41 minutes. Still, there's hope and improvement on the horizon.

Graham's comment, "I suck at this as well; something like "do this and don't ask questions" would be nice...that's how I like to go." is astute...do we not do that with CrossFit? Find people that know what they are doing and have had success with their method and do what they say. That's why having a coach is so valuable. Still, it's nice to know what you're doing and to be able to structure your own training as well.

Before I give you my insights, allow me to help you stock your running reference shelf. Here are some books that I have that I think would be very helpful for you:

Run Fast - How to be your best time EVERY time. Speed programs for every distance: 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Marathon. By Hal Higdon.

How to Train - The best programs workous and schedules for runners of all ages. By Hal Higdon.

Running with the Whole Body - A 30-day program to Running Faster with less effort. By Jack Heggie.

Daniel's Running Formula - Programs and strategies: 1500 to marathon. By Jack Daniels.

The Running Times Guide to Breakthrough Running - Definitive training and racing advice from the experts.

From a racing perspective we structure our season as follows: Base, Build, Peak, Race, Recover. There is a taper between the peak and race but that is part of pre-race preparation.

Do you have a HR monitor? I am a big fan of them an use mine on most of my training runs and rides. Polar is best, I'll give you more detail on that if you are interested. Using an HRM allows you to train in your proper HR zone to accomplish the goals of your training day. While people who lift have a specific program and purpose for each workout they do, they will think nothing of just "going out for a run" without having a plan.

Hellllooo...running is training, in fact it can even be practice if you are, and you should be, working on your running form and economy. It needs to be planned and organized not some slip shod junk mile shuffle.

Not that I have an opinion on the subject.

Base: You need to develop your aerobic base by spending the early part of the season getting in the miles with longer and longer LSD runs...Long Slow Distance. Be cautious with your distance and add no more than 15% at a time. The pace is at your aerobic HR of 60% to 70% or so of your max HR. I can give you more detail about HR issues if you need it. You should be able to talk fairly comfortably at this pace.

Stop being bored with your runs. Examine yourself continuously an make sure you are running with good form and economy of motion. The Pose running technique by Nikolas Romanov is a very excellent resource for proper running mechanics.

Do not go out and hammer ladders, intervals, or other hard work until you get some base miles under your Nikes. Just as you would not put 135 on the bar and tell some newbie, "Here snatch this", don't task your body with 8 x 400m repeats and expect to avoid injury.

Take it easy on the runs and don't worry if you walk now and then. When you want is time on the road, not speed on the road. Gradually increase the time you are running and once again, be mindful of your pace so that you stay at your aerobic HR and can comfortably talk.

From the sound of your post perhaps you have been doing this base thing for a bit already and you have some LSD miles in. If so, you are ready to build. Now you can increase your speed a bit and get on the track for some fun stuff, do cruise intervals, fartlek and maybe a 5k race to get a good max HR number and establish a baseline pace number to work with.

Ross mentioned a specific interval workout for a specfic purpose: Pace development. Knowing how fast you are going just by feel is very valuable. You first need to know how fast you want to go based on your pace per mile. Ross' example was for a 24 minute 5k which is just slightly faster than an 8 minute pace. Easy math there...1 minute per 200, 2 minutes per lap, 4 minutes per half, 8 minutes per mile.

Go to the track. Run a 200 and finish it in 1 minute. Walk the other half of the lap. Run another 200 in a minute, walk the rest. Too easy? Run the rest of the lap at a slow pace. If this doesn't seem like very much work, just do 3 or 4 of them as a warm up and bump it up to qarter repeats in two minutes with two minutes off before you go again.

Over time you bump it up to 800 repeats then mile repeats...and before you know it a 23:42 5K PR.

John, I can go on about run training for longer than most people want to listen. I recommend you go get those books and get into your head what run training is all about so you can understand how to properly train. You need to consider your running form and think of your runs as practice, not just training. Don't just go out and mindlessly plug along and don't just hammer laps at the track either. The term interval refers not to the work period but rather the rest period, because it is how long you rest that determines what energy system you are developing, not the work period.

Good shoes for your type of feet, stay hydrated, be consistent, use good form...there's more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other.
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:37 PM   #7
John Walsh
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Thanks this has been informative. I ran the 5k the other day in 25:50 which is a full 4 minutes faster than my last attempt. I really pushed myself. I wasn't just jogging. I'll check out some of those books Boston Public Library has a pretty good collection on running
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:11 AM   #8
Graham Hayes
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Thanks these are usefull posts, I got it started today. My local supermarket is ~3km away and I've resolved to run to it when I need to shop. Today I did it in 15:50, nothing remotely special, just getting it started. It felt easy and it's amazing how many meters you can while away checking that your feet are landing right, posture is good...etc I've found the perfect hill for some "no brain, no pain" runs and I've got some decent fields for some intervals which I can throw into a rest day. So far so good except Sainsburys was closed when I got there...duh, Sunday today!
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:28 AM   #9
Eugene R. Allen
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Look at your running much the same way as you do your other workouts. When you lift you don't just mindlessly yard the weights around without a plan or objective. You change the intensity, you have rest breaks, you change the movments you are doing. Do the same with your running.

On my treadmill last night I did a 10k run as follows: 3 miles at a steady 6.5 mph pace. I slowed it down a bit to recover and then ran a quarter at 8.6 mph, walked a quarter, ran another at 8.8, walked another quarter and did that twice more at 9.0 and then 9.5. I walked a bit to recover and then set it to 7 mph (8:34 pace) which felt really comfortable after the faster running. At 5.5 miles I spooled it up to 10 mph (6:00 pace) and did that for .20 and then slowed the belt down to 7 mph and gradually slowed it to a walk to finish.

This is a much more interesting and productive way to do your run training than to simply get on the treadmill and look at the TV monitor while you trudge along.

You can do the same thing out on the road and run for time rather than distance. Nothing really hard for awhile, just change up the pace and get some spring into your stride.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:11 AM   #10
Sonia Ng
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Everything Eugene said(if you really want to improve your running)

Also-Runner's World(online) has a tonne of freebie training plans,recommendations about HR,etc(browse the Training,Beginning,Essentials,Workouts....oh,just all the sections for helpful advice...adjust for your goals & abilities)

http://www.runnersworld.com/channel/1,5032,s6-51-0-0-0,00.html

Cheers.
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