Friday, February 13, 2009

"Stop when you're done"

Now the rest of the story; "but only after you have done 10" So what was the goal to be accomplished here? The feel aspect of speed training is one you'll be hard pressed to find a good physiological study on yet it is a key item of the Lydiard system.

Wednesday's workout for Mike was based on how well his steady state had moved up over the last few weeks. The goal was to move it up more and based on his recovery (Axiom #2 How well you recover is a better indicator of your condition that the workout itself) he did himself a world of good by getting to 10.

But how do you know when to push and when to quit?

This is where reading how you feel is important. In running a hard volume speed workout like the 10 X 1000 repeats (or 20 X 400, 10 X 800, or 6 X 2000) the goal is to work hard and long, to produce a large volume of lactate so that the all the mitochondria in all the fibers get good at soaking it up and using it as fuel. Much like a funnel there is only a certain rate that the lactate can flow into the mitochondria before it over flows and then have it show up in your bloodstream. The mitochondria can get very good at using lactate but it does no good to over fill the funnel (running too fast too soon). It also does no good if the workout is too short and they don't have much processing of lactate to do. You have to feed them at the right rate for a long time to get them good at processing lactate.

Mike needed to work hard to get to all the fibers but that had to be balance with the right rate so it was not just dumping it into his bloodstream. This is why the goal of ten and the holding back for the first three. The actual times were of a less of a concern, the volume of work at the right rate (which would allow him to get to ten) were the goals.

It is a balancing act but an important one if you want to realize your potential.

6 comments:

Mike said...

Mike/MC,

The pace of the last 5 was close to Mike's 5k pace (assuming the 16:06 on the sidebar) was the idea here to have this w/o be close to 5k pace or did this just happen to work out that way?

I've heard the term "buffering workout" used many times - would this qualify as a buffering workout?

Also, how did you arrive at 10 total reps - (i.e. why not 8 or 12?) Was it based on time spent running or distance?

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!

Ewen said...

Thanks MC. I noticed Mike was running 3:14/15s the second half of that workout - obviously comfortable enough.

Would there be any value when doing a volume workout in running beyond the number of specified repeats until the times started to drop off to, say, 3:18/20? Would that indicate the muscles are beyond processing the lactate?

Mike said...

Mike, I had no predetermined finishing pace for the workout (or any pace guidelines past the first 3), and honestly I stopped checking anything but the finish split after the first 5. I think running a few more miles in the days leading up to the workout might have kept the last few from getting to 3:10 or so, but as MC says the pace was less the point than the duration.

Mystery Coach said...

Mike:I've heard the term "buffering workout" used many times - would this qualify as a buffering workout?

Also, how did you arrive at 10 total reps - (i.e. why not 8 or 12?) Was it based on time spent running or distance?


Yes it is a buffering work out if you mean it will increase the buffering agents in the fiber so it will continue to work longer in a stable environment.

8, 10, 12 it only matters if it is hard enough (less reps indicate you are going too fast, too many and you're too slow) so over the years I noted "about" the volume needed (some where between 30 and 60 minutes worth)

EwenWould there be any value when doing a volume workout in running beyond the number of specified repeats until the times started to drop off to, say, 3:18/20? Would that indicate the muscles are beyond processing the lactate?
Part of the answer is above but to clarify I cant tell exactly what number is needed and how fast, yes I have some very good charts but charts (which are hypothetical models) don't say whether Ewen has a cold coming on, partied too much the night before, or just is having a bad day. Getting to "ten 1000s" is moving goal it keeps you from running too fast (because of the number)

Mike said...

I say Ewen partied too much. He just seems to roll that way =)

Ewen said...

I stopped partying when I was done. Then I ran bad workouts the next day and never fulfilled my potential ;)