Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by David Harri » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 14:55:39


Moving into intervals now, and with work and home life and the weather
all conspiring to throw me off track, I need to think about the best way
to approach intervals.  I want to minimize risk of injury while training
optimally (if that's not just too ridiculous to contemplate for someone
both employed and married...)

Should you start with fewer reps of longer slower intervals (like 1 km -
2 miles) and progress towards more reps of shorter faster intervals
(like 440s and 880s)?  This would seem to reduce the potential for
injury because the pace is not that much faster than normal.  However,
maybe the shorter intervals are less stressful just because they are so
much shorter.  Which do you think it is?

I am assuming that if one is training for a marathon, that much of the
benefit will come from the longer intervals.  The short ones can be run
at a pace that is completely different to a marathon pace.  However,
they might have some benefit in terms of muscle development or cardio
improvement.  What's your understanding?

Thanks

d

 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by Bernar » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 21:44:13

Hi David,

I'll begin doing speedwork next week. Here's what I plan to do: during one
of my usual weekday 16k run, after a 4k WU, I'll run 8km's of 3:00 hard/1:00
easy followed by a 4k CD. I hate doing intervals on the track.

Since we are training for a marathon, longer interval work is probably


Are you getting e***d about beantown?

--
Bernard


Quote:
> Moving into intervals now, and with work and home life and the weather
> all conspiring to throw me off track, I need to think about the best way
> to approach intervals.  I want to minimize risk of injury while training
> optimally (if that's not just too ridiculous to contemplate for someone
> both employed and married...)

> Should you start with fewer reps of longer slower intervals (like 1 km -
> 2 miles) and progress towards more reps of shorter faster intervals
> (like 440s and 880s)?  This would seem to reduce the potential for
> injury because the pace is not that much faster than normal.  However,
> maybe the shorter intervals are less stressful just because they are so
> much shorter.  Which do you think it is?

> I am assuming that if one is training for a marathon, that much of the
> benefit will come from the longer intervals.  The short ones can be run
> at a pace that is completely different to a marathon pace.  However,
> they might have some benefit in terms of muscle development or cardio
> improvement.  What's your understanding?

> Thanks

> d


 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by David Harri » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 22:12:04

Quote:

>Hi David,

>I'll begin doing speedwork next week. Here's what I plan to do: during one
>of my usual weekday 16k run, after a 4k WU, I'll run 8km's of 3:00 hard/1:00
>easy followed by a 4k CD. I hate doing intervals on the track.

>Since we are training for a marathon, longer interval work is probably


>Are you getting e***d about beantown?

>--
>Bernard

I've been doing a couple of MP runs so far - and they have not been
easy.  Yikes.
I'm trying to really stick the notion of adding a lot of speed at the
end of the training cycle, so we shall see if it is now possible to
speed up these legs at this point.

I agree about the track, although it may be the overall pain of
intervals that I don't like, not the track itself.  There is an
excellent residential loop with large older houses on large lots about
1.5 kms from home.  The loop is 1.2km, and I know which house to start
at for a 1km portion.  In the past, I've done "pursuit" intervals there
with a friend who is much faster.  He gives me a 20 second head start,
and we see who is in the lead at the end.  I dread the sound of
footsteps getting closer as we near the finish, but it's a great
motivator to keep pushing hard.

As for MP and 10k paces - I can't see those working for distances of
less that a km for 10k pace, and 2 -3 kms for MP.  They just aren't fast
enough to feel hard.  For 880's and less I've been doing them at
s;ightly faster than Yassoo pace in the past.  I try to give myself
enough time to recover well.  Usually 50% of the time run.  You only
give yourself a minute (1/3) of the run time.  Is this critical to
building speed?

Definitely getting psyched for Beantown, but worried about my current
weight and pace.  Also got my accommodations sorted out.  I will be
staying at a B&B out on Walden Pond.  Stayed there 2 years ago, nice
woman running the place, and you can walk around Walden Pond for a quiet
meditative stroll at any time.  We studied Walden in high school, and it
was influential at that time, so this is quite cool.

Also getting to that point in the cycle where running is becoming a
chore, not fun.  But last night I forced myself to go out for a 16km run
at a nice moderate pace and after a creaky first 2 km quite enjoyed it.
 Most runs lately have been pushing it one way or another.

Dave

 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by Dave/Cheryl Chandle » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 22:24:18

David--I would advocate for: planned marathon pace workouts, gradually
increasing in length up to about 12 miles, within your long runs;

rest in between)--work up to 3 sets with a few minutes recovery between
sets; hills, hills, hills (short and fast, long and slower); 800m


all-important vV02max sessions.

Dave

Quote:

> Moving into intervals now, and with work and home life and the weather
> all conspiring to throw me off track, I need to think about the best way
> to approach intervals.  I want to minimize risk of injury while training
> optimally (if that's not just too ridiculous to contemplate for someone
> both employed and married...)

> Should you start with fewer reps of longer slower intervals (like 1 km -
> 2 miles) and progress towards more reps of shorter faster intervals
> (like 440s and 880s)?  This would seem to reduce the potential for
> injury because the pace is not that much faster than normal.  However,
> maybe the shorter intervals are less stressful just because they are so
> much shorter.  Which do you think it is?

> I am assuming that if one is training for a marathon, that much of the
> benefit will come from the longer intervals.  The short ones can be run
> at a pace that is completely different to a marathon pace.  However,
> they might have some benefit in terms of muscle development or cardio
> improvement.  What's your understanding?

> Thanks

> d

 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by Bernar » Sat, 09 Mar 2002 22:40:41


Quote:
> As for MP and 10k paces - I can't see those working for distances of
> less that a km for 10k pace, and 2 -3 kms for MP.  They just aren't fast
> enough to feel hard.

They don't necessarily have to feel that  hard, the purpose is to get your
legs use to goal pace, even HM pace is okay.

For 880's and less I've been doing them at

Quote:
> s;ightly faster than Yassoo pace in the past.  I try to give myself
> enough time to recover well.  Usually 50% of the time run.  You only
> give yourself a minute (1/3) of the run time.  Is this critical to
> building speed?

No. The purpose is to get use to running a little faster than goal pace. For
the marathon, I believe that maximum aerobic capacity is the name of the
game, a lot of running, like the 16k run you did last night.

Quote:

> Definitely getting psyched for Beantown, but worried about my current
> weight and pace.  Also got my accommodations sorted out.  I will be
> staying at a B&B out on Walden Pond.  Stayed there 2 years ago, nice
> woman running the place, and you can walk around Walden Pond for a quiet
> meditative stroll at any time.  We studied Walden in high school, and it
> was influential at that time, so this is quite cool.

Back in 1983, during a Bball tounament in Toronto, I met a girl that lived
near Walden Pond, She invited me to visit that summer, we rode our bikes to
the pond, very pretty, the pond.

Quote:

> Also getting to that point in the cycle where running is becoming a
> chore, not fun.  But last night I forced myself to go out for a 16km run
> at a nice moderate pace and after a creaky first 2 km quite enjoyed it.
>  Most runs lately have been pushing it one way or another.

Relax, just run, let the pace come to you.

Bernard

 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by am » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 01:36:18

Hi David,

Back when I did speed work for marathons I worked my way up to 6 or 8
mile intervals. Starting at my marathon pace and going faster by a few
seconds each time. Alternatively I would do a long tempo run in the
middle of the week, warm up for 3 miles run 6 miles at tempo pace and
the warm down 3 miles. I've stopped doing speed work for marathons
because I'm not a marathoner by trade and my training pace is pretty
much what I'll run in the marathon.

But before doing this you really should evaluate your marathon goal
pace. How does that pace feel for 6 miles? You should be able to
cruise at marathon pace for 6 miles and not feel much of an effort. If
you can't keep that up for 6 miles don't expect that speed work will
help you keep it up for 26.

One mile at marathon pace should be a piece of cake so I'd skip the
shorter intervals. Do you really need 400 meter speed in a marathon?
This sort of answers your last question. The training must fit
somewhere in the race itself. Yes, if Geoff Smith had better 400 meter
speed he would have out kicked Rod Dixon in the last 100 yards of the
1983 NYC Marathon, but in the whole of the marathon he only needed it
for 100 yards. The reason to run shorter intervals faster is so you
condition your cardio vascular system. If you are comfortable at your
marathon pace for 6 miles your cardio vascular system is fit enough.

Andy

Quote:

> Moving into intervals now, and with work and home life and the weather
> all conspiring to throw me off track, I need to think about the best way
> to approach intervals.  I want to minimize risk of injury while training
> optimally (if that's not just too ridiculous to contemplate for someone
> both employed and married...)

> Should you start with fewer reps of longer slower intervals (like 1 km -
> 2 miles) and progress towards more reps of shorter faster intervals
> (like 440s and 880s)?  This would seem to reduce the potential for
> injury because the pace is not that much faster than normal.  However,
> maybe the shorter intervals are less stressful just because they are so
> much shorter.  Which do you think it is?

> I am assuming that if one is training for a marathon, that much of the
> benefit will come from the longer intervals.  The short ones can be run
> at a pace that is completely different to a marathon pace.  However,
> they might have some benefit in terms of muscle development or cardio
> improvement.  What's your understanding?

> Thanks

> d

 
 
 

Intervals for marathon training: Short or Long at first?

Post by Steve Freide » Sun, 10 Mar 2002 04:15:01

Shorter intervals can help you improve your running effiency - you'll
just be "tighter" after doing some real speed work.  But I don't think
you need much of that, although I suspect how much is optimal for each
of us is different.

I wouldn't bother with anything short of 800 meters on a regular basis.
The idea of doing repeat miles, eventually lots of them, at or slightly
faster than marathon goal pace sounds good to me.

Best of luck.

-S-