Increasing running speed

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Topdog, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase their
    running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I want to
    be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also spending
    most of my effort with the other legs on developing my aerobic base, thinking that this will affect
    my run speed as well. (My masters body can handle low-impact aerobic training better than my knees
    can handle the running - I can spend hours on a bike, but would be crippled with tendonitis if I
    spent as much time running).

    Are there any speed drills that help? I know with swimming, while distance work makes a difference,
    one needs to work on speed as well - partially to simply know HOW to do it, and how much you can
    push. The latter is a factor here - since the run is the last leg, it doesn't matter if I pass out
    once I cross the finish line!

    Anyways, any suggestions?
     
    Tags:


  2. topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase their
    >running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I want to
    >be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also spending
    >most of my effort with

    Since you were the swimmer, you need to 'learn' the faster speeds. You can do intervals on a track
    with a watch, but you might do better spending the winter on the 5k/10k circuit. For triathletes, a
    5k is basically a sprint, so you can work your miles down - if you can do 8min miles in the final
    leg of a triathlon you're probably slightly better than average.

    In terms of gadgets, the timex speed+distance GPS toy may be useful as it can give accurate
    instantaneous speed in the form of mile pace. I'm going to try it out in a race for the first time
    on Saturday. Again, it's learning what a given pace feels like, and then trying to do faster.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  3. Dave Abbott

    Dave Abbott Guest

    My suggestions are as follows:
    a. Start doing one run longer then the others. Most people have the time on the weekend. But
    regardless of the day, slowly build up the time. So this weekend's run start running 10
    minutes longer then your previous long run. Do this over the next couple of weekends and
    then come back to previous levels for a weekend. You might consider increasing your time
    every second weekend depending on your conditioning and how your body responds, like this:
    Week 1 - 50 min Week 2 - 40 min Week 3 - 60 min Week 4 - 40 min etc This will help to
    improve your running and increase speed but you are right you need to do some speed work.

    b. Before doing track workouts, I have read and found hill workouts for at least 4 weeks to
    be good preparation. Select a hill so you can do 30s to 2 min climbs and do a number of
    repeats. The purpose is to build up your legs so that you can do the track workouts. Over
    the 4+ weeks increase the number of repeats.
    c. For track workouts, I like "Yassos 800" see Runner's World on-line. On a 400m track you do
    2 laps at a specific pace that you can hold for a number of repeats. Over a number of
    weeks, increase the number of repeats.

    This is fairly basic and I would recommend checking out runner's world web site
    http://www.runnersworld.com/ for reference.

    Dave Abbott

    "topdog" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase
    > their running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I
    > want to be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also
    > spending most of my effort with the other legs on developing my aerobic base, thinking that this
    > will affect my run speed as well. (My masters body can handle low-impact aerobic training better
    > than my knees can handle the running - I can spend hours on a bike, but would be crippled with
    > tendonitis if I spent as much time running).
    >
    > Are there any speed drills that help? I know with swimming, while distance work makes a
    > difference, one needs to work on speed as well - partially to simply know HOW to do it, and how
    > much you can push. The latter is a factor here - since the run is the last leg, it doesn't matter
    > if I pass out once I cross the finish line!
    >
    > Anyways, any suggestions?
     
  4. Tribro3

    Tribro3 Guest

  5. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    [email protected] (Jason O'Rourke) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase
    > >their running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I
    > >want to be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also
    > >spending most of my effort with
    >
    > Since you were the swimmer, you need to 'learn' the faster speeds. You can do intervals on a track
    > with a watch, but you might do better spending the winter on the 5k/10k circuit. For triathletes,
    > a 5k is basically a sprint, so you can work your miles down - if you can do 8min miles in the
    > final leg of a triathlon you're probably slightly better than average.
    >
    > In terms of gadgets, the timex speed+distance GPS toy may be useful as it can give accurate
    > instantaneous speed in the form of mile pace. I'm going to try it out in a race for the first time
    > on Saturday. Again, it's learning what a given pace feels like, and then trying to do faster.

    Jason (and everyone else), this is what I am looking to do.

    In just about 2 mos I am doing MY first tri. I am trying to win masters div of the d$#n thing. To do
    that, I probably need to do 8 min miles. I can do the first two legs pretty much in my sleep,
    though, I do anticipate having a harder run because of them! :) Distances are 200m swim, 6mi bike,
    2.5 mi run. So, I am trying to do a sprint, as you put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a winter to
    train, just two months. How does one "learn the faster speeds"? What is the best way to do
    everything? Should I just focus on improving aerobic conditioning, and trying to improve my time on
    a 5k course? Or, should I add some more things?
     
  6. Billx

    Billx Guest

    I'm in the 45-49 male age group and find from results that placing in a local triathlon requires
    running sub 7 minute miles unless both your swim and bike are in the top 3 for your age. Most
    triathlon distances favor the biker/runner so being fast in those events is generally more important
    than swimming. Ultimately you want to be fast in all three if placing is a concern.

    topdog wrote in message <[email protected]>...
    >[email protected] (Jason O'Rourke) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >> topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> >Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase
    >> >their running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I
    >> >want to be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also
    >> >spending most of my effort with
    >>
    >> Since you were the swimmer, you need to 'learn' the faster speeds. You can do intervals on a
    >> track with a watch, but you might do better
    spending
    >> the winter on the 5k/10k circuit. For triathletes, a 5k is basically a sprint, so you can work
    >> your miles down - if you can do 8min miles in the final leg of a triathlon you're probably
    >> slightly better than average.
    >>
    >> In terms of gadgets, the timex speed+distance GPS toy may be useful as it can give accurate
    >> instantaneous speed in the form of mile pace. I'm going to try it out in a race for the first
    >> time on Saturday. Again,
    it's
    >> learning what a given pace feels like, and then trying to do faster.
    >
    >Jason (and everyone else), this is what I am looking to do.
    >
    >In just about 2 mos I am doing MY first tri. I am trying to win masters div of the d$#n thing. To
    >do that, I probably need to do 8 min miles. I can do the first two legs pretty much in my sleep,
    >though, I do anticipate having a harder run because of them! :) Distances are 200m swim, 6mi bike,
    >2.5 mi run. So, I am trying to do a sprint, as you put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a winter to
    >train, just two months. How does one "learn the faster speeds"? What is the best way to do
    >everything? Should I just focus on improving aerobic conditioning, and trying to improve my time on
    >a 5k course? Or, should I add some more things?
     
  7. topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Jason (and everyone else), this is what I am looking to do.
    >
    >In just about 2 mos I am doing MY first tri. I am trying to win masters div of the d$#n thing. To
    >do that, I probably need to do 8 min

    Why do you have to win on the first try? It's fine to set the goals high, but I think it can be
    taken too far.

    >miles. I can do the first two legs pretty much in my sleep, though, I do anticipate having a
    >harder run because of them! :) Distances are 200m swim, 6mi bike, 2.5 mi run. So, I am trying to
    >do a sprint, as you put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a winter to train, just two months. How
    >does one "learn the faster speeds"? What is the best way to do everything? Should I just focus on
    >improving aerobic conditioning, and trying to improve my time on a 5k course? Or, should I add
    >some more things?

    I don't think it can be accomplished that fast. You're at a disadvantage in this race as a swimmer,
    rather than a runner. You have no race experience with transitions - though for this race the notion
    will be: don't transition. This race is too short to bother with any changing, and you probably need
    the same shoes for the bike and run to win. In short, you need to learn to do what your other
    competitors already have experimented with. I'd guess something like 41-42 minutes plus transitions
    - 30 seconds lost to a mistake will cost you a few places.

    You should probably race a 5k in 3 and 6 weeks, shooting for 23 or better. You need to practice
    bricks - with only 2.5 miles you don't have time to warm up on the run. And this race is overall so
    short that aerobic conditioning isn't nearly as important as speed. You probably want to start with
    mile repeats, maybe shift to 800m ones towards teh end. But with this time frame, I don't know if it
    can be done. Even in high school as a runner it took a while for me to get my speed back up.

    In my first race (Alcatraz), I:
    1) didn't know the swim exit, swam too close to shore and hit a counter eddy.
    2) had a mechanical on the bike - gear shifted bounced out of the aerobar and into my front wheel.
    Only one spoke broken, but a bike stuck in top gear with one more major climb remaining. Had to
    walk some.
    3) Even with some walking towards end of bike, still cramped up for first 2 miles of 8 mile run.

    Unless no one shows for your event, to win against all the other masters you'll need to run a
    perfect race on the first try. Best come in with a little humility, "topdog," because most of the
    regulars in triathlon aren't that shabby. It would be more realistic to think about winning on the
    latter side of the season.
    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  8. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    "Dave Abbott" <dcabbott(at)tnt21.com> wrote in message
    news:<3e836e73$0$1248[email protected]>...
    > My suggestions are as follows:
    > a. Start doing one run longer then the others. Most people have the time on the weekend.
    > But regardless of the day, slowly build up the time. So this weekend's run start running
    > 10 minutes longer then your previous long run. Do this over the next couple of weekends
    > and then come back to previous levels for a weekend. You might consider increasing your
    > time every second weekend depending on your conditioning and how your body responds,
    > like this: Week 1 - 50 min Week 2 - 40 min Week 3 - 60 min Week 4 - 40 min etc This will
    > help to improve your running and increase speed but you are right you need to do some
    > speed work.
    >
    > b. Before doing track workouts, I have read and found hill workouts for at least 4 weeks to
    > be good preparation. Select a hill so you can do 30s to 2 min climbs and do a number of
    > repeats. The purpose is to build up your legs so that you can do the track workouts.
    > Over the 4+ weeks increase the number of repeats.
    > c. For track workouts, I like "Yassos 800" see Runner's World on-line. On a 400m track you
    > do 2 laps at a specific pace that you can hold for a number of repeats. Over a number of
    > weeks, increase the number of repeats.
    >
    > This is fairly basic and I would recommend checking out runner's world web site
    > http://www.runnersworld.com/ for reference.
    >
    > Dave Abbott
    >

    Thanks - will check it out. The one concern that I have is with the durability of my knees. I'm a
    200lb guy, with knees that have a very bad pre-disposition to patellar tendonitis. (Apparently my
    knees are somewhat mis-formed, which causes the problems. I actually got into cycling again to
    strengthen my quads to help out.) The good news is that I have the little band I put under my
    patella, and it seems to help. Given the distance that I have to race (2.5 mi), would you still
    recommend the same time for workouts? (To be honest, I really dislike running - the pounding is hard
    to take, plus I'm gasping much of the time, which really isn't very pleasant. That seems to occur
    pretty much whatever speed I run, probably due to the fact that it still takes a lot of effort to
    move a big fat guy, no matter the speed!)
     
  9. Dave Abbott

    Dave Abbott Guest

    I know how you feel about running. It was the last thing I started to work on but I have to admit
    there are times that I really enjoy being out on a run now.

    The times I gave were just an example. The first week should be about 10 minutes longer then what
    you have recently been doing so whether that's 30min or a 60min run depends on your particular
    situation.

    As far as your knees, don't push it too hard. Again the Runner's World website has a great training
    pace calculator which can help you establish your pace for long runs and the Yassos.

    If you haven't seen a sports therapist, you may want to consult with one. There may be orthotics or
    something to assist with you particular knee condition.

    Hope that helps.

    Dave

    "topdog" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Dave Abbott" <dcabbott(at)tnt21.com> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > My suggestions are as follows:
    > > a. Start doing one run longer then the others. Most people have
    the
    > > time on the weekend. But regardless of the day, slowly build up the
    time. So
    > > this weekend's run start running 10 minutes longer then your previous
    long
    > > run. Do this over the next couple of weekends and then come back to
    previous
    > > levels for a weekend. You might consider increasing your time every
    second
    > > weekend depending on your conditioning and how your body responds, like this: Week 1 - 50 min
    > > Week 2 - 40 min Week 3 - 60 min Week 4 - 40 min etc This will help to improve your running and
    > > increase speed but
    you
    > > are right you need to do some speed work.
    > >
    > > b. Before doing track workouts, I have read and found hill
    workouts
    > > for at least 4 weeks to be good preparation. Select a hill so you can do
    30s
    > > to 2 min climbs and do a number of repeats. The purpose is to build up
    your
    > > legs so that you can do the track workouts. Over the 4+ weeks increase
    the
    > > number of repeats.
    > > c. For track workouts, I like "Yassos 800" see Runner's World on-line. On a 400m track
    > > you do 2 laps at a specific pace that you can
    hold
    > > for a number of repeats. Over a number of weeks, increase the number of repeats.
    > >
    > > This is fairly basic and I would recommend checking out runner's world
    web
    > > site http://www.runnersworld.com/ for reference.
    > >
    > > Dave Abbott
    > >
    >
    > Thanks - will check it out. The one concern that I have is with the durability of my knees. I'm a
    > 200lb guy, with knees that have a very bad pre-disposition to patellar tendonitis. (Apparently my
    > knees are somewhat mis-formed, which causes the problems. I actually got into cycling again to
    > strengthen my quads to help out.) The good news is that I have the little band I put under my
    > patella, and it seems to help. Given the distance that I have to race (2.5 mi), would you still
    > recommend the same time for workouts? (To be honest, I really dislike running - the pounding is
    > hard to take, plus I'm gasping much of the time, which really isn't very pleasant. That seems to
    > occur pretty much whatever speed I run, probably due to the fact that it still takes a lot of
    > effort to move a big fat guy, no matter the speed!)
     
  10. Dave Abbott

    Dave Abbott Guest

    I agree with Jason's intent. It's your first tri and your first goal should be to finish it. Use it
    as a learning experience and watch the guys around you during the race and particularly in
    transition to see how the "fast" guys do it.

    Depending on what the competition is like will dictate how you place. You never know when that guy
    who's been racing for 20 years and is using the sprint as a early season tune up will show up. There
    are too many variables you can't control.

    So control the ones you can - you and your training. As I said in my other posting, don't push it
    too fast. The speed will come but it requires you to put in the time and with your knees potentially
    being a weak point already you don't want to over do it.

    "Jason O'Rourke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >Jason (and everyone else), this is what I am looking to do.
    > >
    > >In just about 2 mos I am doing MY first tri. I am trying to win masters div of the d$#n thing. To
    > >do that, I probably need to do 8 min
    >
    > Why do you have to win on the first try? It's fine to set the goals high, but I think it can be
    > taken too far.
    >
    > >miles. I can do the first two legs pretty much in my sleep, though, I do anticipate having a
    > >harder run because of them! :) Distances are 200m swim, 6mi bike, 2.5 mi run. So, I am trying to
    > >do a sprint, as you put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a winter to train, just two months. How
    > >does one "learn the faster speeds"? What is the best way to do everything? Should I just focus on
    > >improving aerobic conditioning, and trying to improve my time on a 5k course? Or, should I add
    > >some more things?
    >
    > I don't think it can be accomplished that fast. You're at a disadvantage in this race as a
    > swimmer, rather than a runner. You have no race
    experience
    > with transitions - though for this race the notion will be: don't transition. This race is too
    > short to bother with any changing, and you probably need the same shoes for the bike and run to
    > win. In short, you need to learn to do what your other competitors already have
    experimented
    > with. I'd guess something like 41-42 minutes plus transitions - 30
    seconds
    > lost to a mistake will cost you a few places.
    >
    > You should probably race a 5k in 3 and 6 weeks, shooting for 23 or better. You need to practice
    > bricks - with only 2.5 miles you don't have time to warm up on the run. And this race is overall
    > so short that aerobic conditioning isn't nearly as important as speed. You probably want to start
    > with mile repeats, maybe shift to 800m ones towards teh end. But with this time frame, I don't
    > know if it can be done. Even in high school as a runner it took a while for me to get my speed
    > back up.
    >
    > In my first race (Alcatraz), I:
    > 1) didn't know the swim exit, swam too close to shore and hit a counter
    eddy.
    > 2) had a mechanical on the bike - gear shifted bounced out of the aerobar and into my front wheel.
    > Only one spoke broken, but a bike stuck in top gear with one more major climb remaining. Had to
    > walk some.
    > 3) Even with some walking towards end of bike, still cramped up for first 2 miles of 8 mile run.
    >
    > Unless no one shows for your event, to win against all the other masters you'll need to run a
    > perfect race on the first try. Best come in with a little humility, "topdog," because most of the
    > regulars in triathlon aren't that shabby. It would be more realistic to think about winning on the
    > latter side of the season.
    > --
    > Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  11. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > >In just about 2 mos I am doing MY first tri. I am trying to win masters div of the d$#n thing. To
    > >do that, I probably need to do 8 min
    >
    > Why do you have to win on the first try? It's fine to set the goals high, but I think it can be
    > taken too far.

    Because it's doable! Looking at the past times which have won the masters division, if I can come in
    with a 8 min mile, I will beat the previous year's top times by a comfortable margin. Besides, I'm
    fairly competitive. Hey, if I just wanted to finish, I wouldn't be training at all - I could finish
    in my sleep right now!
    :)

    > >miles. I can do the first two legs pretty much in my sleep, though, I do anticipate having a
    > >harder run because of them! :) Distances are 200m swim, 6mi bike, 2.5 mi run. So, I am trying to
    > >do a sprint, as you put it. Unfortunately, I don't have a winter to train, just two months. How
    > >does one "learn the faster speeds"? What is the best way to do everything? Should I just focus on
    > >improving aerobic conditioning, and trying to improve my time on a 5k course? Or, should I add
    > >some more things?
    >
    > I don't think it can be accomplished that fast. You're at a disadvantage in this race as a
    > swimmer, rather than a runner. You have no race experience with transitions - though for this race
    > the notion will be: don't transition. This race is too short to bother with any changing, and you
    > probably need the same shoes for the bike and run to win. In short, you need to learn to do what
    > your other competitors already have experimented with. I'd guess something like 41-42 minutes plus
    > transitions - 30 seconds lost to a mistake will cost you a few places.

    I'd have a hard time using the same shoes - running in bike shoes with cleats would be pretty
    uncomfortable! :)) You're pretty close on the times - the winner usually pulls in under 40 min, the
    masters winner under 45 min. I was planning on using the same clothes, but changing my shoes due to
    my pedals.

    > You should probably race a 5k in 3 and 6 weeks, shooting for 23 or better. You need to practice
    > bricks - with only 2.5 miles you don't have time to warm up on the run. And this race is overall
    > so short that aerobic conditioning isn't nearly as important as speed. You probably want to start
    > with mile repeats, maybe shift to 800m ones towards teh end. But with this time frame, I don't
    > know if it can be done. Even in high school as a runner it took a while for me to get my speed
    > back up.

    I always thought that runners had an advantage in tris. At least I'm pretty strong in the other two!

    > In my first race (Alcatraz), I:
    > 1) didn't know the swim exit, swam too close to shore and hit a counter eddy.
    > 2) had a mechanical on the bike - gear shifted bounced out of the aerobar and into my front wheel.
    > Only one spoke broken, but a bike stuck in top gear with one more major climb remaining. Had to
    > walk some.
    > 3) Even with some walking towards end of bike, still cramped up for first 2 miles of 8 mile run.
    >
    > Unless no one shows for your event, to win against all the other masters you'll need to run a
    > perfect race on the first try. Best come in with a little humility, "topdog," because most of the
    > regulars in triathlon aren't that shabby. It would be more realistic to think about winning on the
    > latter side of the season.

    Ah, I see why you're wondering why I am trying to win. This is a "first tri only" race. That's why
    the distances are so short. NO WAY I'd win vs experienced masters participants, but against other
    newbies, it's rather doable, IMHO.

    My game plan so far is to cruise through the first two legs, with good speed but not close to top
    speed - keep the heart rate down. Then, hopefully I'll have a lot left for the run.

    Muchas gracias. You've given me a ton to digest here. (BTW, the name comes from 8 years of running a
    non-profit humane organization. <G>)
     
  12. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > The times I gave were just an example. The first week should be about 10 minutes longer then what
    > you have recently been doing so whether that's 30min or a 60min run depends on your particular
    > situation.
    >
    > As far as your knees, don't push it too hard. Again the Runner's World website has a great
    > training pace calculator which can help you establish your pace for long runs and the Yassos.
    >
    > If you haven't seen a sports therapist, you may want to consult with one. There may be orthotics
    > or something to assist with you particular knee condition.
    >
    > Hope that helps.
    >
    > Dave

    Thanks. Will check out the website. I have already been to the local runner's store, and done the
    fit. I know the guy who runs it - he's somewhat of a local legend and knows his business. After
    about 1 hour + of fitting, I have a pretty good pair of shoes and inserts. On a later visit he got
    me a gadget that goes under my patella, and while I was skeptical at first, it HAS helped! (Plus
    actually taking the time to stretch, another thing I'm not accustomed to!) Beyond that, I'm somewhat
    out of luck with my knees. I can't fix the underlying problem short of major surgery, and actually
    got back into cycling because everyday walking made them inflamed. The PT made it clear that I could
    either ride or be in pain. And, I found I really missed riding, and am a nut about it now! :)
     
  13. topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Ah, I see why you're wondering why I am trying to win. This is a "first tri only" race. That's why
    >the distances are so short. NO WAY I'd win vs experienced masters participants, but against other
    >newbies, it's rather doable, IMHO.

    Ah, unless you get some ringers, of course. Still, at 200lbs and a non runner, you're at a basic
    disadvantage in triathlon.

    >My game plan so far is to cruise through the first two legs, with good speed but not close to top
    >speed - keep the heart rate down. Then, hopefully I'll have a lot left for the run.

    But since your problem is that you aren't able to go fast enough yet running, you run the risk of
    finishing the race with energy in the tank. Some cyclists will burn away on that 6 mi bit and you
    may not want to spot them too much time. Given the short distances, you can actually do this in
    training and see how it works out.
    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  14. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    > Ah, unless you get some ringers, of course. Still, at 200lbs and a non runner, you're at a basic
    > disadvantage in triathlon.

    Or, someone in even better shape! They also have a non-beginner division, and I hope that keeps the
    ringers out.

    > >My game plan so far is to cruise through the first two legs, with good speed but not close to top
    > >speed - keep the heart rate down. Then, hopefully I'll have a lot left for the run.
    >
    > But since your problem is that you aren't able to go fast enough yet running, you run the risk of
    > finishing the race with energy in the tank. Some cyclists will burn away on that 6 mi bit and you
    > may not want to spot them too much time. Given the short distances, you can actually do this in
    > training and see how it works out.

    I figure I can do 20mph average on the bike and still be able to cruise. I don't expect too many
    masters will be able to do that in a beginner division. My goal is to offset my deficiencies by
    being the best trained out there! Plus, hopefully by then I will be down around 185 lbs (I'm down to
    193 already).
     
  15. topdog <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I figure I can do 20mph average on the bike and still be able to cruise. I don't expect too many
    >masters will be able to do that in a beginner division. My goal is to offset my deficiencies by
    >being the

    If you can cruise at 20, you'll be fine. In results of most sprints I've seen (12-15miles), 21 is
    about as high as people average. 17 is more the norm.
    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  16. Tom Rodgers

    Tom Rodgers Guest

    I'm getting in late here. First, I think you need to distinguish between long-term improvement in
    your running speed, and your RACING speed in triathlons. They are two different things.

    The first thing, simply becoming a faster runner, takes time. If you are now running 9-minute miles
    for say a one-hour run, you probably need to continue to do some distance. Running three times a
    week is fine if you don't need to improve your running, or you already have good base and talent and
    only need that much to maintain speed. Since you are in neither group, you need to do more running
    to improve in the LONG-TERM.

    Don't up your distance rapidly, no more than 10% per week. In your case, you should run 4-5 times a
    week instead of three. At least one of these should be right off the bike for 30 minutes. As your
    brick running improves, shout for another 30 minute run after one of your longer bikes. This helps
    run well while fatigued. In addition to one or two bricks, you need one long run (usually done
    slowly until you get naturally faster), and one fast run. The fast run MAY be a track interval
    session, but when you are just starting to improve, fartleks (random speed up and slow downs),
    hills, or just a steady run at your highest aerobic pace may be safer and just as beneficial.

    Yes, speedwork on a track is the fastest way to become fast, but it is a double-edged sword, since
    it requires more recovery, makes you more prone to injury, and doesn't necessarily make your
    triathlon times faster UNLESS you are a good cyclist and can "run tired" off the bike. It's also
    easy to get caught up in competition with others on the track, and you should remember that
    commandment, "Thou shalt not try to win an interval." Save it for the race, when you can truly go
    all out at the end. There are countless times I have seen my running-club training partners beat me
    soundly on almost every track interval, by over 20 meters, only to pass them a month later in the
    marathon, and beat their 5 or 10K running triathlon splits by several minutes every time. They
    almost think I'm some kind of sissy on the track because I stick to heart-rate goals regardless of
    speed, but I get the last laugh.

    So if body weight and running endurance are still a problem, there is only so much that track
    intervals will do for you. This is NOT like the pool or the bike, where intervals are less injury
    prone and recovery is much faster.

    One thing you can do to improve running speed is technique speedwork, which means things like
    strides, lunges, stretching, and other drills. See the POSE METHOD of running videotape for more on
    this. It's mentioned at the USA triathlon web site I think, and various run and triathlon vendors,
    and in Joe Friel's TRAINING BIBLE book. Or just ask a good runner about typical running drills.
    These can be done with practically no recovery or injury problems, and they do help. But like
    one-leg pedaling drills and swim stroke drills, they take time and you must be patient.

    But I started out as a overweight marathon runner, and just put in slow to moderate miles, which
    is not such a bad thing until you get down to say 8:00 per mile for aerobic training and longer
    run races. Once you get there, then you can start trimming your 5K speed with intervals. Until
    then, race speed, especially in triathlons when you are tired, will improve more with overall
    endruance and muscular endurance to run off the bike--not the higher-heart-rate anaerobic
    endurance you might already have for fast swimming and peleton bike racing. The time to work on
    anaerobic endurance is RACING.

    Also note that if the bike is indeed your strength, which it seems to be, you will place higher in
    LONGER triathlons like half- and full-Ironman than in sprint races. You have plenty of time to put a
    big gap on people on the bike, and your bike endurance will be a leveler against naturally fast
    runners who tend to fade off the bike. Again, I am large and not that fast a natural runner, but I
    consistently beat ligher and more talented people in triathlon run splits because I have better
    strength and endurance coming off the bike.

    An over-40 large person with little run talent can realistically learn to run under 8:00 per mile in
    a half-Ironman run or standalone marathon, and in your case get down to 7:00-7:30/mile on the 5k run
    segment of a sprint triathlon. I'm 5'11" and 185, and I can run 6:20s in a 5K ending a sprint
    triathlon, 8:00s in an Ironman (cool weather, not Kona), and maybe 7:10-20s in a half-Ironman. And I
    started as an overweight marathoner at 3:32, still haven't broken three hours in a standalone. I
    still think I have more "natural talent" on the bike, but steady application to run improvement,
    doing lots of run-only road races, and limited but focused use of track intervals were all it took.

    Also know that slower running during training is better for weight loss. Too much anaerobic work
    burns more sugar, makes you hungrier, and you eat more. That's not to say NEVER to have intense
    workouts, just realize that weight loss, endurance and basic health are developed at the lower and
    moderately aerobic heart rates.

    Now here's a test to see how your run endurance and economy is progressing, and in fact overall
    fitness as well. Once every couple of weeks, go to t he track with your heart rate monitor, warm up
    15 minutes, then run three miles at your MAXIMUM AEROBIC FUNCTION (MAF from Dr. Phil Maffetone).
    This is somewhere around 180 minus your age, plus a conversion factor. In your case, this factor is
    probably zero or maybe +2 (obese non-exercising people can be MINUS 10). Whatever number you choose,
    stick with it for a year. Try to run each lap as close to this number as possible, never going over.
    Mine, for example is 144bpm, so I set the HRM to 140-144 and try to stay at this, slowing a little
    into the wind, speeding up a little with the wind, etc.

    If you run around 9:00 mile right now, this might look like:

    Mile 1: 8:55 Mile 2: 9:00 Mile 3: 9:10

    You can do this up to five miles if you are in good long-distance run shape, but three is enough.
    Also make sure you warm up for 15 minutes (same amount, same terrain every time), and note the
    weather. Obviously, hot days and high wind mess up the results, so in Texas do this one first thing
    in the morning when you are well-rested on an emtpy or near-empty stomach.

    What you want to notice is how much you "fade" with each mile (and you will fade a little a constant
    heart rate, even with excellent fitness), and what the average time is for the three miles. As
    months of training progress, this number should go down. If for some reason it STOPS going down or
    perks back up, check your training to see if you are doing too much speedwork, not enough rest, high
    heat, poor hydration, family/works stress, etc. After a few tests of declining times and good
    aerobic progress, THEN you can add some anaerobic speedwork, but only so long as it helps these
    times go down. When they level off, cut back on the speedwork and get more rest.

    You an in fact go your first year in the sport without much if any speedwork, provided you keep this
    MAF number going down. You'll also find this pace is the one you naturally return to in longer
    triathlons, even though it takes much more effort off the bike than during the test.

    You'll be amazed on how much you can make these numbers go down with only a little speedwork,
    provided you are smart about the rest of your training. In one training season, it can drop 30
    seconds, even with pros like Mark Allen. I've gone from something like 8:00 down to 7:10 in recent
    years. You can go maybe from 9:00 down to 8:00 in a year. Now this is not exactly the same thing as
    how fast you can run a 5K at the end of a triathlon, but when one goes down, so does the
    other--there is much research that proves this.

    No matter how fast you run or high your heart rate gets in a race, remember that all triathlon
    distances, even just a 5K run, are largely aerobic. Anaerobic gains will always be minimal. Now if
    you're a short-course pro, that 1-2% is tremendous in competition, but for master's age groupers,
    the high aerobic pace is king.

    "topdog" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Here's a question for all you great runners out there - how does one better train to increase
    > their running speed? Running is definitely my weakest leg. I need to improve it a good deal if I
    > want to be competitive. Presently I am running 3x a week, averaging about 9 min miles. I'm also
    > spending most of my effort with the other legs on developing my aerobic base, thinking that this
    > will affect my run speed as well. (My masters body can handle low-impact aerobic training better
    > than my knees can handle the running - I can spend hours on a bike, but would be crippled with
    > tendonitis if I spent as much time running).
    >
    > Are there any speed drills that help? I know with swimming, while distance work makes a
    > difference, one needs to work on speed as well - partially to simply know HOW to do it, and how
    > much you can push. The latter is a factor here - since the run is the last leg, it doesn't matter
    > if I pass out once I cross the finish line!
    >
    > Anyways, any suggestions?
     
  17. Jason - how did the run with the TImex GPS toy go? I'm thinking of buying this so feedback would
    be great :eek:)

    Cheers, Hedgehog

    "Jason O'Rourke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > In terms of gadgets, the timex speed+distance GPS toy may be useful as it can give accurate
    > instantaneous speed in the form of mile pace. I'm going to try it out in a race for the first time
    > on Saturday. Again, it's learning what a given pace feels like, and then trying to do faster.
    >
    > --
    > Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  18. Hedgehog & Markarina <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Jason - how did the run with the TImex GPS toy go? I'm thinking of buying this so feedback would be
    >great :eek:)

    So having the pace info could be pretty useful - since I've not been running at all I used it to
    keep from going too fast initially. You can either get a readout of stopwatch and pace, or pace and
    mileage. No combo unfortunately, so I switched from time to mileage at the mid point. It read 2.98
    miles for the distance - proper would be 3.1, but I don't know if the course was a tad short, or my
    cutting the corners of the rolling road added up to a tenth.

    I wore it over a tshirt, didn't seem noticeable running. But in a race top, would be on skin. Can't
    say yet if it would distract more than help.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  19. My son,

    You come across being pretty intelligent. At once your posts are thoughtful, complete, and
    well-worded. You are quite the gentleman. Are you from Texas? Do you wear leather and a big
    cowboy hat?

    Fr. Guido

    "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm getting in late here. First, I think you need to distinguish between long-term improvement in
    > your running speed, and your RACING speed in triathlons. They are two different things.
     
  20. Tom Rodgers

    Tom Rodgers Guest

    Yes, as is my friend TOPDOG, the original poster. And yes, I can wear all of those things, ride a
    horse and rope a cow (rarer as more people immigrate to the Texas nation), and speak Texan, but I've
    also lived and worked in Europe, Russia, Hawaii, etc.

    We have been known to breed some pretty good endurance athletes from time to time. And some fast
    sprinters on the run track.

    "Father Guido Sarducci" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My son,
    >
    > You come across being pretty intelligent. At once your posts are thoughtful, complete, and
    > well-worded. You are quite the gentleman. Are you from Texas? Do you wear leather and a big
    > cowboy hat?
    >
    > Fr. Guido
    >
    > "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I'm getting in late here. First, I think you need to distinguish between long-term improvement
    > > in your running speed, and your RACING speed in triathlons. They are two different things.
     
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