Re: QUERY: Why optimize a marathon runner's fat burning mechanism?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Donovan Rebbechi, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. On 2004-08-28, mirror <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > What is the reason marathon training programs emphasize
    > optimizing the fat burning mechanism through long, slow distance?


    *Long* distance optimises a whole lot of mechanisms. The main reason
    to train "slowly" is that it is hard to train for very long at your
    5k race pace (for example)

    What it ultimately boils down to is specificity. Simply put, if you
    don't do long runs in training, a 20 miler will feel really difficult
    even if you only do it really slowly.

    > The argument that such optimization spares glycogen during a race
    > seems not to hold up. The body stores 2000 to 2500 glycogen
    > calories,


    Not necessarily. Those numbers assume that you're reasonably well
    adapted. It also assumes that you exclusively use aerobic metabolism
    to burn that glycogen. Once you start using anaerobic metabolism, cellular
    level adaptions play a role. Metabolism becomes a more complicated,
    multi stage process, where the initial breakdown of the glucose molecule
    does not release all available energy. The better the cellular adaptions,
    the more heavily you can use anaerobic metabolism without rapid lactic acid
    accumulation.

    > enough to make it to mile 20 or 25.


    Wrong again. 100 calories per mile is about right for a 137lb runner. If
    you're heavier than that, you will burn more than that.

    > Since the runner is
    > taking glucose on board through sport drinks at fluid stations,


    Which cannot be absorbed very quickly.

    > it seems likely he or she will cross the finish line with a
    > glycogen reserve.


    If he/she runs at an appropriate pace, *and* trains properly.

    > In fact, the bonk is glycogen depletion, and most training
    > manuals contend a runner that hydrates properly (with a sodium-
    > glucose solution) will not bonk.


    Provided that they pace themselves properly, and train properly.

    > When they cross the finish line,
    > the wall will still be ahead of them.
    >
    > Also, competitive marathoners race at paces that demand glycogen
    > as fuel.


    And distances that require heavy use of other energy sources.

    > So, again, what is the value of training slow if the purpose is to
    > condition the fat burning oxidative mechanism?


    Training *long* is more important than training slowly. But if you try
    run your 20 miler like it's a race, you'll be sluggish for 2 weeks, so
    it's a good idea to do it slowly.

    > Why not train fast to compete fast


    That's a fantastic idea, and most advanced marathon training programs do
    include speedwork. But you can't have it both ways -- you've got to do
    short-and-fast training for speed, and long-and-slow training for endurance.

    Attempt to do long-and-fast training, and you will burn out very quickly.

    > and take glucose on board during the race to use it as the predominant
    > fuel?


    A fast marathon runner will use glucose as the predominant fuel regardless.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi
    http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
    Tags:


  2. Mike Tennent

    Mike Tennent Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Attempt to do long-and-fast training, and you will burn out very quickly.



    Amen.


    It was before your time here on r.r, but we had one guy a few years
    ago who suddenly got religion after attending a lecture by a top
    runner.

    Indy decided that long and fast was the way to train for his next
    marathon. Instead of the lowly 9 - 10 minute pace he was used to (and
    capable of,) he decided 7:30- 8:00 was LSD work for him. (Indy wasn't
    very fast to start with.)

    It wasn't pretty.

    Mike Tennent
    "IronPenguin"
    Operating Traffic Lights
    Crossbucks
    Special Effects Lighting
    http://www.ironpeng.com/ipe
     
  3. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    Mike Tennent <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>Attempt to do long-and-fast training, and you will burn out very

    quickly.
    >
    >
    > Amen.
    >
    >
    > It was before your time here on r.r, but we had one guy a few years
    > ago who suddenly got religion after attending a lecture by a top
    > runner.


    Indyrunnr and I got into it about hill running during a marathon race. He
    was convinced that charging up every hill was the way to break the
    competition. I'm sorry, but if you're a mid-packer, the best way to run
    hills is to maintain effort. That will get from point A to point B in the
    shortest amount of time.

    Phil M.

    --
    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make
    them all yourself." ­Martin Vanbee
     
  4. SwStudio

    SwStudio Guest

    "Phil M." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > Indyrunnr and I got into it about hill running during a marathon race. He
    > was convinced that charging up every hill was the way to break the
    > competition. I'm sorry, but if you're a mid-packer, the best way to run
    > hills is to maintain effort. That will get from point A to point B in the
    > shortest amount of time.


    I remember Indy. Anyway, I think hills *are* an opportunity
    to break competitors, but not charging up them.

    I think the best use of a hill is to take it at even pace but crest it
    strongly, at slightly above even effort. I find little packs tend to slow
    down en masse at the tops of hills, as if we've all silently condoned a
    little rest period together. You know what I mean, it happens all the
    time when you are in a race with little packs of several runners.
    Sometimes just maintaining pace will do if everyone does this silent
    slowdown , thinking that they have safety in numbers.

    To me, this seems the absolute best moment to make a move. It's like
    everyone just admitted they are tired without saying a word. Looking
    strong and picking it up right as you crest the hill really demoralizes
    those on the edge of lactic blowout. On the flats, if you try to pass
    people they psychologically feel more of a need to not allow it. You
    are on equal footing, so to speak, and they are more likely to offer a
    fight, and also more likely to be able to stay with you. The hill offers
    an excuse..."let him go", etc. It also allows to to find out right away
    who is fresh enough to present a problem to you. No one will follow
    you unless they know they can back it up. Leaving the comfort of the
    pack is a risky proposition.

    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON)
    www.allfalldown.org
    www.absolutelyaccurate.com
     
  5. Doug Freese

    Doug Freese Guest

    "Mike Tennent" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Indy decided that long and fast was the way to train for his next
    > marathon. Instead of the lowly 9 - 10 minute pace he was used to (and
    > capable of,) he decided 7:30- 8:00 was LSD work for him. (Indy wasn't
    > very fast to start with.)
    >
    > It wasn't pretty.


    For while after he bailed out in huff(nobody likes me I'm gonna eat some
    worms) I kept an eye on his races and he was continuing to shit the bed
    with all his races. Always some excuse and never his training. The
    irony, I can't even remember his real name anymore. Shame on me.;)

    DougF
     
  6. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    "SwStudio" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Phil M." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> Indyrunnr and I got into it about hill running during a marathon
    >> race. He was convinced that charging up every hill was the way to
    >> break the competition. I'm sorry, but if you're a mid-packer, the
    >> best way to run hills is to maintain effort. That will get from point
    >> A to point B in the shortest amount of time.

    >
    > I remember Indy. Anyway, I think hills *are* an opportunity
    > to break competitors, but not charging up them.


    I'm speaking from the middle of the pack. I'm not trying to break anyone.
    I'm only trying to *not* break myself.

    > I think the best use of a hill is to take it at even pace but crest it
    > strongly, at slightly above even effort. I find little packs tend to
    > slow down en masse at the tops of hills, as if we've all silently
    > condoned a little rest period together. You know what I mean, it
    > happens all the time when you are in a race with little packs of
    > several runners. Sometimes just maintaining pace will do if everyone
    > does this silent slowdown , thinking that they have safety in numbers.


    Could be. I haven't raced enough to know first hand. If they are slowing
    down at the creast that much, they probably were running up too fast. In
    the few races I've been in lately, I have noticed that many runners will
    not slow their pace enough to be an even effort, not even close. So they
    end up passing me on the uphills during the first half of the race. I
    will usually pass them on the downhills. Gradually, as we enter the
    second half of the race, these same runners aren't going up the hills
    quite so fast. I'm maintaining my effort while keeping pace with them on
    the uphills, and still passing on the downhills.

    Phil M.

    --
    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make
    them all yourself." ­Martin Vanbee
     
  7. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    "Doug Freese" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > "Mike Tennent" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Indy decided that long and fast was the way to train for his next
    >> marathon. Instead of the lowly 9 - 10 minute pace he was used to (and
    >> capable of,) he decided 7:30- 8:00 was LSD work for him. (Indy wasn't
    >> very fast to start with.)
    >>
    >> It wasn't pretty.

    >
    > For while after he bailed out in huff(nobody likes me I'm gonna eat some
    > worms) I kept an eye on his races and he was continuing to shit the bed
    > with all his races. Always some excuse and never his training. The
    > irony, I can't even remember his real name anymore. Shame on me.;)


    David Frazier.

    Phil M.

    --
    "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make
    them all yourself." ­Martin Vanbee
     
  8. Sam

    Sam Guest

    I have never really worried about people passing me on the downhill as long
    as the DH is not at the end of a race. Rarely will a person get away from
    me on a DH and not "come back" to me later in the race.
    Of course tactics really only work in a race where you know where you are in
    relation to the competitors. In a large marathon or race where it really is
    impossible to know where you are in the standings, it is moot since you are
    really time trialing. Small, local races are a different story or if you
    have a few competitors you are trying to beat (like my friend who stayed on
    my shoulder the first 2 miles of a 5K--I was determined to hold her off as
    long as possible).

    I do like to go strong over the top of the hill and in a race where I know
    my competitors are behind me, I like to surge just past a corner. It is
    demoralizing for the trailing person to come around the corner and see that
    you have gained a few meters on them.


    "SwStudio" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Phil M." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > Indyrunnr and I got into it about hill running during a marathon race.

    He
    > > was convinced that charging up every hill was the way to break the
    > > competition. I'm sorry, but if you're a mid-packer, the best way to run
    > > hills is to maintain effort. That will get from point A to point B in

    the
    > > shortest amount of time.

    >
    > I remember Indy. Anyway, I think hills *are* an opportunity
    > to break competitors, but not charging up them.
    >
    > I think the best use of a hill is to take it at even pace but crest it
    > strongly, at slightly above even effort. I find little packs tend to slow
    > down en masse at the tops of hills, as if we've all silently condoned a
    > little rest period together. You know what I mean, it happens all the
    > time when you are in a race with little packs of several runners.
    > Sometimes just maintaining pace will do if everyone does this silent
    > slowdown , thinking that they have safety in numbers.
    >
    > To me, this seems the absolute best moment to make a move. It's like
    > everyone just admitted they are tired without saying a word. Looking
    > strong and picking it up right as you crest the hill really demoralizes
    > those on the edge of lactic blowout. On the flats, if you try to pass
    > people they psychologically feel more of a need to not allow it. You
    > are on equal footing, so to speak, and they are more likely to offer a
    > fight, and also more likely to be able to stay with you. The hill offers
    > an excuse..."let him go", etc. It also allows to to find out right away
    > who is fresh enough to present a problem to you. No one will follow
    > you unless they know they can back it up. Leaving the comfort of the
    > pack is a risky proposition.
    >
    > cheers,
    > --
    > David (in Hamilton, ON)
    > www.allfalldown.org
    > www.absolutelyaccurate.com
    >
    >
     
  9. SwStudio

    SwStudio Guest

    "Sam" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > I have never really worried about people passing me on the downhill as

    long
    > as the DH is not at the end of a race. Rarely will a person get away from
    > me on a DH and not "come back" to me later in the race.
    > Of course tactics really only work in a race where you know where you are

    in
    > relation to the competitors. In a large marathon or race where it really

    is
    > impossible to know where you are in the standings, it is moot since you

    are
    > really time trialing. Small, local races are a different story or if you
    > have a few competitors you are trying to beat (like my friend who stayed

    on
    > my shoulder the first 2 miles of a 5K--I was determined to hold her off as
    > long as possible).
    >
    > I do like to go strong over the top of the hill and in a race where I know
    > my competitors are behind me, I like to surge just past a corner. It is
    > demoralizing for the trailing person to come around the corner and see

    that
    > you have gained a few meters on them.


    I have a friend who is my main competitor in the sense that we
    both run similar times and enjoy the positive rivalry. He is in the
    top few in Canada in the 50+ division, and strangely is more
    likely to beat me in a 5k than a HM although I am only in my
    mid 30's. His training is unorthodox and I could describe it to
    anyone interested.

    Anyway, my point is that his strategy is to surge a bit in the
    middle of a race.... the 3rd km, so to speak. Many a race he has
    done this to me. Suddenly he's 20 metres ahead and I'm thinking
    I will catch up later because it's not that far. Of course, he beats
    me by 20 metres.

    I like to race hard and honest right fron the start, and have trouble
    using tactics even when I know it's a better choice. For example,
    I can't help but start to drift out of a pack when I feel good, if only
    for a few seconds. In this way I wear my 'racing heart' on my sleeve.
    I envy those that can hold off.

    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON)
    www.allfalldown.org
    www.absolutelyaccurate.com
     
  10. >I have a friend who is my main competitor


    Does he know how to trim quotes? Or is he an asshole too?
     
  11. SwStudio <[email protected]> wrote:
    .....
    > I have a friend who is my main competitor in the sense that we
    > both run similar times and enjoy the positive rivalry. He is in the
    > top few in Canada in the 50+ division, and strangely is more
    > likely to beat me in a 5k than a HM although I am only in my
    > mid 30's. His training is unorthodox and I could describe it to
    > anyone interested.


    David,

    I would be interested in reading it. Can you post it?

    Thanks,
    jobs
     
  12. SwStudio

    SwStudio Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > SwStudio <[email protected]> wrote:
    > ....
    > > I have a friend who is my main competitor in the sense that we
    > > both run similar times and enjoy the positive rivalry. He is in the
    > > top few in Canada in the 50+ division, and strangely is more
    > > likely to beat me in a 5k than a HM although I am only in my
    > > mid 30's. His training is unorthodox and I could describe it to
    > > anyone interested.

    >
    > David,
    >
    > I would be interested in reading it. Can you post it?


    No problem, Jobs:

    He is 54 (just turned) and currently runs about 17:10 - 17:15 for
    5k, and about 1:19:45 for half marathon.

    Training consists of going to the gym six days a week, which will
    typically include 4 days of recumbant bike and 2 on regular stationary
    bike. These bike workouts are almost always classic lactate threshold
    type events, in which he carefully monitors HR to keep it in the proper
    zone (half-marathon sort of effort level, so to speak). They usually last
    an hour; maybe 40 minutes if he's tired. He keep the cadence at about
    108. Afterwards he usually does about 30 minutes of stretching and
    abdominal work.

    One day a week he runs, and this is often a hard 10 miler. Again, he
    clearly likes the threshold zone.

    If a race is coming up, he tapers a bit, but will usually do 5km on the
    treadmill the day before at 10mph, which works out to about 18:45
    with the initial speedup at the start. This is the only time he runs, aside
    from the Sunday 10 miler.


    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON)
    www.allfalldown.org
    www.absolutelyaccurate.com
     
  13. SwStudio <[email protected]> wrote:
    ....
    > He is 54 (just turned) and currently runs about 17:10 - 17:15 for
    > 5k, and about 1:19:45 for half marathon.


    That's an impressive time. More so for a 54 year old.

    > Training consists of going to the gym six days a week, which will
    > typically include 4 days of recumbant bike and 2 on regular stationary
    > bike. These bike workouts are almost always classic lactate threshold
    > type events, in which he carefully monitors HR to keep it in the proper
    > zone (half-marathon sort of effort level, so to speak). They usually last
    > an hour; maybe 40 minutes if he's tired. He keep the cadence at about
    > 108. Afterwards he usually does about 30 minutes of stretching and
    > abdominal work.



    It's very interesting. So, pretty much all he does is bike, and bike hard.


    > One day a week he runs, and this is often a hard 10 miler. Again, he
    > clearly likes the threshold zone.


    So, in other words, he has no easy days at all as far as legs go.

    > If a race is coming up, he tapers a bit, but will usually do 5km on the
    > treadmill the day before at 10mph, which works out to about 18:45
    > with the initial speedup at the start. This is the only time he runs, aside
    > from the Sunday 10 miler.


    I wonder what he could do if he were to go for the orthodox training
    methods - easy days, hard, LT, LSD, repeats, etc..

    I would think it might not possible for him to do a marathon at
    a relatively comparable level using his current methods.

    Thanks for psting the information.
    jobs
     
  14. On 2004-09-01, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
    > SwStudio <[email protected]> wrote:
    > ...
    >> He is 54 (just turned) and currently runs about 17:10 - 17:15 for
    >> 5k, and about 1:19:45 for half marathon.

    >
    > That's an impressive time. More so for a 54 year old.
    >
    >> Training consists of going to the gym six days a week, which will
    >> typically include 4 days of recumbant bike and 2 on regular stationary
    >> bike. These bike workouts are almost always classic lactate threshold
    >> type events, in which he carefully monitors HR to keep it in the proper
    >> zone (half-marathon sort of effort level, so to speak). They usually last
    >> an hour; maybe 40 minutes if he's tired. He keep the cadence at about
    >> 108. Afterwards he usually does about 30 minutes of stretching and
    >> abdominal work.

    >
    > It's very interesting. So, pretty much all he does is bike, and bike hard.


    Bike is much easier on recovery. There is no eccentric loading, and you don't
    have the rapid contractions associated with high impact. I've never had DOMS
    from a bike ride, even hard bike rides when poorly adapted. On the other hand,
    even an all-out 50m dash is enough to cause DOMS if you're poorly adapted.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi
    http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  15. SwStudio

    SwStudio Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > I wonder what he could do if he were to go for the orthodox training
    > methods - easy days, hard, LT, LSD, repeats, etc..


    He is afraid of injury. He has seen all his peers fall by the wayside
    as the years have passed. He knows he could be a little faster at
    specific distances if he trained properly, but is loathe to change a
    system that keeps him in the top few in the country with no injury.


    > I would think it might not possible for him to do a marathon at
    > a relatively comparable level using his current methods.


    I agree - again, he knows the limitations but is willing to stick with
    what he's got and see where it takes him as he ages further.

    cheers,
    --
    David (in Hamilton, ON)
    www.allfalldown.org
    www.absolutelyaccurate.com
     
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