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Moderate every day


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CoachCraig
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 13:40    Post subject: Moderate every day
I just wanted to get some feedback from anyone who has tried training moderately hard every day. I also figured this might be an interesting training topic to discuss here.

I have used this technique with some success on both myself and some of the runners I have coached. In addition, some very successful coaches have used this technique, particularly on the high school level where race distances range from 1 mile to 5K. Many beginning runners fall into this kind of schedule by default until they "learn" to train hard-easy.

The idea is pretty simple. Train at a moderate level that is hard enough that you get benifits, but not so hard that you can't repeat the same intensity level the next day with no ill effects. Part of the concept is the only reason you need easy days is to repair the damage from running extremely hard on the hard days. It is better to simply train consistently at a moderate level when you don't do this level of damage to start with.

There are good and bad things about this kind of training, which I will address later, along with some specifics for how this training looks. But first let's hear from anyone else who has tried this and what you think of it...
jrjo
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 13:54    Post subject:
I think I know what you're getting at and it's probably akin to how I train. I keep an easy/hard routine by varying the distance I do or alternating run w/cross-train days. But when it comes to the actual pace I run, it's pretty much consistent across the board, across most every distance. I just can't program myself to go at the projected 'easy' pace for what my race times indicate I should do on recovery days. Like you mention, this happens during school years and that's where I think I started this groove. In high school and to an extent in college, I trained "over my head". Our team had a state champ cross-country runner on it and a couple others that were consistent top 25. There was never any of this waay slow recovery days. And yet we weren't racing. It was definitely 'moderate' pacing. I've agreed with that old adage for years..long slow distance makes long slow runners.
kattzoo
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 17:16    Post subject:
I, being very lazy, enjoy my easy days, and find that taking them has really improved my hard workouts and long runs.

I used to train at the same intensity all the time and didn't see much improvement, but I may have been training over the threshold you're talking about.
purple hayes
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 17:45    Post subject: Re: Moderate every day
CoachCraig wrote:
The idea is pretty simple. Train at a moderate level that is hard enough that you get benifits, but not so hard that you can't repeat the same intensity level the next day with no ill effects.


A lot of the time, I think I resemble that remark. I have a very hard time talking myself into doing any hard days. I usually don't feel beat up after my regular days though.
runaroundsue
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 19:46    Post subject:
kattzoo wrote:
I, being very lazy, enjoy my easy days, and find that taking them has really improved my hard workouts and long runs.

I used to train at the same intensity all the time and didn't see much improvement, but I may have been training over the threshold you're talking about.


I have to agree. The more I slow down most of my days, I am able to have one or two great workouts....the better runner I've become on race day when it counts. I'm not changing.....if anything I'm slowing down my long runs even more and see what the effect on marathons will be. I know my 10k times have improved quite abit by slowing everything but adding more time to my tempo/threshold runs. No more 7 minute pace anymore....it 7:45+ or it's around 6:00.

sue
kattzoo
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PostPosted: 01/29/04 - 22:31    Post subject:
runaroundsue wrote:
kattzoo wrote:
I, being very lazy, enjoy my easy days, and find that taking them has really improved my hard workouts and long runs.

I used to train at the same intensity all the time and didn't see much improvement, but I may have been training over the threshold you're talking about.


I have to agree. The more I slow down most of my days, I am able to have one or two great workouts....the better runner I've become on race day when it counts. I'm not changing.....if anything I'm slowing down my long runs even more and see what the effect on marathons will be. I know my 10k times have improved quite abit by slowing everything but adding more time to my tempo/threshold runs. No more 7 minute pace anymore....it 7:45+ or it's around 6:00.
sue


Just had to put that in there, didn't you speedy! Very Happy (I hit a 8:59 mile on my tempo run today and was ready to buy everyone at the track a round)
CoachCraig
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PostPosted: 01/30/04 - 14:04    Post subject:
I should probably add a few more details. I really wasn't describing what jrjo said. The idea is not neccessarily run at the same pace everyday (although that can be part of it), but actually train at the same overall effort everyday. That means no hard/easy/hard schedule at all.

To give two significantly different training examples of the same thing:

#1 - Do a moderately hard run every day of the same distance and pace. This will generally start slow but build to tempo pace. The length of time spent at tempo pace is shorter than a typical LT/tempo run, so each day is only moderately hard. Over time, the pace you feel comfortable with improves. Occasionally (say once per week) part of the run could be replaced with some short track work, but the overall training distance for the day and the total intensity stays moderate. This schedule at a 7-8 miles per day by a number of very successful high school runners, including Kim Mortensen, national record holder at 3200m (9:48!).

#2 - Mixture of different types of runs, distances and paces, but the total intensity is roughtly equal every day. This was very commonly done in the past, particularly with daily track work. This is still pretty common with "old school" high school coaches. The daily track work schedules were used by many world class runners in the 1940's to 1970's, and some Kenyan training groups use a less speedwork specific routine now (perhaps a little closer to #1 then #2)

I have used these kinds of schedules myself, and coached people with them. It gets a little tricky with marathoners, because only with very high mileage runners can the long run become just another moderate day of running.

On the plus side, I find many people enjoy this kind of schedule much more than hard/easy. It also can be very effective at working most aspects of your running, but most especially LT and running efficiency. On the down side, the fact that you never good really hard in practice makes it tough to go all out in a race. I find that going to the wall is a learned skill for most people, and without hard days in practice you have race often to master this.
Phar lap
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PostPosted: 02/01/04 - 06:42    Post subject:
Craig, I hope that I am reading your post correctly, if so I'm supprised your runners can keep themselves fresh (both physically and mentally) with this approach. I don't say it wouldn't be of some benefit to a certain type of runner but I would have strong reservations about giving it to high school runners. My experience is that school runners; especially school runners need variety.
Volume, speed, intensity and most importantly rest, be that easy days or even days off.
Perhaps I tend to under coach, my school runners (girls 15 to 18 year olds) but I always found variety best for us. I still work them VERY hard twice a week; only once if they race at the weekend but to keep them keen for racing I prefer they take plenty of easy and AYF (as you feel)days.
During the 70's I used to see Derek Clayton (Worlds fastest marathoner at the time) and his club train around a popular running track (4km.loop) and I would say he pretty much trained like you described.
It may have been OK for Derek but his training partners just could not hold on. At least not on a regular basis.
Still another interesting training concept and I am glad that you have found some sucess with it. Its great to be able to put up different training ideas and learn from each other.
Tell me do you you use this system with all your runners or just certain groups?
CoachCraig
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PostPosted: 02/01/04 - 16:03    Post subject:
Most of my runners actually do a standard hard/easy approach with a speed day, a tempo day, and a long day. But I do have some runners that really respond to this kind of approach. I agree with the comment about variety. I try to mix it up, more along the lines of my #2 above. I try to keep the intensity pretty constant, but add variety partially to keep it interesting and partially to work different systems and paces. However, Kim Mortensen's high school team (Thousand Oaks, CA) seemed to run basically the same run pace and distance every day and that worked quite well. In addition to Kim's national record, they had one of the top teams in the country for a while, with several 9:0X type boys 2 milers.
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