Thursday, 27 October 2011

Junk Miles Help You Run Faster!

Article by Steve Magness
A couple somewhat recent studies have come out that help show the importance of easy running. Both were done in Spain on relatively well trained distance runners (in one, performances ranged from about 30-34min for 10k I think).
The original study set out to quantify a group of runners training for two CC races using HR. They split training into 3 HR zones and recorded their HR during all training for 6 months. The 3 zones essentially came down to easy running, threshold type running, and interval/speed type running. It’s more complicated but that makes it easy to think about the training. At the end of the study 75% of the training was done in zone 1, 21% in zone 2, and 8% in zone 3.
The surprising thing was that the ONLY thing that significantly correlated with how an athlete performed was the amount of training done in zone 1. So, the more training in zone 1 an athlete did, the better he tended to perform.

This was obviously surprising since you’d expect that the amount of training in the faster zones would correlate to race improvement since they were racing over 4.1km and 10k. So, they did another study to figure things out.

In the 2nd study, they took a group of runners and split them into two even groups. One group did had a zone distribution 80%, 10%, 10%. While the other had a distribution of 65%, 25%, and 10%. They made sure the training load (calculated based on HR, essentially it is volume X intensity) was equal in both groups. Basically, the 1st group did more easy and steady running, while the 2nd group did more tempo work.
What happened? Both groups improved. That’s good. BUT, the group with more easy running improved even more so. In fact, they improved a statistically significant amount more.
So, what does all of that mean? EASY running, including junk mileage, has a place! It works.

Lastly, let’s look at Moses Mosop’s training prior to the Kenyan XC champs, which he won. For the months of November, Dec, Jan. and Feb. he had the following avg. miles per week: 124, 127, 88, and 125. That’s a lot of running. Let’s look a little deeper at the average training over these four months.

Weekly mileage –AVG= 116.2mpw
Regeneration Mileage (< 6:10/mi)- AVG=52.33%
Basic Aerobic Mileage (6:10/mi ><5:30) AVG= 27.73%
Aerobic Endurance Mileage (5:30-4:50) AVG= 10.7%
Aerobic Power Mileage (4:50- 4:25) AVG= 7.89%
Specific Speed Endurance Mileage ((4:25-0) AVG= 1.02%
Speed (faster than 15” per 100m) AVG= .11%
Short Length Hills (60m >< 150m) AVG=.03%
Medium Length Hills (200m >< 300m) AVG= .19%

Just to compare it to that last study, approximately 80% of Mosop’s training would be in “zone 1”. 10% in zone 2, and 10% in zone 3. Pretty crazy how that works out…
It’s no surprise that his training percentages come out that way. There’s some research that suggests that higher percentages of intense work may suppress the sympathetic NS a bit and effect catecholamine secretion. The important thing though is that because of Mosop’s large base of support on which to work, he can handle more TOTAL work. Thus his total work at the intensities is higher than someone else might be able to handle. Thus, why that someone else can only run 80mpw with similar percentages of intensities while Mosop can handle 120mpw with the intensity.

With all this being said, I think it is very important to look at EACH training session. Look at the progression of the training that Mosop did for example, it’s great, especially the long run progression. Looking at averages just gives us an easier way to look at how an athlete globally trains.
Check out
Moses Mosop's training log [Coached by the legendary Italian Renato Canova] which got him 2nd place at this years amazing Boston Marathon.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part :) I care for such information much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

Also visit my page ...

Anonymous said...

Normally I don't learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

Also visit my web site; jersey city new jersey

Anonymous said...

If some one needs expert view on the topic of running a
blog then i recommend him/her to pay a quick visit this
web site, Keep up the nice job.

my blog workouts to increase vertical leap

Anonymous said...

Hi there, yes this piece of writing is genuinely pleasant and I have learned lot
of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

Also visit my website ...

Anonymous said...

Very shortly this web site will be famous among all blogging and site-building visitors, due
to it's nice posts

Look into my web page ...

Anonymous said...

Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to
and you are just too magnificent. I really like what you've acquired here, really like what you're stating and the way in which you say it.
You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise.

I can't wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific website.

my homepage; exercises for vertical jump

Anonymous said...

Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog.
I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for first-time blog writers? I'd certainly appreciate it.

my blog post ... jump higher

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand.

It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward
for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

Also visit my page :: exercises to improve vertical