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Discussion: You still have time.

in: bill_l; bill_l > 2016-11-01

Nov 1, 2016 4:13 PM # 
matzah ball:
You still have time.
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Nov 2, 2016 3:19 AM # 
bill_l:
Not much. Might do some hills on Saturday. But then pretty much nothing for 2 weeks. Taper next week and then a week for recovery. That will leave about 2 training weeks before PM.
Nov 2, 2016 11:29 AM # 
matzah ball:
maybe its more mental than physical but i often do race-specific but scaled back tuneups 1-2 weeks before race and they seem to help. Enough time for the body to remember the training but not the stress. Depends on individual though, how fast they recover etc. I've also read many times about the supposed benefits of hard workouts 8-10 days before a race. you could throw in some strides in your regular runs too
Nov 2, 2016 11:59 AM # 
matzah ball:
and maybe you dont need all that. everybody's different, right? look at what silkychrome has done at PM with lots of endurance activity.
Nov 2, 2016 1:51 PM # 
silkychrome:
yes! optimism!
Nov 2, 2016 7:47 PM # 
bill_l:
I am super-optimistic that PM is gonna hurt more than usual.

I'll be doing my planned training for TH which includes another (much shorter) M run next Tuesday. That will be it for anything that even remotely resembles hill or speed work. My priorities at the moment are: 1) don't risk toasting my legs 2) don't get injured. I knew when I signed up for TH that PM would get the short end of the training stick.

If I'm lucky and only have a week of recovery (optimism!), I'll get 2 hill workouts, maybe 3, in the 2 training weeks before PM. It'll have to do.

Note to self, I am remembering now that I did not feel completely recovered for PM last year, but CW8 was somewhere in between. Won't factor this year.
Nov 3, 2016 1:18 AM # 
ebuckley:
The time to physically prep for an event is 2-6 months out. The time to mentally prep for an event is 2-6 weeks out. So, I'd agree there are things you can do, but they will fall under the heading of steeling yourself, not actually improving fitness. I'm in pretty much the same boat: no significant hill training (or quality training of any other kind) this year. So, I'm just expecting it to be pretty tough. That doesn't mean it's not an immensely rewarding activity; you just have to be realistic about it.
Nov 3, 2016 2:35 AM # 
matzah ball:
ha ha gotta love those blanket pronouncements...some entire hs cross country seasons are not much over 2 months long, each week building on the next. in any case, i know I can improve my fitness in a couple of weeks. true, I have to have done a lot of work before then for that to happen. Backing off 70 mpw mileage a little and at the same time introducing some speedwork will have remarkable results for some individuals.
Nov 3, 2016 1:01 PM # 
matzah ball:
Not sure what the distinction between 'steeling yourself' and 'actually improving fitness' is. Maybe its fair to say that in general a lot of people build their 75%-90% fitness level in the 2-6 months prior (while some evidently do more), but that a lot of people use different methods to ramp up from that to 95% - 100% in the last two months?
Nov 5, 2016 10:49 AM # 
matzah ball:
what do you think of ' the longer the event, the larger the training window'
Nov 5, 2016 4:17 PM # 
ebuckley:
Well, lots there. Taking one thing at a time.

By "steeling myself" I am referring ONLY to mental toughness. You don't have to be in good shape to be tough. Being in good shape does not imply that you're tough. They are loosely correlated at best.

I don't know of any state-level cc runners who don't do A LOT of training over the summer. I'm sure exceptions exist, but they are exceptions. Obviously, the further you are from your potential, the easier it is to get gains in the short term. The law of diminishing returns indicates that it will take much longer to get that last bit of improvement. I'm sure that my fitness has dropped enough that I could see some real physical improvement, at least in something as elastic as VO2Max, in just a few weeks. However, if I wanted to really get back in shape, that would be counterproductive. It would be better to start laying down a decent base over the next few months followed by some serious training. (That's absolutely not going to happen; it's just what would need to happen).

Finally, I would strongly disagree with the idea that you are actually "ramping up" your fitness in the last 2 months. I haven't seen any physiological studies to back that claim (I'm excluding studies on untrained or undertrained people, since that's not measuring the same thing). The general consensus among coaches is that the fitness is there 2 months out, but your body is so busted from all the hard training you can't see the actual results. The point of the 6-8-week competition phase prior to a major event is that backing off the volume while keeping the intensity up lets your body recover without losing fitness.

Finally, sure, the longer the event the larger the training window. But, equally important, the shorter the event the longer the training horizon. That is, if you're targeting a mile, you need to have the fitness further out because you need a much longer taper. Tapering for an ultra is very short, just take it easy the week before.
Nov 5, 2016 5:02 PM # 
bill_l:
I think that muscular strength can be increased more quickly than other measures of fitness (ignoring whether that is an actual measure of fitness). However, most other physiological changes take months. Vdot, tendon strength, and fast twitch muscle mass being among them.

Trying to push things faster is simply increasing the risk of injury. (Just recently published, something like 60% of all runners in the US will experience an injury over a 12 months period. 90% of all runners who begin training for a marathon will experience an injury).

I've already violated one of Daniels training guidelines by upping my avg weekly miles to quickly. I should have taken a couple years to do what I've done in 7 or 8 months. The distance doesn't seem to be bothering me, but I'm definitely getting negative feedback from my ankle following my Tuesday 'Q' workout at M pace. I think the 14 years of endurance stuff have given me a good base for the distance, but it's clear that I'm pushing the envelope.

Bottom line....

For a 7.6 mile race, with 6 weeks to train you could move the fitness needle a little, but I think you are really just HTFUing (mental prep).
Nov 5, 2016 11:24 PM # 
matzah ball:
well, I don't know about ramping up. To me its like an assembly line. you establish a base like a chassis, then you bolt on an engine. You couldn't do 'b' without 'a', but 'a' without 'b' wouldn't be quite as good as in tandem. If I'm not 'ramping up' then why is my first purposeful speedwork session 4 weeks out from a race often sluggish, the next one better and the next really pops. Maybe as you imply, its because my level of performance isn't that high, but you have to work w what you got. The cross country runners may have run a lot in the summer but the workouts for sure aren't as intenseas the races, which are training sessions for the sectionals and state. Well, we could discuss this no end, but maybe we just have to agree to disagree.
Nov 6, 2016 12:26 AM # 
matzah ball:
I agree that muscular gain is the easiest to accomplish, in my case from week to week (and just as easy to lose), but I wouldn't discount the possibility that there are micro-adjustments made in those other physiological areas you mention that we might not even be able to quantify or describe.

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