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Adaptations to Marathon Training


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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-25-2007 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Adaptations to Marathon Training


Running a marathon requires a significant amount of specific marathon training in order to prepare the body to handle the stress of running 26.2 miles. If an average runner attempts to run a marathon without adequate training they are unlikely to be able to run the entire distance. Instead, at some point during the race they will most likely become exhausted and will slow to a ?death march? to the finish assuming they don?t drop-out from fatigue or sustain an injury that forces them to abandon the race. Non-runners who attempt a marathon without training are almost assured of becoming exhausted and unable to complete the race or to sustain a race-ending injury. On the other hand, as few as 16 weeks of proper training will enable most people, even non-runners, to successfully complete a marathon.

Clearly, the body adapts with training so that what was once hard or beyond the capabilities of the body becomes easier or possible with proper training. The 10 mile run that might be impossible for a non-runner to complete prior to starting run training is transformed into an easy run once adequate training is conducted.

What adaptations occur within the body that transforms a non-runner unable to run even modest distances into a person capable of running 26.2 miles without stopping and without injury? The traditional answer given by exercise physiology to this question is centered on the body?s ability to absorb, transport, and utilize oxygen, using terms such as VO2max, lactate threshold, and running economy to explain the adaptations that occur within the body. Is this answer accurate? Does the traditional answer fully or mostly explain the changes in the body that enable someone to transform from a non-runner or recreational runner into a marathon runner? A new research study suggests that the traditional answers do not tell the full story and, instead, that other physiological changes within the body may more accurately explain the increased running capabilities from marathon training. Let?s take a look at this recent research and see what it has to teach us.

Research

Previous research on marathon training success has focused heavily on the physiological parameters having to do with aerobic capacity. Researchers have extensively measured the VO2max, lactate threshold, and running economy of a wide variety of marathon runners, from the fastest of the elites to those runners finishing many hours later. This research has shown that runners of similar physiological profiles often perform very differently in the marathon. For examples, two runners with very similar VO2max levels may finish the marathon with very different times. Despite very similar physiological profiles one is a significantly faster runner than the other. Further, it is not uncommon for researchers to measure a change in endurance performance but no change in aerobic capacity. It is obvious, then, that other, as yet unidentified, factors play a significant role in marathon performance.

One physiological component that likely contributes significantly to performance but has received sparse attention from researchers is muscle. Relatively little research has been done on the role muscle function plays in distance running performance. Knowing this, in 2006 a group of researchers from Ball State University decided to examine changes in both aerobic capacity and in the muscles during marathon training.(1) They hypothesized that significant changes would take place within the muscle fibers.

Ball State University offers a university class designed to prepare students physically and mentally to complete a marathon following a proven, 16 weeks, 4-days-per-week marathon training program. In 1994 this 4 days-per-week program was compared in a research study to a traditional 6 days-per-week marathon training program and found to be equally effective.(2) Since then hundreds of students have followed this program and completed a marathon.

The program takes non-runners and novice runners and gradually increases their training volume over a period of 16 weeks. Three easy runs are conducted each week with the key workout in this program being the weekly long run, which progresses from an initial distance of 5 miles up to two 18 mile runs. Weekly training volume begins at 15 miles and increases to a peak of 36 miles. With the emphasis being on marathon completion rather than maximum performance, all training runs are conducted at an easy pace.

The researchers recruited subjects participating in the marathon training class and tested them on 3 separate occasions: before the 16 week training plan, after 13 weeks of training, and after a 3 week taper and marathon. The subjects were tested on the standard physiological measures of VO2max, running economy, heart rate, and body weight. Additionally, muscle biopsies were conducted so that single muscle fibers could be tested for size, strength, shortening velocity, power characteristics, and oxidative enzyme activity.

Results

All the subjects successfully completed the marathon. The average time was 4:54 hr:min, with a range of 3:56 hr:min to 5:35 hr:min.

Aerobic adaptations
There were few changes in the runners? aerobic capacity. Oxidative enzyme activity (citrate synthase activity), which is a measure of the muscles ability to produce energy aerobically, increased by 37%. Interestingly, despite the increase ability of the muscles to produce energy aerobically there was no change in VO2max (49.5 vs. 52 ml/kg/min). There was a trend for an increase in absolute VO2 from 3.37 l/min to 3.5 l/min, but the change was not large enough to be significant. Running economy improved at the submaximal running speed of 9.65 km/hr (similar to training & marathon pace), with an absolute decrease in oxygen consumption of 2.43 vs 2.28 l/min and relative oxygen consumption decreasing from 36.0 to 33.6 ml/kg/min. The aerobic adaptations are summed in table 1.

Table 1: Aerobic adaptations to marathon training

Physiological Component Before After % Change
Citrate Synthase (oxidative enzyme) 19.2 26.3 +37%
VO2max 49.5 ml/kg/min 52.0 ml/kg/min No significant change
Absolute VO2max 3.37 l/min 3.50 l/min No significant change
Absolute Oxygen consumption at 9.65 km/hr 2.43 l/min 2.28 l/min 6% improvement
Relative Oxygen consumption at 9.65 km/hr 36.0 ml/kg/min 33.6 ml/kg/min 6.7% improvement

Muscle adaptations
In contrast to the modest adaptations in the cardiovascular system, there were significant changes in the muscles of the runners. First, slow twitch & fast twitch oxidative muscle fibers decreased 21% & 23% respectively in size (diameter). This is significant because all things being equal, smaller fibers are weaker than larger fibers. However, despite the decrease in size of the muscle fibers, the contractile ability of the muscles actually increased. Peak force (strength) stayed the same in the slow twitch fibers and increased 18% in fast twitch oxidative fibers. Strength in relation to the decreased fiber size increased approx. 60% in both fiber types. Muscle power also increased. Absolute power output increased in slow twitch fibers by 56% and in fast twitch oxidative fibers by 53%. Relative power output increased 100% in slow twitch fibers and 84% in fast twitch oxidative fibers. Additionally, slow twitch fibers increased their shortening velocity 28%. Table 2 sums the changes in muscle contractility.

Table 2: Changes in muscle strength, power, and contraction speed with marathon training
% Change in
Slow twitch fibers % Change in
fast twitch oxidative fibers
Strength Relative 60% 60%
Absolute NC 18%
Power Relative 100% 84%
Absolute 56% 53%
Contraction Speed 28% NC
NC = no change

Discussion

What should we make of all the above? What do all those changes mean? First, we note that the training program was successful in preparing these subjects to complete the marathon. As was pointed out at the beginning of this article, few non-runners can run the entire marathon distance without proper training. So, this training program produced sufficient improvements in fitness to allow these subjects to complete the marathon.

What the results of this study shows, then, is that the physiological changes that occurred in these subjects that enabled them to run a marathon took place in the muscles, not in the cardiovascular system. All of the changes occurred in the muscles ? strength, power, contraction speed, and oxidative enzyme activity were improved in one or both fiber types. Even running economy, which improved 6%, now appears to be a muscle factor as research indicates running economy is determined more by muscle fiber type than cardiovascular factors.(3,4) Indeed, VO2max did not improve as a result of training and the increased power output of the muscle likely explains the 6% decreased submaximal oxygen consumption at the 9.65 km/hr pace. In short, major changes in muscle contractility accompanied by changes in the muscles ability to produce energy aerobically are what allowed these subjects to successfully run a marathon.

Are these results unique or surprising? No, they are not as other studies have produced similar findings. A study of collegiate cross-country runners found their slow twitch fibers contraction speed to be at the upper end of the range typically observed for human slow twitch fibers.(5) One study examining the effects on muscle fiber function of a 21 day taper in swimmers found increased muscle contraction speed, strength, & power accompanied a 4% increase in performance.(6) A study of master runners showed that their slow twitch fibers contracted 20% faster than matched sedentary adults.(7) In fact, the researchers calculated that during running the master runners slow twitch fibers ??would produce more than twice as much power?? as the slow twitch fibers of the sedentary runners. Finally, 7 years of research data on Lance Armstrong indicated that the primary physiological adaptation that occurred between ages 21 and 28 was an 18% improvement in power-to-weight ratio. His performance during this same time period improved from young pro-cyclist to multiple winner of the Tour de France though no changes occurred in his aerobic capacity during this same time period. This indicates that the increased power output is what enabled the performance improvements.(8)

Summary

Exercise physiologists have traditionally focused on changes in aerobic capacity to explain improvements in endurance fitness and performance. However, runners with very different performance abilities can have very similar aerobic capacities and changes in running performance are not always accompanied by changes in aerobic capacity. In an attempt to explain these discrepancies some researchers have begun examining other factors that may play a role in endurance performance.

In particular, a few researchers have attempted to determine if changes in muscle fiber contractility accompany changes in endurance performance. A recent study on adaptations with marathon training found minor cardiovascular changes but very large changes in muscle strength, power, & contraction speed. The changes in muscle fiber capability most likely explain the physiological improvements that enabled the subjects to successful run a marathon. The changes revealed by this research are supported by multiple other studies that have found similar changes in muscle strength, power, and rate of contraction with endurance training.

Reference:

1. Trappe S, Harber M, Creer A, Gallagher P, Slivka D, Minchev K, Whitsett D., Single muscle fiber adaptations with marathon training, J Appl Physiol, 2006, 101: 721-727.
2. Dolgener FA, Kolkhorst FW, Whitsett DA., Long slow distance training in novice marathoners, Res Q Exerc Sport, 1995, 65:339-346.
3. Coyle E, Sidossis L, Horowitz J, Beltz J., Cycling efficiency is related to the percentage of Type 1 muscle fibers, Med Sci Sports Exer, 1992, 24(7), 782-788.
4. Horowitz J, Sidossis L, Coyle E., High efficiency of Type 1 muscle fibers improves performance, Int J Sports Med, 1994, 15(3), 152-157.
5. Harber MP, Gallagher PM, Creer AR, Minchev KM, Trappe SW., Single muscle fiber contractile properties during a competitive season in male runners, Am J Physiol Regul Intergr Comp Physiol, 2004, 287: R1124-R1131.
6. Trappe S, Costill D, Thomas R., Effect of swim taper on whole muscle and single muscle fiber contractile properties, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2000, 32(12), 48-56.
7. Widrick J, Trappe S, Costill D, Fitts R., Force-velocity and force-power properties of single muscle fibers from elite master runners and sedentary men, Am J Physiol, 1996, 271(Cell Physiol 40), C676-C683.
8. Coyle E., Improved muscular efficiency displayed as Tour de France champion matures, J Appl Physiol, 2005, 98: 2191-2196.

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

[This message has been edited by Richard99 (edited Jul-27-2007).]

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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-26-2007 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
continuing...

Are you really all that surprised at these results?

Doesn't this really seem to be just "common sense" to you as to how your body works?

Set aside what you've been told about "aerobic base building, VO2max, lactate threshold, and other similar cardiovascular factors and think about it a bit.

When you are building up your running volume with lots of easy paced runs consider what is really going on in your body. During those easy runs are you heavily working your aerobic system, with your heart rate maxed out and lungs sucking in as much oxygen as you possibly can? Or do you find that the burden on your aerobic system is usually light enough that you could carry on a conversation? Easy runs are generally just that - easy. And normally are not particularly stressful on the cardiovascular system.

Conversely, near the end of your long easy runs are your legs getting tired? Do your muscles often get sore after a long run or following increases in weekly mileage? Do you often have "heavy legs" when you wake up in the morning or when starting out on a run? This is a very common experience - increased training mileage resulting in sore, tire muscles.

If your muscles are repeatedly getting tired & sore and your aerobic system isn't being taxed, isn't it logical that it's your muscles that are being worked while the stress on your cardiovascular system is relatively minor? The parts of the body being worked hardest, adapt the most. Those parts not being worked particularly hard adapt minimally. This being the case, it shouldn't be particularly surprising that the muscles underwent significant adaptations and only modest changes occurred in the cardiovascular system.

------------------
Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

[This message has been edited by Richard99 (edited Jul-26-2007).]

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Tamara40
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posted Jul-26-2007 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tamara40     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Richard...I found this very interesting as I am currently training for a marathon using Dave Whitsett's (sp?) book, the NonRunner's Guide. So far, I feel great and my cardiovascular system doesn't seem to be as severely taxed as my muscular system. All I want to do is finish this marathon in under 7 hours (only b/c that's the time limit). So far I'm running at about 13 mpm, which will be fine with me. Thanks for the post, I found it very informative and useful. Any other words of wisdom you could impart would be very much appreciated.

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Lannock
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lannock     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In a nutshell: Running improves your muscles, but not really anything else? I take it the heart should be added to the list of muscles being strengthened?

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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lannock:
In a nutshell: Running improves your muscles, but not really anything else? I take it the heart should be added to the list of muscles being strengthened?

Lannock,

Base building, easy paced running, as the runners in the study were doing, primarily improved the muscles (slow & fast twitch) but produced few measurable changes in the cardiovascular system. If these runners had trained more intensely, which would then stress the cardiovascular system, there would have been significant improvements in the cardiovascular system along with additional adaptations in the muscles.

The heart is a muscle and does adapt with training. Typically it gets larger and stronger, with the end result being more blood being pumped with each stroke.

------------------
Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you who believe in and promote "aerobic base building" training there is something significant in the results of this study pertaining to the "aerobic base building" methodology. Would any of you "base builders" care to comment on it?

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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Patriotsr1
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patriotsr1   Click Here to Email Patriotsr1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard99:
[b]Adaptations to Marathon Training


Aerobic adaptations
There were few changes in the runners? aerobic capacity. Oxidative enzyme activity (citrate synthase activity), which is a measure of the muscles ability to produce energy aerobically, increased by 37%. Interestingly, despite the increase ability of the muscles to produce energy aerobically there was no change in VO2max (49.5 vs. 52 ml/kg/min). There was a trend for an increase in absolute VO2 from 3.37 l/min to 3.5 l/min, but the change was not large enough to be significant. Running economy improved at the submaximal running speed of 9.65 km/hr (similar to training & marathon pace), with an absolute decrease in oxygen consumption of 2.43 vs 2.28 l/min and relative oxygen consumption decreasing from 36.0 to 33.6 ml/kg/min. The aerobic adaptations are summed in table 1.

Table 1: Aerobic adaptations to marathon training

Physiological Component Before After % Change
Citrate Synthase (oxidative enzyme) 19.2 26.3 +37%
VO2max 49.5 ml/kg/min 52.0 ml/kg/min No significant change
Absolute VO2max 3.37 l/min 3.50 l/min No significant change
Absolute Oxygen consumption at 9.65 km/hr 2.43 l/min 2.28 l/min 6% improvement
Relative Oxygen consumption at 9.65 km/hr 36.0 ml/kg/min 33.6 ml/kg/min 6.7% improvement
What the results of this study shows, then, is that the physiological changes that occurred in these subjects that enabled them to run a marathon took place in the muscles, not in the cardiovascular system. All of the changes occurred in the muscles ? strength, power, contraction speed, and oxidative enzyme activity were improved in one or both fiber types. Even running economy, which improved 6%, now appears to be a muscle factor as research indicates running economy is determined more by muscle fiber type than cardiovascular factors.(3,4) Indeed, VO2max did not improve as a result of training and the increased power output of the muscle likely explains the 6% decreased submaximal oxygen consumption at the 9.65 km/hr pace. In short, major changes in muscle contractility accompanied by changes in the muscles ability to produce energy aerobically are what allowed these subjects to successfully run a marathon.
Summary

[/B]


Richard,
I really can not argue that indeed there are great adaptations in muscle from the training which are nescessary to completing the Marathon.
With that said, I would argue with the conclusion that there was "No change in VO2Max". (49.5 vs. 52 ml/kg/min). That is a significant increase (>5%) in VO@max. This would corralate w/increase of running economy (6%). The change in VO2 max equates to a reduction in 5k prediction time of 1 MINUTE (20:00 vs 19:00), or marathon time reduction of 10 MINUTES (3:14 vs 3:04). This to me points out different conclusions than those offered.

1. Muscle adaptations are by far the greatest factor in allowing people to complete a marathon (esp. without injury)
2.I would have to disagree with the statement "Indeed, VO2max did not improve as a result of training " like I stated above 5% is an increase I would love to have.

Am I looking at this wrong? Again this whole thing is very interesting, but may be skewed with overall assesment, or am I reading too much into it? This study occured on "non-runners" and we would expect the greatest change in muscle adaptation. If it were conducted on experienced runners would the muscle adaptations be less significant (I would also assume the VO2max change would be less also)?

just my $.02

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JimR
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JimR   Click Here to Email JimR     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's some more of Richard's writings...if you're so interested:

Richard on RPE (perceived exertion), during discussion of use of RPE and duration for calculating workload in runners:


"I understand that the pace one can maintain decreases as the race distance increases. Race pace for a marathoner is slower than race pace for a 10k, for example. Though this is true, it has nothing to do with how RPE is measured. RPE is not pace dependent, it is effort dependent.

If you raced a 10k at an all out effort - meaning you ran the 10k as fast as you physically could on that day, setting a PR in the process, and there was no way you could have run that 10k even 1 second faster, you left it all out on the race course - you ran an RPE of 10.

If you raced a marathon at an all out effort - meaning you ran the marathon as fast as you physically could on that day, setting a PR in the process, and there was no way you could have run that marathon even 1 second faster, you left it all out on the race course - you ran an RPE of 10.

You ran at a faster per mile pace, at a higher % of max pace, at a higher level of blood lactate, at a higher % of max HR during the 10k. All of which has nothing to do with the amount of effort you put forth in both races. In both races, despite differences in the above measures, you ran the same level of overall RPE - 10 in this case.

How could a slower pace per mile end up being the same effort as a faster pace per mile? Because you ran the slower pace per mile for a longer duration, resulting in equal RPEs."


Richard fluently misrepresents a pretty standard methodology of determining effort. RPE is a rating developed by Dr. Gunnar Borg in the 1950's to help evaluate effort during exercise. It's been modified countless times to apply to other fields such as the medical community, industry, etc. The standard interpretation of the Borg 20 point scale for exercise reads like this:


6 No exertion at all
7 Extremely light
8
9 Very light - (easy walking slowly at a comfortable pace)
10
11 Light
12
13 Somewhat hard (It is quite an effort; you feel tired but can continue)
14
15 Hard (heavy)
16
17 Very hard (very strenuous, and you are very fatigued)
18
19 Extremely hard (You can not continue for long at this pace)
20 Maximal exertion


20 point scales are not often used, so a modified 10 point scale was developed. A rendering of a standard 10 point scale:


0 Nothing The feeling you have at rest. There is no feeling of fatigue

0.5 Very, very light Working at a desk, reading, listening to music or watching tv while physically at rest.

1 Very light Getting dressed. Little or no fatigue.

2 Fairly moderate Feeling you might get while slowly walking across your yard.

3 Moderate Comfortable but slightly elevated breathing. You should be able to talk while walking.

4 Somewhat hard Walking briskly to the store. Aware breathing is deeper and slight feeling of fatigue.

5 Hard Rushing for an appointment. General fatigue but you could maintain this level. Breathing is somewhat deep.

6

7 Very hard Vigorous exercise. Definite feeling of fatigue and breathing hard.

8 Vigorous exercise. Definite feeling of fatigue and breathing hard. Difficult to maintain.

9 Very, very hard Extremely vigorous exercise. Very definite feeling of fatigue and laboured breathing. You could not exercise at this level for long.

10 Maximal All out exercise/exhaustion.


In these cases, the main point is the maximum level. Maximum effort is only obtained near the point of exhaustion and can only be attained briefly.

Richard, however, tries to convince us that a person can run an entire 10k race, and even a marathon, at a maximum level of effort (RPE of 10) on a 10 point scale. Richard declares "In both races, despite differences in the above measures, you ran the same level of overall RPE - 10 in this case."

Imagine, if you will, running at such a hard effort that you are about to reach exhaustion, so hard that you simply would be unable to keep it up. Now imagine trying to do that for 26 miles without taking a breather. You would be dead in the first mile if you tried, more likely much less than that.

Now, why does Richard make such a blatantly ridiculous claim? The snippet above is from the defunct Runtex forum, where Richard attempted to show that 'average' runners incur the same workload over a given distance as their 'elite' counterparts, and tries to twist this concept to make it appear average runners work often twice or 3 times (or more) as hard. This takes some mathematical wizardry on Richard's part, and it doesn't work. Nobody races marathons at maximum RPE.

Calcuation of workload is a concept of taking rated effort (RPE) and multiplying this by duration of the workout to get workload. Richard's interpretation of RPE simply could not be used in this calculation since his already includes duration in his RPE value (mathematically, since his RPE is already 'effort*duration', his workload calculation would end up being effort*duration*duration . . . an improper workload calculation). My favorite exchange in that thread occured when I pointed out his inclusion of duration in his RPE rating and thus rendering it useless for normal workload calculatoin, clearly revealed by his quote: "How could a slower pace per mile end up being the same effort as a faster pace per mile? Because you ran the slower pace per mile for a longer duration, resulting in equal RPEs.". Richard, naturally, claimed otherwise, since this deflated his argument. He then presented this hilarious challenge to me: "Show me where I said RPE includes duration, without using my example above".

Classic Richard.

The Fallacy of Listening to Richard

The perposterous is the realm of Sir Richard's lair. Sometimes he outdoes even himself, to crest above the cream of lunacy, and present to his (rather limited) viewing audience a concept too ridiculous even for us to carry forward in hopes to hear yet more entertaining rubbish from Richard's fingertips.

In Richard's forum thread 'The Fallacy of Listening to Your Body', Richard attacks the rather common sense principal of recognizing when you're overdoing it, feeling sudden pain, etc. and cutting back (or off completely) to avoid jeapordizing your running future. This likely stems from Richard's own foray into 'high mileage' training (although he probably didn't break 50/week) and his own failure to 'listen to his body' and cut back when the warning signs flashed in big pink neon "STOP!". Richard presents us with an anecdote excavated from that bible of running philosophy, Runner's World, about a guy who trained for a marathon, and did a long run despite experiencing knee pain at the start. "there was a bit of pain in back just above the knee at the beginning of the run".

A bit of background, the subject of this story had never run a race before, and decided to run NYC on a whim. On a scale of 0-10 for injury likelihood, he flashed at 9+. In the end, he gets runner's knee (pretty common in this situation), loses training time, runs NYC anyway and suffers through it, etc. etc.

Richard takes this information and distorts it into a prime example of why 'listening to your body' doesn't work, and let's us know that the common statement 'Listen to your body' is a load of bunk. Interestingly enough, no alternative is presented. So we're left with being told we're to ignore warning signs of stress and discomfort and train anyway, because this seems to be the only real information we can draw from what Richard is saying.

According to Richard:

"So, what is a runner to do? Is there some way to detect in advance when overtraining or injury is knocking at the door? Candidly, I haven’t been able to find one. I do know, however, that when your primary method is “listening to your body” you seem to be more likely to hear a siren’s song leading you to the cliffs of destruction and not dependable signals for avoiding injury."

Now, I don't know how everyone elses personal experiences have been, but I've found that my body is remarkably good at letting me know when I'm overdoing it. I've skirted problems and injury by paying attention to these little twinges and twangs that occur. I've learned which ones are red herrings that I can put to one side, which ones need immediate attention, and which ones mean adjust my training so I can still move forward with minimum risk.

Richard's interpretation of 'listening to your body':

"To me the term 'listening to your body' means the body is sending unique, detectable signals that overtraining and injury are imminent"

One could get picky here and point out that if overtraining and injury are imminent, then you can't avoid it anyway, since by definition imminent mean's it's about to happen. If it wasn't, then it wouldn't be imminent. That aside, the body can give all sorts of signals to you, but it's experience that's the tool that lets you decipher the meaning. An inexperienced runner, as presented in Richard's story, may not have correctly diagnosed his knee pain the first time around, but I'm pretty sure he'll have a clear idea of it the next time 'round.

I still shake my head trying to figure out what message Richard's trying to give us on this one. I can't even understand it from his normal stance of attacking what he calls 'conventional training wisdom'. It's just dumb all around.


Richard's now running around the net posting some info on a Running Times commentary regarding training volume to achieve certain marathon goals, like 2 1/2 hours, 3 hours and 4 hours.

He presents a quote and a chart:

"'While elites nearly universally run 100-120 miles/week in preparation for the marathon, how much you need to do depends mostly on your goals, which in turn are dependent on how much mileage you can handle without injury.'

Jonathan included 3 charts from 3 different authors - Jeff Galloway 1991, Mark Conover 1996, Mark Winitz 2003 - prescribing how much mileage for what time goal. Here is the breakdown of the recommendations for the 4 hour, 3 hour, and sub 2:30 hour marathoner.

4 hours: JG = 30-40 mpw, MC = 21-30 mpw, MW = 30-40 mpw
3 hours: JG = 45-55 mpw, MC = 35-50 mpw, MW = 60-75 mpw
sub 2:30: JG = 70+, MC = 54-85 mpw, MW = 80+ mpw"

A little note here that the prescribed volume is what they feel, on average, a person needs to achieve a marathon goal.

Richard tangents away in discussion of 'genetic talent':

"...the recommendations for mpw are completely consistent with 1) the belief that variations in genetic talent exist, 2) these large genetic differences result in large differences in weekly mileage producing optimal performance, and 3) the higher your genetic talent the more likely you are to be able to run higher weekly mileage and benefit from those higher weekly mileages.

The training recommendations in articles such as this are completely consistent with the belief that genetic talent exists and that the more talent one has the more likely that person is to be able to run high mileage and benefit from that higher weekly mileage."

Nothing in the article discusses 'genetic talent'. The volumes prescribed are only what they feel is necessary to run a marathon in those time goals, there's no mention nor discussion regarding what any person or group actually could be running or what potential they may have.

----

And finally, let's take a peek at Richard's latest race efforts and see how 'Powerrunning' is working out for him:

Chuy's hot trot 5k, 2006 :

61 Richard Gibbens Austin TX 44 383 32:04.5 35:16.0 3:11.4
10:17/M

Chuy's hot trot 5k, 2005 :

46 Richard Gibbens Austin TX 43 314 28:11.1 28:51.0 0:39.9 9:02/M

Texas Round-up 10k, 2006:
11 Richard Gibbens Austin TX 44 33 56:58.00 58:02.00 01:04.00 9:10/M


Do note that Richard has in the past run in the 42's for 10k and considerably better than 29 min for 5k, so his Powerrunning theories are certainly not working for him.


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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-27-2007 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Patriotsr1,

The "no change in VO2max" is how the change was characterized by the researchers in the study. It means that the change was not enough to be statistically significant. In other words, the increase was not enough to conclude it was a true change and not just an artifact from the method of testing. We would probably be safe in saying there was a trend toward an increase in VO2max, but the change did not reach a level of significance.

Either way, the point is that the major change that took place was a huge increase in muscle contractility, and not the aerobic system as would be expected in accordance with the cardiovascular/anaerobic theory.

Would the results be different with experienced endurance athletes? Great question. The two data source we currently have to answer the question is the research on Lance Armstrong and the study of cross country runners. The answer appears to be "no". Lance improved his performance from new pro to multi-winner of the Tour with large changes in muscle power and no change in aerobic capacity. If I recall the details accurately, in the case of the collegiate cross country runners their muscle contractility decreased during base building and then returned to pre-base building levels during their taper. Their performance was not improved either, so in their case no improvement in muscle contractility was accompanied by no improvement in performance.

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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Richard99
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posted Jul-28-2007 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of you who believe in and promote "aerobic base building" training there is something significant in the results of this study pertaining to the "aerobic base building" methodology. Would any of you "base builders" care to comment on it?

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
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oar
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posted Jul-29-2007 04:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oar   Click Here to Email oar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The article was interesting in that it shows that there is some benefit to exercise at low aerobic stress.
I would think that these adaptations also take place if exercise is maintained for the same duration at higher aerobic load with the added benefit of aerobic development.

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Richard99
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posted Jul-29-2007 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by aharmer:
Your request for comment seemed like a challenge, as if common beliefs have been blown apart by this study. I don't see that...

aharmer,

It's not meant to be a challenge. To me, there is a glaring result in this study, a result that jumped right out the first time I saw it and I figured many with just basic familiarity with basic base building theory & the physiological explanation for base building would note it right away too.

The result I'm talking about is the huge adaptations in fast twitch fiber.

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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Richard99
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posted Jul-29-2007 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
aharmer,

My apologies. It is not my way or intent to call anyone stupid or any other derogatory name. I prefer not to engage in that type of behaviour, so if it came across that way to you, please accept my apologies and know it was unintentional.

When time permits, I'll write more on the significance of the adaptations in the fast twitch fibers.

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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DanMoriarity
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posted Jul-29-2007 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DanMoriarity   Click Here to Email DanMoriarity     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard99:
For those of you who believe in and promote "aerobic base building" training there is something significant in the results of this study pertaining to the "aerobic base building" methodology. Would any of you "base builders" care to comment on it?


Assuming the researcher's conclusions are correct the study indicates you can get significant muscular adaptations through easy running.

Kind of the opposite of what you usually advocate, isn't it Richard?

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oar
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posted Jul-29-2007 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oar   Click Here to Email oar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These adaptations are achieved in 8-10 weeks (6 runs a week).
After that the usefulness of that kind of running as the main part of your training has run its course and you need to work on other adaptations.

[This message has been edited by oar (edited Jul-29-2007).]

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Richard99
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posted Jul-29-2007 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DanMoriarity:
Assuming the researcher's conclusions are correct the study indicates you can get significant muscular adaptations through easy running.

Kind of the opposite of what you usually advocate, isn't it Richard?


Dan,

The results of this study are not contradictory to my physiological or training beliefs.

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Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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Nobby
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posted Jul-29-2007 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I actually found this paper quite interesting. In fact, I'm glad it's been posted because; a result that jumped right out the first time I saw it and I figured many with familiarity with basic base building theory & the physiological explanation for base building with PRACTICAL experience with actual coaching would notice it right away; that (1) many of so-called scientific experts with no or very little practical experience just don't know what the heck they're talking about, and (2) it is a specificity of training, particularly long runs in the case of marathon preparation, that are most important.

Aerobic capacity of VO2Max or threshold or whatever people want to call it; Arthur Lydiard had said this as early as 1970s; that it does not mean Jack as far as his coaching athletes is concerned. It held no value whatsoever to him what VO2Max athletes have; he was interested in what worked. And, there's no way around it; you've got to do those long runs. As this study shows, it's got nothing to do with how much "aerobic capacity" one might have; if you haven't gotten those long runs, you'd be in trouble in marathoning.

Over the past 3 decades or so, people always tried to "cut corners" so to speak by doing cross training or "less mileage" or that kind of crap instead of actually running a lot; but when it comes down to it, you've got to work on the long continuous runs to prepare for the marathon.

I do, however, have a couple of problems with certain wordings. One is that, whoever wrote this paper, seems to have implied, or at least tried to imply that; the old-fashion thinking of improving aerobic capacity, which is absorption, transportation and utilization of oxygen, is old thinking. The actual fact is; this last one, utilization of oxygen is the very thing you need to work on for preparation for marathon. It is how you utilize oxygen in the "working muscles", in this case, legs. This is where many people make mistakes--they swim, cycle, or whatever else they can think of for cross training. The actual fact is; they are not necessarily training the working muscles used in running a marathon. Lance Armstrong was a great example--here's this aerobic freak in terms of cycling (and I will imagine no one will argue that) yet, his marathon was "only" slightly faster than 3-hours. If aerobic capacity IS the governing factor as many exercise physiologists over the years had stressed, he should have been a winner in that NYC marathon but he wasn't; simply because it was a different event. Lydiard has been advocating this for decades with his longer runs (90~120 minutes) and shorter runs (60 minuts) works better than, say, 75 minutes everyday.

Another thing is the use of terms such as "change in muscle strength, power & contraction speed". As far as I've read and assuming I got it right, the research indicates the training effect on and function of mainly slow twitch fibers. As we should be aware of; "strength and power" are more of a teritory of fast twitch fibers and, while the research mention briefly about fast twitch OXYDATIVE fibers; but the study was mainly about the functional change occured on slow twitch fibers due to marathon-specific training of LONG RUNS. It seems quite misleading to use words like "strength" and "power" because this research doesn't seem to have anything to do with fast twitch muscle fibers. If you think training like weight-lifting or jumping all over the boxes and things like that, which would be considered as main training to develop "strength" and "power", will get you to the finish line of the marathon, well, good luck.

Lastly, it is--and I guess I'm exposing myself again for some criticism--not for seeking the ultimate results. Average marathon time of 4:54 is hardly "a successful training program" for decent performances. Also the fact the times range so much (3:56~5:35, obviously more on the slower side) troubles me a bit. Have they consider factors like life-style, muscle structures (slow twitch--fast twitch), diet, body-build, running form, etc.? I know, it seems, that they measured these elements; but did they pick the subjects with very similar group in consideration of above elements? As far as I'm concerned, running 35MPW is pretty much bare minimum to SURVIVE and complete the marathon. I have guided people with even less weekly mileage and faster than the fastest time by the test subjects. It is hardly a research to look up to when seeking optimum performances. In fact, didn't Costil do the study on "oxygen uptake" and, if I remember it correctly, you need more like 60~70MPW level to get real improvement in oxygen uptake level? Either way, like I said, if breathing alone (oxygen uptake level or "aerobic capacity") would get you the the finish line first, Lance would have won NYC marathon. That's why we RUN. Practical coaches knew that for the last half century.

I'd be curious to see what the actual research says? I don't know exactly who wrote this particular piece but to state "the change in strength, power and rate of contraction with endurance training" for a successful marathon is very much misleading and I'd like to see what exact wording the researchers used. If it is the actul wording, that alone would lose credibility of the research if you ask me. Do you have the actual link to this research?

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Nobby
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posted Jul-30-2007 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just re-read the paper and found the latter part rather amusing. It says that "...a study of master runners showed that their slow twitch fibers contracted 20% faster than matched sedentary adults." Well, I would hope so; otherwise, what's the point of training? And also it says, "7 years of research data on Lance Armstrong indicated that the primary physiological adaptation that occurred between ages 21 and 28 was an 18% improvement in power-to-weight ratio. His performance during this same time period improved from young pro-cyclist to multiple winner of the Tour de France though no changes occurred in his aerobic capacity during this same time period." It also concluded, "...this indicates that the increased power output is what enabled the performance improvements." Well, I'd be curious to see his improvement in aerobic capacity from age 16 to 21. This is an argument repeated over and over with Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes. Some would argue that it's all those killer intervals that they do today that made them great. We would say that it's all the easy aerobic running they DID when they were growing up that enables them to perform what they do today. Researchers can say whatever they want and conclude whatever they want. But the fact remains; and us practical coaches knew it all along, that without work (in this case, running), you won't get anywhere.

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AKTrail
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posted Jul-30-2007 02:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AKTrail     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some of the material seemed vague to me. I don't think I agreed with some of the introductory material (about some info being new), but it depends on the training.

Richard's post said:
"The program takes non-runners and novice runners and gradually increases their training volume over a period of 16 weeks. Three easy runs are conducted each week with the key workout in this program being the weekly long run, which progresses from an initial distance of 5 miles up to two 18 mile runs. Weekly training volume begins at 15 miles and increases to a peak of 36 miles. With the emphasis being on marathon completion rather than maximum performance, all training runs are conducted at an easy pace."

Isn't this a couch-to-marathon in 4 months program - where the main objective is just to get people through uninjured? So I would expect most benefits to be skeletal muscular. Also, depending on what "easy" is, it may not have the necessary cardio stimulus to have some improvments. If I understand some of the other stuff I've read (Martin & Coe), I've gotten the impression that there are some cardio adaptations at lower heart rates and others occur at higher heartrates, but still aerobic. Some programs (Lydiard, Benson, I think) include these higher intensities in their base.

I'm curious if they have other running classes that are more advanced and if they've compared those.


Nobby said:
"The actual fact is; this last one, utilization of oxygen is the very thing you need to work on for preparation for marathon. It is how you utilize oxygen in the "working muscles", in this case, legs. This is where many people make mistakes--they swim, cycle, or whatever else they can think of for cross training. The actual fact is; they are not necessarily training the working muscles used in running a marathon."

Nobby, Something I've been curious about is cross-training with similar activities, e.g. weight bearing with diagonal motion of legs (xc skiing, speed skating, etc.). I've mentally looked at training as having some
1. cardio benefits
a. Heart and other general blood flow
b. Capillaries, mitochondra, enzymes, etc in muscles.
2. skeletal muscular
a. strength
b. power
c. "skill"/coordination (neuromuscular)

Not sure if I'm using all the terms precisely, but hopefully that gets my thoughts across.
.
I would think swimming and cycling would help with 1a (general cardio), but neither is weight bearing and I'm not sure how much carry over there'd be for skeletal muscular benefits.

But if you get into, say, xc skiing (esp. classic), would all the cardio benefits (both general and specific to muscles) carry over to running, because of the similarity of movement? The motions aren't all that different. Similarly I would expect some of the strength and power to carry over to running. But the skill / coordination of skiing might not help running. (The reverse is definitely true - some runners can't ski. The skill needs to be trained to ski.)

FWIW, some of our top xc skiers are also among our top mountain runners, but not all top mountain runners can ski (or at least competitively). My hunch is the people that do well at both, train hard at both, and there probably is some cross-over of benefits. OTOH, the one-sport folks probably find some way of training year round (rolling skiing, head south of equator for skiers; snowshoe running for runners).

Just curious.

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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-30-2007 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Nobby:
Another thing is the use of terms such as "change in muscle strength, power & contraction speed". As far as I've read and assuming I got it right, the research indicates the training effect on and function of mainly slow twitch fibers. As we should be aware of; "strength and power" are more of a teritory of fast twitch fibers and, while the research mention briefly about fast twitch OXYDATIVE fibers; but the study was mainly about the functional change occured on slow twitch fibers due to marathon-specific training of LONG RUNS. It seems quite misleading to use words like "strength" and "power" because this research doesn't seem to have anything to do with fast twitch muscle fibers.

Nobby,

You might want to re-read the article (or read the original study) because what you've said is completely wrong in terms of the results this study found in fast twitch fibers, strength, power, and contractility. In fact, both fast and slow twitch fibers experienced huge & similar changes in their strength and power.

I suggest that what you said about adaptations in slow twitch fiber is basically what is usually believed about adaptations with easy running. As this research shows though, fast twitch fibers contribute significantly to running at easy paces in novice marathoners.

Fast twitch fibers contribute significantly during running at easy paces - consider, for a moment, the implications of this as it relates to "aerobic" training at easy paces.


------------------
Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

[This message has been edited by Richard99 (edited Jul-30-2007).]

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-30-2007 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AKTrail:
But if you get into, say, xc skiing (esp. classic), would all the cardio benefits (both general and specific to muscles) carry over to running, because of the similarity of movement? The motions aren't all that different. Similarly I would expect some of the strength and power to carry over to running. But the skill / coordination of skiing might not help running. (The reverse is definitely true - some runners can't ski. The skill needs to be trained to ski.)

Oh, the Wise One on the Mountain... ;o)

Movement, yes, I would think so. If I have a choice, I would XC ski for cross training; then perhaps cycling. Cyclinig strengthen upper leg muscles and it's very good for running. XC skiing especially works on your upper body so it should be very good also. However, it still lacks "pounding" for marathon training. It is a series of eccentric exercise as the entire body weight will be propelled into the air and a single leg would have to catch it , coming down. You could say this is rather unique in all other aerobic activities except perhaps for jump roping. I'm not at all saying it's bad; it's just, if you have a choice, run instead of XC ski to preprare for the marathon. I've NordicTracked up to over 2-hours when I had been injured. It worked great.

But wait! That brought me another point... If "aerobic capacity" doesnt' mean anything in running a marathon, then what's the point of cross training to keep up with your aerobic capacity while injured? Now wouldn't that be an interesting question to ask those researchers?

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-30-2007 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard99:
You might want to re-read the article (or read the original study) because what you've said is completely wrong in terms of the results this study found in fast twitch fibers, strength, power, and contractility. In fact, both fast and slow twitch fibers experienced huge & similar changes in their strength and power.

Richard99:

I don't think I misunderstood. My understanding of muscle structure is that we have Slow Twitch Fibers, Fast Twitch Fibers and SOME OF the Fast Twitch Fibers are OXIDATIVE Fast Twitch Fibers and act as Slow Twitch Fibers. During the course of long training runs, these Slow Twitch Fibers and OXYDATIVE Fast Twitch Fibers will be affected and trained (Snell argues, however, depeding on how it's done, even some Fast Twitch Fibers will be stimulated toward the end of the long runs; hence the importance of 1:45~2:00 runs); and this is something I don't think we needed to be remined of by a research.

What was interesting to me and significant with this study was that "strength" and "power", for lack of better words, of these two type of muscle fibers improved greatly. However, when you think about it, I believe we are looking at the subjects of almost sedentary individuals, no running background or novice runner (I don't quite know the difference betwee these two here). As I said above, running is a series of movement of propelling your entire body weight against gravity into the air and catching it again on one leg (eccentric exercise). It is a hell of a stress. So from "0" to the point where you could at least survive the 26 miles, I would say the subjects must have gone through a lot of "exercise". It is only natural to think the muscle fibers used in those long runs, however easy, had gone through a lot of strengthening exercises. Once again, when you think about it, I don't know why we need some scientists to tell us that this had occured.

In terms of my misreading the content, I didn't see anywhere in the paper that mentioned Fast Twitch Fibers except for its OXYDATIVE relatives. Yes, the muscles that were used for those long training runs got "stronger", again for lack of better term; but I think it's rather misleading to say this is the improvement of "power" and "strength" that enabled these people to run the marathon. If they wanted to claim that, they should have measured their max squat weight before and after the training program and, if the weight increased significantly, then you can say it was the "power" and "strength" and NOT their aerobic capacity that lead them to the finish line.

Again, if you have the link, I would love to read the original because I would doubt they suggested it's the Fast Twitch Fibers' "power" and "strength" over aerobic capacity that led the subjects through the finish line of the marathon (they might).


quote:
Originally posted by Richard99:
As this research shows though, fast twitch fibers contribute significantly to running at easy paces in novice marathoners.

Fast twitch fibers contribute significantly during running at easy paces - consider, for a moment, the implications of this as it relates to "aerobic" training at easy paces.


Seems to me, this statement is suggesting that "easy paced long runs would make you run fast". Again, the research showed fast OXYDATIVE fibers got stimulated; but that does not mean ALL the Fast Twitch Fibers got stronger. In fact, we know for ages that long distance training actually DECREASE the total power output; it was done, I believe, way back in the 70s that the subject's vertical jump IMPROVED by STOPPING training for distances. That's why we, Lydiardites, include lots of hill running to retain those explosive power in your legs. Otherwise, you'll just become, well, a 5-hour marathon runner.

[This message has been edited by Nobby (edited Jul-30-2007).]

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martinjames
Cool Runner
posted Jul-30-2007 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for martinjames   Click Here to Email martinjames     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Nobby. At the end of the day, isn't this all just noise? What's the debate here? Why do we even indulge these mumbo-jumbo discussions? I read the study and didn't learn squat except that long-distance running is collectively determined by physiological and psychological "parameters" and that 7 college-age non-runners can finish a marathon after 16 weeks of training. Whoopie. When I was 25 I bought a pair sneakers on a Tuesday and ran the LA marathon on a Saturday in under 5 hours. Stupid idea, but anyone can do it.

No offense, but I don't consider that C2marathon program "training." All we saw was bootcamp for a few kids. Follow those 7 kids for a year or two. Let them build their mileage to something reasonable. Then let's see what happens. (incidentally, how do we know that the runs were all "easy?" How do they know? Did they wear HR monitors or just count on the rookies to say so? For all we know, they were pushing on one of those runs. How long did those long runs last? Didn't Hadd (you know you like to bash him) say that you had to run really slow at first to keep the fast-twitchers out of it? For training purposes, the fast-twitch muscles didn't really get stronger until the taper when the runs were shorter and, perhaps, faster.)

Whatever, I'm back to "what's the point?" What do I care if the changes are cellular, muscular, intellectual, gravitronic, or supersonic? I know that if I want to run better, I need to run. I need to do a long run and I need to keep the runs varied (for mental health if nothing else). I don't need a research scientist -- or some Internet bulletin board wannabe -- to tell me that my muscles will get stronger if I run. I feel bad for those dopey kids who let these researchers cut them open and biopsy their muscles for that fantastic revelation. They also found that additional running improved economy (shocker) and increased oxydative capacity (whoa there).

I'll tell you, one of the things that I find most appealing about the Lydiard stuff is that it is grounded in practical experience without all this mental masturbation. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

Richard, you remain the king of stating the obvious and couching it as a revolutionary pronouncement.


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JimR
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posted Jul-30-2007 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JimR   Click Here to Email JimR     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Richard,

Please tell us, in your own words, what the 'aerobic model' is.

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Richard99
Cool Runner
posted Jul-30-2007 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard99   Click Here to Email Richard99     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by martinjames:
Didn't Hadd (you know you like to bash him) say that you had to run really slow at first to keep the fast-twitchers out of it? For training purposes, the fast-twitch muscles didn't really get stronger until the taper when the runs were shorter and, perhaps, faster.)

martinjames,

You don't seem all that inclined to discuss physiology topics so I'll just address this single point and end it at that.

Yes, Hadd said run slow to keep fast twitch fibers from working and to maximize development of slow twitch fibers. What he said is pretty basic "aerobic base building" stuff as to maximizing slow twitch fibers. As is seen here, what Hadd said is not accurate as far as working slow twitch fibers mostly. Easy paced running resulted in significant development of the fast twitch fibers - as much development in the fast twitch fibers as in the slow twitch fibers. While this may be simply stating the completely obvious to you, it doesn't appear to be known by Hadd and others promoting a similar philosophy.

------------------
Richard
World's Fastest Slow Guy
www.powerrunning.com

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