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Brian Stone
04-15-2009, 11:50 AM
I am planning on competing in a 1/2 marathon in either Sept or Oct of this year.

I'm typically not a fan of running, but I am really into this mostly for the personal mental challenge and for the accomplishment. I've little experience with any significant running in the past, so I don't have much unlearning to do. i've been working on Pose a bit for a few months but will have to ratchet that up.

Goals:
- plan to spend at least 3 months race prep, and actually hope to start dialing in my diet in the next week or two and get especially strict in the 60-90 days leading up to race day.

- I do not generally want to bias myself toward endurance conditioning overall, as I don't want to lose muscle and sacrifice overall fitness for one 13 mile effort.

- I plan to eat a pretty strict Zone with Paleo as much as reasonably possible - I'm 6'3" and about 210 now so plan to go for probably 24 blocks (puts target weight at 168 which seems even on the low side - more blocks??)


I've seen all sorts of training advice, but I'm curious as to what works best for most. I was going to go with mostly CF workouts with maybe once weekly distance efforts. If I'm strict in my programming and diet, I am hoping this will lead to the preparedness I will need.

CF endurance looks like a little much, in my opinion with a substantial endurance effort daily in addition to a full WOD.


Any advice / suggestions / criticism of diet and/or plans would be greatly appreciated.

Mike ODonnell
04-15-2009, 12:09 PM
Any advice / suggestions / criticism of diet and/or plans would be greatly appreciated.

Don't do it....but that's just my biased opinion.

If you enjoy it....well just take plenty of antioxidants for all the oxidative damage/free radicals you will probably do during training. Also couldn't hurt to add some BCAAs pre workout to help preserve muscle during extended training.

Steven Low
04-15-2009, 05:38 PM
I'd do CFE and then cut out workouts here and there if recover isn't up to par.

At least it's mostly intervals so it's going to be muscle sparing.


In reality, I would never run anything over 5k.

Jay Cohen
04-16-2009, 03:19 AM
Brian;

Why do it, is a great question.

If you're answser is, because I want to and you really don't have any burning desire to "be" a runner(I was for 20 plus years), why spend months training, losing some muscle mass, beating up your body, NOT improve overall fitness, and the list is endless.

I like to run some short stuff, say 400-800 and maybe a mile, along with Tabata work, I get all the high intensity cardio(dislike that word) that I need and still maintain a pretty good level of fitness.

Just had a friend train 4 months for a marathon, she had muscle issues, flu, colds, spent 1000 bucks on trip and when I asked her why, all she said was that she always wanted to run one. Good answer. I asked her if she was going to run another one, she just smiled.

BTW, she can't do one pull up.

So if you want to bang out a 13 mile race, go for it, no need to train more then 90 days, and really three days a week is plenty. Tempo run/ Intervals or Hills/LSD on weekend, more then enough for that distance. Heck, I had a friend train for NY on 3 day a week.

Good luck.

Brian Stone
04-16-2009, 05:12 AM
Jay,

You make some good points. Reason? I guess it's part "I've always wanted to run one" and part challenge to myself. I know that running that level of distance is a significant mental challenge and I just kind of want to have experienced that, for better or worse. I suppose that may not seem like the best of reasons, but I guess why does anyone do anything? :)

As for the loss of muscle and drastic reduction in overall fitness, that's kind of what I was thinking was avoidable and why I posed the question. There was a CFJ article recently about Greg Amundson attempting a 100 mile run off CF WOD / Zone alone and getting like 80 miles or so (and probably doing serious damage to his body in the process). I'm not Greg Amundson in a lot of ways, and I certainly don't have access to the coaching / resources that he does re: running technique, rehab specialists, etc.

Maybe I'm overshooting, and maybe I'll find that it's not for me sometime in the training. I guess i'm seeking the best marriage between the world of overall fitness and the ability to do the distance effort.

Craig Loizides
04-16-2009, 12:29 PM
I think the muscle loss is pretty overrated. If you stay under 20 miles a week and continue doing some lifting I doubt you'll see much muscle or strength loss unless you're an elite lifter.

I'd say start with 1-2 intervals and 1-2 tempo runs per week. Every second or third week replace 1 of the tempo runs with a longer run starting with 3-4 and working up to maybe 9-10 mlies. You could probably add this on top of whatever you're doing now. You have plenty of time so you can build up slowly. For intervals I like doing some longer intervals instead of all the tabata type stuff in CFE.

Do you have a goal time? What can you run a 5k in? What do your workouts look like now?

Brian Stone
04-16-2009, 02:36 PM
Do you have a goal time? What can you run a 5k in? What do your workouts look like now?

I'd like to finish in under 2 hours, which I understand is pretty reasonable for a start. I 5k is probably the longest distance I've ever run, and I've only done one of them. I believe I did it in maybe 23 mins, but it was also on a treadmill which is hard to count. I recently did a 5k row in 20:33, which I understand translates pretty well to comparable run times in most athletes.

I currently do the CrossFit WOD with usually some jumprope or semi-heavy lift as buy-in.

Steven Low
04-16-2009, 05:26 PM
I personally don't think you'll lose much if any muscle at all unless you're extremely muscular for your build and/or don't eat enough.

A couple intervals a week should stave off any significant muscle catabolism.

Mike Prevost
04-16-2009, 10:25 PM
I'd like to finish in under 2 hours, which I understand is pretty reasonable for a start. I 5k is probably the longest distance I've ever run, and I've only done one of them. I believe I did it in maybe 23 mins, but it was also on a treadmill which is hard to count. I recently did a 5k row in 20:33, which I understand translates pretty well to comparable run times in most athletes.

I currently do the CrossFit WOD with usually some jumprope or semi-heavy lift as buy-in.

To run it in under 2 hours, you will need a bit of training. There is a big difference between a 5K and a half marathon. I would keep it simple and target 3 runs per week. Do one longer run building to 10 miles. The other two can be whatever you want. As long as the long run is progressing, you will be fine. The other two runs can be interval sessions, easy miles...whatever. You should have no problem with losing muscle mass if you are running less than 20 miles per week. Honestly, as a long time runner, I can tell you that 20 miles per week is not much at all. You can mainain muscle on that type of mileage easily. Not sure when you half marathon run is scheduled but I would target a 12 week program along the lines of what I outline below. I am only showing week 1, 6 and 10 but you can fill in the weeks in between with a reasonable progression.


Week 1
Mon: 1.5 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 2 miles easy

Week 6
Mon: 3 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 6 miles easy

Week 10
Mon: 3 miles easy
Wed: Intervals
Sat: 10 miles easy

Just fill in the weeks in between with a reasonable progression to those mileage goals. That will keep you under 20 miles per week, with only 6 weeks or so over 10 miles per week. Week 11 and 12 should be slightly reduced mileage for the long run. Maybe cut it back to 7 miles and then 5 miles but add a few quarter mile intervals in during those long run sessions in week 11 and 12. That simple program would more than prepare you to survive a half marathon without hurting too bad and you should not have any problem with muscle loss as long as you refuel adequately.

Mike

Brian Stone
04-17-2009, 05:01 AM
Mike, that is exactly what I was looking for.

One other thing: Is training on pavement over a treadmill at say a slight incline going to be crucial? Most of the roads near my house are pretty hilly and I have a treadmill, but at the same time the weather is getting nicer so I want to train outside. What is your advice here re: translatability?

Mike Prevost
04-17-2009, 09:07 AM
Mike, that is exactly what I was looking for.

One other thing: Is training on pavement over a treadmill at say a slight incline going to be crucial? Most of the roads near my house are pretty hilly and I have a treadmill, but at the same time the weather is getting nicer so I want to train outside. What is your advice here re: translatability?

Brian

The research says that a treadmill on a 1% grade = same effort as running outside. I would strive to do the long runs outside though. It is more of a mental thing. It could be a problem if you do all of your runs on the treadmill and do your race outside. Just manage your effort on the hills. The goal is to keep a steady effort rather than a steady pace.

I would take in a little carbs and protein immediately after the runs and figure how to keep your heavy lifting from interfering with the long run. It is not too big of a problem though. I found that even when really sore from squats that I could run pretty well once I warmed up. I don't think you will have any issues with dropping muscle with this level of run mileage. I would suspect that the only thing you will see is a bit of fat loss. Good luck and have fun!
.................................................. .................................................. ........................
J Sports Sci. 1996 Aug;14(4):321-7.

A 1% treadmill grade most accurately reflects the energetic cost of outdoor
running.

Jones AM, Doust JH.

Chelsea School Research Centre, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK.

When running indoors on a treadmill, the lack of air resistance results in a
lower energy cost compared with running outdoors at the same velocity. A slight
incline of the treadmill gradient can be used to increase the energy cost in
compensation. The aim of this study was to determine the treadmill gradient that
most accurately reflects the energy cost of outdoor running. Nine trained male
runners, thoroughly habituated to treadmill running, ran for 6 min at six
different velocities (2.92, 3.33, 3.75, 4.17, 4.58 and 5.0 m s-1) with 6 min
recovery between runs. This routine was repeated six times, five times on a
treadmill set at different grades (0%, 0%, 1%, 2%, 3%) and once outdoors along a
level road. Duplicate collections of expired air were taken during the final 2
min of each run to determine oxygen consumption. The repeatability of the
methodology was confirmed by high correlations (r = 0.99) and non-significant
differences between the duplicate expired air collections and between the
repeated runs at 0% grade. The relationship between oxygen uptake (VO2) and
velocity for each grade was highly linear (r > 0.99). At the two lowest
velocities, VO2 during road running was not significantly different from
treadmill running at 0% or 1% grade, but was significantly less than 2% and 3%
grade. For 3.75 m s-1, the VO2 during road running was significantly different
from treadmill running at 0%, 2% and 3% grades but not from 1% grade. For 4.17
and 4.58 m s-1, the VO2 during road running was not significantly different from
that at 1% or 2% grade but was significantly greater than 0% grade and
significantly less than 3% grade. At 5.0 m s-1, the VO2 for road running fell
between the VO2 value for 1% and 2% grade treadmill running but was not
significantly different from any of the treadmill grade conditions. This study
demonstrates equality of the energetic cost of treadmill and outdoor running
with the use of a 1% treadmill grade over a duration of approximately 5 min and
at velocities between 2.92 and 5.0 m s-1.

Brian Stone
04-17-2009, 09:44 AM
Awesome! Thanks a ton to Mike et al. for all the suggestions. Much appreciated!

Craig Loizides
04-17-2009, 02:37 PM
2 hours seems like a reasonable goal. You might want to try to find a local 5k and 10k to run as part of your training. It will let you test your progress, try out eating before and during the race, get used to holding your pace in a large crowd, etc. You don't want any surprises on race day.

As the race gets closer try to do some running each week at your goal race pace.

At a 2 hour pace with low training volume you might want to experiment with some sort of run / walk pacing scheme. Jeff Galloway has had a lot of success coaching in this manner:
http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/walk_breaks.html

At 9 min/ mile he recommends roughly 4 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking. Actually, I think Greg A would have completed the 100 miles with some sort of run/ walk, or maybe even run/sit pacing.

Laszlo Madarassy
04-18-2009, 03:41 AM
My examples: my uncle will finish his 30th marathon in this year at age 60. His joints and health are in terrific conditions, he looks like about 40 years old. He's a pretty good long distance runner. In his youth he could run a marathon in 2 and a half hours. I don't know whether he could do a pull up or not but why is it matter if someone is feeling great, light and fitt. I can do plenty of pullups but I certainly can't finish a marathon.

Another example: my brother-in-law can do plenty of pullups, bench press 250 lbs and he finished his first ironman in 10 hours. Isn't he fit? Will chronic cardio kill him? I don't think so. He 's feeling pretty good. I'm doing olympic weightlifting and eating paleo foods, but I'm far from being that fit.

Maybe this two examples mean little, but I always wanted to make some statements about this whole "don't do cardio" mania.