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Taper vs. One Last Long Run

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  • RobD520RobD520 Member Posts: 420 Member Member Posts: 420 Member
    msf74 wrote: »
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)

    Well, at any rate, I had 4 weeks to go before my race when I first posted. I followed everyone's suggestion to stop training at the recommended just-shy-of-3/4 distance of 20 miles. I ran my race, and I didn't die.

    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    I still think it's silly to go out and weekend warrior the hell out of a race instead of preparing for the whole thing. It's time to do my research on how ultra runners train. I'm sure they're not limiting themselves to long runs under 3 hours to prepare for 24 hour races. I'm not saying that I'm ready for a longer distance - but I'm going to have to disagree with "conventional wisdom" on this one.

    The Hanson marathon training program has the longest run at 16 miles. They have trained Olympic marathoners.

    Given you have finished one marathon, I understand why you think you know better.

    You asked one question about whether at a certain point in your program you should taper or try to force one longer run in. People who have experience answered the question. They gave you the right answer.

    The long run, as important as it may be, is not the totality of your training. I ran my best marathon with several 20 mile long runs, and a hard 10 miler every Wednesday for 10 weeks in a row. One 26 mile run would not have dramatically improved your fitness. That's not how training works.

    I suspect you probably went out too fast at the beginning. There is adrenalin at the start of a race that is not there when you are on a treadmill. So what feels like an easy pace is not. When you saw how fast you were going, backing off was probably the wisest strategy.

    I've trained for ultra's; but I will let you do your research.

    Again, your question was not about a whole training program. It was about one decision within a program.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    snikkins wrote: »
    No one is setting themselves up for failure by not running the full 26.2 miles before race day. When I ran my first marathon, I wanted race day to be the first one. Period.

    Also, it is possible that your attitude ruined your last 6.2 miles. My head space makes a big difference, no matter whether I'm running 5k or 50k.

    I'll answer that the persistent sensation in my quads that felt as though someone had injected them with concrete probably played a larger part than my thought process. My strategy beyond mile 20 was to walk 60 footstrikes and jog 120. At mile 24 I made a joke to the 11:04 pacers as they passed me, that I didn't expect them to pass me until mile 25, and they laughed - so they got it that I was making a funny. I tried to pick it up for the last 2 miles and keep with them, but wasn't able to bully my legs into it.

  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    msf74 wrote: »
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)

    Well, at any rate, I had 4 weeks to go before my race when I first posted. I followed everyone's suggestion to stop training at the recommended just-shy-of-3/4 distance of 20 miles. I ran my race, and I didn't die.

    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    I still think it's silly to go out and weekend warrior the hell out of a race instead of preparing for the whole thing. It's time to do my research on how ultra runners train. I'm sure they're not limiting themselves to long runs under 3 hours to prepare for 24 hour races. I'm not saying that I'm ready for a longer distance - but I'm going to have to disagree with "conventional wisdom" on this one.

    The Hanson marathon training program has the longest run at 16 miles. They have trained Olympic marathoners.

    Given you have finished one marathon, I understand why you think you know better.

    You asked one question about whether at a certain point in your program you should taper or try to force one longer run in. People who have experience answered the question. They gave you the right answer.

    The long run, as important as it may be, is not the totality of your training. I ran my best marathon with several 20 mile long runs, and a hard 10 miler every Wednesday for 10 weeks in a row. One 26 mile run would not have dramatically improved your fitness. That's not how training works.

    I suspect you probably went out too fast at the beginning. There is adrenalin at the start of a race that is not there when you are on a treadmill. So what feels like an easy pace is not. When you saw how fast you were going, backing off was probably the wisest strategy.

    I've trained for ultra's; but I will let you do your research.

    Again, your question was not about a whole training program. It was about one decision within a program.

    As a beginner, would you not agree that the long run is the most important component of the training program? I know you're not mocking me for being too-big-for-my-britches in one breath and suggesting that I train in an Olympic program in the next.

    I don't think that I did go out too fast in the beginning, since I held that pace for the first 20 miles until my legs turned to stone. My heart rate data shows that I was slightly elevated (maybe 10 bpm) for the first 15 minutes, and then settled in for the following 3 hours.

    My question was answered, and I followed the recommendation, and I still feel it was the wrong decision.

    Thank you for your opinion.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,156 Member Member Posts: 18,156 Member
    You did go out too fast - exactly as evidenced by the effect that occurred. Well, if your goal was to finish the race actually running about the same average pace.

    You almost assuredly ran out of muscle glycogen - and for the body to use what was left of mainly the fat fuel source - it required you to slow waaaaayyyyy down.

    When you go out too fast - you burn higher proportion of carbs to fat that will prevent there being enough carbs to last until the end, at equal pace.

    And that bears into the aspect recommended by almost all of NOT making training runs longer than 3 hrs. There is little to no physical benefit.
    Your muscles can only store so much glycogen anyway - beyond a certain point of training you won't be getting anymore stored by training methods.
    At that point it's about proper pacing and/or mid-race fueling to spare those stores to make it to the end.
    Training runs up to 3 hrs do a good enough job of increasing mitochondria for making better use of fat stores - in other words increasing VO2max.

    So you can either go a pace that stretches out what you've got stored to the end.
    Or you can go faster and yet slow enough to still absorb mid-race fuel to use too. (some people discover their absorption ability is nil, so no benefit except cramped stomach)
    Or you can go too fast, absorb not enough carbs - and end up in the same boat you did. That's happened to pro's and age-groupers too.

    Here is interesting reading on it.
    The study is very informational - and will allow you to appreciate how ultra-runners do it - and it ain't about the long run ultimately for these kind of adaptations, though more is needed just to have time on the feet.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/582526-new-to-marathons-avoid-hitting-the-wall-calculator
    edited May 2016
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    4:55:15
    I was right where I expected to be, regardless of how much walking I did in the last hour and twenty minutes. My treadmill is not well-calibrated, and I have no true idea of my "easy" pace. I impressed myself with those first 20 miles, though. By effort, it felt like what I'd been doing on the treadmill, which the machine insists are 11 minute miles. GPS called them 10:15's.

    So a reasonable time for a first event, well done. I'm sorry that you feel that my other comment was a dig, it wasn't intended that way.

    So after any race I generally go through a period of reflection and analysis of what happened, whether it worked as intended and what lessons I can learn for moving on to my next event. Given what you've described a few of the thoughts I'd be having would include those below. I will offer a few observations, but my own current situation doesn't entirely help you here, my current goal race is a 12 hour trail based time trial, with a trail marathon as part of the cycle.

    With respect to preparation -
    • Was the plan appropriate and did it do what I wanted? - This is tricky, you're clearly not happy with your plan, but that then plays into the other aspects of the question set. That said, you completed the race on your planned time. The aspects I look for are; cumulative mileage, structure (are there long back to backs, which are the staple of ultra training), progression and appropriate combination of easy and speedwork.
    • Did I follow the plan? - I see this as covering a couple of different aspects; distance/ pace adherence and completing the planned runs. I'm guilty of issues with both of these as I frequently add miles and I really struggle with maintaining training pace. I'd observe that from what you've said, your problem was completing the planned runs. You identified that you had two failed attempts at the 18 miler, I'm assuming that wasn't your only non-adherence to the plan.
    • Did I nail my feeding strategy - Both pre-race fuelling and on the move feeding. This is key to avoiding the chronic glycogen depletion that you describe, although some of that comes from the conditioning as well. For the ultra I've got to work on processing real food as gels and chews aren't going to keep me going for the period.
    • Did I train on the right terrain? - There is little point in training on the road if it's a trail race, equally all trail training doesn't dial in the right technique for a road race. My personal situation is that I run roads during the week and trails at the weekend. The marathon that I'm running in June, about 2 months before the ultra has 1000m of vertical elevation. I'm not getting that training in London.

    So moving on to race day -
    • Did I plan my race, and did I race my plan? - As you identify you arrived at the finish line pretty much on plan for your 11min/ mile. You did that in two stages, 20 miles at 10:15min/mile and then 6 miles at c15min/ mile. You're clearly not happy, but that looks very much to me ike you went out too fast.
    • Did I use everything available to support me? - You mention pacers for the pace that you'd been aiming at? Personally I'd have used the pacers and if I'd been feeling fresher at say 18 miles I'd push it out at that point for a better than intended finish
    • Did I follow my feeding plan? - I'm a trail racer, so wear a race vest and carry my nutrition with me, aid stations carry both easy stuff like jelly beans and gels, but they also have flapjacks, cake, fruit, cider/ beer and flat coke. If I haven't trained with those, I'm not using them in a race.
    • Did I enjoy myself? - This is probably the most important one for me. I raced a trail HM last year and felt physically like cr*p the whole way round. Forced a bowl of porridge down in the morning, but felt uncomfortable throughout and finished about 15 minutes behind plan. I had a great time, really enjoyed the race despite the discomfort.

    That's all intended to be helpful. I would observe that from what you'e said in thread, the problem that you had wasn't not completing the distance in advance.

    fwiw my current plan has me running between 25 and 40 miles every weekend, back to backs with either a 10 miler on the Saturday and 15 on the Sunday, through to back to back 20 milers.
    edited May 2016
  • RobD520RobD520 Member Posts: 420 Member Member Posts: 420 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    msf74 wrote: »
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)

    Well, at any rate, I had 4 weeks to go before my race when I first posted. I followed everyone's suggestion to stop training at the recommended just-shy-of-3/4 distance of 20 miles. I ran my race, and I didn't die.

    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    I still think it's silly to go out and weekend warrior the hell out of a race instead of preparing for the whole thing. It's time to do my research on how ultra runners train. I'm sure they're not limiting themselves to long runs under 3 hours to prepare for 24 hour races. I'm not saying that I'm ready for a longer distance - but I'm going to have to disagree with "conventional wisdom" on this one.

    The Hanson marathon training program has the longest run at 16 miles. They have trained Olympic marathoners.

    Given you have finished one marathon, I understand why you think you know better.

    You asked one question about whether at a certain point in your program you should taper or try to force one longer run in. People who have experience answered the question. They gave you the right answer.

    The long run, as important as it may be, is not the totality of your training. I ran my best marathon with several 20 mile long runs, and a hard 10 miler every Wednesday for 10 weeks in a row. One 26 mile run would not have dramatically improved your fitness. That's not how training works.

    I suspect you probably went out too fast at the beginning. There is adrenalin at the start of a race that is not there when you are on a treadmill. So what feels like an easy pace is not. When you saw how fast you were going, backing off was probably the wisest strategy.

    I've trained for ultra's; but I will let you do your research.

    Again, your question was not about a whole training program. It was about one decision within a program.

    As a beginner, would you not agree that the long run is the most important component of the training program? I know you're not mocking me for being too-big-for-my-britches in one breath and suggesting that I train in an Olympic program in the next.

    I don't think that I did go out too fast in the beginning, since I held that pace for the first 20 miles until my legs turned to stone. My heart rate data shows that I was slightly elevated (maybe 10 bpm) for the first 15 minutes, and then settled in for the following 3 hours.

    My question was answered, and I followed the recommendation, and I still feel it was the wrong decision.

    Thank you for your opinion.

    The Hanson plan was not designed exclusively for elite runners or Olympians. It has been used successfully with elites as well as marathoners at other levels.

    Nevertheless, I was not necessarily recommending that program to you.

    The point I was trying to make is that people have had great success with long runs four miles shorter than 20, so perhaps your one marathon experience did not debunk "conventional wisdom."


  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    You did go out too fast - exactly as evidenced by the effect that occurred. Well, if your goal was to finish the race actually running about the same average pace.

    You almost assuredly ran out of muscle glycogen - and for the body to use what was left of mainly the fat fuel source - it required you to slow waaaaayyyyy down.

    When you go out too fast - you burn higher proportion of carbs to fat that will prevent there being enough carbs to last until the end, at equal pace.

    And that bears into the aspect recommended by almost all of NOT making training runs longer than 3 hrs. There is little to no physical benefit.
    Your muscles can only store so much glycogen anyway - beyond a certain point of training you won't be getting anymore stored by training methods.
    At that point it's about proper pacing and/or mid-race fueling to spare those stores to make it to the end.
    Training runs up to 3 hrs do a good enough job of increasing mitochondria for making better use of fat stores - in other words increasing VO2max.

    So you can either go a pace that stretches out what you've got stored to the end.
    Or you can go faster and yet slow enough to still absorb mid-race fuel to use too. (some people discover their absorption ability is nil, so no benefit except cramped stomach)
    Or you can go too fast, absorb not enough carbs - and end up in the same boat you did. That's happened to pro's and age-groupers too.

    Here is interesting reading on it.
    The study is very informational - and will allow you to appreciate how ultra-runners do it - and it ain't about the long run ultimately for these kind of adaptations, though more is needed just to have time on the feet.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/582526-new-to-marathons-avoid-hitting-the-wall-calculator

    Thank you. That was very helpful and informative. The endurance calculator seems to indicate that I shouldn't have hit the wall, even if I hadn't been eating gummy bears to try to fuel. I think my best course of action is experimentation with fueling during a marathon length run. I know that statement will still have some of you banging your heads on your desks, but I can live with that. I'm not going to suggest that you'll feel it's the best course of action, too. Even with all the dire warnings about recovery time and injury, I think the best way to know how my body reacts to that 21st mile is to RUN the 21st mile.

    I already run most of my shorter (up to 13 miles) runs fasted. If that hasn't helped with increasing VO2max, and I'm really not interested in running slower than a pace I can hold for 3 and a half hours - it's all down to fueling during a run. I'm interested in any suggestions about how to test that without running for 4 hours at a pop. I can't say that I will blindly trust everything that anyone says, but I will take it into consideration. Thanks.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »

    This was the least helpful ultra training article I've read so far. Feel free to "let me do my own research" as you claimed you planned to do.
  • RobD520RobD520 Member Posts: 420 Member Member Posts: 420 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »

    This was the least helpful ultra training article I've read so far. Feel free to "let me do my own research" as you claimed you planned to do.

    Can I respectfully ask what was offensive about it?
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    4:55:15
    I was right where I expected to be, regardless of how much walking I did in the last hour and twenty minutes. My treadmill is not well-calibrated, and I have no true idea of my "easy" pace. I impressed myself with those first 20 miles, though. By effort, it felt like what I'd been doing on the treadmill, which the machine insists are 11 minute miles. GPS called them 10:15's.

    So a reasonable time for a first event, well done. I'm sorry that you feel that my other comment was a dig, it wasn't intended that way.

    So after any race I generally go through a period of reflection and analysis of what happened, whether it worked as intended and what lessons I can learn for moving on to my next event. Given what you've described a few of the thoughts I'd be having would include those below. I will offer a few observations, but my own current situation doesn't entirely help you here, my current goal race is a 12 hour trail based time trial, with a trail marathon as part of the cycle.

    With respect to preparation -
    • Was the plan appropriate and did it do what I wanted? - This is tricky, you're clearly not happy with your plan, but that then plays into the other aspects of the question set. That said, you completed the race on your planned time. The aspects I look for are; cumulative mileage, structure (are there long back to backs, which are the staple of ultra training), progression and appropriate combination of easy and speedwork.

    It was a plan to prepare for a sub 4 hour marathon. I didn't follow any of the paces, because they were not appropriate, though I tried to keep some degree of proportion, at a more reasonable pace. I guess it got me across the finish line, which was my primary goal. It did not address nutrition in any way, but I haven't really seen any that do.
    [*] Did I follow the plan? - I see this as covering a couple of different aspects; distance/ pace adherence and completing the planned runs. I'm guilty of issues with both of these as I frequently add miles and I really struggle with maintaining training pace. I'd observe that from what you've said, your problem was completing the planned runs. You identified that you had two failed attempts at the 18 miler, I'm assuming that wasn't your only non-adherence to the plan.

    Nope. You're right - I used the plan as a "guideline" to check off how many miles I should be able to run at a given number of weeks out from race day.
    [*] Did I nail my feeding strategy - Both pre-race fuelling and on the move feeding. This is key to avoiding the chronic glycogen depletion that you describe, although some of that comes from the conditioning as well. For the ultra I've got to work on processing real food as gels and chews aren't going to keep me going for the period.

    This seems to be the most pertinent. I clearly had no idea whether my fuel was adequate to prevent glycogen depletion. Everything I had read previously seemed to indicate that my pace was slow enough that I shouldn't have to worry about outrunning my glycogen conversion rate. Something went wrong there, that I feel could have been prevented with enough time and experimentation.
    [*] Did I train on the right terrain? - There is little point in training on the road if it's a trail race, equally all trail training doesn't dial in the right technique for a road race. My personal situation is that I run roads during the week and trails at the weekend. The marathon that I'm running in June, about 2 months before the ultra has 1000m of vertical elevation. I'm not getting that training in London.


    I'm content with this. Yes, the treadmill is flatter than any flat road, but I do have an incline, and I've also trained declines by propping an aerobics step under the back end of the treadmill. My fitbit claims I climbed 405 flights of stairs on marathon day, but RunKeeper puts the elevation change at closer to 40 feet.

    So moving on to race day -
    • Did I plan my race, and did I race my plan? - As you identify you arrived at the finish line pretty much on plan for your 11min/ mile. You did that in two stages, 20 miles at 10:15min/mile and then 6 miles at c15min/ mile. You're clearly not happy, but that looks very much to me ike you went out too fast.

    I'm pretty sure I mentioned that my treadmill isn't calibrated well. What I'm running on the road feels the same as what I'm running on the treadmill. My GPS identifies it differently. How would I have identified that what will work for 20 miles will stop working at 20 1/4?
    [*] Did I use everything available to support me? - You mention pacers for the pace that you'd been aiming at? Personally I'd have used the pacers and if I'd been feeling fresher at say 18 miles I'd push it out at that point for a better than intended finish

    I followed some 11 minute mile pacers in a previous marathon - my GPS tells me not to be disappointed that I lost them by mile 4, since they were actually running faster than 10 minutes per mile. I developed trust issues.
    [*] Did I follow my feeding plan? - I'm a trail racer, so wear a race vest and carry my nutrition with me, aid stations carry both easy stuff like jelly beans and gels, but they also have flapjacks, cake, fruit, cider/ beer and flat coke. If I haven't trained with those, I'm not using them in a race.

    I wore my race vest and part of the reason I had RunKeeper tell me when I'd hit a km mark was to ensure that I drank a little water and ate a gummy bear, as I did in training. I did accept some gatorade at mile 22, because I was already suffering, and while I haven't trained with it regularly, I have occasionally had it at races, and it hasn't caused any problems.
    [*] Did I enjoy myself? - This is probably the most important one for me. I raced a trail HM last year and felt physically like cr*p the whole way round. Forced a bowl of porridge down in the morning, but felt uncomfortable throughout and finished about 15 minutes behind plan. I had a great time, really enjoyed the race despite the discomfort.

    I enjoyed the first 20 miles pretty well. I really enjoyed crossing the finish line and being done. I'd like to improve the 10k between there. I don't think that's unreasonable.
    That's all intended to be helpful. I would observe that from what you'e said in thread, the problem that you had wasn't not completing the distance in advance.

    fwiw my current plan has me running between 25 and 40 miles every weekend, back to backs with either a 10 miler on the Saturday and 15 on the Sunday, through to back to back 20 milers.

    I'm not taking offense at any of this. I have had issues with any number of different things. The race vest chafes without a proper shirt over a sports bra, cutting a run short - my digestion isn't on point for another long run, and I decide to try again the next day. Evidently, I wasn't doing a good job with fueling all along, either. It was enough to get me through most of my long runs, but definitely not enough on race day. I still feel that more experimentation is the way to solve that. I am still open to suggestions regarding how to know whether something that works for 20 miles is going to keep working for another 10k.

  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    RobD520 wrote: »

    This was the least helpful ultra training article I've read so far. Feel free to "let me do my own research" as you claimed you planned to do.

    Can I respectfully ask what was offensive about it?

    It was not offensive, but it was unhelpful, as it assumed I knew what my marathon pace was, and that I had a nutrition plan that was successful in my successful marathon, which I clearly haven't nailed down.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,156 Member Member Posts: 18,156 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    You did go out too fast - exactly as evidenced by the effect that occurred. Well, if your goal was to finish the race actually running about the same average pace.

    You almost assuredly ran out of muscle glycogen - and for the body to use what was left of mainly the fat fuel source - it required you to slow waaaaayyyyy down.

    When you go out too fast - you burn higher proportion of carbs to fat that will prevent there being enough carbs to last until the end, at equal pace.

    And that bears into the aspect recommended by almost all of NOT making training runs longer than 3 hrs. There is little to no physical benefit.
    Your muscles can only store so much glycogen anyway - beyond a certain point of training you won't be getting anymore stored by training methods.
    At that point it's about proper pacing and/or mid-race fueling to spare those stores to make it to the end.
    Training runs up to 3 hrs do a good enough job of increasing mitochondria for making better use of fat stores - in other words increasing VO2max.

    So you can either go a pace that stretches out what you've got stored to the end.
    Or you can go faster and yet slow enough to still absorb mid-race fuel to use too. (some people discover their absorption ability is nil, so no benefit except cramped stomach)
    Or you can go too fast, absorb not enough carbs - and end up in the same boat you did. That's happened to pro's and age-groupers too.

    Here is interesting reading on it.
    The study is very informational - and will allow you to appreciate how ultra-runners do it - and it ain't about the long run ultimately for these kind of adaptations, though more is needed just to have time on the feet.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/582526-new-to-marathons-avoid-hitting-the-wall-calculator

    Thank you. That was very helpful and informative. The endurance calculator seems to indicate that I shouldn't have hit the wall, even if I hadn't been eating gummy bears to try to fuel. I think my best course of action is experimentation with fueling during a marathon length run. I know that statement will still have some of you banging your heads on your desks, but I can live with that. I'm not going to suggest that you'll feel it's the best course of action, too. Even with all the dire warnings about recovery time and injury, I think the best way to know how my body reacts to that 21st mile is to RUN the 21st mile.

    I already run most of my shorter (up to 13 miles) runs fasted. If that hasn't helped with increasing VO2max, and I'm really not interested in running slower than a pace I can hold for 3 and a half hours - it's all down to fueling during a run. I'm interested in any suggestions about how to test that without running for 4 hours at a pop. I can't say that I will blindly trust everything that anyone says, but I will take it into consideration. Thanks.

    Fasted runs don't help improve VO2max really, but they do train the body to get into the better ratio of carbs/fat burn that might otherwise take about 30 min to get into under normal circumstances. And if you can train body to go for the lower carb ratio fuel and have it be muscle glycogen, sparing the liver stores for keeping blood sugar high enough for longer - then even easier to do the mid-race fueling.

    But here again is the case where over 60 min fasted doesn't help improve much of that effect.
    But, it will help you learn how to deal with the mental issues of low blood sugar - what some mistakenly think is hitting the wall, but it comes much earlier.
    But depending on pace and intensity fasted - it can also start using other fuel sources there, like higher % of amino acids than otherwise would occur - that's not so good.

    Unless those were special sugar formulated gummy-bears for easy absorption, you likely didn't get all the energy out of them. I thought I had my paper with correct ratio but can't find it, probably because I confirmed the Gatoraide is correct and my Clif Bloks are, so misplaced it.

    The slower pace for training though does have a place to train body to burn fat easier at higher levels if intensity - it's the slow down to speed up method. So don't discount the slower runs - good for recovery anyway, or at least taking a load off to help prevent injury.

    But you are right - you can mimic the effect of using up muscle glycogen fast by going out really hard on short run. But that doesn't let you then test the refueling methods that will work well, because that intensity will also prevent usually any absorption. So it must be done with longer runs at close to pace - not race pace obviously unless you just have ability to have lots of rest days for recovery.
    But still the ability to test what you can deal with at level you'll be at - and that marathon race pace done for 18 miles usually lets you, start eating at 60 min until the end.

    But go for what you think will be most helpful - perhaps you'll luck out and are young enough and genetically gifted enough for recovery, with good diet/sleep to make it all work better than most would get.
  • ryborybo Member Posts: 5,437 Member Member Posts: 5,437 Member
    I suppose it's admirable to see people trying to help someone who neither wants nor deserves the help.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    @heybales - I'm afraid neither age nor genetics is on my side. All I've got is stubbornness, but I have that in spades.

    @rybo - I'm so pleased with your contribution as well. Very helpful.
  • RobD520RobD520 Member Posts: 420 Member Member Posts: 420 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    RobD520 wrote: »

    This was the least helpful ultra training article I've read so far. Feel free to "let me do my own research" as you claimed you planned to do.

    Can I respectfully ask what was offensive about it?

    It was not offensive, but it was unhelpful, as it assumed I knew what my marathon pace was, and that I had a nutrition plan that was successful in my successful marathon, which I clearly haven't nailed down.

    I thought some of the recommendations regarding distance of the various training runs may have interested you. At the time I posted it, you also seemed to feel your pace was right.

    I apologize if I was frustrated at your quick opinion that we all gave you bad advice. It just wasn't obvious to me that your results proved that tapering was wrong. Whether it seems so or not, I really was trying to be helpful.

  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    RobD520 wrote: »
    RobD520 wrote: »

    This was the least helpful ultra training article I've read so far. Feel free to "let me do my own research" as you claimed you planned to do.

    Can I respectfully ask what was offensive about it?

    It was not offensive, but it was unhelpful, as it assumed I knew what my marathon pace was, and that I had a nutrition plan that was successful in my successful marathon, which I clearly haven't nailed down.

    I thought some of the recommendations regarding distance of the various training runs may have interested you. At the time I posted it, you also seemed to feel your pace was right.

    I apologize if I was frustrated at your quick opinion that we all gave you bad advice. It just wasn't obvious to me that your results proved that tapering was wrong. Whether it seems so or not, I really was trying to be helpful.

    Hey, I apologize for asking the wrong question. I don't blindly follow the plan like gospel, but that doesn't mean I'm not trying to prepare. Being told "shut up and just follow the plan" feels an awful lot like some sort of initiation rite to prove I'm serious about running marathons. I have gear that stops working at specific mileage. Underwear from the same package fits differently, and I have to remember which particular pairs chafe after 4 miles! I know that some combinations will get me to 18 miles, but no idea if they'll keep working for another 8. Even if the taper is completely necessary, I can't discount the certainty of knowing that what I'm doing will keep working until the end of the race. Ok, so going the distance doesn't require cutting time off the taper... Now that we're talking about how to prepare for the miles that nobody recommends anyone actually practice, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because the reasons don't seem to apply when we start talking about ultras - Clearly people are running distances longer than marathons in training. I think I'd like to try that, as training for the next marathon, even though it's not what most people do. If I'd thought to word it like that, I would have done that. I know - it was too late, at the time. I was freaking out.

    Thank you for trying to help. I do appreciate hearing why things work (or not) even if I choose to go another direction.
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    It was a plan to prepare for a sub 4 hour marathon. I didn't follow any of the paces,
    Nope. You're right - I used the plan as a "guideline"
    I clearly had no idea whether my fuel was adequate to prevent glycogen depletion.

    So I think that these are the key points to me.

    To address the point about pace, Runkeeper does have the ability to audio prompt for pace, although personally I now use a Forerunner that I can set to warn when I'm going faster than planned, so that I can avoid going out too fast and burning out.


  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,525 Member Member Posts: 1,525 Member
    It was a plan to prepare for a sub 4 hour marathon. I didn't follow any of the paces,
    Nope. You're right - I used the plan as a "guideline"
    I clearly had no idea whether my fuel was adequate to prevent glycogen depletion.

    So I think that these are the key points to me.

    To address the point about pace, Runkeeper does have the ability to audio prompt for pace, although personally I now use a Forerunner that I can set to warn when I'm going faster than planned, so that I can avoid going out too fast and burning out.


    I guess I can cede the point that I chose my plan poorly?

    Any number of other plans on the internet seemed pretty interchangeable, if I disregard the paces, since I find my speed to be inadequate for a 4 hour marathon.

    My nutrition was adequate for the 20 miles my long runs topped out at. Please tell me how I would know that I had very nearly reached my limit?

    I had the audio prompt for pace turned on. But while I was surprised to find that I was running near 6:30/km, I was not alarmed at "how fast" that was, because, like I have said at least 3 times, my treadmill is not calibrated true. I was running by effort. Perhaps there was a tiny bit of race adrenaline for the crowded first 5 miles, before the half marathon runners split off, and it got Very Lonely for the marathoners. By then, the 400 or so of us were well spread out. I wasn't feeling particularly aggressive about time, because any finish would be a PR. It's easier to beat later if I don't hustle. I was running by feel. My pace was even. It carried me to the limits of my training. I had no experience to suggest that I would be unable to continue beyond that. I had conversations with other runners when I was close enough to do so. Really felt I was running slowly.

    How does one achieve experience without doing the thing?

    Or am I still missing some other point that you're trying to make? Please use small words. I'm not getting it.
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    Or am I still missing some other point that you're trying to make? Please use small words. I'm not getting it.

    You're fixated on your plan having not included a 26.2mi distance. The vast majority of plans top out at 20 miles and people successfully use them to prepare for marathons.

    Meanwhile:
    • The plan you chose wasn't appropriate to your ambition; a four hour plan with a five hour target is significantly different
    • You didn't follow your plan, either pace or distance. I'll assume that as you were winging the plan you probably didn't do the runs in their intended sequence either.
    • Your feeding plan was inadequate - This is a purely planning issue, rather than rehearsal. I take in about 200 cals per hour when I'm running long, on the basis that I'm burning c600 per hour. The only rehearsal I do is using the nutrition on a run to ensure I don't have an adverse reaction.
    • You went out too fast - You ran faster than you had done in training, you recognised that and just went with it. If you'd slowed to your planned pace it's likely you would have completed as intended.

    There are lots of lessons in there for you to learn from, or you could just continue to insist that you're a special snowflake and just winging your own plan that'll take you to 26.2mi in advance of your race is the way ahead.

    With respect to using an Ultra plan, noting that the plan linked to above relates to a 50miler, paces are significantly different. My road marathon pace is 9:30/mi, my trail marathon pace is 10:30/mi, my planned 12 hour pace is 12:30-13/mi in the early stages and I'm fully anticipating that dropping to 15-16/mi later in the race.

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