Posts tagged St. Louis Running Store
Next Goal(s) and Training Plan

 While you are in the midst of recovering from your full or half marathon its time to reflect. Were you satisfied with your performance? Did you achieve your goals? If not, why not? And most importantly where do you go from here? Another full or half? Train for shorter races but more of them?

Now is the time to assess what you have been doing and are you happy with the results. Achievement of personal goals in all aspects of life doesn’t happen without a well thought out and executed plan.

As you assess various training approaches it is important to realize that most important aspect of a good training plan is building an aerobic base. Without this base anaerobic training collapses and future results are very unpredictable.

Lydiard believed that any good training plan has to be sequenced properly and well balanced in order to ensure that your different energy systems required to run well on your target day need to be fully trained, rested and ready. (graphic credit: Healthy Intelligent Training by Keith Livingstone).

Another question you have to answer the question do I want regular short-term results or long-term peak performance on your target race day? You can’t do both. If you enjoy jumping in a lot of races then a Lydiard plan is not for you. If you wish to run your best in your target race and are prepared to effectively train towards that day and goal then Lydiard is for you.

Please join our Lydiard Method informational session on Thursday April 25 to learn about our next training cycle for fall races. It’s from 7:30 – 9:30 pm and we’ll explain how the Lydiard Method works and why.  We’ll also be joined by a few folks who recently completed their Lydiard cycle for GO! and they will share their experiences.  Click here to register: Lydiard Method Informational Session Facebook Event

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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Proper Recovery

So, you just finished your half or full marathon. This next phase is critical to complete before you start another training cycle for fall. First rule of thumb is you need 1-day recovery for each mile run in the race. Obviously 13 for a half and 26 for a full.

The reason why is quite simple; you have damaged the muscle fibers in your legs. You may not feel it but its there at the cell level, its deep tissue damage. These fibers have to repair themselves and this takes time and care.

Recovery doesn’t mean no running. It means take a few days off, eat well, re-hydrate and rest. But you can run. This is the time to really listen to your body and do feeling based jogging or running. Take it slow and easy, your body tells you what you can do. In looking back at my training logs, I noticed the day after the marathon I did no running, took a walk only. Then for the next 5 days simply jogged how I felt each day. It was not only a physical rest and repair but a mental one as well. This continued for 3 weeks while I recharged, by week 4 I was feeling good again and mentally ready to start another cycle. While I was disciplined in terms of running most days, I also felt confident taking a day completely off if I didn’t feel recovery progress was being made. And do not underestimate the importance of mental recovery, taking a break from training is actually training.

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There are several recovery indicators to watch as well: 
Morning Heart Rate: It will be elevated most likely for a few days, monitor it and note when it returns to normal resting rate.
Weight: Watch for weight loss of 1 pound or more. If you are losing weight while recovering it says your recovery will take longer.
Sleep: Keep track of your hours of sleep. During early phases of recovery, it can be less than normal. When it returns to normal you are recovering.

We also find that Oofos sandals are helpful. The foam they are made of absorbs daily impact well and they have a good supportive arch area. The sandals literally cradle’s your foot and aids in recovery for those tired and sore muscles. We have a good selection at Running Niche.

Please join our Lydiard Method informational session on Thursday April 25 to learn about our next training cycle for fall races.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

To Gel or Not to Gel?
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For a full marathon and for some runners a half marathon, a fueling strategy is necessary. Your carbohydrate/glycogen stores are limited and can handle an endurance event of 2 hours or less. But over that at some point soon thereafter in the race you will need to refuel or augment what you have remaining in your body.

A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Nutrition took a look at marathon runners using a science based versus random gel strategy during the Copenhagen Marathon. The study found that roughly 3 gels per hour of exercise worked well and provides about 60 grams of carbs/glycose per hour.

Here is a picture of the nutrition facts for several gel providers. Look for the total carbs each gel provides. Given the warm weather on Sunday April 7 for GO! races, look for the amount of sodium/salt contained. Obviously, you are going to have to replace more salt than normal on Sunday due to the warmth so higher sodium content is important.
Also please remember to drink water when you take your gel as that will allow faster absorption of the gel into your system.

So, the final thought here is taking 2-3 gels per hour, lean towards those with higher sodium content and take with water. Since you have enough carbs/glycogen on board naturally to get through the first hour in great shape start “gelling” about one-hour in. Oh, and be sure you try these beforehand to ensure they don’t upset your stomach. You don’t want and unscheduled port a potty stops…… Good luck Sunday!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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Race Pace and Hydration Strategy
Marathoning by Bill Rodgers.jpg

Sunday April 7 is almost here in St. Louis. The weather, at least as of today, calls for 55-75, rain and humidity of 76%. You need to go into Sunday with a plan for your pacing and hydration.
So, take the advice from the master. In 1974 Bill Rodgers ran his 3rd Boston Marathon where he finished 14th but he really struggled from 18 onward. He was still learning how to marathon. Many don’t realize it took him a few years to figure it out and once he did, well the rest is marathon history.

It was warm day in April 1974. To quote him: “I didn’t drink any water at all until after the 10-mile mark. I learned the hard way it’s very important to take water before you start the race and in the first miles of the marathon. If you don’t take any in the first 5-6 miles you will dehydrate. I found that that taking water every few miles are essential for warm weather half or full marathons”.

So, make sure on Saturday you are taking in water mixed with electrolytes and salt such a Nuun or Ucan mix. Use common sense and don’t overdo it. On race morning take more water, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Then during the first few miles take it in at each opportunity. Trust your thirst, if you feel it drink it. During the second half of the race it is a good idea to take in water with electrolytes so you get more salt. It sounds like common sense, but in the chaos and excitement of the first few miles its easy to forget to hydrate.

On pacing Bill said “To me the first few miles are the most critical of a marathon. Some people say the race doesn’t start until 20. The real truth is that the first few miles are the most important ones. Many make the mistake of going out too hard or not taking enough water are the ones who are not going to do their best or perhaps even finish”.

You need to have a pacing strategy that takes into consideration the weather, course and your target time based on your training. Just because it’s warm, don’t abandon your target. Just manage your pace well. It’s well known amongst experienced marathoners that if you think you can “bank” seconds or minutes in the first half, it will come back to haunt you many times over in the back half. I have a friend who has run a 2:14 marathon. He’s tried it both ways and the 10 seconds per mile under his target pace in the first few miles cost him several minutes over pace in the last few miles. I’ve learned after 5 marathons that running even or negative splits sets one up for the best outcome, if you have completed your training plan faithfully. When I ran my 2:21 my goal was 5:25 per mile. I ran the first 10 at 5:30 per mile and ran slightly negative for the second 13.1, trusted in my Lydiard training and finished strong. I didn’t use it all up in the first 13.1. So be smart, trust in the hard-long training you have completed, create your race plan and stick to it! Good luck and would enjoy hearing from you about how your race went.

If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours! We’ll be happy to take you through the concepts for each phase for your next training cycle.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Tapering Continued

Arthur Lydiard said “Don’t pull the plants up by the roots”. For the next 2 weeks leading to April 7 you should be tapering by reducing your workload a lot. Nothing you do over these next few days will help you gain better fitness. Don’t be tempted to test yourself, it will only break you down and impede recovery. Not tapering properly can negatively impact your performance on April 7.
The key workout during the taper phase is a “up tempo” run of 800m – 1500m, to help you test your race pace rhythm. It’s preceded by a typical race warmup for you and a long slow cool down. Any other aerobic runs or jogs are done at the slowest end of the recommend pace as the goal is full recovery. These are not “junk” miles, a term I have heard thrown around. There is no such thing. A very slow run allows your muscles to fully recover from the harder workouts in the prior weeks. It is critical to do these properly as they aid the total recovery process.
There are no workouts in taper which break the body down. It’s all about rest, recovery, eating properly, getting enough sleep and not drinking alcohol. There is a dehydrating property to alcohol which is the last thing you want to experience during taper or on race day. There’s plenty of time for the post-race celebratory beer after a job well done.

Lydiard Pyramid

Next week I’ll go over final week prep, diet thoughts and race strategy.
For our runners following the Lydiard Method, the Taper phase is the last of 5 phases shown here leading to peaking on your target race day. (©Lydiard Foundation). As the runner proceeds through the phases the volume decreases and the pace increases.
If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours! We’ll be happy to take you through the concepts for each phase.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Races During Last Four Weeks of Training

Many of our Lydiard Method training runners are now in Phase 4 which is called “Integration”. This phase is the bridge between anaerobic and peaking. Workouts within this phase are designed to simulate race conditions. Most of the hard work is done, and it’s time to start reaping the rewards, while keeping your target race top of mind. We had several runners jump into races on Sunday, either Quivering Quads or Creve Coeur Half Marathon. More on that in a few minutes.

While they all have 4 weeks until their target race, Time Trials and/or Progress Calibration Runs (PCR) are a great time to practice pacing skills, simulate race conditions, get used to racing flats and try different fueling strategies. PCR’s are controlled steady state runs done at faster paces and designed to push the second half of the distance. The runner generally finds they are performing these faster than expected as their fitness level is more fine-tuned now as they head into the tapering phase. These are strong but not full out or even 90% efforts. PCR’s can be done in a race if the runner is disciplined and doesn’t get tempted to “race”. They should also always feel that when finished they could have continued on. Time trials are actually done at around 90% of racing effort. These are best done by actually entering races to fully experience the entire process from pre-race through to cool-down. Be sure your warmup and cooldown appropriately for time trials or PCR’s and under no circumstances should one sprint at the end as this increases the likelihood of injury. Save it for the real target race! Also, one important hint, do not start out too hard in a time trial, work your way into it. And keep at 90% or below effort.

This past weekend we have two runners enter Quivering Quads. Both guys ran well, and their effort was well within their target pace range. They, as our other Lydiard runners, ran this on top of a couple harder workouts on Tuesday and Thursday prior at they are still in integration phase and not tapering yet. Chris finished 2nd overall and Tony placed 46th. Both excellent workouts, yes workouts, and part of the Integration phase process. At the Creve Coeur Half Marathon, Running Niche was well represented. Omar Abdi places 1st overall (personal best time), Michael Roy 11th overall (PR), Marie O’Leary 1st overall, Carolyn Baird 3rd overall (PR) and Jennifer Henderson 6th in her age group and well within her pace range for the workout. All these runners approached this as a workout and is part of the Lydiard training plan.

With GO! races 4 weeks out now, the timing is right to jump in a couple races as a part of your training. Do not “race” them and be sure you understand what is important to get out of the workout. Time trials are the closest simulation to actual race situations that you will encounter. If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Time Trials

Many of our Lydiard Method training runners are moving into Phase 4 which is called “Integration”. This phase comes after having built a strong base having completed the prior phases called Aerobic, Hill Strengthening and Anaerobic. The Integration phase is the bridge between anaerobic and peaking. Workouts within this phase are designed to simulate race conditions.

Lydiard Time Trials.jpg

One of the key workouts within Integration are Time Trials. This run is a great time to practice pacing skills, simulate race conditions, get used to racing flats if worn and try different fueling strategies. Time trials are actually done at up to 90% of racing effort. These are best done by actually entering races to fully experience the entire process from pre-race through to cool-down. Be sure your warmup and cooldown appropriately for time trials and under no circumstances should one sprint at the end as this increases the likelihood of injury. Save it for the real target race! Also, one important hint, do not start out too hard in a time trial, work your way into it. And keep at 90% or below effort. (Graphic ©Lydiard Foundation).

With GO! races 4 weeks out now, the timing is right to jump in a couple races as a part of your training. Do not “race” them and be sure you understand what is important to get out of the workout. Time trials are the closest simulation to actual race situations that you will encounter. If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram