Newsletter Archives: Volume19, July 2000
Speed It Up, part II - (see
Speed It Up, part I)
Repeat Mile Intervals
The most popular form of marathon speed play is that of "interval
training," used by world-class athletes for most of the 20th century.
In this format, measured segments (repetitions) are run at a pace
that is slightly faster than marathon goal pace, followed by a rest
interval. This process is repeated many times. Shorter distance
goal races, such as the 5K and 10K, use shorter repetitions of 400
to 800 meters. The longer repetitions, such as mile repeats, have
been overwhelmingly the most successful distance in the Galloway
program. Thousands have used mile repeats to improve their marathon
While 800-meter repetitions can give a significant training effect
for the marathon, the mile distance helps to mold together the components
of marathon form and exertion at one time.
Longer Repetitions, Such as the Mile force your legs and feet to
find more efficient ways of running, by eliminating or significantly
reducing extraneous motions and getting the most efficient "lift-off"
from each step develop better pace judgement, teaching you not to
start races (and speed play) too fast help the internal systems
to work together and become more efficient: muscles, pacing, intuitive
connections, and instinctive efficiency adjustments fine-tune the
components of performance, such as energy sources to the muscle,
waste removal, hidden resources to keep going, etc. develop the
mental strength to continue running at a good pace even after fatigue
sets in teach you when to keep going and when to stop to avoid damage
Pace of Repeat Miles
Each mile should be run about 20 seconds faster than you want to
run in the race itself, followed by a walk of at least 400 meters.
If you feel much more comfortable with shorter distance repetitions,
go ahead with 800-meter or 1200-meter reps. Your pace on the shorter
reps can be increased to an average of 25 to 30 seconds per mile
faster than marathon goal pace. It's still better to do repeat miles
or to alternate between miles and reps of shorter distance. Adjust
for Heat, Humidity, Etc.
Even during the extreme heat of summer, you can continue doing
speed sessions, but be careful. If you notice yourself or anyone
in your group having symptoms of heat disease, stop the session
and get medical attention immediately.
The best time of the day to do speed sessions on warm days is very
early in the morning, before the sun rises. Be advised, however,
that when the temperature is above 65 degrees, you must run slower
(and may also cut the distance of the reps to 800 or 1200 meters).
Instead of 20 seconds faster than goal pace, make adjustments as
When the temperature is 65 degrees, run mile repeats 18 seconds
per mile faster.
When the temperature is 70 degrees, run mile repeats 15 seconds
per mile faster.
When the temperature is 75 degrees, run mile repeats 12 seconds
per mile faster.
When the temperature is 80 degrees, run mile repeats 9 seconds per
When the temperature is 82 degrees, run mile repeats 5 seconds per
When the temperature is above 85 degrees, don't do the session;
wait for a cooler time.
* Note: When you feel that there is any possibility of heat disease
or a cardiovascular problem, abandon the exercise, cool off and
Walk Between Each Mile Repeat
It is better to walk between the repetitions to minimize fatigue
and recovery. Most runners should walk 400 to 600 meters between
each of the repeat miles. Walk more if you feel the need. The extra
walking will not reduce the training effect of the speed session.
You receive the same conditioning from speed play of 8 x 1 mile
with an 800-meter walk as you do from 8 x 1 mile with a 400-meter
walk. If you have a heart rate monitor, keep walking until the heart
rate goes below 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
How Many Mile Repeats?
If you haven't done any speed play before, start with only one
or two mile repeats. Veterans can begin with four to five repeats,
and others can pick a starting number somewhere in between. On each
session, increase the number of repetitions by one or two until
you reach the upper limit for your respective goal:
Time Goal * # of Mile Repeats
4:01 and slower * 6 x 1 mile
3:30-4 hours * 8 x 1 mile
3:15-3:29 * 10 x 1 mile
3:00-3:14 * 13 x 1 mile
One of the very best lessons to be learned in mile repeats is how
to intuitively sense your pace. This will help you conserve resources
in the marathon, as well as in other distance races and workouts.
Even with the shifting of form modes, you'll learn pace judgement
as you increase the number of mile repeats.
Time-tested, realistic goal prediction:
1. Run at least three 5K races on non-long-run weekends.
2. Take two or three of your fastest ones and average them.
3. Chart your equivalent performance on the Predicting Race Performance
chart in the back of (the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway, pp. 202-204)
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), pp. 140-142
You'll teach yourself to run faster by taking a very light and
quick touch with each foot. This helps you increase the turnover
of feet and legs, often with a slightly shorter stride length. (Jeff
Galloway's Training Journal, (Phidippides Publication: 1998), p.
The Athlete's Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark 09/00
Recovery from Hard Excersize, Part I: How to rapidly refuel
"I swim twice per day--once before school and once after
school. I generally drag through the second workout. When and what
should I eat to recover better?"
"I have a soccer tournament next weekend, with games two
hours apart. I know I won't feel hungry after the first game. Should
I force myself to eat?"
"Our rugby team likes to refuel with burgers. How bad is
If you are an athlete who needs to quickly recover from one bout
of exercise before you perform again within the next 6 hours, you'll
be able to perform better if you plan your recovery diet. The overall
goal of this recovery diet is to reverse the process that caused
fatigue. This means 1) knowing what to eat and drink to best replace
depleted muscle glycogen stores and sweat losses, and 2) knowing
how to organize your food supply so the proper foods and fluids
are readily available.
Obviously, to compete at your best, you need to train at your best.
To train at your best, you need to thoroughly refuel on a daily
basis. Less obviously, refueling is easier said than done! If you
are doing double workouts or are involved in a weekend tournament,
you are likely busy cramming this sports commitment into an already
full school or work schedule. You may fail to even think about food
or plan time for food shopping. However, "no time" is no excuse.
You can make time to train and compete; you can also make time to
fuel yourself optimally--even if this means keeping a supply of
non-perishable food in your car, desk drawer, and gym bag. You simply
need to prioritize proper refueling. Otherwise, your own laziness
can keep you from reaching the winner's circle.
Casual exercisers who work out less than an hour a day need not
obsess about prompt recovery. They have not depleted their bodies'
fuel supplies, plus they have plenty of time to replace what was
used. Not the case for athletes who repeatedly stress their bodies
with more than an hour of hard exercise, more than once a day. If
that describes you, this article can help you get the most from
your workouts. This article, Part I, focuses on glycogen replacement.
Part II (next month) covers fluid replacement.
Optimizing Glycogen Replacement
Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles and used
for fuel during exercise. When you deplete your glycogen stores,
you experience extreme fatigue. Australian sports nutritionist Louise
Burke, a speaker at the annual meeting of The American College of
Sports Medicine (June, 2000), explained that muscles have an initial
rapid recovery phase within the first hour post-exercise during
which they quickly replace depleted glycogen stores, and then a
slower phase thereafter. If you are competing in, let's say, a soccer
tournament when you have to play a second game within 3 hours of
the first, you want to take advantage of the rapid recovery phase
by quickly consuming carbs post-exercise. The shorter the recovery
period, the quicker you need to refuel. But if time is on your side,
and you won't be exercising within the next 8 hours, you can be
a bit more relaxed with your refueling schedule and wait until you
feel like eating. Within 24 hours, the muscles given a delayed feeding
will catch-up to muscles that were rapidly refed.
How much carbohydrate is enough to replenish depleted glycogen
stores? Your muscles get well fueled when you eat about 0.5 grams
of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per hour for 5 hours after
an exhaustive workout. For a 150 pound athlete, this means 75 grams
of carbohydrates--equal to 300 calories and the amount in 16 ounces
of grape juice, 2 cans of soda pop, or a big bagel every hour, preferably
divided into half-hour feedings. When you are exercising twice a
day, you easily have the appetite to eat this much. Casual exercisers,
needless to say, have smaller needs and smaller appetites.
Athletes who are too busy to plan their sports diet commonly fall
short on carbs--particularly if they grab donuts for breakfast,
burgers for lunch, chips for snacks, pepperoni pizza with double
cheese for dinner, and ice cream for dessert. They are fat-loading,
not carbo-loading, and fat does not replace depleted glycogen stores.
If these same athletes had given thought to their recovery diet,
they could just as easily have grabbed bagels, submarine sandwiches
(thick with bread, not meat), pretzels, thick-crust pizza topped
with extra veggies, and frozen yogurt. Carbs are available, even
when you are eating on the run and at fast-food restaurants.
Whether you consume carbs throughout the day by nibbling on cereal,
bagels, bananas, yogurt, raisins, pretzels, dried fruits, juices,
breads, crackers, and granola bars or whether you sit down and have
one huge pasta meal, you'll eventually end up with similar amounts
of glycogen. The main concern is getting enough carbs within each
24 hour time period; worry less about small meals vs large meals,
and focus more on adequate quantity.
If you have seen the new protein-enhanced recovery bars and gels
that are invading the marketplace, you may be wondering about the
role of protein in the recovery process. The verdict is unclear
if post-exercise protein enhances glycogen replacement. Some research
suggests protein may stimulate insulin, which in turn stimulates
greater glycogen storage. Other research suggests adequate carbohydrates
facilitates an adequate recovery; you just have to eat enough post-exercise
If protein is needed to build muscles post-exercise, physiologist
Robert Wolfe, a speaker at ACSM's annual meeting, questions if a
good time to eat protein to enhance muscular development is pre-exercise.
That way, the protein (actually, the amino acids that are the building
blocks of protein) will be readily available to be taken up by the
muscles during and after exercise. Stay tuned!
Given your body needs adequate protein on a daily basis, consuming
some pre- or post-exercise protein along with the carbs is a wise
idea and a helps to balance the overall diet. Just be sure carbs
are always the foundation of your diet, and protein is the accompaniment,
such as milk on cereal, some turkey in a submarine roll, or yogurt
with fruit. Protein should not displace carbs; that is, don't take
Dr. Atkins High Protein diet advice to eat lots of chicken but avoid
the pasta, rice and potatoes! You'll crash very fast...and recover
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, nutrition counselor at Boston-area's SportsMedicine
Brookline, is author of the best-selling Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition
Guidebook, Second Edition. It is available by sending $20 to Sports
Nutrition Services, 830 Boylston St. #205, Brookline MA 02467 or
Sex and the Long Distance Runner
A long held sacred truth among competitive athletes is that sex
and winning don't mix.
Prizefighters are notorious abstainers before a big event. What
about marathoners? Sex and running are just fine, thank you. In
fact, a recent survey suggests that performance (running, that is)
is improved by sex the night before. Even better news, the reverse
also holds true - running may improve sexual performance.
Marathon runners were surveyed before the London Marathon on their
personal habits. The results were very interesting to say the least.
Although half of those surveyed reported being against sex the night
before a big race (they need their sleep after all), those who said
yes to sex had faster finishing times. Assuming the survey was controlled
for age, abstinence isn't necessary for a successful marathon. This
gives "personal best" a whole new meaning. (Reuters News Service,
Social Issues Research Centre of Oxford) taken from American Running
Association's Running & Fit News, July 2000, p. 1,
Injury of the Month: Keeping
Go Slowly in the Beginning: Almost everyone who
performs a personal record in the marathon runs the second half
faster than the first. Slow down by 10 to 20 seconds per mile (from
your projected marathon pace) during the first three to five miles,
and then follow the guidelines in the "Pacing Tips" section which
follows. Many marathoners report that by starting out 15 seconds
per mile slower, they have the resiliency to run 20 to 30 seconds
per mile faster at the end of the marathon. (from the new Marathon!
by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication: 2000), p, 113)
Remember, for every second per mile you go too fast in the first
half of the race, you'll run 5-10 seconds slower at the end. (from
Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway (Shelter Publications:
1984), p. 102)
Beat the Heat: Another reason to start slowly
and to run your own steady-pace race during the first half is to
keep cool. Getting too hot severely slows you down, so watch it
when it's 60 degrees or more. The faster your body temperature rises,
the more blood flows to the skin to reduce heat, and the more you
sweat. Both reduce the amount of blood available to the muscles,
which in turn determines oxygen supply and waste removal. When capillaries
near the skin dilate to cool you off, they use a substantial amount
of blood. Sweat loss ultimately depletes the blood supply. If you
maintain an even (and reasonable) pace in the first half you'll
actually speed up slightly during the second half: your body mechanics
become more efficient as you run. (from Galloway's Book on Running
by Jeff Galloway (Shelter Publications: 1984), p. 102)
Pacing Tips for the Marathon
- For the first three to five miles, run marathon pace during
the running parts and take the walk breaks.
- A one-minute walk break (for the average person) will slow you
down by 15 to 18 seconds.
- A slightly slower pace will allow the legs to warm up before
pushing into race effort.
- Remember to adjust your pace for heat, humidity and hills.
- Between three and eight miles, shift to running faster in the
running portions and take walk breaks.
- You will gradually pick up the pace so that by eight miles,
you're running at goal pace when you average the walk breaks and
the running segments.
- If it's a struggle to pick up the pace, stay at an effort level
which is comfortable.
- Don't even think about cutting your walk break short to speed
- Between eight and 18 miles, run at marathon goal pace (run faster
to compensate for walk breaks).
- Run each mile about 15 to 18 seconds faster than your goal pace,
- Stay smooth as you ease down to walk and ease back into running.
- Compute your pace each mile.
- Uphills miles can be slower and downhill miles can be faster
than goal pace.
- After 18 miles, you can cut out the walk breaks if you're feeling
strong (and want to).
- An alternative: walk for 30 seconds for several walk breaks
before eliminating them.
- If you need the breaks but your legs are cramping, shuffle instead
- After 23 miles, you can keep picking up the pace if you feel
up to it.
From the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), p, 117
The 40-Minute Goal: When you begin to run you burn primarily carbohydrates
and very little fat. After 5-10 minutes the percentage of fats burned
rises while the percentage of carbohydrates drops. At about 30 minutes,
you're burning fats as primary fuel. (See the chart on p. 45.) By
that time there are abundant supplies of fatty acids in the blood
stream. Hence the value of extending your exercise periods to 40
minutes or more. If running 40 continuous minutes tires you, take
regular and frequent walks. To mobilize the fat, it's better to
run 40-60 minutes, three times a week, than 20-30 minutes six times
a week. (from Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway (Shelter
Publications: 1984), p. 243)
Two things from "Health & Fitness" by Alisa Bauman in the August
issue of Runner's World, p. 30 and p. 28 (www.runnersworld.com):
- Stay Hydrated, Run Longer: In addition to increasing your susceptibility
to heat-related illness, dehydration lowers your lactate threshold,
which makes you feel exhausted faster, according to a recent study
in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
- Eat Oatmeal, Lose Weight: Oatmeal and barley both contain high
amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that may reduce
your appetite. In a recent study, those who ate 5 to 7 grams of
beta-glucan a day felt more sated and lost more weight than those
who ate less fiber. Foods rich in beta-glucan may stay in the
stomach for a longer period of time, making you feel full.
Two things from "Take a Lunch Break Away from Stress," in Volume
VII, Number 2 of Total Wellness, p. 5 (Rutherford Publishing, Inc.,
- Leave the building you work in. If you work indoors, go outside
and enjoy a walk, If you work outdoors, find a quiet spot inside.
- Sweat off your stress. Exercise reduces stress. If you can't
get away from your office, do shoulder rolls, stomach crunches
and calf stretches for a less intense, yet still stress-reducing
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