It can’t be Friday already can it? Did anyone else’s week fly by? No complaints here!

I’m working most of the weekend but hope to have a few breaks to get in a little running and relaxing!

If you couldn’t tell from my recent posts I am really excited about running again.  Even though I haven’t done anything big, just taking the steps I need to in order to get back to training is finally putting some excitement back into things for me.

 

For today’s Five Things Friday post I wanted to share 5 Running Articles You Should Read Now. I do way too much reading and researching when it comes to running. I didn’t used to but now that I am determined more than ever to make progress towards my goals I am always researching.

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1. 3 Great Marathon Predictor Workouts (McMillian Running)

A great article on three very tough but great workouts to help you determine if you are ready for your next marathon.

Fast Finish Long Runs – Obviously a fast finish long run is in many ways a long run with negative splits.  You want to start your first 8-12 miles of the run at your normal long run pace and then cut down during the last 3-10 miles.

The mileage is such a wide range depending on how you like to train.  You aim to run 3-5 of these in a 12 week training cycle.

These are very tough runs on your body so you don’t want to do these too often.

 

Long Distance Pace – The name pretty much describes it.  McMillian has his runners race a half marathon as few weeks before their marathon. They say that if you double your half marathon time and add anywhere from 5-7 minutes to that it will give you an approximate estimate of your marathon time.

I have done pace runs but never for anything over 8 miles. This time around I do want to incorporate several long distance pace workouts in the months leading up to a race.

 

Yasso 800’s – I have done several Yasso 800 workouts and they are tough.  You can read about my past Yasso 800 workout here.  The basic idea behind these workouts is that your time in minutes and seconds for a total of 10 x 800’s with equal recovery time is identical to your hours and minutes of your goal marathon time.

Example: If my goal marathon time would be 3 hours and 35 minutes then I would need to be able to run 10 x 800’s in 3 minutes and 35 seconds with the same amount of rest in between.

This is no small task. During my previous training I worked my way up to 8. You want to start out with maybe 4-5 or see how many your body can handle and then continue working them into your training as your progress.

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This is the workout I actually did. I look forward to being able to tackle the full 10 x 800 one day.

 

2. Best Running Advice Ever (Running Times)

I really loved reading this article. Running Times asked many elite athletes what piece of advice spoke them the most in their training.

Some of my favorite quotes from the article:

“You don’t know what’s ahead, but keep doing the right things and make small progress. Don’t rush – things don’t happen overnight.” -Meb Keflezighi

“If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.” – Ryan Hall

“We made a really great team, and he could adjust my training very well by being together all the time. Even when we disagreed, we always had the same goal.” – Constantina Dita (on her husband and coach)

“The race always hurts, luv. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so that it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.” – Lauren Fleshman

 

3. Spirulina Boosts Runner’s Performance (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise)

If you read the actual study it is a bit confusing, but you can read a synopsis of the study here.

As a medical student’s wife, Wes often sends me studies to read. This original study was done a few years ago when Taiwanese researchers discovered that Spirulina boosted students stamina.  A group of Greek researchers decided to repeat the study on runners to see if it would have same outcome.

Spirulina-Stamina.jpeg (source)

The study found that when the student runners took 6 g of Spirulina platensis it increased the amount of time they were able keep running.  They also found that the runners’ muscles used slightly more fats and less carbohydrates when running.

 Spirulina-Carbs-Vs-Fat.jpeg(source)

An interesting read.

 

4. Effect of Split Exercise Sessions on Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (British Journal of Sports Medicine)

This is another study I found of interest, you can read the synopsis again here.

This study looks at the effects of splitting your cardio (running) into two separate shorter workouts during the day instead of one longer one. Of course if you are marathon training this might not always work depending on what type of workout you are doing.

Split Study (source)

The study measured EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).  It found that when the women in the study split the workouts into two smaller runs throughout the day their EPOC was twice as high as one longer exercise session. Even though the focus of this article was to look at calorie burn post-workout which isn’t so important to everyone, I thought it was another interesting study.

 

5. Heart Rate Training: Is It Right for You? (Runner’s World)

I’ve never tried heart rate training but have read a lot about it and seen several other bloggers who have talked about implementing this strategy.

There are 4 main zones in heart rate training:

Zone 1: 60 to 70 % (of maximum heart rate) – very comfortable

Zone 2: 70 to 80% (of maximum heart rate) – comfortable enough to hold a conversation

Zone 3: 81 to 93% (of maximum heart rate) – “comfortably hard”

Zone 4: 94 to 100% (of maximum heart rate) – hard effort

 

The key with heart rate training is your ability to know and listen to your body.  In order to be able to do this you need to be able to relax and feel comfortable as a runner. This requires you to get used to your body and how it performs.

The draw back of heart rate training to me is it may not always be accurate.  If you are having a tough day, sick, or just not at your best your heart rate might not directly correlate to how you feel.

I am interested in maybe doing a few training runs using this method and seeing how my body responds.

 

There you have it. Just a few interesting articles I’ve read in the past couple weeks.

 

What’s an interesting article you have read lately?

What on your running/workout agenda for the weekend?

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