ATC 225: What Constitutes Junk Miles, Breaking Mental Barriers for Better Race Outcomes, Risk vs. Reward with Intensity, and More

December 23, 2016


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On this edition of Ask the Coaches with Tawnee and Lucho:

  • Is there a difference and/or pros and cons to doing a bulk of your MAF/base miles on an incline vs. on a flat surface besides the slower pace on inclines?
  • Clarifying the difference between junk miles and MAF/aerobic training?
    • Junk miles: Anything that is helping toward your goal(s), or, worse, working against your goal(s)!
    • If you’re freely and loosely exercising and not “training” (like Tawnee mentions) this isn’t necessarily junk miles because there is the health benefit to being active!
  • A triathlete who raced Ironman Kona this year chimes to discuss the severe gut, nutrition and hydration issues he had, and wants some advice and answers as to what was going on to avoid these problems in the future.
  • When racing the marathon: push harder and take risks, or run conservative for a “safe” race?
  • On one hand we need to set realistic goals, on the other hand we should take realistic risks!
  • Mental toughness and central governor talk
  • Learning how to believe in ourselves and not feed negative thoughts that work against our race outcomes. (No “I can’t”!!!)
  • Tawnee’s ‘Mental Toughness’ series on Join now and get the first month for just $1 with code “holiday2016”.
  • Followup on sweet spot training for running – is this basically polarized training if your intervals are around threshold and VO2max?
  • Are longer intervals at 10k effort considered a sweet spot for running?
  • How much training can be “intensity” and discussing risk vs. reward?
  • The Stephen Seiler video on his research that is the basis of polarized training
  • Takeaways:
    • DISCIPLINE! Easy must be easy, hard must be hard. Don’t run up a hill on an easy day! Also remember many research studies are looking at elite athletes who can handle the stress because it’s their job!
    • “Training at LT is too much effort for too little gain”
    • How about not training very much at MP at all! Instead: polarized, sweet spot, etc.
    • What are the details of high intensity? Comes down to “tolerable accumulated duration” – how long at what intensity can you tolerate? I.e. 90% for longer duration more tolerable than 100% for shorter duration.
    • “Effort matching model”
    • Polarized as not just short very hard efforts of <3min, but harder efforts for 4-8min at ~90% (sweet spot?).
    • It’s not so much about periodization; rather, just a lot of work happening, and most of it low intensity – but as you get closer to races, hard sessions get harder and easy gets easier.

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