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Easy vs Hard miles...

Hey all,

I’ve been following the forum for some time and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question to those fitness junkies on the forum!

I’m currently training for 4Para (should have my starting date very soon, passed AC etc) and I run 6 days a week and strength train. I can hit 7min/miles for about 5 miles, 8 min/miles for about 11 miles, my 5k PB is 20:40 and my 1.5PB is currently 9.30. I still have months and months until Cadre and therefore these numbers will improve. I’m also training strength in the gym Which is mostly ‘recovery’ heart rate.

My question is, I know the rule of thumb is to make around 70% of running mileage ‘easy’ in Z2 heart rate but I’m currently doing about 50% easy mileage and the rest is taken up by tempo runs, intervals etc. It actually equates to 2 easy runs a week, my long run on Monday and my easy run on Thursday. Would you, knowing that I’m training for the paras, still follow the 70% rule and look to do about 70% of miles in Z2 really easy pace or would you suggest keeping the mileage more 50/50 as of current?

thank you.

For those who wonder what my current regime is, it’s this:

M - 8-10 mile easy Long run
T - Rest or upper strength training
W - 45 min intense Fartlek
T - 45 min easy run
F - 2min fast intervals x5 (6.15min/mile)
S - Hill sprints / 5 mile Tempo run (7.22min/mile)
S - 4-5 mile Tab (sometimes 6-7 mile)

Around 30miles/week running, 55 miles a week moving
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Train hard. Fight easy.
 
Hey all,

I’ve been following the forum for some time and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question to those fitness junkies on the forum!

I’m currently training for 4Para (should have my starting date very soon, passed AC etc) and I run 6 days a week and strength train. I can hit 7min/miles for about 5 miles, 8 min/miles for about 11 miles, my 5k PB is 20:40 and my 1.5PB is currently 9.30. I still have months and months until Cadre and therefore these numbers will improve. I’m also training strength in the gym Which is mostly ‘recovery’ heart rate.

My question is, I know the rule of thumb is to make around 70% of running mileage ‘easy’ in Z2 heart rate but I’m currently doing about 50% easy mileage and the rest is taken up by tempo runs, intervals etc. It actually equates to 2 easy runs a week, my long run on Monday and my easy run on Thursday. Would you, knowing that I’m training for the paras, still follow the 70% rule and look to do about 70% of miles in Z2 really easy pace or would you suggest keeping the mileage more 50/50 as of current?

thank you.

For those who wonder what my current regime is, it’s this:

M - 8-10 mile easy Long run
T - Rest or upper strength training
W - 45 min intense Fartlek
T - 45 min easy run
F - 2min fast intervals x5 (6.15min/mile)
S - Hill sprints / 5 mile Tempo run (7.22min/mile)
S - 4-5 mile Tab (sometimes 6-7 mile)

Around 30miles/week running, 55 miles a week moving

I think you probably know more about this than a lot of people on here. I’m no expert by any means and wouldn’t look to give advice. Train for all round fitness with your next set of tests/assessments in mind and knowing what P Coy will expect.
 

Oyibo

LE
Hey all,

I’ve been following the forum for some time and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question to those fitness junkies on the forum!

I’m currently training for 4Para (should have my starting date very soon, passed AC etc) and I run 6 days a week and strength train. I can hit 7min/miles for about 5 miles, 8 min/miles for about 11 miles, my 5k PB is 20:40 and my 1.5PB is currently 9.30. I still have months and months until Cadre and therefore these numbers will improve. I’m also training strength in the gym Which is mostly ‘recovery’ heart rate.

My question is, I know the rule of thumb is to make around 70% of running mileage ‘easy’ in Z2 heart rate but I’m currently doing about 50% easy mileage and the rest is taken up by tempo runs, intervals etc. It actually equates to 2 easy runs a week, my long run on Monday and my easy run on Thursday. Would you, knowing that I’m training for the paras, still follow the 70% rule and look to do about 70% of miles in Z2 really easy pace or would you suggest keeping the mileage more 50/50 as of current?

thank you.

For those who wonder what my current regime is, it’s this:

M - 8-10 mile easy Long run
T - Rest or upper strength training
W - 45 min intense Fartlek
T - 45 min easy run
F - 2min fast intervals x5 (6.15min/mile)
S - Hill sprints / 5 mile Tempo run (7.22min/mile)
S - 4-5 mile Tab (sometimes 6-7 mile)

Around 30miles/week running, 55 miles a week moving

Looks like a sensible regime - a combination of high and low intensity. Are you increasing the distances slightly each week?

Do you have an HRM watch? Most makes have some very good training programs that can be downloaded onto the watches, and you can set goals so that you do not burn out too quickly. Polar has a very good website for this, but IMO Garmin has the better watches.
 
Looks like a sensible regime - a combination of high and low intensity. Are you increasing the distances slightly each week?

Do you have an HRM watch? Most makes have some very good training programs that can be downloaded onto the watches, and you can set goals so that you do not burn out too quickly. Polar has a very good website for this, but IMO Garmin has the better watches.

thanks for the reply Oyibo!

I use a FitBit Ionic and yeah it tracks all HR. I have found I max out around 185 and that’s on a perceived scale of pretty much a 10. So most of my really hard runs max out around 177bpm and average 166 ish across the entire workout.

My easy runs are at an average of 144bpm which may be a little too high if anything so I may have to slow my easy runs from 8:06min/miles to 8:45min/miles just to stay within Z2. As all I keep reading is the dreaded ‘grey zone’ of zone 3 training... which it turns out all my easy miles are in according to my heart rate.

With my 50/50 easy/hard split, I do try and increase the mileage or intensity each week but getting over 30miles a week when my hard sessions can be under 3 miles, can be pretty difficult.

I really appreciate your input, it’s tough to know just how sensible a regime is totally on your own, so thank you!
 
You're fine.

It's fundamentally sound and you're fit.

Biggest issue that you could have is not being fit enough, but being broken.

I stick with never increasing any volume by more than 10% - if I do that, very few problems - try and be too ambitious, I get niggles and injuries that inevitably put me back more than if I'd taken things slowly. Works for both cardio and strength training.

How old are you?

As an aside, I stopped wearing my Garmin - I run however I feel like running within the volume boundaries - much more fun and interesting as it's far more organic and I'm not constantly checking and worrying about my HR being at 72.735% of a largely fictional upper HR calculation...

Good luck anyway.
 

Oyibo

LE
thanks for the reply Oyibo!

I use a FitBit Ionic and yeah it tracks all HR. I have found I max out around 185 and that’s on a perceived scale of pretty much a 10. So most of my really hard runs max out around 177bpm and average 166 ish across the entire workout.

My easy runs are at an average of 144bpm which may be a little too high if anything so I may have to slow my easy runs from 8:06min/miles to 8:45min/miles just to stay within Z2. As all I keep reading is the dreaded ‘grey zone’ of zone 3 training... which it turns out all my easy miles are in according to my heart rate.

With my 50/50 easy/hard split, I do try and increase the mileage or intensity each week but getting over 30miles a week when my hard sessions can be under 3 miles, can be pretty difficult.

I really appreciate your input, it’s tough to know just how sensible a regime is totally on your own, so thank you!

I have a similar regime to yours but with shorter distances (I'm an old fart). I've used HRMs for training since the mid '90s, and from experience and what I have read you are on the right track.

Ref your times, your 5 & 11 mile times seem on track to hit the middle to upper range of fitness. Keep the training going, and good luck!
 

Oyibo

LE
You're fine.

It's fundamentally sound and you're fit.

Biggest issue that you could have is not being fit enough, but being broken.

I stick with never increasing any volume by more than 10% - if I do that, very few problems - try and be too ambitious, I get niggles and injuries that inevitably put me back more than if I'd taken things slowly. Works for both cardio and strength training.

How old are you?

As an aside, I stopped wearing my Garmin - I run however I feel like running within the volume boundaries - much more fun and interesting as it's far more organic and I'm not constantly checking and worrying about my HR being at 72.735% of a largely fictional upper HR calculation...

Good luck anyway.

Can't disagree with anything you've said there. I find the HRM stats useful for motivation - but each to their own.
 
You're fine.

It's fundamentally sound and you're fit.

Biggest issue that you could have is not being fit enough, but being broken.

I stick with never increasing any volume by more than 10% - if I do that, very few problems - try and be too ambitious, I get niggles and injuries that inevitably put me back more than if I'd taken things slowly. Works for both cardio and strength training.

How old are you?

As an aside, I stopped wearing my Garmin - I run however I feel like running within the volume boundaries - much more fun and interesting as it's far more organic and I'm not constantly checking and worrying about my HR being at 72.735% of a largely fictional upper HR calculation...

Good luck anyway.

I’m glad I posted, this is very helpful.

FYI, I’m 24 years old, never run before this other than Football, but have always been fairly athletic otherwise. Haven’t worked out for 12 months prior to starting my running training, which I’ve now been doing for 3 months with some trial and error.

I’ll slow down my easy runs to 8:45/mile pace just to stay really really easy and build in Z2, otherwise I’ll go off perceived exhaustion I think. It’s a good idea. Thank you.
 

XPara Mugg

War Hero
What you are doing looks good, to me. I take that Sunday tabs include weight in a bergen or daysack. Build this up gradually. But don't over do it. It's just another form of resistance training.

While you don't need to build unnecessary body mass, don't neglect the muscles of the shoulders, upper arms and chest. This is where weight should be borne. You don't want to be struggling with 'bergan bite' when you should be putting all your effort into moving at pace. Uncomfortable carriage of weight or soreness often results in a shortened, stumbling gait.

Stronger upper body = smoother running action = easier on the legs.
 
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Can't disagree with anything you've said there. I find the HRM stats useful for motivation - but each to their own.
Yeah, found HR training beneficial too, just find I'm more relaxed about things now. If I'm out of puff, slow down a bit, if I'm not, speed up a bit. Stop and investigate if I see something interesting and not worry if I was slightly slower than last week.

Also, I run exclusively on trails now and in the widely varying conditions you'd expect. There's so many factors as to why I might have to work harder.

No denying it's a good metric though.
 
Just to add, my general rule of thumb is based off steps per inhale/exhale now.

4 steps, easy/warm up
3 steps, plod, conversational
2 steps, I'm running...
1 steps, sprints or specific hard work, something is wrong if I'm at this level without wanting to be.

I run 5ks at 2 steps, anything longer or just a bimble at 3 steps.
 

Tuffty

War Hero
Train hard and fast, for my first attempt i thought that it would be all about stamina, carrying bergans over 10 milers and speed marches but i was wrong and failed. 2nd attempt i went for 4 - 6 milers as hard as i could, layed off the hills and just concentrated on Heart and Lungs - i passed. I found it all about the cardio and shovelling as much grub down my throat as i could and remember "skive to survive" but dont get caught
 
Train hard and fast, for my first attempt i thought that it would be all about stamina, carrying bergans over 10 milers and speed marches but i was wrong and failed. 2nd attempt i went for 4 - 6 milers as hard as i could, layed off the hills and just concentrated on Heart and Lungs - i passed. I found it all about the cardio and shovelling as much grub down my throat as i could and remember "skive to survive" but dont get caught

Thanks man. I’ll keep all of that in mind!
 
What you are doing looks good, to me. I take that Sunday tabs include weight in a bergen or daysack. Build this up gradually. But don't ever do it. It's just another form of resistance training.

While you don't need to build unnecessary body mass, don't neglect the muscles of the shoulders, upper arms and chest. This is where weight should be borne. You don't want to be struggling with 'bergan bite' when you should be putting all your effort into moving at pace. Uncomfortable carriage of weight or soreness often results in a shortened, stumbling gait.

Stronger upper body = smoother running action = easier on the legs.

Thank you sir.

yes the tabs are around 13kg in a day sack at the moment. Duration needs to be upped but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be an issue at the moment. Thanks for the upper body tips, Very useful indeed!
 

Cruthin1967

Old-Salt
Hey all,

I’ve been following the forum for some time and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question to those fitness junkies on the forum!

I’m currently training for 4Para (should have my starting date very soon, passed AC etc) and I run 6 days a week and strength train. I can hit 7min/miles for about 5 miles, 8 min/miles for about 11 miles, my 5k PB is 20:40 and my 1.5PB is currently 9.30. I still have months and months until Cadre and therefore these numbers will improve. I’m also training strength in the gym Which is mostly ‘recovery’ heart rate.

My question is, I know the rule of thumb is to make around 70% of running mileage ‘easy’ in Z2 heart rate but I’m currently doing about 50% easy mileage and the rest is taken up by tempo runs, intervals etc. It actually equates to 2 easy runs a week, my long run on Monday and my easy run on Thursday. Would you, knowing that I’m training for the paras, still follow the 70% rule and look to do about 70% of miles in Z2 really easy pace or would you suggest keeping the mileage more 50/50 as of current?

thank you.

For those who wonder what my current regime is, it’s this:

M - 8-10 mile easy Long run
T - Rest or upper strength training
W - 45 min intense Fartlek
T - 45 min easy run
F - 2min fast intervals x5 (6.15min/mile)
S - Hill sprints / 5 mile Tempo run (7.22min/mile)
S - 4-5 mile Tab (sometimes 6-7 mile)

Around 30miles/week running, 55 miles a week moving

Can't fault your preparation, young man. Looks spot on to me. Good luck.
 

Mattb

LE
Hey all,

I’ve been following the forum for some time and thought I’d take the opportunity to ask a question to those fitness junkies on the forum!

I’m currently training for 4Para (should have my starting date very soon, passed AC etc) and I run 6 days a week and strength train. I can hit 7min/miles for about 5 miles, 8 min/miles for about 11 miles, my 5k PB is 20:40 and my 1.5PB is currently 9.30. I still have months and months until Cadre and therefore these numbers will improve. I’m also training strength in the gym Which is mostly ‘recovery’ heart rate.

My question is, I know the rule of thumb is to make around 70% of running mileage ‘easy’ in Z2 heart rate but I’m currently doing about 50% easy mileage and the rest is taken up by tempo runs, intervals etc. It actually equates to 2 easy runs a week, my long run on Monday and my easy run on Thursday. Would you, knowing that I’m training for the paras, still follow the 70% rule and look to do about 70% of miles in Z2 really easy pace or would you suggest keeping the mileage more 50/50 as of current?

thank you.

For those who wonder what my current regime is, it’s this:

M - 8-10 mile easy Long run
T - Rest or upper strength training
W - 45 min intense Fartlek
T - 45 min easy run
F - 2min fast intervals x5 (6.15min/mile)
S - Hill sprints / 5 mile Tempo run (7.22min/mile)
S - 4-5 mile Tab (sometimes 6-7 mile)

Around 30miles/week running, 55 miles a week moving
Don't underestimate the importance of rest - if you're doing 6 days a week then you definitely need to be putting in rest weeks too, I'd say 1 in 4.

Week 1 - 9/10 effort
Week 2 - 10/10 effort
Week 3 - 11/10 effort (ie try and beat your previous week's hardest)
Week 4 - 5/10 effort (rest, but not sendentary)

Otherwise you're not giving your body a chance to recover and rebuild between effort, and your results will suffer.
 
Don't underestimate the importance of rest - if you're doing 6 days a week then you definitely need to be putting in rest weeks too, I'd say 1 in 4.

Week 1 - 9/10 effort
Week 2 - 10/10 effort
Week 3 - 11/10 effort (ie try and beat your previous week's hardest)
Week 4 - 5/10 effort (rest, but not sendentary)

Otherwise you're not giving your body a chance to recover and rebuild between effort, and your results will suffer.
Don't underestimate the importance of rest - if you're doing 6 days a week then you definitely need to be putting in rest weeks too, I'd say 1 in 4.

Week 1 - 9/10 effort
Week 2 - 10/10 effort
Week 3 - 11/10 effort (ie try and beat your previous week's hardest)
Week 4 - 5/10 effort (rest, but not sendentary)

Otherwise you're not giving your body a chance to recover and rebuild between effort, and your results will suffer.

Good shout. Thanks mate, I’ve just hit 30 miles/week over the last 3 weeks so perhaps I’ll look to get a lower mileage week in very soon.
 

Oyibo

LE
Good shout. Thanks mate, I’ve just hit 30 miles/week over the last 3 weeks so perhaps I’ll look to get a lower mileage week in very soon.

Does the Fitbit app has training programs that include targets and rest?
 

Mattb

LE
Good shout. Thanks mate, I’ve just hit 30 miles/week over the last 3 weeks so perhaps I’ll look to get a lower mileage week in very soon.
One of the easiest things is to imagine a graph (insert joke about maths and Paras here) where after every exercise session your output drops (because you're fatigued) and then rises up beyond its original point if left long enough.

If you don't leave it long enough and carry on before it reaches its original point (let alone the improved point) then it'll dip the same amount, and you'll end up worse off. It's a hugely over-simplified way of looking at it, but it's generally correct.
 
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