The long and the short of it

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by wellyhead, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. OK quick straw poll, what do you think is more beneficial to all round fitness when it comes to running

    A couple of long(ish) runs a week or multiple shorter runs

    e.g.

    If you had to choose which would you do

    Two 4 1/2 mile runs or

    Three 3 mile runs

    ????


    Both methods mean you run some 9 miles in a week, but which do you think is better ?
     
  2. Interesting question. I haven't a clue, but I'd prefer to do three lots of three miles purely because it's more frequent.

    If they're run over similar terrain and at a similar pace, there can't be much difference, surely?
     
  3. It all comes down to a balance of three factors: Frequency, Intensity and Time.

    The American College of Sports Medicine (Allegedly they are the Gurus on these sorts of things) say in order to make optimal gains to Cardiovascular fitness you should aim to excercise between 3-5 times a week at between 55-90% of your Maximum Heart Rate (220-age) for between 20-60 minutes per session.

    Out of the two options you gave the 3x3 miles would be the better option as long as you keep the intensity up.
     
  4. i do 4 lots of 2 miles a week

    last nite i did 3 miles though.
     
  5. the main reason people's fitness plateaus when they "self-medicate" a training regime is that they get into the habit of doing certain routes, excercises etc at certain intgensities and their body gets used to it. To improve you have to overload the system, PTI's understand this which is why they run you utterly ragged.
     
  6. No, PTI's run you ragged because they take sadistic pleasure from it and are bast*rds!
     
  7. Q. how do you assassinate a PTI?

    A. put a mirror on the bottom of the swimming pool.
     
  8. The answer I was looking for, I thought that it was something like that was better, Only problem I have is aI run at work and the routes around here have no clear short run other than run out, turn around and run back, other wise its either 4.5 or 6.5 miles. I tried 3x 4.5 one week and it killed me.

    Good line about familiarlty of routes, great for a BFT, pants for a training regime
     
  9. i do 5x2 miles...well nearly because some days i do more if i feel like it and less if i dont feel right...should i do this? or push myself?
     
  10. sounds alright

    make sure u have a rest day inbetween tho

    do tues / wed / thurs.. rest fri.. then do sat / sun / mon .. rest tues

    etc
     
  11. i run steady for 30-40 mins on a mon and fri. And on weds i run hard for 1 minute and rest for 1 minute for ten minutes. Thats what i got told to do to prepare for basic.
     
  12. yeh i heard thats good, you should never completly stop though, i am goin to try running 3 minutes and rest 1, 3minutes...i can cover over 0.5mile easy enough id say, from the start
     
  13. mix up the running with fartlek training aswell, have been told that change speeds on a long run can train both fast and slow twitch muscle groups.

    Armed
     
  14. Agree. I wouldn't stick to purely short or long distance running. Fartlek / HIIT runs help develop both speed / power and moderate endurance, and even add in that mental element of coping with pace change over x period of time.

    Going to start adding in this type of running myself soon and do a mix of hillwalking, short power runs, longer endurance runs & Fartlek / HIIT every other day.
     
  15. I do a lot of running, 10k, 5k events and half marathons. Mainly a summer runner though and prefer to give my body a bit of a rest in the winter. Come spring though I have found the best way to improve fitness for the first races of the season is the following:-

    Mon 3 mile cross country (steady state)
    Tues 2 mile road (fast pace)
    Weds (rest)
    Thursday 4 mile Fartlek run (100m quick- recover,100m quick recover etc)
    Friday (rest)
    Saturday 2 mile easy (lots of streching afterwards)
    Sunday Long Run (6-10miles) Steady

    Obvously I build up to this over 6 weeks starting with low mileages although still training the same amount of sessions.
    IMHO too many "long sessions" in a week has a detrimental effect on my run times as your body cannot repair itself in time for the next session so muscle fatigue takes place. However the body can cope with 5-6 sessions a week less than half an hour no problem so if your looking to improve your PFT time then the more short runs the better.