I’ve been thinking a lot about running in the last few weeks. I have to say that I’m shocked by how easy it’s been to increase my mileage. Î realize now that my approach to running in the past was flawed and, although I saw some improvements in stamina and speed, I could’ve made better progress by following a few simple principles.
Run aerobically - too slow is better than too fast
Run for total time rather than distance covered
This is a recipe for increasing cardiac efficiency.
From Lydiard (emphases mine):
Very few people seem to understand their own body functions and fewer the reactions from exercise. Most people realize that we are all dependent upon oxygen to continue living. However, few realize that it is possible to increase their possibilities of increasing their oxygen up-take, hereby improving their health and energies immeasurably through enabling their body’s metabolism to function more efficiently.
When an athlete is to be trained and made fitter, basically, what is being attempted is to increase the athlete’s maximum Steady State by improving the ability to assimilate more oxygen from the air; improve transportation of the oxygen and to improve utilization of the oxygen.
As we run, our breathing becomes faster and deeper and gradually the lungs’ capillary beds become more efficient progressively over a number of years33). There is also an increase in the blood’s red cells and hemoglobin content because of the fatigue rates being created that in turn stimulate the body’s metabolism to create more red cells with higher hemoglobin content, capable of assimilating more oxygen from the air passing through the pulmonary capillary beds.
To develop fine circulation of the blood and general circulatory development, it is necessary to raise the heart’s work load and bring up the pressure by the heart upon the circulatory system so as to start blood coursing through the under-developed arteries, arterioles, capillary beds and veins for as long a period as possible; and as often as possible.
Utilization of Oxygen:
The third aspect is the utilization of the oxygen in the various body parts and this ability is also increased through sustained work; NOT through stopping and starting as some prefer to believe.
Years ago, I discovered that, by running for long sustained periods of time, I became fitter and could run further AND faster sessions. I was later to find out from a German physiologist in Cologne University in West Germany, that experiments he had conducted with marathon runners there showed that, if exercise was sustained for long periods, there was an increase in the efficiency of the capillary beds in the muscles giving better general capillarization than if the exercise was done in shorter periods, even though more intensely38). I knew this in practice, however, at the time I did not understand the physiological reactions of the exercise.
To lift the Steady State, it is necessary to exercise as often as possible and regularly, as previously explained. Because of the daily renewal of red cells in the blood, it is better to exercise a little daily rather than a lot one day and none the next. It has to also be realized that the more exercise undertaken, the better; though there being minimum time that will also give rewarding results without being too fanatical. The more done, the better the over-all results will be.
As long as you are exercising more than previously by running a little each day or every other day; no matter how slow it may seem to you, you must realize that you are winning. You are starting to improve your basic condition.
Control of yourself is of the utmost importance in the initial stages and, for that matter, even later on if you wish to become competitive.
One of the reasons that I was reasonably successful as a track coach of middle distance and distance runners was because I always made my runners exercise control in training so that they always had something in reserve54). I taught them to train and not strain – to enjoy their running and this is only possible by running within your own capabilities. As I taught Bill Bowerman years ago; TRAIN, and DON’T STRAIN. You will not get a medal for trying to run too fast too soon; however, you could kill yourself (by trying to run too fast). At least you wouldn’t have any worries anymore, but your family would.
Gonna see how far I can take this. The ultimate aim is easier, more enjoyable time in the mountains, but I’m toying with the idea of running the Tsukuba marathon next Fall.
Nov. 17, 2014
Nov. 19, 2014
Another long one. Added a bit on to Sundays route increasing the run by about a kilometer. I also started a little farther into the route as I waited for the gps to find satellites. I think I can increase the time run by about 5 minutes if I get the satellites before starting to walk.
I've decided that rather than count workouts, I'm going to count days with workouts this year.
All times are jogging unless otherwise stated.
1. Sep. 8th - 20:06
2. Sep. 9th - 26:29, 7:59
3. Sep. 10th - 1:01:51
4. Sep. 14th - 2:55:08 (hiking)
5. Sep. 22 - 24:30, 13:13
6. Sep. 23 - 1:05:42
7. Sep. 26 - 22:23
8. Oct. 12 - 16:07, 1:09:07
9. Oct. 13 - 16:44, 24:46, 13:56, 12:14
10. Oct. 15 - 11:25, 27:24, 36:00
11. Oct. 17 - 14:00, 19:23
12. Oct. 18 - 58:13
13. Oct. 19 - 38:43, 19:39, 10:40
14. Nov. 02 - 41:18
15. Nov. 3 - 56:41
16. Nov. 10 - 34:20
17. Nov. 11 - 1:28:33
**UPDATED: The individual times don't represent multiple runs in a day, but rather times I stopped the watch (usually because I needed to walk).
4.97 km running
4.73 km walking
7.73 km running
@7.5 km running
some walking also
4.95 km running
2.42 km running (active rest)
5.39 km running
2.46 km running
4.4 km running
@7.3 km running
3.66 km running
There were quite a few trips to the garden by bicycle and also I logged a fair number of kms walking that I didn't include. The heat and humidity have made longer runs difficult but I'm hoping I'll be able to up my average in a few weeks.
Heading back to the gym this weekend. 楽しみ.
I've changed a couple of things during the past two weeks. The first is that I'm trying to jog more often. The goal is to jog 6 days a week (5+ km per bout). Also, I've drastically reduced my weekday carb intake. I'm sticking with salad and tuna or, in yesterday's case, a restaurant-bought chicken caesar salad.
I haven't weighed myself since before Golden Week (the last time I went to the gym), but I'm sure I've lost at least 2 kg. My pants are feeling looser every day. I woke up this morning with a positive attitude that I haven't been able to shake and I realized today that I haven't experienced any knee pain — not even a twinge when climbing stairs — in over a week.
Is this what health feels like?