Running: one in five will never improve and may even get worse

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
The author clearly doesn't understand base endurance training at all.

@RichJ is correct, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes in the correct heart rate zone just to get the adaptation started, that's just to get it started, after that you are actually training your heart for base endurance and growing the needed mitochondria in the muscle fibers.

Push the heart rate too fast, as the author suggests and the left ventricle doesn't fill up with enough blood to get the stretching needed for it to adapt.

YES, walking is vastly underrated. People should be able to crank out four miles in one hour and not feel trashed at the end before they start even thinking of running/jogging.

There is a pretty big penalty for bigger people, but big guys can run, @aciampa is a perfect example, they just burn more calories doing it and efficiency/form becomes much more important. Al showed me this, I can walk for hours non stop, even with a 40 pound pack. But the instant I started running, boom heart rate went through the roof. Nothing I did changed it. Al gave one small suggestion and now I can run at a easy breathing pace no problem. Just in the last two weeks I've done two 90 minute runs and easily could of kept going.

If you do an hour run and feel wasted afterwards, you either pushed too hard, have bad form or your base endurance sucks or all of the above.

@Steve Freides is correct, race times are not relevant to training, in fact they are hugely detrimental. No racer runs at his or her training pace on race day. At least, they shouldn't be.

Don't focus on distance, don't focus on how fast you go, get your heart rate in the correct zone and stick to it. Walking, rucking or running, it doesn't matter. Training base endurance is the least specific of all. But if you want to be a better runner, you are going to have to practice it.

Training for the New Alpinism is excellent reading.
Another vote for the New Alpinism, just keep it in context.

Moreover to your point about me, Ive had all the injury/pain nonsense related to running over the years and still no cartilage in my knees. Today, I run basically pain free at 235lbs.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Another vote for the New Alpinism, just keep it in context.
Al raises a valid point about context. I know that I quote and recommend this book a lot, but it is geared towards alpinists, who have specific requirements for their training. But that notwithstanding, it does have a wealth of knowledge, not to mention some inspiring stories.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Running most certainly is natural and it's probably a very smart thing to do. Living out in the woods as a kid, in order to simply save time we ran everywhere - in the summertime in bare feet (there is a skill to running/jogging in bare feet over stoney or broken stick covered ground). Running is just about not wasting time. It's for the same reason we drive cars everywhere - to not waste time. I remember doing chinups on trees - ah fun times!!!

Back then running was a natural part of life. Now for me to run I'd have to set aside a special time for it, get my running shoes on, carry one special key and no other bulky things like wallets or whatever, and force myself to run for a certain distance (or time). This is NOT FUN nor natural! Not up my alley! I do run in my basement though, to music! Not on the spot but kind of forward and backwards or to the sides.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
YES, walking is vastly underrated. People should be able to crank out four miles in one hour and not feel trashed at the end before they start even thinking of running/jogging.
This caught my eye because I've been wanting to improve at running but I think I'd be pretty tired after 4 miles of walking. I've been thinking I should put running on hold for a time and just walk as much as I can.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
This caught my eye because I've been wanting to improve at running but I think I'd be pretty tired after 4 miles of walking. I've been thinking I should put running on hold for a time and just walk as much as I can.
@the hansenator
What are your training goals? When you say that you want to improve at running, what does that mean from your perspective? Where are you at now with respect to runnng?
 

mprevost

More than 500 posts
This caught my eye because I've been wanting to improve at running but I think I'd be pretty tired after 4 miles of walking. I've been thinking I should put running on hold for a time and just walk as much as I can.
That is a pretty good way to start. A good walking program will lay a good foundation for your later running. When you do start running, do so with a walk/run program (inserting small doses of jogging into your walks).
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
I'd think also that going for a walk, but doing little jogs or runs in there for a few minutes at a time would be pretty decent "track work" for a civilian. Evidently someone going out for an hour run is a mighty athlete, but we can be athletic and strong without being mighty runners like this.

I had an interesting experience with running about 8 years ago. Back then I didn't know anything about lifting weights and so I got my fitness outside of judo from running back and forth in my basement to music. I would often do this for 45 minutes or more maybe 3-ish times a week. Somehow I ended up going on a run through the woods with some guys who were training up for the Boston Marathon (they weren't going to win it but to participate in it.) We went on a 2 hour run together. Oddly I kept up perfectly all along except when it came to running uphill. Somehow these guys could actually ACCELERATE when going uphill!!! I on the other hand slowed down a bit. Anyhow, I'm sure these guys could run faster than me if it were a speed race, but in terms of me handling the 2 hour run - not a problem! I really surprised myself!
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
Running is like Scientology. People who run reckon it's great. People who don't run or don't run any more reckon it sucks.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
@the hansenator
What are your training goals? When you say that you want to improve at running, what does that mean from your perspective? Where are you at now with respect to runnng?
No well defined goals. I'd like to be able to run a few miles fairly easily, enter the occasional 5k, do some trail running.

I've been limited by back and foot problems. Physical therapy helped and I started running late last year but symptoms came back so I stopped running and went back to PT. I'm starting to feel pretty good again and have been walking more. Currently I can run about half a mile. Legs and lungs burn a little but otherwise it feels pretty good.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Well... obviously if your goals include running 5k's and trail running (which is great by the way) then you are actually going to have to run. First thing is to have clearance from your PT and/or doc since you have had injuries. Walking is a great way to ease back into the game. The key is to not overdo things early on. Slow and steady. Maybe if it's possible for you, try and seek out a running coach to help you with form and programming.
 

Darren Best

Triple-Digit Post Count
What sort of tip was it?
You're running too fast. In the same way that you should be able to swing any size bell and they all should look the same, you should be able to run at a 15min/mi pace and have it look like your 11min/mi pace. Your gait turns to s*** because you dont practice "jogging", you've just always let the speed of your pace "fix" your gait, which is common. Its easier to run faster, from a technical perspective.

Try to practice walking, then switching to your running gait, but staying at almost the same speed. Run "light", like you're running on twigs and trying not to be heard. Think about picking up your foot even before it hits the ground... the less time on the ground, the better. The only real difference should be in your stride... much shorter, when you're running slower. Its more like an airborne shuffle.

Remember that my starting pace was 18:00min/mi. Just practice; you'll get it.
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
When I started MAF style running I was pretty shocked at how slow I had to go to keep in compliance. I came from years of old school running. But I'll tell you... it has been one of the most significant and impactful changes I have ever made to my training.
 

strawdog

Double-Digit Post Count
When I started MAF style running I was pretty shocked at how slow I had to go to keep in compliance. I came from years of old school running. But I'll tell you... it has been one of the most significant and impactful changes I have ever made to my training.
Thanks! What has shocked me most is the amount of walking I have to do to stay 'in zone'; I feel like I can run a LOT faster, but I am holding myself back and actually enjoy the sessions.

Are you training with a performance goal in mind when you use the MAF method, or are you like me and using it solely for its health and 'stress relief' benefits?
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
The vast majority of my training is performance oriented. Any health benefits (including stress relief) is purely a side effect.
I just got back from a short trail run. I walk the hills, even though it's killing me inside to do so. But I know now that when I do bust into a 'zone 4' day either in training or more importantly an event that I am way better prepared.
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Strength training thickens your heartwall to the point that the inner diameter of the ventricles are reduced -> less volume -> less place for the blood -> less oxygen rich blood can be pumped out of the heart -> weak aerobic capacity and other health issues.
Strength training also makes your heartmuscle stiffer. Over time this leads to diastolic dysfunction which greatly increases the chance for distolic heart failure and ultimately death.
I would respectfully request some evidence for these two very strong statements. To wit:
- strength training induced maladaptive left ventricular hypertrophy, and;
- stiffening of heart muscle leading to diastolic disfunction and early death.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Bill Been, in the post you're quoting from, which is here

Running: one in five will never improve and may even get worse

The @Kettlebelephant mentions that we've discussed this topic lately on the forum, and I read what you've quoted as his conclusions based on those discussions. I, for one, would appreciate the two of you and anyone else posting links to other threads in which this topic has been discussed here.

NB: For anyone who hasn't used this forum feature, if you click on the message number in the lower right corner of the screen, it will bring up a new window with a link to that specific message already highlighted. All you have to do is hit Cmd+C on a Mac or Ctrl+C on a PC, or Edit -> Copy on either, to place this message-specific link into your browser's cut-and-paste buffer.

NB #2 - the above-described interface feature does not work on my iPhone running the built-in Safari, and I suspect it's missing from other mobile platforms as well. In that case, please note the specific message number if you can see it in your post, or at least the page number in a multi-page thread. Please note that, as in my link above, the message number isn't going to be in the URL so don't try to "roll your own" by appending it to the end of the thread link.

Sincerely,

Your friendly local forum editor and ex computer geek,

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I would respectfully request some evidence for these two very strong statements. To wit:
- strength training induced maladaptive left ventricular hypertrophy, and;
- stiffening of heart muscle leading to diastolic disfunction and early death.
I've come across references to overall hypertrophy of the left ventrical, but it IIRC the interior dimensions stayed the same. IDK about the stiffening effect.
 
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