Back to back runs: a quandary

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Smelph, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hi everybody! Not sure if this has been discussed previously but I wanted to pick all your brains about a bit of a problem I am running into. I'll try to keep it from getting too rambley. ;)

    I recently (last week) started a marathon training program for a race in May. There are 5 run-days each week (ideally), and here's where my problem lies: I'm not comfortable running BF (or in my VFFs) 2 days in a row yet. Essentially my ankles are still getting stronger and my pads are still developing, so there is still a bit of soreness the day after a run (particularly after a run over 3 miles). I could do runs every other day but back to back might be asking too much of my feet.

    So the question is what have you folks done in this kind of situation? The three options I am considering are (a) break out by normal running shoes for some cushioning and support on short next-day runs (might be tough since I don't run well in them anymore), or (b) scrap one of the short runs from my schedule to give me the extra day off (not sure how important that extra 3 miles are), or (c) instead of one of the short runs I could spend 40 minutes or so on the stationary bike.

    I'm leaning toward b or c at the moment until I'm ready to start tackling back to back days. The stationary bike sounds best since it would at least help me work my legs a bit instead of sitting on my butt. ;)
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  2. C. Beth Run.

    C. Beth Run.
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Texas - Dallas
    2. Texas - Austin

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    643
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think you'd be fine with b

    I think you'd be fine with b or c as long as you're getting that long run done. 5 days isn't necessary for marathon training.

    A very accomplished runner friend of mine told me it's better to under-train than over-train. I agree!
     

    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  3. kentox

    kentox
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Australia

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm in the same boat and have

    I'm in the same boat and have come to the conclusion that 4 days a week is enough for marathon training + 2 days cross training with 1 day off. If that is too much I take a cross training day off and rest. I found this to be full of great information from a barefoot runner on Daily Mile who always seems to have the most milage per week being a ultra runner that is understandable in the barefoot runner group. http://fellrnr.com/wiki

    The week runs are maintance runs for your long run at the end of the week generally. But as your feet advance in growth you can do hill repeats,intervals,fartlaks,tempo etc.

    I think time on your feet is what is important and the rest day/days inbetween.

    I was going to do a marathon in April but have scrapped it for a May half marathon and then a full in July to give myself extra time. I want to both barefoot and injury free is my goal.

    Just my 2cents.
     

    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  4. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    thanks for the thoughts,

    thanks for the thoughts, guys! I'm glad to see I'm not crazy and/or screwing myself training-wise.

    the schedule is built on a sunday/tuesday/wednesday/friday/saturday format, so I'm thinking I'll eliminate the sunday and move tuesday to monday for a monday/wednesday/friday/saturday schedule. that seems to fit what my feet can handle a little better, at least for the time being.

    it's neat to be involved in this group since there are around 225 of us in it ranging from the
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  5. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Minnesota
    2. Iowa
    3. México

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,353
    Likes Received:
    2,820
    I would definitely go with

    I would definitely go with option b. In the early stages of the transition the extra day off from running is very wise imo.

    I have ran four marathons with only three runs a week and with very good results.

    Good luck.
     

    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  6. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Connecticut

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,954
    Likes Received:
    1,226
    I start training for my

    I start training for my second marathon which is in May as well in Jan. From experience, not sure what program you are following, is that most of these online marathon training plans are just guidellines. For my first marathon I followed a hal higdon plan to a T, and it was totally unenjoyable. I didn't like being restricted saying i had to run this amount on this day. So for this marathon the only thing I have scheduled on paper is my long runs, the mileage, and when I will run them.

    5 days of running you will see better results, but running 4 days is fine. I will be running only 4 days as well just because my personal life is busy. Bottom line marathon training should consist of a long run, one or two speed workouts, and a mid-week medium long run, and an easy run for recovery.
     
  7. JosephTree

    JosephTree
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    From the sound of things,

    From the sound of things, you're really low on your experience curve with BF running. Why in the world would you push so hard? Isn't "TMTS" the #1 cause of injuries and general misery? Go with your body's flow and even be a bit gentler on it than you think it might need. It's got to last you a long time.

    I'm behind Adam's recommendations: 4 days with at least 1 good long run should get you through just fine. If you're still champing at the bit come spring, you'll be in a reasonably good position to ramp it up a little then.

    On a side note, don't you live where the weather will likely have a good deal of control over your running schedule? Having a tough schedule of runs hanging over my head and then beating myself up because the conditions outside are crappy is a good formula for turning a joyful activity into something very not joyful.

    Good luck with it all, though.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  8. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    Taking the extra day off

    Taking the extra day off sounds like the best idea (and we all seem to agree on that! :) ). I like my every other day runs since it gives me time to rebuild (this is how I've been running all along and sometimes I give myself 2-3 days off). I absolutely don't want to run into TMTS, which is why I decided to ask around in the first place.

    Joseph, I'm relatively green to running in general, so while I could probably be committed for wanting to run a marathon in May, I just really want to see if I can do it. If not, that's ok, but I want to try. I actually like running in the snow, albeit with my VFFs on, and I used to work outside in the winter, so it might take some pretty harsh weather to deter me from going outside. I go BF as much as I can (when the roads are dry), but don't expect to get too many in until things start melting again.

    Hopefully the fact I'm asking these questions means I'm not too far gone. ;)
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  9. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Connecticut

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,954
    Likes Received:
    1,226
    Honestly I don't think you

    Honestly I don't think you are ready to run a marathon barefoot or in VFF's, yet. But I could be totally wrong, the human body is amazing.

    If you get sore running only 3 miles, what is going to happen in training once you start running 18 and 20 milers? You said you don't want TMTS, but this sounds like a easy invite for it. 2-3 days off in marathon training just does not sound good at all. You want to be fully prepared to run 26.2 miles. I would start building mileage now, and only take a day off between workouts, you need to adapt to the stress of the marathon and the training.

    What is your weekly mileage right now? I would start working up to 30 mpw, then maxing out at 40.
     
  10. SillyC

    SillyC
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Massachusetts

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    215
    Hey Smelph,How about a

    Hey Smelph,

    How about a half-marathon in May and a full in the fall?

    I live in a place with similar weather to yours, and I did a half last April. Let me tell you, even sticking to the half marathon training schedule, given the weather, was kinda difficult.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  11. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    Well 3 miles are no problem.

    Well 3 miles are no problem. It's the 5+ that have given me some discomfort the next day. Not sure if that makes it any better ;) Essentially my normal runs were all long runs (for me, anyway) so it's possible that 4 days a week with a couple of them shorter might do me some good. My weekly mileage prior to the start of the program was around 15 miles/week, broken into 3 4-5 mile runs with days off in between. This week as part if the program i am on pace to do 16 miles after tossing one of the 3 mile run days. The program I am on is a very conservative one mileage-wise, and according to the group leader it is usually reserved for the walk/run group.

    SillyC, the great thing about this particular marathon is the course runs within 300' of my house at roughly the halfway point, so if I need to bail at the half I'm already home! :)

    Definitely an option if I start lagging behind for the full due to needing more time off. :)
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  12. JosephTree

    JosephTree
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    Smelph, I looked back at my

    Smelph, I looked back at my post and want to apologise for coming over so critical sounding. I am, after all only a few months farther along the curve myself.

    I do know that siren song of TMTS, though. Resist! I think you might be much happier in the long run following SillyC's very good advice. There will be lots of time for that second half of a marathon. :wink:
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  13. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    No problem! I just hope I

    No problem! I just hope I didn't sound too defensive! ;)

    I just want to go as far as I can without hurting myself. If that means I wind up doing just a half that's ok, and I can try for more in the fall. I do want to make sure I am preparing myself as well as possible though in the meantime.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  14. tdberg

    tdberg
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Indiana

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let me add my voice to the

    Let me add my voice to the TMTS group. Listening to your body (and particularly your skin) is really important. Race goals may have to wait until your body is ready. I've seen too many posts in forums about people pushing it and getting hurt. I say, keep it slow and steady and let your body adapt. Then you'll be unstoppable!
     
  15. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,235
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    I'm gonna play devils

    I'm gonna play devils advocate. I think it is reasonable to run the marathon in May. Just take it slow, build up your distance and don't worry about your speed. If the sole conditioning is an issue becasue of the cold, then do the gravel bucket march to help build them up. And if you are tired and need a day off, maybe you should think about just going for a long walk. The more you use your feet the better conditioned they will become. Sticking shoes on when they are tired and sore will prevent the process.

    Go for it if you want to, just don't blame me if you hurt yourself :)
     
  16. Smelph

    Smelph
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Michigan -...

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    15
    thanks Abide. your thoughts

    thanks Abide. your thoughts echo something my pace leader said last saturday: "the first thing to do is forget about speed and go as slow as you're comfortable. if that means you need walk breaks, go right ahead. we won't get you to the finish line fast, but we'll get you to the finish line."

    Anyway, I just had a similar conversation about this controversial plan of mine with my wife, and it made me realize exactly how blurry the line is between crazy and stupid. more specifically, that even though she and I have talked about this many times, I had apparently never explained it in a way that illustrated why it's just crazy, and not stupid. ;)

    she had no idea that I was planning on going as slow as it took to get through the miles (which is why I am in the slowest pace group and am doing the lightest workout plan), or that I was asking about skipping a workout day so I could get more rest (she thought I was asking because I wanted to do more runs before I was actually ready). she still thinks I'm crazy, but she said at least now she knows I'm not just stupid :bigsmile:
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  17. SillyC

    SillyC
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Massachusetts

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    215
    Smelph, here's what I'm

    Smelph, here's what I'm worried about for you - I'm not so worried about you getting injured. I don't think it's crazy or stupid. But I do think it's a bit masochistic. I'm worried about you burning out and having a crappy time at your race, then swearing you'll never do anything like that again.

    I ran my first marathon this fall, very well prepared and with plenty of time to get ready. I enjoyed my training because I had a great base. More importantly, I enjoyed my race and felt fantastic at the end of it. It was so fun! I'm pretty gung ho about trying the distance again. I'd love for you to have that experience, too.

    I think it's very realistic for you to have a wonderful time at a half-marathon in May, but nowhere near as likely for you to have a great time at a full.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  18. Barefoot Burt

    Barefoot Burt
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. California...

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    for god sakes if you cant run

    for god sakes if you cant run 2days in a row in barefeet you shouldnt even be THINKING about a marathon. Seriously. Pick a 5k and get your running together before stumbling through 26.2
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  19. ajb422

    ajb422
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. California...

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    35
     I'm with the this is

    I'm with the this is probably a bad idea crowd. If I missed it somewhere I apologize for asking again but how long are your current long runs? You say getting up past five makes you sore the next day that seems like asking for TMTS. If someone barefoot or shod told me they couldn't run two days in a row over five miles each time and told me they were going to run a marathon I'd be skeptical of the wisdom of that decision. I liked the suggestion of doing training for a spring half and a fall full. I can seen not wanting to step through all the short distances if you don't really like racing fast but a half isn't exactly a sprint. Do you really want to have to end up crawling through the last 10 k of you marathon because you didn't have a big enough mileage base or know that you won't only finish but will finish with a smile on your face because you waited a few months.
     
  20. C. Beth Run.

    C. Beth Run.
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Texas - Dallas
    2. Texas - Austin

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    643
    Likes Received:
    4
    Smelph wrote:"the first thing

    Since I've just started introducing walk breaks into my running (see the thread I started yesterday) I want to comment on this. Walk breaks may very well make you FASTER, not slower. I'm not talking about "Oh my gosh my lungs are going to burst and my feet feel like they're lead weights so I MUST walk" breaks; I'm talking about Galloway-esque breaks, taken at specific planned intervals. He even suggests taking them from the very beginning of the race. I ran a half marathon a week and a half ago, without any walk breaks...and I now think I could have done it faster if I'd done these types of walk breaks. Yesterday I beat my old 5K PR by almost 2 minutes...by taking preplanned walk breaks (5 minutes running/1 minute walking for most of the run until the end, when I shortened my last walk break to about 15 seconds.)

    Another huge benefit to PLANNED walk breaks (not just breaks taken when you're exhausted)--it can prevent you from getting exhausted, which may help prevent injury. For instance, my "problem area" (IT band) was a little tight for my run Saturday, but the walk breaks seemed to loosen it up. If you are going to tackle a full marathon...or even a half...this quickly, I think preplanned walk breaks at specific intervals might be part of what makes it doable for you.

    But listen to those feet. My half marathon was after 5 months of barefoot & minimalist running. I did the race in VFFs and my feet were definitely quite sore afterward. It really does take a long time to build up those muscles for long distances.

    Good luck!
     

    Collapse Signature Expand Signature

Share This Page