Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

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Jwolf
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Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby Jwolf » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Ed's record yesterday got me thinking. He's fought some injury issues over the years, but he's still going strong at 82-- so inspiring.

I'm not sure what he does now but in the past he has said that he would frequently do short races (like 5Ks) instead of traditional track work or intervals for his speed training; intervals often induced injuries, but fast races did not.

Does anyone else find this? I wonder if the stopping and accelerating of traditional track work was tougher on the muscles and tissues. Or is it the adrenaline of race day that helps you go faster with less stress on the system? I seem to find the same thing, although I don't have enough personal data to prove it. Anecdotally, I often get stiffness in my Achilles after speed work (happened this week, but went away after a few easy runs). But nothing in my fast race yesteray, even though I did almost the same amount of fast running.
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MichaelMc
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Re: Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby MichaelMc » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:19 pm

Acceleration might be the difference. Intervals require getting up to speed multiple times, and hard acceleration requires a lot of power. Normal distance racing (even 5k) you don't accelerate particularly hard. The only other factor I can think of is warm ups: I see a lot of people go to a track, jog around a few times then start cranking out intervals. You MIGHT warm up better for a race, although lots of people skimp a bit there too.

That is actually one of my issues: when I'm training hard it takes ages to warm up properly. Frankly I probably SHOULD warm up for 5k to run a 5k.

I know a number of people whose main speedwork is racing, but I don't think it is "ideal". I feel the best training requires some consistency, and that is hard to get in races.

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jamix
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Re: Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby jamix » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:14 am

MichaelMc wrote:I know a number of people whose main speedwork is racing, but I don't think it is "ideal". I feel the best training requires some consistency, and that is hard to get in races.


We can add Haile G to that list too. I suspect it isn't ideal for older or more injury prone runners.
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Jwolf
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Re: Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby Jwolf » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:18 am

jamix wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:I know a number of people whose main speedwork is racing, but I don't think it is "ideal". I feel the best training requires some consistency, and that is hard to get in races.


We can add Haile G to that list too. I suspect it isn't ideal for older or more injury prone runners.

I wonder if you read my post.

Ed Whitlock has said he specifically did it because it didn't aggravate his injuries but traditional speedwork did.
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Re: Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby Pat Menzies » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:55 pm

Ed has a far higher level of natural speed than the average runner. He can afford to let that go a bit. The average runner often can't get going much faster than 5k pace in an all out sprint.
It's important to realize that Ed was originally talking about not doing speedwork for running middle distance races rather than the longer races he does now.
It was the speedwork necessary to run a sub 2:00 minute 800 (at 46) that was aggravating his Achilles.
It is much easier to avoid speedwork in later years if you have once honed your middle distance running to highest potential and then maintained that as much as possible through racing.
People forget that Ed was a middle distance star in his early master's years. Hard to copy what he does now and expect similar results unless your background is similar.
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Re: Speedwork the Ed Whitlock way

Postby Dstew » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:08 am

Pat Menzies wrote:Ed has a far higher level of natural speed than the average runner. He can afford to let that go a bit. The average runner often can't get going much faster than 5k pace in an all out sprint.
It's important to realize that Ed was originally talking about not doing speedwork for running middle distance races rather than the longer races he does now.
It was the speedwork necessary to run a sub 2:00 minute 800 (at 46) that was aggravating his Achilles.
It is much easier to avoid speedwork in later years if you have once honed your middle distance running to highest potential and then maintained that as much as possible through racing.
People forget that Ed was a middle distance star in his early master's years. Hard to copy what he does now and expect similar results unless your background is similar.



I have read that in general about Master runners who were very accomplished at some point during their running due to natural ability and very hard work that the speed muscle memory merely needs to be jogged. Without the foundation and experience, kinda like trying to make a knife out of a hammer. There is a local runner in her 40s that seems to dominate many races and her bio is substitute teacher but as someone who knew her pointed out, that bio also included qualifying to run in the Olympics. Makes sense it is easier to keep or hone what you once had rather if it was never there in the first place.


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