Runners get the blues too? What's this all about, you ask? Well, long ago before I became an Internet Junkie (in the 80's), I was an avid runner. I never reached anywhere near top level status (37:51 10k PR), but as with all my endeavors, I became obsessed with the sport. Along the way I developed a program in QuickBasic (I said it was a long time ago!). I named the program RunPro, and it attempted to project equivalent efforts for various distances based on user input of a specific distance and time. Eventually I developed an Excel spreadsheet to replace and greatly expand on the functionality of RunPro.
On this page you'll find all of my running programs/spreadsheets, and a whole bunch of links to other interesting training and racing information I've found on the web.
Jack Daniels' Training Tables - 06/02/06 (Excel 2002 Worksheet)
This Excel worksheet has become my pride and joy. In his 2nd Edition of "Daniels' Running Formula", Jack Daniels introduced the concept of assigning intensity points to workouts. Basically, the longer and/or faster the workout, the higher the intensity. Jack's tables present the info based on minutes run. Some time ago I set out to create an Excel spreadsheet to approximate intensity points from a mileage perspective. This utility provides a convenient means of comparing intensity levels of various workouts based on miles run, rather than minutes run. For general use, the worksheet provided default percent of Heart Rate values for 4 levels of runners - Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite. It also provides projected training and racing paces based on a race time input by the user. Since that first production, updates to the spreadsheet have run rampant, as I added more calculation tables than you can shake a stick at. Many of the added charts are related specifically to "Daniels Running Formula" and are so noted. While some are not directly related, they provide useful tools that enhance the overall Daniels experience.
Important Note! This new release is in Excel's XLSM format, which means Excel version 2007 or better is required.
Download Newest Release: DanielsTables3-01-01.xlsm
Run S.M.A.R.T. Project
Riegel Predictor (Excel 2002 Worksheet)
This Excel workbook features a Riegel powered Race Predictor tool similar to RunPro. It also has some interesting additional features, including a worksheet for calculating your own Riegel exponent (Rx), allowing you to fine tune the Predictor to your personal race profile. There are several additonal worksheets modeling some other popular coaches' prediction models, as well as modeling actual world record times. This provides an interesting means of analyzing how well these models correlate with each other. This file was developed in Excel 2002. No guarantees it will work with earlier versions of Excel.
Daniels' Running Formula
There are many fine running books available, and I've read several. This is the one I most often
refer to. Daniels manages to present fairly detailed and scientific information in a way that's
reasonably easy to comprehend, and he covers all aspect of training necessary to become the best
runner you can be. The heart of Daniels' program is his VDOT method, relative V02max values from
which all training and racing paces can be derived.
Daniels' Running Formula at Amazon.com.
Arthur Lydiard's Athletic Training - by Arthur Lydiard
This is a Lecture summary in book format in which Lydiard covers many aspects of his training methodology.
View the file in html:
or download the file in .pdf format:
Coaching Quotes and other Tidbits
Speedwork During Base Phase?
I asked Pro Coach Greg McMillan "what's the harm in doing speed work during the base phase?" Here's his reply:
"I'll fall back to Lydiard who learned that during aerobic base building it is not good to 'pull down the ph' as he stated it. The reason is that a large build up of lactic acid (lowering the ph in the cell) can destroy the aerobic enzymes - not what you want during this period of training. We also know from Lydiard that heavy anaerobic training cannot be sustained for long periods of time so it's better to only insert it at appropriate times."
Drink a Slim-Fast Shake after your Long Run
Also from Coach McMillan's website, this recovery tip:
"...researchers discovered that the enzyme, glycogen synthase, that turns carbohydrates from your food into glycogen for storage in your muscles is most active immediately after exercise. If you ingest carbohydrates soon after exercise, your muscles store two to three times as much glycogen than if you wait until you eat your post-workout meal, usually two to three hours later."
Jack Daniels on Stride Rate
In his book "Daniels' Running Formula" (2nd edition), Jack Daniels suggests a stride rate of around 180 steps per minute. Being 6'2", and (at the time) having a much slower turnover (155-160), I wondered if such a quick turnover applied to all runners, regardless of height. Here's his reply:
"As for stride rate, even the 6-6 guy (who plaed 9th in the Olympic marathon, and was a subject of mine for many years) turned over at 180. On the other hand, I assume that some people may not be built to go that quickly, but I have not come in contact with one who was a good runner. Maybe that is a factor that has allowed some to be better than others? It does make sense that a very slow turnover produces more air time and harder foot falls, and possibly more chance of injury, than the shuffling stride you find you are doing when turning over that quickly. Nothing applies to everyone as to proper mechanics and proper training. Jack"
Needless to say, after reading that I worked on improving my stride rate!
The Minimal Effective Training Program - By Herm (Me!)
Want to train, but your job/life/family keep you really busy? Wonder what would be the least amount of time you could put in that would still result in good training results? You can get in surprisingly good shape on a 4 times per week schedule, training only 30 minutes most days. In the article linked below I offer my own suggestions for a 4 day schedule, designed after much personal experience, observation of others' experiences, and after reading a good many articles and books.
Effects of Excess Weight on Performance
Ever wonder how much a little extra baggage slows you down? There's a simple formula you can use to calculate a projected Daniels' VDOT fitness level based on a projected weight loss. Simply multiply your current weight by your current VDOT, then divide the result by your projected weight. For example, I currently weigh in at 195 lbs, and based on my most recent races at that weight my current VDOT is around 44. If I wanted to see what my projected VDOT would be if I were to lose 10 lbs, here's the formula...
As you can see, if I drop 10 lbs my VDOT would go up over two points! A 5k time at VDOT 44 is 22:14, while at VDOT 46 it's 21:24. That's a pretty significant improvement for simply losing 10 lbs. You can use one of the links provided farther down on this page to find your current VDOT and the projected races times of your weight adjusted VDOT. The formula works just as well with either pounds or kilograms.
This is only applicable for those with a little extra fat to lose. If so much weight is lost that muscle mass begins to diminish, race performances will suffer, not improve.
Hadd's Approach to Distance Training
A Base Training Plan with a Focus on Improving Lactate Threshold
[Download Hadd Article in Word Document] -
In an extremely long letsrun.com message thread from March 2003, Italian coach John Hadd (possibly an alias) explained his philosophies on endurance base training in painstaking detail. The underlying philosophy of Hadd's program that really grabbed my attention is the premise that not only is it OK to do lots of easy, gentle running, but in fact LOT's of EASY RUNNING IS A NECESSARY COMPONENT FOR ALL DISTANCE RUNNERS! This is not a new concept. Many, probably most coaches advocate training programs consisting of a majority of easy training miles. But Hadd's article is the one that got this concept to sink in for me.
The other major component of Hadd's program is Tempo Runs... long tempo runs of up to an hour at approximately marathon pace two to three times per week for many weeks..... between 12 and 20 weeks depending on the starting level of fitness.
As an injury rehab program, I began a modified version of Hadd's approach in July 2005 (way fewer miles and more easy/off days). Despite using a heavily watered down version, over the next four months I experienced significant improvements in my conditioning and some of the best, most enjoyable running since reviving my commitment to training two years ago. For me, accepting the notion that lots of easy running is not a waste of time, but rather a key ingredient of a successful training program, allowed me to train much more comfortably, while still feeling satisfied that I was doing beneficial training. All that easy running also allowed a chronic two year old knee issue to heal. I'm sold on Hadd's approach, and anxious to begin a more complete implementation, which I plan to do early Summer 2006.
Training Update - 05/01/06
While those improvements aren't dramatic, it's important to note I was dealing with a 2 year old, persistent, nagging knee problem. Following a highly modified version of Hadd's principles (much reduced work load), I was able to recover from the knee issue AND improve my 5k and 10k race times.
For the May 2006 - April 2007 season, I embarked on a full fledged Hadd based training program. Still watered down from Hadd's program in terms of mileage (50-60mpw rather than 100+ mpw), I did follow his program as closely as possible in terms of workout types. For anyone interested, below is a link to my real-time, detailed account of this season as it unfolded.
Links to Running Info
Racing Statistics (World Records, etc)
Online Performance Calculators
RunnerSpace.com's Performance Predictors
MarathonGuide.com's Fitness Calcs - Includes age/sex equivalency and nutrition calcs.
Heart Rate Training Zone Calculator
HillRunner.com's Treadmill Conversion Chart
Age and Weight Grading Calculators
Running2Win Age & Weight Grading Calculator
Jack Daniels' discussion of Endurance Training Principles.
Larry Simpspn's detailed discussion of Jack Daniels' VDOT Formula. - (Very deep stuff).
Joe's discussion of his 7 Basic Training Assumptions. So simple, yet so profound.
Joe Friel's discussion on Crash Training, a method of improving performance through supercomensation
Hal Higdon's Novice to Advanced Marathon Plans.
A discussion on Anaerobic Threshold
AttackPoint - Performance and Training tools for Orienteering Athletes