Training Quality Versus Quantity

By Dr. Jack Daniels

There is often a discussion relative to the benefits of different types of training, and usually the “types of training” compared are slower/longer training sessions (Quantity) versus shorter/faster training sessions (Quality). However, both slower/longer workouts and shorter/faster workouts can be considered “Quality” relative to the benefits they produce in a runner’s body. Therefore, “Quantity” can also be considered as “Quality.”

Breathing Rhythm For Runners

By Dr. Jack Daniels

I strongly believe that breathing rhythm is closely associated with stride rate, and this association is not exclusive to runners. In fact, in some sports the act of breathing is determined very clearly by the rate at which the legs and/or arms are moving. Take the example of swimmers; here breathing in all strokes (except back stroke) is strictly dictated by arm turnover – you breathe in rhythm with stroke rate or take in a lot of water. In rowing and paddling, breathing is pretty nearly limited to getting a breath between strokes.

The question is how many breaths do you take per stride, or how many strides do you take per breath? Again, in counting breathing rates of elite runners, I have found that over 80% use a “2-2” rhythm most of the time, especially when running at a fairlydemanding intensity. A 2-2 rhythm means you take 2 steps (1 with the right foot and 1 with the left foot) while breathing in and 2 steps while breathing out. Some will use a 3-3 rhythm when on an easy run, and often go to a 2-1 or 1-2 rhythm when starting to work really hard toward the latter stages of a race or during a hard training session.

How To Prevent A Late Marathon Slowdown

Michael Cavalli:  What is the most important aspect(s) of marathon training to help the runner maintain pace/efficiency in the latter, more difficult miles of the marathon?

Dr. Jack Daniels:  A very important approach to maintaining pace and efficiency in the latter miles of a marathon race is to not go out too fast in the beginning. Run the first 20 miles no faster than your training and any recent racing VDOT values suggest for your marathon race pace.  It is often very easy to go out too fast early in a marathon because you have tapered and rested for the race and normal marathon race pace seems too slow.  The best part of a marathon to run faster than anticipated is the 2nd half of the race; particularly the last 10k of the race.  The first half of the race should feel like a pace that you could increase at any time, and something that might help in those early miles is to concentrate on being relaxed and turning over with a nice quick leg cadence and breathing with a comfortable 2-2 rhythm.  It might help to spend some time thinking about being relaxed in the face, jaws, then shoulders, arms, stomach, legs and feet.

Ask Dr. Jack Daniels – Crowdsourced Edition

We’d like to thank all of our followers on social media for submitting these great questions. We hope Jack’s tips are helpful when considering your future training/racing.

Ken G:  In the weeks leading up to the start of a marathon training program what are some things an athlete can do to help prepare?

JD:  Try to get into a desirable daily schedule, including an easy morning run a few days each week, even if there is to also be something done in the afternoon. Just make the total mileage not vary much each week and get in about 6 weeks of just easy running and 6 or 8 strides in the middle of these easy runs.

Albert D:  What are some of your favorite workouts to help prepare for a marathon?

Try Back-To-Back Quality Days When Training In-Season

By Dr. Jack Daniels

Many coaches ask how to organize Quality training during weeks they are racing. Sometimes you just have to try different things to determine what’s best for your runners. First, I like to always have two Easy days before a race. If it’s a really important race then your last Quality workout should be 3-4 days before. Also, when organizing training always consider that peak muscle soreness comes 48-hours after being stressed rather than just 24-hours after stress.

Factors To Consider When Running In Cold Weather

By Dr. Jack Daniels

There are several considerations relative to outdoor running in cold weather.

Footing

Has there been snow on the ground and have sidewalks or streets plowed for snow? The problem here is that it is usually safer to run on a couple inches of snow than on a plowed or scraped surface which can be slippery. Stay off of ice when possible.

How To Approach Pacing A 10k?

Run SMART:  Do you have any general tips on how to approach pacing a 10k?

Dr. Jack Daniels:  I think the best approach would be to start off treating a 10k as if it is a Threshold effort, and after a couple miles, if that is not feeling too bad, then try picking up the pace a little bit.  Most people start races too fast so the approach is to start as if you are racing a farther distance than the race actually is and see how you are feeling.  You should still be comfortable breathing with a 2-2 rhythm when arriving at the 4-mile mark, a sign you haven’t gone out too fast. The last couple miles may require a 2-1 rhythm, but 2-2 the whole way is good. Always best to finish a race saying you think you could have gone a little faster than to wish you hadn’t gone out too fast.

How To Utilize Heart Rate To Become A Better Runner

By Dr. Jack Daniels

  • Every training session should have a purpose that improves one of the following physiological functions:
    1. Heart and sport-muscle strengthening
    2. Endurance
    3. Aerobic fitness
    4. Anaerobic fitness
    5. Speed
    6. Economy of movement

Setbacks To Success

By Dr. Jack Daniels

We hear a lot about “overtraining,” whatever that is. Some people call it “staleness,” others just say you are in a state of “athletic depression,” or, that you are “over-worked.” Researchers all over the country; no, all over the world, are trying to figure out how to identify overtraining and how to reverse the process so useful training can begin.

I prefer to spend my training energy toward something more beneficial – avoiding overtraining, by devising long-range programs that lead to not-so-fast improvements, but do lead to continuous progress over the best years of an athlete’s productive career.

Meet Dr. Jack Daniels In New York City

If you’re in the New York City region on Saturday, Dec. 17th definitely stop by for Brunch With Dr. Jack Daniels at Brooklyn Running Co in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is a free event/open invite. We’re expecting a large crowd so make sure to arrive on time! Itinerary below…