Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Great Debate!

On Tuesday night we ran a long 6K, a very long 6K. In fact we ran 6.7K, or 4.18 miles, take your pick. And I ran it in 31:24. Felt much better, the best since my bout with bronchitis last week. Did the first 3K with my heart rate around 160-165 and then for the second half, came home at 172-178. Did the last two hundred metres at 182 because Leah was trying to pass me. Hah! As if! Me getting passed by a cute blonde? I don't think so. Is there anything dumber than the male ego?

Interestingly, my e-mail from Jeff Galloway, has generated all kinds of debate in the marathon clinic at The Running Room, on Denman Street in Vancouver.

Mike felt so strongly, he fired off an e-mail to me.

I don't think Michael thought he'd wind up on the Blog, but here is his opinion in living colour.

Hi Vince,

You can go and check out;

and try to figure out exactly the relationship between body weight and speed and energy expenditure.

Or you just trust me as a German mechanical engineer that it comes down to this ridiculously easy formula: What you loose in body weight (in % percentage) is exactly what you will gain in speed (%). Since VO2 max is always per kg body weight, your V02 max will increase just due to your loss of body weight. So, for the same effort (% of your V02 max [ml/(min*kg]) you can run faster since you have less body mass to throw around. Makes sense, doesn't it?

So, that's why Lance Armstrong's answer to the question 'How do I become a better climber (on my bike)?' is always: Loose weight, buddy!

Galloway is a nice guy - but you can sometimes just believe in the laws of physics. I'm not trying to be a smart ass, I'm just trying to share some wisdom. And I honestly don't think it freaking matters if you do 10:1 or 5:1 or 33.4:1. But what do I know about that... ? :-)

Galloway seems to be so in love with his training theories that he totally forgets about those little things. Trust me, I didn't believe that weight would make such a big difference in the first place - until I checked it out. I have 1km sprint data for 185lbs and 195lbs and my times reflect the relationship down to two decimal places.

Loose weight, buddy! 1lbs/week is fine. No matter what other gurus say... I've lost 1 lbs per week since I started in November. And I never felt sluggish or not had enough energy. Just be short by about 400 calories a day. I'm sure I could win against you in a 10km race. But I'm 182 lbs and you are 200. Imagine what you could do racing at 185!!!! Oh my god!

Of course you are already in phenomenal shape because you have been training for so many years now. And I think, the sooner you loose the weight and the earlier you see the improvements in your time the more fun you will have running and the more confidence you will have that you are already a 3:15:00 marathon guy.

Run for your life!
Mike "the Kraut"

The website that Mike provided the Link to is a great one, I've been on it myself several times before.

Mike is part of the Running Room marathon clinic and his goal is to run a 3:30 marathon. It's Mike's first attempt at a marathon and the longest race he has run to date has been a 10K. His ace in the hole is the fact that he has a long history of competive cycling and he is a triathelete.

And like Mike, I totally believe that their is a significant correlation between weight, or degree of overall leaness, and performance, especially in endurance events. Mike is preaching to the choir there.

But I still think that I will feel better and perform better in my training if I stick with my goal of two pounds per month between now and October. I would like to lose weight by leaning out because of my excerise load, rather than curtailing calories.

And while Mike is claiming he's not being a smart-ass, I can say unequivocably that he's a great devil's advocate to have on a run! I just love somebody who uses the word, 'data', when talking about running. Makes me all teary-eyed and brings back misty memories of long runs with Seymour and Dr. John...

It's interesting that Jeff Galloway talks in his book on running at some length about his struggles to overcome his dependence on Hagen-Daaz ice-cream. So not even the little ectomorphs are immune to the siren call of frozen cow juice.

Mike is as interested in getting his Max VO2 and bodyfat tested as I am, so if he grants me permission I'll let you know how he fares!


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