Sunday, March 12, 2006

Acceleration


Mister Buddy and Miss Beans. As requested, here are the kids. Mister Buddy is two months old, and Miss Beans is almost two years. They definitely keep us busy.

I mentioned in my last post that I was frustrated with how little I seemed to have gained in terms of overall fitness. Looking back over my logs, I can see that all I was really doing for almost 1500 miles was recovery runs. Almost all of my running was done at heart rates between 125-135. At first, staying in this range was the only way I could manage 100+ miles a week, and after a couple of weeks, it was all I could manage without getting really tired. Pushing up into the low 140s was actually difficult, and required the kind of recovery usually reserved for a late season, high-volume interval session. If I had not had a heart rate monitor on, I would have slowed down, thinking I was pushing too hard.

What I have done the last couple of weeks is try to gain some perspective on my training, as well as try to get a handle on what I need to do to start progressing toward the marathon in October. I cut my mileage down to 60 and 64 miles for each of the past two weeks, respectively. I added some faster easy running, with several runs over an hour and under 7:00 mile pace. I also was able to complete about 7 miles between 5:30 and 6:00 pace over the course of three runs.

I found that while I hadn't completely wasted my time running too slow, the bottom line was it was nowhere near my best aerobic pace. I ran this way for such a long time that my muscles 'forgot' how to run faster than about 6:30 pace. As I had hoped, I have made huge gains in the past two weeks, running my heart rate well into the 140s and even into the low 150s without feeling wiped out for the following three days. It's still tough, but it's getting easier.

Lesson learned? Mileage and pace should not be mutually exclusive. There has to be balance across the entire range of paces, heart rates, and distances. With this in mind, I can spend the next 200 days building toward my goal race in a much more effective way than I was before.

5 Comments:

Blogger Zeke

Eric, great photo of the kids. They're really cute. It looks like they get along great. I like the new look to the blog too. Cool profile picture. Is that a typical running path for you?

I like the analysis of your training too. Sounds like we're in similar situations, lots of easy miles, but we feel slow.

What's your maxHR? Your 140-150 sound like my 160-170.

3/14/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Eric

I don't know what my max HR is for sure. The 220-age guesstimate gets me 188, but I need to get out and confirm that, as well as do the Hadd test. I've become kind of a wimp though...I dread the thought of 2400 meters at 180bpm. I haven't done an interval like that for nearly 10 years.

One good thing concerning my recent training is I recently ran a 5:30 mile on the end of a 10 miler, and looking at the data from my HRM, I didn't crack 170. Actually, I better write a whole post about that. As craptastic as my mechanics felt, that HR data tells me good things will happen with some speed.

The profile pic is from my high school days. There is an awesome hilly area about 15 miles from my hometown called Hawks Nest that has miles and miles of really steep 50-300 meter uphills and downhills on dirt roads and cowpaths. Unfortunately, I don't get there much anymore. It's a couple of hours from where we live now. I wish it were closer, as it is dead flat here.

3/14/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Zeke

Hmm, my max is like 192. If you're running a 5:30 mile and not cracking 170 I wonder if you can get to 188.

The pic is very Ansel Adam-ish.

3/14/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Mike

Wow, nice re-design Eric, wonder if I could do the same with my mac (kidding there). The kids are mighty cute, I have a similar pic of mine on the blog somewhere. What you said about 200 days being left until your race is something to think about. I really think your easy miles will help you in the end, as you have a long time ahead of you to maintain motivation and forward momentum. Nothing wroung with starting slow with so far to go. Did I really write "starting slow" about someone running 115+ mile weeks? Slap me.

3/14/2006 04:03:00 PM  
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