Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Running Scared

I did twelve this morning, and finished feeling a bit disappointed. I wanted to get in sixteen outside with a final four miles at under six minute pace. The five-above-zero temperature this morning wasn't conducive to that kind of effort, so I stayed inside and did my miles on the treadmill. I was able to finish with a six-minute mile in just under 1:25, about 7:04 pace. It felt good, but it wasn't the run I was looking for today.

I cleared it with my wife to run five or six when I got home from work, knowing that it would be sunny and in the mid 20s around that time. I've been concerned for a while about my ability to train at paces relevant to running a sub-2:30 marathon, so I knew I needed to get out and check the engine, as it were. I was scared to death to try this workout. The plan was five to six miles with two or three miles at 5:25-5:30, or what is supposed to be tempo pace for a 2:30 marathoner.

I'll spare the dramatic details and just say that it went well. A two mile warmup with a couple of strides set me up for mile one in 5:26, mile two in 5:24, mile three in 5:25, which was a nice surprise after turning back into the wind, and a final half mile (.51) in 2:50 (5:40 pace). My heart rate was very steady between 164 and 168 from the quarter-mile onward. I was just happy to not be anywhere near max. Mentally, I was expecting a tough two miles at 5:40 pace, so I was very excited at how easily this came to me.

What a difference a couple of weeks makes. I'm here to tell you, LSD works. The last week or so has been amazing in terms of gains. A few strides here and there as well as some six-minute miles, and I feel like I have my legs back at all but the fastest paces. Good, good, good.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mike

"I have gotten slow. Long slow running does indeed create a long, slow runner"..."Needless to say, the satisfaction of running big miles is completely outweighed by the fact that I feel like shit running faster than 6:30 pace" -Eric, Feb. 28

What a difference a month makes, eh? What was it they said about Rome again? Seriously, how great is it to knock out 5:20's three weeks after feeling crushed at 6:30 pace? Nice work Eric, the challenge will be keeping this upward trajectory all the way through October. I think you can swing it.

3/22/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Zeke

Sweet. Sounds like things are going in the right direction. Now if the temperature would do the same, we'd be set.

3/22/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Fatboy

What you're describing is a pretty volatile, clearly delineated pattern of macro-cycles that train distinct elements of performance in a pretty isolated manner. It's neat that the performance improvements have come with little negative effect. However, what you're doing is neglecting certain elements in favor of others; when you go back to train the neglected elements (i.e. anaerobic threshold), you put yourself at risk of injury.

Back when I wasn't so fat, I found that, if I incorporated a broader range of training elements into more concentrated micro-cycles, I could raise the bar more uniformly, with less risk of injury.

You'll still want to maintain higher aerobic/aerobic threshold bias (vs anaerobic treshold and overspeed) for quite awhile here, but don't neglect your speed and mechanics completely.

What you're doing is great to see, though. It'll be exciting to watch it unfold.

3/27/2006 12:26:00 PM  
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2/14/2007 06:46:00 AM  

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