Thursday, May 12, 2005

Miles (and miles) of Recovery

I am glad I like to run. It seems to be what I am doing most of these days. I can vouch for the threshold out there of "commitment". It appears on days when 5 miles would have done it, or a day of rest would have been scheduled in a previous life. Now 10 miles fills the minimum requirement - and we're just talking about recovery. I decided I would commit to the high mileage to experience (hopefully) the resulting increase in aerobic capacity that will allow me to run my marathons faster. I am still in the infancy of this commitment but I think I am going to like it. My main concern going in is the injury factor. It is a risk well documented and I believe I have succumbed to it before. On the other hand, I am trying to follow a "Lydiardism" that basically states that it is the speed not the miles that is doing the athlete in. Or plainly stated: running too far, too fast. So with this in mind, I am paying attention to how my body is reacting to no rest days and the increase in mileage. Here are the new signs 1 1/2 weeks in:

* Back of legs tender
* Groin muscles sore
* Very tired at the end of the day
* General fatigue

Not all is bad however. I am experiencing:

** Longer bouts of "mood lift"
** Overall feeling of "fitness" during the day
** I look forward to the next run (I run twice a day now)
** Easier 2nd halves during my runs (the first half basically a warmup)
** Steady paces

The soreness in the legs and groin are signs that I need to pay strict attention to. I believe an injury could occur if I try to run any "quick" bursts of speed or fail to warmup properly. Since my schedule requires me more or less to roll out of bed and onto the street, the warmup must consist of the first few miles of my run. I shuffle along letting the body "stretch" out the muscles and by 5 miles I feel great. However, I have noticed that it isn't until about 5 miles that I get the "feel good" feeling. Seems all this running has pushed the carrot farther out on the course. During my noon run (6 miles) I am just about done before I start enjoying the workout. Funny.

This second week of recovery intentionally brought the miles up to 100/wk level. However, each morning run consists of a 10+ mile portion, and each noon run a 6 mile portion. Since I don't want the body to adapt my fuel burn to these particular distances, I will be glad to start mixing the mileage up starting next Monday using the Lydiard system: 10, 15, 12, 18, 10, 22, 15 for morning runs. My noon runs will remain the same and serve the purpose of "supplemental".

Since the Holyoke Marathon my previous 7 day total has steadily increased. Last week ended with 63. Each day that followed through today increased the moving 7 day total: 79, 91, 97, 103. Did I mention I have been hungry? Here is this week so far:

M (AM) 10.2 ~ 1:30:00 (8:50 pace)
M (PM) 6 ~ 48:04 (8:01 pace)
T (AM) 10.8 ~ 1:28:34 (8:13 pace)
T (PM) 6 ~ 47:54 (7:59 pace)
W (AM) 10.4 ~ 1:28:53 (8:33 pace)
W (PM) 6 ~ 45:32 (7:36 pace)
Th (AM) 10.4 ~ 1:26:48 (8:21 pace)
Th (PM) 6 ~ 47:37 (7:57 pace)

All miles done at recovery effort with the supplemental done maybe a little too fast but the trail is very flat and it takes no effort to run a tad faster. Tomorrow Eric & I will put in another 10+ miles and hopefully I'll meet up with Marc for a lunchtime 6. Saturday & Sunday are up in the air as far as what the actual workouts will be as this will be Marc's last weekend as a resident of Downeast Maine. We're hoping we can get in a run at the Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge on one of the days.

So, am I recovered? Well, yes and no. I think the recovery weeks are meant to allow us to analyze where we are and what lingering effects need to be accounted for. In one respect, I am ready to proceed with training. No ill effects from the marathon, mind is fresh, the plan is set, and I am ready. Flip side: new program will put a strain on body thus creating a need for speed management. Therefore, I am not sure if I'll be putting in the 6:28 mins/mile next Friday. I'll let the body decide just when to bring the pace below 7:00 again.

Expecting tomorrow morning's run to be below 32F so I need to go and dig out my mittens...


Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I admire your dedication. All the best and may you stay injury free.

5/14/2005 3:16 PM  

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