Thursday, March 16, 2006

So Much Better Than Tuesday

Today I repeated Tuesday's workout on the river trail in Calais. Basically, the workout calls for 1 hour "high aerobic" or in Lydiard terms, 1/2 effort. This translates into MP for me or around 80% maxHR.

Ever since I switched to doing the time guides instead of the mileage guides from Lydiard's books, my body hasn't been breaking down (as often). For example, Lydiard's 1/2 effort runs call for 10-12 miles or about an hour. Well, for me, 10 miles will take me a little longer than an hour at 1/2 effort. I found that trying to follow the mileage guidelines too closely resulted in over exhaustion. Now, by running by the time guidelines (and they remain *guidelines* of course), I found that I am starting to succeed at keeping my pace at good aerobic efforts. As Lydiard Mike mentioned, I had a real struggle last December when the mileage got too high. The pace per mile was so bad I was barely moving and each successive run took even longer! What misery, I hate to think back on it.

So today I ran for an hour at high aerobic pace without the benefit of a stopwatch as I had left it home. I did have the HR monitor but that only records the time when I finish. And since it was chilly today (32F w/north wind/spitting snow) the monitor was covered by my mitten so I didn't bother checking it. I ran by feel which is something I wanted to graduate to at some point anyway. The result: 9 miles in 1:00:30 - average 82% maxHR. Slightly faster than MP I think, but a good solid "high aerobic" run. Add 1.8 miles at recovery pace for the warmup/cooldown and I got in 10.8 during my "lunch hour".

This morning I got in 3 miles with 1 mile total striding telephone pole to telephone pole. I shuffled the first mile then did the T-pole strides over the next 1/2 mile, recovered, again 1/2 mile, and finished with another recovery. 26:19. These shake out runs in the morning do wonders for me. Loosen up the legs and get me set for the core workout later on.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is Friday. This means an early wake up to do 2 hours of low aerobic running. 2 hours is a little long to get away with during my "lunch hour" so I am forced to watch the sun rise. Bonking is an issue on these runs because there's the war between sleeping to the last minute or getting up for toast and tea prior to the workout. Sleep usually wins causing bonks after 90 minutes. But if I get up too early, I pay later. In Lydiard's schedule, this run would the 18 miler. However, my low aerobic pace nets me just under 15 miles for these buggers. I usually grant myself a low, really low, aerobic pace - especially in the beginning! But if I feel well enough, I'll increase the pace as the workout wears on hoping the average will come up over 70% by the end (and perhaps snag an extra mile).

This also means my shake out run will be during lunch. I'll probably shuffle down the street tomorrow or go out to the Moosehorn for 30 minutes. The river trail is pretty mucky just now (it's a walking path along the St. Croix River - 1.5 miles long). It's nice in the summer as the surface is smooth and easy on the feet. No hills so you can get the aerobic workout in without stressing the muscles too much. But now with the rain and thaw, some places are just so muddy I lose a little time hot footing it around puddles and mudholes.

I do three "laps" (or out & back's) on this trail to get my 9 miles on high aerobic days. Not too many people out walking just now but in the summer you end up whizzing by lots of folks. The only soul out there these days is the Border Patrol agent walking the beat (the St. Croix is the international border). I whiz by him and we always exchange a small bit of conversation each time I go by - which is about 3 times. By the end of a week we'll have finished one topic and begin on another for the next week. In order to get more conversation in, we'll have to begin shouting to one another once in view. But until then we must be satisfied with the tiny snippets of information we pass along.

In addition to my personal Border Patrol agent guarding my safety during my run, the State Police also keep an out for me. The Troop's satellite office is along this path. Just the other day, a detective, who happens to be one of my clients, picked up the phone to call me when I buzzed his window trying to hold down a 7:00 pace in the rain. Later on he told me he said to another trooper, "Well, looks like I won't be getting a hold of him just now."

Training so far this week: 83.3 miles.


Blogger Mike said...

I seem to remember how much you enjoyed your 18 milers from some older posts. Maybe 12-15 isn't so bad. I've pretty much traded mine for 16 milers. I can't help but think working in more of the marathon pace runs will really pay big dividends later. Good luck on the long run, hope it went better than mine!

3/17/2006 5:07 PM  

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