Monday, August 14, 2006

Switching to Singles

Ran my 15 miler this evening with cool temps and a slight southerly breeze. Had a little chill getting off the motorcycle tonight so I wore long sleeves for the run. Haven't done that since March I think. Course was along the ocean and then up atop one of the hills for the turnaround. Each lap 7.9 miles so I ran it twice. With dusk falling, the deer were out in force, traveling back to where they'll spend the night no doubt.

Eastport is not hilly. Well, it's hilly but all the hills are short. This becomes apparent any time I race in another town. It seems everybody else's hills are larger, steeper, and longer. The only time Eastport's sudden up & downs come in handy is when a race has similar terrain. It can wear you out if you aren't prepared for it. But when it comes to those long, drawn out hills, not in my repetoire. I mention this because the turnaround for this particular course is probably the highest point in Eastport - and I laugh because the hill's a bruiser yet it might seem mild to those in other areas that are forced to run two miles at a time either going up or down.

I slept in this morning because the 4am check still declared sore legs from yesterday's 22 miler. I didn't want to do any damage to the muscular / skeletal system so I took advantage of an empty house and planned the 15 miler for this evening after work. There is danger in such a plan since it took a little more will power to A) get started, and B) run the 2nd lap. But it got done and now I'm glad of it. I didn't run at lunch either so as not to jeopardize the evening run.

Which leads me to my post title - switching to singles. I've been mulling over my training or more accurately what I want my training accomplish and I think I'll try focusing on singles just now. Meaning - get my core mileage in with the single runs and only add the doubles as easy breathers / stretchers. Lately, I've found that while I run both daily runs easily, I count on the double to hit the number. For me, I think I get greater benefit by the increased specificity of the longer single runs. Now with that confidence building 22 miler under my belt, I think I'm ready to slide into the longer daily run again. Plus this will address a core weakness right now: aerobic conditioning due to time off from injury.

Unfortunately, it is easier to plan such a training regimen than it is to follow through. The number one limiting factor is time. As more and more time gets taken up by running, the value (or cost) of the run increases.  The number two limiting factor is the stress it applies to the muscular system and the skeletal system. Both of these systems being pretty much adequate for the sport by nature of being human, stressing these systems can become counter productive rather quickly. So while I purposely stress the aerobic system with longer single workouts, I need to take care to limit muscular damage along with bone & tissue issues. That is why I'll limit the doubles based on how I feel and take care to not push the muscles beyond themselves. The aerobic system on the other hand, is expected to be tired.

15.8 miles 2:06:27 150 HR

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