Sunday, September 03, 2006

Well Something's Going On

Been looking over my shoulder. Keeping alert. Listening carefully. Just waiting... for the other shoe to drop.

Another good run and now I'm nervous . Surely, this can't last. I'm missing... something. Or, maybe, should I say it? Can I being seeing improvement? Am I allowed to see tangible benefits after only 3 weeks of high miles? No. It can't be.

Apart from paying close attention to the accompanying aches and pains from this schedule, my running is becoming easier and easier and easier and easier and . Take today. What is up with these 22 miles? They just flew by while Mike and I talked the morning away. 2:55:12. The last 5 in 36:44.

But the real story is the decline in the heart rate: Here are the past four 22 milers:

Aug 13th: 8:03 pace HR 151 (73% max)
Aug 20th: 8:41 pace HR 141 (66% max)
Aug 27th: 8:04 pace HR 151 (73% max)
Sept 3rd: 7:58 pace HR 138 (63% max)

Standard disclaimer about the numbers not being exactly comparable due to environmental factors but the drop I saw today was consistent with the past few days' experiences. I think what is happening is I'm getting my base back. The base I lost during the summer of injury. Hunter asked what time I was aiming for at the upcoming Wineglass marathon. Honestly, even though some of the indicators are pointing for a faster marathon, I will limit (publicly) my expectation to a 3:10 until it is apparent (during the race) that I can squeeze a few minutes off of that time. The marathon is a great humbler of persons and I being one of those humbled I want go into this race with the right attitude. The attitude where I recognize that five weeks of good training a PR does not make. A season of good training is what I need - but that is for the spring marathon (Sugarloaf I think this time). So my plan for Wineglass is similar to Cape Cod '05. Start with a smile on my face *knowing* I'm faster than my initial pace and hopefully rocketing home in the final miles.

I recommend this Lydiard schedule -

Monday 10 miles (15km) at 1/2 effort over undulating course

Tuesday 15 miles (25km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat

Wednesday 12 miles (20km) at 1/2 effort over hilly course

Thursday 18 miles (30km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat

Friday 10 miles (15km) at 3/4 effort over flat course

Saturday 22 miles (35km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat

Sunday 15 miles (25km) at 1/4 effort over any type terrain

- for bringing back the sense of accomplishment. While there isn't a lot of fancy speed in the schedule, the fact the tiredness just disappears is amazing and need I say useful. Today I was telling Mike that one neat thing about the schedule is the lack of "shock" in my training week. No midweek high mileage run, and the long run on Sunday is just a mere 4 miles longer than the run 2 days before. Also, if the scheduled is followed, each day completes the same mileage for the past 7 days. Today is the start of my week, also the end, and the middle. At the end of each run each day I've just completed 102 miles for the week.

Just two weeks left of this schedule before a two week taper. Next Sunday is a 5k race here in Eastport that I plan on joining. So my final week will have less miles than the 102 since the long run will be supplanted with the race and a recovery jog. I am not going to rearrange the schedule because I think Lydiard found a very good balance in the sequence he presents in his books. Just when you think the current run is a little long, the next day is different enough to work the system differently. Either through an easier pace or working a different aspect of the aerobic system. Take Saturday for instance. I run 18 on Friday and 22 on Sunday but only 10 on Saturday. And this run is run with some speed and recovery running. I honestly don't feel it the next day. (If I had to run fast I would!)

As an end note, Mike proved his favorite quote today - "When you get tired, run faster!". We were passing 16 miles when he started commenting on dead legs. So what's he do? Why drop the pace to 7:20 of course. We cruised the final 5 miles after stopping at the cars for Fig Newtons. The pace just kept getting quicker and quicker. One mile went by in just over 7. When we turned around the "horses smelled the barn" and we were off. Great finish to a great run. Thanks Mike!


Blogger Thomas said...

Looks like your training is going swimmingly all of a sudden. That 102 miles schedule still looks very daunting, though. It will be some time until I dare to follow something like that.

Do you follow AL's advice on the type of terrain as well as the mileage? And how hilly is hilly?

9/04/2006 4:39 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I don't worry about the terrain really because I'm limited and don't have a thousand choices without driving - which isn't reasonable for a working man. On the other hand, when the muscles are sore, I run on a flat a surface as possible. I also don't obsess about what is 1/4 effort and what is 1/2 effort etc. Also, if I am not feeling up to it, I won't run any faster than the body says to. The last time I went with this program that was how I failed - ignoring the body and just running the scheduled speeds. On the other hand, the miles... the miles are there for a reason. It is the key. Cut it too much and you're not running Lydiard.

Lydiard thought anyone could run his schedule. He said it's not the miles that kills the runner, it's running the miles too fast. So his advice was if you can't do the miles then slow down and do them. This had worked very well for me. This morning's 15 will be very slow to recover from yesterday.

Thomas, this schedule is hard to start, but gives you back more than you can imagine.

9/04/2006 5:45 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I love reading about 22 milers flying by, especially with faster miles at the end. You sound like a changed man Andrew, keep up the great work.

Trying to figure out exactly what those 1/4-3/4 efforts are will drive you crazy. I'm glad it's taking a backseat to getting in all the miles

9/04/2006 7:32 AM  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Wasn't that a great run? Poof and it was over in a flash. I remember talking about speeding up when you're tired in a 'race' but somehow it got translated into our run too!

9/04/2006 6:52 PM  

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