Sunday, October 22, 2006

Week 1 (Prep) Evaluation

I believe it was Renato Canova that mentioned in one of his interviews that he liked to write out the training plan for one of his runners and then compare what he wrote with what actually happened by the time the marathon arrived. The two were always radically different. He said (and I paraphrase from memory),

"If I write out a twenty week plan and complete week number one, I am not now starting week number two of twenty. Rather, I am now at week number one of nineteen."

Meaning of course he evaluated the result of the training on the runner and made adjustments accordingly. This resulted in a trained runner but a plan that could change weekly depending on the response. I don't have a coach, but I can try to follow the concept of weekly evaluation and make adjustments accordingly that promote the desired final outcome.

I have completed the first week of my 2007 Sugarloaf Marathon training program and these are some findings:

* Body felt 'creaky' with some muscular soreness that abated over the week
* Right knee felt brunt of return to running. Inflamed by end of week. Did not improve.
* Average HR was 145 or 69% maxHR.
* Mileage = 56 miles @ avg pace of 8:15.
* 2nd run of day felt harder than the 1st
* 2nd run on Saturday indicated need for day off to relieve stress to right knee
* Looked forward to every run

From the feedback of last week, I conclude that:

* Added doubles added significant stress to the body - especially in terms of effort
* Right knee is weak member at the start of this program and is in need of care
* Average pace was too fast / average HR was too high
* Muscles are recovering properly
* Motivation / enthusiasm is good

Adjustment to plan: Along with taking today off (done), applying ice (done), ibuprofen (done) I will repeat week #1 with a significant reduction in intensity to see if I can get better results from the knee and additional recovery for the muscles. This will add an additional prep week to the overall plan thus reducing the core training weeks by one. The deleted week will be #8 - the week prior to the regeneration week scheduled after Christmas. Thus there will be 7 weeks instead of 8 before the rest week.

Last week I have to consider a failure. The double is a calculated risk that I am still wishing to proceed with. However, I will fail to collect the benefits of the additional mileage if I do not control the intensity properly. And I believe based on my daily effort, the pace was too strong. This can be attributed to over-enthusiasm and fresh legs from the two week layoff. However, now is not the time to increase the mileage by 55% to step #2 on my way back to triple digits - not if I am having recovery issues with skeletal system.

******* ********

So I took today off following my rule that if you "bag" a run it's time to stop. I did the 30 minutes last evening as scheduled but it was apparent some aggressive care was needed to deal with the knee. The quad and calf muscles that were sore and tired in the beginning were all healing nicely and responding well. Only the knee was causing continued problems. So today I iced while I watched the Chicago marathon broadcast live on the internet. Congratulations to Zeke for his 2:58:xx, Greg for his 2:38:xx, and Dallon for his 2:42:00. And this guy for getting his BQ 3:10:xx.

The elite race was a nail biter to the finish for both the men and women. The poor winner of the men slipped and fell (hitting his head on the pavement) right at the finish line. What a horrible sight to see. He just lay there with his body across the mat and his head on the course.

For the women, it was exciting to watch, root for, and be worried for Dita as she powered an impressive pace for 16 miles. Sure enough, (and unfortunately, for we all at times would like the seemingly impossible come true) the torrid pace did its work and she slowed dramatically to a distant 5th. The true racers were running very nearly even splits and the final stretch chose the winner.

On to week 1 (again). And let's get it right.


Blogger Jamie said...

Very wise sounding line of thinking in making adjustments. Hope your knee heals up soon.

10/23/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Take it easy with that knee.

Say, I clicked on your Sugarloaf link and they have snow photos and are reporting 3-6" as of today!

Winter training must be real tough up there.

10/23/2006 12:43 PM  
Blogger Mark I. said...

I love that "re-evaluate" approach. I am also more than impressed with how in tune you are with the details around your running. I'm watching closely.

10/23/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Always tinkering. Glad to hear you are holding back before jumping to the triple digits.

So, do you think you will be able to make it down to the 'training camp' for a couple of long runs on the Sugarloaf course?

10/23/2006 7:37 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hope you knee starts feeling better real soon. Thanks for the video clip. I've never seen anything like it.

10/23/2006 11:01 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'm glad you decided to re-evaluate before you got injured - looks like you learned some lessons from last year.

When I first saw your plan I thought that the progression towards 100 miles was very quick, but with your new rationality I think you might find the best way to proceed.

10/24/2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the shout out in your Sunday entry. I enjoyed your post and will be rooting you on for Sugarloaf. Love the introspection on how to adjust the schedule. I am slightly intrigued by your feeling that your avg pace of 8:15 is too quick. If your PR is 2:57 and you're looking to improve, what should your avg pace be? Or are you saying it should be slower to allow your knee to heal?

10/25/2006 6:34 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hi Ryan, the 8:15 avg just turned out to be too fast for recovery for me from the marathon. I tend to run recovery slowly however compared with others. I feel it really helps me run faster when it counts. I didn't think 8:15 would be too fast, it just turned out that way. Now I'm running around 8:45 - 9:00 and I'm feeling a little better. Thanks for stopping by.

10/26/2006 6:54 PM  

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