Wednesday, December 10, 2008

End of Recovery

I can’t believe how dark it is! I really needed my headlamp today, and as much as I dislike running with that thing on top of my head (and I tend to turn it off as soon as I can make out the side of the road), it is an absolute necessity at the moment. It is still dark even when I get home, though the moon should be out in a day or two, which will help. Up to then I’m stuck with the artificial light.

The mileage has really taken off now. Because of last week’s break there will be a big jump, but it’s only up to levels that I have reached on numerous occasions in the past, which is why I don’t think I have to stick too closely to the 10-percent rule.

So far, I can tell the effect of the miles on my legs – they are quite heavy at times. This was particularly noticeable on Tuesday. Because I ran home from work on Monday, I had accumulated 20 miles that day, and my quads would not let me forget it for the entire 10 miles on Tuesday. It sure is a lot easier to remain under my heart rate threshold on a day like that! I ran with the backlight of the Garmin turned off, which gives me the beast of both worlds – I run totally by feel but still get the numbers to put into the log afterwards. However, I was quite surprised when I saw just how slow the run had been. I guess I was in dire need of recovery pace.

Today was markedly different. I’m following Ron Daws’ schedule, and today called for the first aerobic fartlek run. His idea of fartleks doesn’t quite match mine, he seems to prefer a structured run with faster bits of between 800 and 2000 meters, so I settled on mile repeats. Because this was my first fast training run since the marathon I wanted to ease into it and set an expected pace of about 7:00, but resolved not to get too hung up on the actual pace. The heart rate should be somewhere in the 160s, and that’s pretty much how it turned out. The route I chose was reasonably flat, but a few ups and downs are always included around here, and the mile splits pretty much reflect the topography. I did jog easily for 2 minutes between each mile, but that probably was a bit too long. Since the pace was not particularly fast, I didn’t need much recovery in-between. I originally planned 6 repeats but realised that I could do a seventh and still have a few minutes of cool-down. The first 6 repeats felt all a bit awkward, but on that seventh I finally managed to relax, and promptly delivered the fastest pace of the morning despite it being slightly uphill. I think the fact that this was run on the familiar Caragh Lake Road helped, because on the other ones I always had to pay attention to the footing rather than just concentrate on running. I still felt fresh at the end; future runs will be a bit faster, this was more a gentle introduction rather than a tough workout.
9 Dec
10 miles, 1:24:59, 8:30 pace, HR 142
10 Dec
11 miles, 1:23:37. 7:36 pace, HR 157
7x1 miles @ 7:13, 7:08, 7:02, 7:26, 7:24, 7:10, 6:57


  1. 7 x 1 mile is pretty serious, although I guess it was more like a tempo run considering the pace.

    For experienced runners isn't it the 50% rule?

  2. So the gloves came off did they? Welcome back.

    your on the right track!