Friday, December 31, 2010

The End Of The Year

I know there are more runners in Dublin than in Kerry, but I fail to understand how this is possible. Dealing with all the traffic, red lights and walkers/dogs/cyclists on the paths makes this a much less relaxing experience than a run around the mostly deserted roads of Caragh Lake. I can easily tolerate this for a few days, but I'm always looking forward to being back on my usual haunts.

There are good points here as well, of course, the existence of dedicated running clubs being one of them, but that's no use to me on my infrequent stays. The existence of a dirt track 4 miles from the in-laws house is another, unexpected, plus.

After a run on Thursday that went like most others in recent days – felt good during the first half, lousy during the second – I started to get rather worried about my recent state of fatigue. On the other hand, I did entertain the possibility of the problem being in my mind. An evaluation workout would hopefully bring some answers.

On the coach's advice I had postponed the evaluation on Tuesday and continued to run easily until the legs felt better. Today (Friday) I ran the first 4 miles with an average HR of 140 at a pace of 7:40, a much better set of numbers than on previous days, and this would do as my warm-up. For the evaluation itself I did 16 laps on the Kilbogget Park dirt track, though I used the Garmin to display distance rather than counting laps. The track is perfectly usable for a training run, even though it's ever so slightly disconcerting to see the surface covered in tyre marks and a few other signs of, er, misuse of the facilities, but at my time of 9 o'clock in the morning it's a good bet that the miscreants are all in bed. Running 16 laps takes a bit of getting used to, but after a while I managed to tune into The Zone and just ran at the correct effort level, the Garmin's HR alarm hardly ever being needed.

The figures for today’s evaluation were:

Mile 1 6:50 (HR 161)
Mile 2 6:54 (HR 161)
Mile 3 7:00 (HR 161)
Mile 4 6:58 (HR 161)

Time to 130 33

The pace is a smidgen slower than last time but faster than expected. I could not hold the pace quite as well as last time but it's still better than any evaluation before December. And the recovery time to 130 was the fastest ever, which I found really surprising. I have no real idea what that means as regards to my present state of fitness; that's where the coach and his knowledge comes in. All in all, the evaluation had gone much better than feared after feeling like crap for a week, ending the year on good terms. I've got high hopes for 2011.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

30 Dec
10.1 miles, 1:18:45, 7:48 pace, HR 144
31 Dec
12.55 miles, 1:35:45, 7:37 pace, HR 148
incl. 4 miles evaluation:
    6:50, 6:54, 7:00, 6:58; 33 seconds to HR 130


  1. I'm really looking forward to seeing you achieve your goal. Here is to staying healthy and fast in 2011!

  2. Happy New Year and the best of luck in your 2011 races!

  3. re. Dublin....You forgot to mention the benefit of street lighting... Given the time of day (night) you run I thought that would be a real plus!!! :)

    Happy New Year and happy running in 2011.

  4. all the best for 2011, thomas. have a great running year and hopefully a trophy for city

  5. Happy new year Thomas. Brendan has a point - the streets of Dublin would be failry empty at 5 a.m.

    When you recover to 130 HR after your evaluation run are you stopped or jogging?

  6. Happy new figgin year Thomas!
    If I read or think overtraining it seems to happen 2 me!
    is it the central governor at work I'm not sure, BUt maybe!!!

  7. I'm not exactly sure but I did read somewhere that it is the time that it takes to recover that is the true test of ones fitness and the quicker you do the fitter you are suppose to be.

    I'm finding sometimes that my heart rate while running will be pretty high, like at 70 to 80% of max and I still feel comfortable!

    Should I take that as a sign that I'm getting fitter or that I need to replace the monitor's batteries?

    Happy New Year to you and your's too Thomas.

  8. That's a good set of figures Thomas. Let us know what the coach says. Depending on the surface, I'd expect a dirt track to be a little slower than running on a paved road too.

    Anyway, belated Happy New Year, and may it be filled with PBs and short posts ;)