Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Male PMT

I know Dingle is not my goal race by any means, but I still want to do as well as I can on my limited training since Bangor. That means I will prepare for it as best as I can from now on. With less than two weeks remaining, it means going cold turkey on coffee. Again. And it's not easy. I've already started two pointless arguments with Niamh on Monday and there's still a lot of crankiness left where those had come from.

Maybe this time I should avoid getting back on that stuff after Dingle. That shit's not worth it.

Training, on the other hand, is going swimmingly. Or maybe I should say tapering rather than training because the reduced mileage might well have something to do with the legs feeling so good. Last week was still reasonably high with over 70 miles, but that's already a 12% reduction compared to the previous 2 weeks. This week I will get to maybe 50, and next week I will be just ticking over until the race.

I dusted off my racers on Sunday to test them. I haven't worn them in a while and need a few runs in them to adapt the legs. While I was wearing them I did a few faster miles, but got reminded that I have become old, fat and slow. I am about 7 pound above my usual race weight and was at least 30 seconds per mile slower than on tempo runs back in February or March. My next goal race is not until March and there is plenty of time to rectify two out of three issues.

I felt it on Monday, the combination of a few faster miles and several hours of gardening left me with a pair of concrete pillars where my legs used to be. Because of that, and because I am tapering anyway, I only ran short and easy 5 miles both yesterday and this morning and I can already feel the benefits of those easy days.

My heart rate/pace numbers are actually very good at the moment. I am still recovering from Bangor and overall I'm still feeling a little bit better every day. I think my aerobic system has gotten a bit of a shock from running 126 miles in one go and responded accordingly; I am now reaping the benefits from that. If that will translate into a faster marathon time next year or if my pace has permanently gone, will eventually be revealed. Let's get Dingle out of the way first.

19 Aug
10 miles, 1:10:18, 7:02 pace, HR 151
   incl 7 miles @ 6:50
20 Aug
5 miles, 40:08, 8:02 pace, HR 134
21 Aug
5 miles, 38:47, 7:45 pace, HR 136


  1. Tralee marathon next year will be the "A" race next year so.....

    You must drink a lot of coffee ;-)

  2. I could never give up 'good' coffee. Or tea for that matter.

    It'll be intersting to see how the bump in fitness translates in the race.

  3. 126 miles is three weeks of my normal peak mileage all in one day! It's good to hear that you are seeing benefits now as it's a huge overload of anyone's system. It'll be interesting to see how your ultra endurance has been effected - the only way to test this is to go out there a do an ultra :-)

    I'm curious, how does your pace/HR/Calories per mile match to what it was like before Connemara?

    This year I've been logging my pace/HR/Calories per mile for all my training runs to see if I can work out trends in my fitness and how training and other aspects of my life effect my fitness, and also to see if I can use all this data to predict likely race times that I can aim for. I haven't really done enough racing to get any good correlations for the later yet, but this weekend I have a 10k race, then the weekend after I'll do the Aberfeldy Marathon so hopefully this will give me more info.

    I do wonder if you might have enough data to do a similar analysis, do you log your HR, Calories consume, mileage, elevation/descents for each run? It might be interesting to plot the trends and any correlations to race performance that might spring up. If you open to this type of analysis then I'd be happy to write up my own approach/results and see what analysis is possible with your own data.

  4. Giving up coffee? That's gotta be wrong. :)

  5. If running 126 miles in one go were advisable, wouldn't every Olympian be doing so? There's better ways to improve your aerobic system and it's not by running lots of miles.

  6. Thomas's 126 mile run was a 24hr race... not a training run so you point is rather peculiar in it's totally inappropriateness.

    What is interesting is that Thomas feels that this massive race effort while initially resulted in breakdown in fitness/ability to run comfortably the recovery has led him to post better HR to speed figures during training. This suggest that Thomas' aerobic fitness has improved having done such a big one day effort.

    Other ultra runners might experience the opposite result, and of course one it's difficult to imagine a non ultra runner to go do big ultra's in training in the hope that it might lead to an elusive gain in aerobic fitness. For those of us who aspire to run ultra's and improve our performance doing them it's an encouraging finding.

  7. I'll go on record to say that I think that that 126 mile race won't effect you marathon pace. I think you'll be faster and while real long races will eventually slow you down I think you'd have to do a lot more of them. That Bangor race will just add to you lifetime base what you never to reach your racing peak anyway.
    All the best.