I always do the evaluations the same way. The warm up is 4 miles long. The first 2 miles are easy and relaxed. During the third mile I pick up the pace a few times to get the legs spinning and to raise the heart rate. During the fourth mile I steadily increase the effort until the heart rate reaches the 161 target. Ideally I want to be running the last quarter mile of the warm up at HR 161 to ensure it is well established by the time the evaluation proper starts.
It was windy again, but not quite as strong as it had been two weeks ago. I can try and keep all the other variables as constant as possible. I run the same course in the same shoes at the same time after the same warm/up. The weather is the one major variable I cannot influence, and the wind especially can cause problems, but it wasn't too bad.
I always run the same half mile back-and forwards 4 times, which ensures that all 4 miles are done on the same course, and running that way also lessens the wind effect as you end up with half a mile of tail- and half a mile of headwind each time. A track would be better, and a treadmill might work very well for that kind of test, but I have access to neither. My flat stretch of road will have to do.
I end up using the Garmin's display a lot during the workout because of the need to keep the HR constant. I always avoid looking at the pace, though. It might wreck my head if I did.
Anyway, the numbers were as follows: (The number in brackets is adjusted pace, 7 seconds for every 2 heart beats off the 161 target):
Mile 1 6:36 HR 161 (6:36) Mile 2 6:37 HR 161 (6:37) Mile 3 6:36 HR 162 (6:39) Mile 4 6:41 HR 162 (6:44) Recovery to HR 130: 36 seconds
That's remarkably stable, especially after such an improvement in pace compared to last time, and the recovery time is worlds better. I got these kind of numbers towards the end of my Vienna training two years ago. Seeing them now is either a sign that I am running at a higher level or that I am getting into shape too early. I'm not entirely sure which, but I definitely prefer these figures to the ones from two weeks ago.
I took it easy the day after the evaluation and did a hill workout this morning. I changed from hill sprints to 60-second-repeats, jogging back slowly each time, doing 14 repeats (I didn't count them, but checked the Garmin file later on). Next time I'll take a headlamp because I could barely make out the road going up the woods and got surprised by low-hanging twigs on more than once occasion. I did one repeat too many because I got very nauseous at the to of the last one (there's definitely a benefit to doing these sessions on an empty stomach. It would not have been pretty). The reason why I changed the workout is that Canova says you stop getting much benefit after doing the same session three times and should always vary training. On the other hand, I would probably have been better off doing those hill repeats on Wednesday because right now my legs are sore and I might not be able to do a faster run tomorrow, Friday. I'll see how I feel in the morning, but might have to substitute the session for an easy run.
- 16 Oct
- 12 miles, 1:25:42, 7:09 pace, HR 154
4 mile eval: 6:36, 6:37, 6:39, 6:44 (adjusted figures)
36 seconds recovery to 130
- 17 Oct
- 10 miles, 1:16:50, 7:41 pace, HR 142
- 18 Oct
- 7.8 miles, 1:09:57, 7:09 pace, HR 145
14 x 60 sec hill repeats