Sunday, November 11, 2012

Definite Progress!

On Thursday morning I knew that I was pushing the boundaries. After hill repeats on Tuesday and 15 hilly miles on Wednesday I was in definite need of a little bit of recovery. 8 miles at a very easy effort did me a lot of good, and in actual fact I was quite heartened that even such an easy effort on tired legs now gives me 7:40 pace. That's a good place to be.

I assessed the situation again on Friday morning. A couple of weeks ago I had made the mistake of stubbornly going ahead with a harder effort even though the legs had not felt like it. However, they felt genuinely good that morning and I could go ahead in good conscience. I ended up with my fastest 10 mile time this training cycle (though I am not racing these workouts - the effort is strictly limited) and felt good all the way through. The one fly in the ointment was the fairly high HR of 162 - all other similar workouts had been in the high 150s, though the perceived effort was still pretty much the same.

Saturday is always a relaxed day because of the group run. I boost my mileage by running to and from the meeting point, accepting the fact that some people take it as proof that I'm slightly deranged, and since it was rather cold I did a few strides on the gravel road beside the GAA pitch instead of waiting around and freezing my bits off.

Strides are definitely an element missing in my training. In almost every training cycle I reach the point where I promise to add 2-3 sets of strides per week to my training, and so far I have alway failed to keep that going for any length of time. I just forget about them. I'll put a note somewhere to keep reminding me. Maybe that will solve that problem.

I managed to keep a good effort going for Sunday's long run. I have generally tried to run my runs at a faster pace this time round, while still keeping an eye on the all-important recovery. I think this is starting to pay off. I used to think of runs at almost 7:15 pace as tempo runs - to be able to run long, hilly runs at that pace and still feel reasonably comfortable is great.

I measured my resting HR on Sunday morning. Even though the measurement might have been compromised by the 3 children running around me at the time, the resting HR has gone down to 44, which is actually lower than before Dublin. I found that rather amazing. I might indeed have managed to get away with running the Dublin marathon as a training effort and subsequently continue training without the need for any time off.

Now let's turn the dial up by another notch and try that again.
8 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:39, 7:42 pace, HR 142
9 Nov
10 miles, 1:07:49, 6:47 pace, HR 162
10 Nov
14 miles, 1:44:37, 7:28 pace, HR 144
   7:03 pace - 5 x 100 strides - 7:59 pace - 7:20 pace
11 Nov
18 miles, 2:10:56, 7:16 pace, HR 153
Weekly Mileage: 81


  1. Being only slightly deranged is 'normal' for most serious runners ;)

    Good point about the strides. Also good move to run faster at times on those long runs. A lady I follow ran 18 with the middle 14 at 6:31 pace recently. I think that's her goal marathon pace.

  2. Great work this week. Cool about the HR. Looking forward to seeing what you do next.

  3. Now we're seeing major progress, keep it up! 30 seconds for every 10 beats would indicate your 10 mile race pace to be about 5:50, make sure you do one soon!

    Have you ever tried to use a Hadd style training programme? I'm just back running after my first marathon and thinking of buying a HRM to supplement my training as I've lost about 2 minutes off my 5 mile time already :(

  4. I think you may see better gains on half the running due to quicker recovery (read smart training). Of course, for some people, it's not about the gains but the love of training. But be careful, it can scar the heart muscle in the long run.