Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Evaluate Your Base

Monday morning was somewhat unreal. The Moon had just dipped below the horizon but still bathed the scene in an otherworldly grey light. As I ran along the lake I could see a cloud forming above the water, which looked even more alien, illuminated in the ambient light. When I passed a house, 2 or 3 dogs started howling; not barking, howling at the moon. With all the cliched horror film settings firmly in place it was no wonder I got completely spooked when a bright light appeared behind me, throwing all kinds of shadows right in front of me. v er fefe ghtr

Of course it turned out to be a car, snapping me back to reality pretty quickly. Still, I wonder what John Carpenter would have made out of all that. It didn't require a lot of imagination, all the basic ingredients were there.

I was still left with a little bit of a mystery, namely why the pace had been quite so slow. That one remained unsolved.

I had been planning on doing another evaluation on Wednesday, 2 weeks after the last one. However, the weather forecast spoke against that, heavy winds plays havoc with the pace and invalidates the numbers, so I moved it forward by a day to Tuesday morning.

This was only 5 days after the 10k race and I expected to see some sharpening effect (that's an unwanted effect at this stage), and I'm not sure what effect it had that the damn cat had woken me at 2 am, leaving me unable to sleep for the next 2 hours (I often tend to have trouble sleeping at or around Full Moon).

Unlike Monday, this time the Moon was still above the horizon, bringing a surprisingly bright silvery light to the proceedings. Lovely.

I sometimes have a hard time getting my HR up to the right level before the start of the evaluation, not so this time. I'm not sure if that's a bad omen or not, but the real feedback comes from the 4 miles of evaluation, of course.

The numbers in brackets are adjusted pace, 3 seconds for every beat off the 161 target.
        Mile 1    6:50   HR 161    (6:50)
        Mile 2    6:52   HR 160    (6:49)
        Mile 3    6:51   HR 160    (6:48)
        Mile 4    6:52   HR 161    (6:52)
        Recovery to HR 130: 39 seconds

Two things spring to mind immediately: that's about 10 seconds per mile slower than last time (it's the numbers I would expect to see without a sharpening effect). Secondly, that is by far and away the most even set of number I have ever produced.

The recovery is almost the same as last time. I sure have seen lower figures but it's in line with expectations.

Despite having done that for a few years I am not an expert, but I think these numbers indicate that my base training can come to an end.

There was one extra bit of potential trouble. My hamstring was just fine but my calves started to get very tight on the third mile. It did not influence the evaluation but the 4 miles home were rather slow and awkward. I'm pretty sure that's a sign that my lower legs haven't quite recovered from the race yet. A few more days of easy running are in store.

My left calf was still a bit tight on Wednesday morning, but much improved already and it actually loosened up after a couple of miles, so I think I'll be okay. The pace was modest but the weather was rather wild; sometimes that can get to me but some morning I just love it. Today was the latter; battling the elements was fun.

5 Jan
10 miles, 1:26:43, 8:40 pace, HR 135
6 Jan
11.8 miles, 1:29:30, 7:36 pace, HR 146
   incl. 4 mile eval: 6:50, 6:52, 6:51, 6:52; 39 sec recovery
7 Jan
10 miles, 1:23:58, 8:24 pace, HR 136

1 comment:

  1. That evaluation your were running like clock work, impressive to be ticking along so nicely. I've been meaning to try out an evaluation myself for a couple of years now, but never got round to it. Will need to find a 1 mile loop out half mile out/back.

    Good luck with your marathon. Is it a race or just a training run?