Sunday, January 04, 2015


I'm still not entirely sure about Thursday's race. I never pushed it 100% and left it at about 95% effort (I know, the 5:48 first mile does not entirely support that argument) and I'm undecided if I could not run faster or just was not prepared to push myself all out. I do know that in the long run a slightly less than full effort will be a good thing because racing during base building isn't a good idea anyway, so maybe that did play on my mind.

The last couple of days were all recovery runs from the race, of course, and I sacrificed my long run this weekend for the sake of recovery. With the HR alarm still set at the Maffetone level easy runs are assured anyway. The pace was particularly slow on Friday, which I had not even noticed, but has returned to pre-race levels by now, a tad slower than 8-minute miles. My HRM has been acting up a few times recently, so this morning I changed the battery and all seems good again (this is always the first thing to try and it works almost every time).

I could feel my hamstring again on Friday and Saturday. It did not really hurt but there was definitely some small amount of discomfort there. It has settled down again on Sunday but I know the hamstring still isn't quite at a state it ideally should be. It's good I'm an ultra runner, I guess. The slow training pace definitely protects the muscles; if I were a 5k runner and tried a few workouts I'd be in real trouble in no time at all.

So, after the excitement of the race where I ran a full 2 minutes per mile faster than in training, it's back to the fat burning drudgery of Maffetone. I know I've been moaning and bitching about that less-than-riveting form of training already, and I guess there will be more to come. I always thought of myself as a rather disciplined guy, but this is really testing my limits. I'm not sure how much longer I can bear to stick with this. I'll try and keep in mind the eventual benefits - that should help!
3 Jan
10 miles, 1:23:14, 8:19 pace, HR 138
4 Jan
12 miles, 1:38:05, 8:09 pace, HR 138
Weekly Mileage: 68+


  1. I wonder if it's the mileage you are running each day that compounds how much ticking along at a slower pace feels like drudgery.

    I did recovery runs on the last two days, the first run my HR monitor battery was dead so don't know the HR, but speed for the 6 miler was 9:58 pace. Yesterday I had time for just 4 miles, done at 9:38 pace, with an average HR of 127. Neither felt like drudgery.

    You are a faster runner than me, but not that much faster - your 10k pace is around 10 secs per mile faster, but what you label a recovery run is over a minute and half a mile faster. While you struggle to run at slower than 8 min/mile pace, I can manage 9 to 10 min/mile with ease and can remain relaxed.

    It took me a while to be able to be able to run this slow so comfortably - I had to deliberately introduce recovery runs at low HR and initially found it a real struggle but after a few months my body dialled in and now it's effortless.

    I wonder if perhaps doing a few runs even slower, or at least part of your run even slower than you are to give you time at 9 to 10min/mile pace, which is your target race pace. This might push the adaptation of motor programming your need for this slow paced running to become relaxed, and should help make running a 8 to 9 min/mile that much easier as well.

  2. Next time push 100% - you'll break 37:30, which would be a good time to have for 10k.