Thursday, March 26, 2009

Windy Weather

Mike isn’t the only one concerned about my lack of sleep on Monday; I’d had the same thoughts already. Luckily I didn’t have to suffer any more sleepless nights, the last three evenings I got rather tired by 9:30 and went to bed, to sleep for about 8 hours each time. On the downside, this meant being awake before 6 am. I’m definitely a morning person.

Of course I took it easy on Tuesday, but I was actually surprised how decent the legs felt. I was exhausted after my 23 mile run on Monday, but the fatigue was more due to lack of sleep, the legs handled the distance just fine. I guess the slow pace just left them with plenty of reserves. I did notice another drop in my HR. I ran 8:12 pace with an average HR of 133; on the same run after lest week’s long run I measured the same average HR but 8:30 pace. That’s quite some difference. I generally tend to notice fitness gains by the low heart rate on recovery runs like these, and the data is promising. At the very least I know that I’m not suffering from overtraining symptoms.

Wednesday’s workout consisted of mile repeats. Last week I had done 6 of them, today I added an extra one. During the second repeat I didn’t think I would be able to finish the workout, but somehow the legs came round. The weather didn’t help, it was very windy, which made me do those repeats on the Ard-na-Sidhe road rather than run my usual loop to Killorglin. Repeatedly running up and down the same stretch of road isn’t the most exciting way to run, but I was so caught up in the effort that it didn’t matter. The workout went reasonably well: 6:28, 6:33, 6:31, 6:31, 6:45, 6:38, 6:21, which meant I slightly improved my average pace compared to last week despite the conditions. The fifth repeat was a bit off, and the first half of the sixth was even slower, but I managed to increase the effort a bit for the rest of the workout.

I was pleasantly surprised once again this morning by how well the legs felt. It looks like I have gotten over the worst of the weekend’s epic training already. I ran 8 miles at 8:00 pace, and would have been incredibly comfortable had it not been for the gale force winds. At one stage I was rounding a corner to see a veil of rain ahead of me, with the wind providing a stunning and clearly visible rippling effect. My appreciation of this natural spectacle was ever so slightly tempered by the fact that I knew I would be enveloped by it within a few seconds.

Apparently the windy conditions will remain with us for at least another week. I tell you what, if we have to battle gale force winds at Boston I’ll be the best prepared runner of them all. With less than 4 weeks to go I had a few thoughts about my racing strategy. The plan is to start slowly and not get caught up in the excitement. Starting from controlled corrals means I should be surrounded by runners of very similar ability, doesn’t it? If I can take it reasonably easy over the first, say, 10k, I should be in good enough shape to run the final 20 miles at a good effort. And with the first downhill miles, I shouldn’t lose much (or any?) time at the start, even if I hold back. All that sounds easy enough. But as they say, no plans survive first contact.
24 Mar
8 miles, 1:05:35, 8:12 pace, HR 133
25 Mar
10.5 miles, 1:18:43, 7:30 pace, HR 155
incl. 7xmile @ 6:28, 33, 31, 31, 45, 38, 21 (6:33 avg)
25 Mar
8 miles, 1:04:02, 8:00 pace, HR 140


  1. Very consistent mile repeats Thomas - what was the recovery between them?

  2. Just make sure you're up the front of your corral. I know a runner who ran Tokyo - she started in the third corral and was delayed so much it took her 23 mins for the first 5k. Then ran too fast to get back on her 20m/5k schedule, blew up and missed 3 hours.

  3. You are in great shape. Don't be tempted to add too many extra repeats or extra distance in the next week or so.