Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Evaluation, Again!

It only feels like yesterday that I did my last evaluation workout. I'm not sure where all that time went. However, there was a significant event since the last evaluation, namely the 30-mile race only 9 days prior.

It was because of that race that I approached Tuesday's evaluation with a slight sense of trepidation. My legs have recovered very well but I do know from past experience that a marathon can show up for weeks in the evaluation numbers, an ultra, even a short one, should do even more so.

For a change the conditions were pretty much ideal, in contrast to what the weather lady had predicted, but I always forgive her. The evaluation workout is rather mellow as far as workouts go and time passed very quickly. It wasn't until I got home and checked the numbers on the Garmin that I started to raise an eyebrow or two.
        Mile 1    6:24   HR 161
        Mile 2    6:25   HR 161
        Mile 3    6:29   HR 161
        Mile 4    6:32   HR 161
        Recovery to HR 130: 35 seconds

These are the best numbers I have ever produced in an evaluation. I might have messed up Sixmilebridge as a race but as a training run I seem to have gotten it absolutely spot on. I'm not sure if my former coach would claim that there was a sharpening effect from the strong last mile, but I've had sharpening effects before and still the numbers were never as good as that.

I'm pretty excited about that. It sure bodes well for Tralee. Considering how well I seem to be able to recover from fast long runs these days I'm all the more sorry that I will miss Clonakilty, but there's nothing I can do about that.

Since the evaluation is such a mellow workout I didn't worry about following it up with another workout on Wednesday. Following Canova's guidelines I added a hilly fartlek run to my weekly repertoire, and in Kenya they're doing fartleks by running a minute hard/a minute easy (at least according to that book). Apparently they're doing it for an hour at a time, I thought it prudent to start with the less ambitious target of 40 minutes, plus warm/up and cool/down of course.

Twice during the faster repeats I caught a glimpse of my pace on the Garmin, and both times it showed 5:3x. I wasn't entirely killing myself but it sure amounted to a lot of fast running, more than 5k at faster than 5k race pace, apparently. I survived by concentrating on my breathing and trying not to start hyperventilating, an old problem of mine at high effort levels. After about 17 repeats I pretty much had enough, but slavishly followed the watch for three more; not sure if that was a good idea or not, but I survived.

It's a nice enough introduction to speedwork, nowhere near as daunting as quarter-mile repeats on a track but it keeps the legs moving nicely. Interestingly, Ron Daws in his excellent book on Lydiard training recommends fartleks at the end of the base phase as well; just goes to show that there's nothing new under the sun.

It's not all plain sailing, a few days ago as I was reaching the top of a hill towards the end of an easy run I felt a pain in my right adductor, or maybe just my right adductor tendons because that seems to match the area I felt the pain on. It didn't last and I made it home without problems, but Tuesday morning I felt it again after getting up. It went away completely when I was running but became rather sore later that day.

I wan't sure if running at fast pace on Wednesday was such a smart idea with that niggle, but (as always) went ahead anyway. Just like yesterday I did not feel it at all when I was running but it came back during the day.

I've had plenty of niggles over the last few years but despite never following the usual advise of taking a rest break I haven't been injured in ages, and that's just another niggle along the way. If I had taken a rest break every time something starts bothering me I would have missed a lot of training over the years (not much so recently, my body seems to be holding up very well indeed these days).
26 Nov
10 miles, 1:15:51, 7:35 pace, HR 140
27 Nov
12 miles, 1:22:39, 6:53 pace, HR 155
   4 mile eval: 6:24, 6:25, 6:29, 6:32; 35 sec recovery
28 Nov
8 miles, 58:11, 7:16 pace, HR 152
   20 x 60/60


  1. your lack of injuries always amaze me considering your mileage Thomas, long may it last, best of luck K

  2. A great set of splits there Thomas.

  3. That's great Thomas. You're coming into top form. I'd need a 60 sec downhill sprint to get under 6's. I take it Tralee is an all-out effort rather than a pacing job? Can't recall you mentioning this that's all.