Sunday, September 21, 2014

Evaluating Patience

I got a reminder a few days ago to keep doing the evaluation workouts and gather feedback from them. I was planning on doing them anyway, but a few jolts to the old, failing memory never do any harm. The general plan is to evaluate once every fortnight or so; the last one was three weeks ago, but with the Dingle Ultra in-between, that's ok.

The main idea of the base phase is to recover from the previous peak and the physical stress that accompanied that. If you're doing that right, the body will bounce back in a stronger fashion than before and you will be able to improve year on year on year. Obviously, there will eventually be ceiling as you get older, but one of the lessons I have learned over the last few years is that you should never put any limitations on yourself - your true capabilities are way beyond what you imagine, the big thing is to realise that.

Anyway, after two very easy days on Thursday and Friday, during which I felt really good, I did another evaluation on Saturday.
        Mile 1    6:45   HR 161
        Mile 2    6:45   HR 162 (6:48 adjusted to HR)
        Mile 3    6:52   HR 161
        Mile 4    6:53   HR 161
        Recovery to HR 130: 30 seconds

Evaluation is a rather mellow workout and actually quite fun. I get to run faster than on any other day of the week but still slow enough not to get into pain territory. Having said that, towards the end of the third mile I started getting tired and got a bit worried what that would do to my pace, but in the end it remained remarkably stable - but of course there is still room for improvement. Overall it was a smidgen slower than last time but the pace was a bit more stable and the recovery time was excellent, one of my lowest values ever. It confirmed what I had felt already, namely that I have recovered astoundingly well from Dingle, which really did not seem to take much out of me. With a bit of a break before my next event there is now plenty of time to just keep ticking off the miles and enjoy the fact that I keep getting faster week by week without ever feeling like I'm working hard.

Training at this point doesn't feel like "proper" training because you never work particularly hard, which in years past had me wondering if I should be doing more. It's a case of trusting the (former) coach and his system. These days, old wise and grey I can look back and see the results that it has given me so far and yes, this is clearly working remarkably well. Keep in mind that right now you're not just training for you next race, you are putting layer after layer of training to build on year by year. It's a game that requires a lot of patience and will take years to come to full fruition, but it's definitely worth it.
18 Sep
10 miles, 1:19:43, 7:58 pace, HR 137
19 Sep
10 miles, 1:18:45, 7:52 pace, HR 137
20 Sep
11.8 miles, 1:27:03, 7:22 pace, HR 149
   incl. 4 mile eval: 6:45, 6:45, 6:52, 6:53, 30 sec recovery
21 Sep
10+ miles, 1:17:47, 7:28 pace, HR 142
Weekly Mileage: 73


  1. Good evaluation and week Thomas.
    When the kids hit the teenage years you'll put Obama's greyness to shame.

    1. Too late mate, the twins have hit 13 already!

  2. I have to start workout. Your post really inspired me. I have a park near my house, so I think it's a great place for running!