Monday, October 31, 2005

Change is coming...

Haiden shows off her cookie scooping prowess...

Slept in yesterday and had a very nice morning, getting up close to 7am (thanks kids) and going out to breakfast together. I was pretty sore from the race, especially after running another easy 4 in the evening with Haiden in the jogging stroller. My right abductor is acting up a little, but it didn't bother me today.

I did my run yesterday while the kids napped, the first time I've waited until the afternoon to run in months, but I liked having a little extra time to recover before jumping into the last hill session of the week. Yes, I did race the day before, but I've been feeling good about the schedule I've kept and I was full of eggs and cheese so off I went.

Today is Halloween, the first Haiden will be celebrating "trick-or-treat" style (maybe 5 or 6 of the neighbors we know and some family), and today's run was a nice, easy 8 miles. This is the start of week 4 of 4 for my Lydiard hill phase, then it's on to the 4 weeks of anaerobic training. It's a time of uncertainty, mostly because starting next week I'll be veering a little more off the schedules as written in Arthur Lydiard's "Running to the Top". I've mentioned a few times my trepidations about the upcoming 4 weeks, mostly because Lydiard's schedules in his later books (like mine) de-emphasize longer "marathon-pace" type time trials in favor of mostly shorter, faster efforts. My book has only one time trial over 10,000 meters, which is a 35K time-trial 4 weeks out from the race. Nobby Hashizume has commented on on interpreting this phase according to a runner's specific needs in a few different threads, and coach Glenn McCarthy and coach/masters athlete Mark Coughlin have offered some good advice and plans as well.

What keeps going through my mind is a familiar "Lydiardism", "Everything is important." Yes, a marathon is primarily an aerobic effort and no, there's usually no sprinting involved (unless you're diving for the line in a Boston qualifying panic). But you need the whole car to get to the destination. To take the auto analogy further, it's not an assembly line approach where everything is being added and bolted on at one time. Instead you start with the engine (improving aerobic conditioning and capacity), build the transmission (hill training for strength, overall and for up and down terrain), then add the fast wheels and aerodynamic body (anaerobic training for lactate tolerance and overall speed and turnover). Then comes the fine tuning where you test to get all the parts to work together and make adjustments according to what is and isn't working (coordination training). Finally, all you have to do is turn the key and pay attention.

Oh, if it were only that easy! I felt some of what I hope to improve on in the anaerobic phase when I raced on Saturday. I was running right about at my lactate threshold, and at that effort I really had to try to run smoothly and evenly to maximize my speed, especially in the closing miles. It takes concentration to run fast, and I think running fast can teach the body to run more efficiently, both biomechanically and metabolically. These must be good things to learn for the marathon, I just hope I can find the right "dosage" of speed to bring the results without dragging my endurance down. Hopefully with Lydiard's plan and some good advice I will manage. Please be safe tonight everyone.

Training: 8 miles, 57:26, 7:11 pace
10/30, 10 miles, 1:25:01, 8:30 pace, 4 hill circuits, 3 minute efforts up, 3 x 160 easy striders each circuit


Andrew said...

I can't believe how fast time has flown. It seems it was just yesterday you were starting the hill phase. Keep up the good work!

Mike said...

You're right Andrew, I can hardly believe it myself. Thanks for the encouragement and congrats again on a selfless and smart race, sub 3 is just around the corner for you.