Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just gimmee some proof!

It was one of those great days today, and I feel I must bore you with it, lest I forget. Going through my training log to get my mileage for the past 11 weeks for my last post got me thinking...specifically, thinking I should be running faster. One of the most inspiring adaptations that the body is supposed to go through during Lydiard's conditioning phase is that you will begin to run faster at the same percieved exertion level. Looking at my average paces for my long runs, I do see a pattern of this. What started at 7:45 has slowly lowered to 7:30, then 7:20. However, for the last few weeks I've been pretty static at 7:15 or so, and I've been looking for proof that what I've been putting myself through is working.

Why the level-off? I'm guessing my racing is probably to blame, since I was definitely more tired during the past two weeks. I thought I could get away with sneaking in a few anaerobic efforts, but I think I paid for them. But the racing is over for a few weeks, so I really didn't have any excuse for the lack of improvement.

Today started out just as most of my long runs, with my standard 4:30 breakfast and coffee, then out the door. It was nice and cool this morning, probably about 63 degrees or so (which is cool in Tucson this time of year). After easing into the first 3 miles, I started practicing going downhill faster as the road tilted down. I took the brakes off for a quarter mile descent, then checked my Garmin GPS (tech geek? Guilty) to see that I was averaging 7:11 for the run thus far, when I usually start out at 7:30 or slower. I decided there that this was the day to try for a quick run, a good strong aerobic effort. I was down to 7 flat by mile 6, then I kept the pressure on until my average pace hit 6:52 at my 11 mile turnaround. I kept my eye off the watch until mile 16, where I was right at 6:50. Up to this point I felt great. I could tell I was moving faster, but my breathing was still controlled and my effort felt pretty much the same as it has for the past few weeks.

Miles 16 to 20 are the best and worst part of my 22 miler. Four miles of rolling net uphill, which breaks my legs regardless of how good I feel. I never look at the watch until I get home once I'm to mile 16 to try to practice running by feel, so I ignored it and my legs as they started to tighten a bit. The last two miles home are a little downhill, and I was able to relax and cruise in fairly comfortably.

Perhaps the best part of this run was stopping. As 22 miles ticked over on my watch and I turned it off to walk into the driveway, the garbage truck rolled down my street, mercifully giving me enough time to drag our can full of potent diaper bombs to the curb. As I turned back towards the house, my wife opened the garage door while holding our little boy, and my daughter started jumping up and down beside them screaming, "Daddy, you came back from your run!!".

It was never in doubt I would, but I made it back ten minutes faster than I have since we moved in to the house in April.

Training: 22 miles in 2:28:50, 6:46 pace

1 comment:

Flatman said...

Sheesh, I can't even think that fast... You are one fast puppy!

Nice run!