Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How not to recover from a half-marathon

1. Run 10 miles the day after, preferably after a short night's sleep, punctuated by late-night/early morning feedings for a 5-month-old infant.
2. Drink two beers one night after race, get to bed late after watching TV and helping with Christmas cards, get up at midnight for another infant-feeding.
3. Run 16 miles the second day, discard gloves and hat early only to be hit by sub-30's temperature shift along river trail. When hands and ears go numb, go the extra mile in the cold instead of turning around early, foregoing any attempt to save extremities from frostbite. When blisters act up, curse self for not wanting to waste two extra band-aids. Do not eat a gel or any nutrtition, and skip drinking any fluids for the two-hour duration of the run as the water fountains are frozen solid.
4. Shiver in warm shower and ponder how to get the week's pending speedwork done.

The half marathon was the last day of my Lydiard track/anaerobic phase, and while I'm tired today I'm fairly happy with how it went. For two of the four weeks I was not able to do all three of the key workouts, but during those weeks I did make one of the two efforts I did longer (and in the case of the race tougher) than scheduled, so I hope I'm coming out of it about even. The first piece of advice I would give anyone in my shoes would be something Nobby Hashizume, who worked closely with Lydiard for 25 years emailed to me. Slow down when you need to. I probably could have gotten more out of the key workouts if I had slowed down on my long runs and medium-long runs during this phase. I got the message, but it took me a few weeks to listen. Running fast does stress the body, and it needs time to recover. Hmmm, maybe I should be taking this advice today.

So the next four weeks is my Lydiard coordination phase, where I hopefully ready my body for the specific task of running a marathon at sub-2:40 pace, while my previous personal best is 2:47:50. Mark Couglin kindly sent me some of Lydiard's older schedules, which I will be mixing with my schedule from Lydiard's most recent edition of "Running to the Top". I'll let you know how the weeks will look. Happy running.

Training: 16 miles, 1:54:53, 7:11 pace. Tired and cold, especially at the end.


Scooter said...

Your post made me think of a recent comment made to Patti Catalano Dillon by her long-time coach Bill Squires and related on one of the running message boards. Patti quoted Sqires as saying, "Patti, we know you're tough, but are you wise?" It's one of those question designed to make the athlete think (which Lydiard was noted for). Clearly, you're trying to apply it.

BTW - The first picture you posted of Finn, with the "helmet" made it look like a bike helmet. It was only when I saw the later pix with the hole in the top that it became clear how different it was. Meantime, he seems to always be happy - is he a happy kid? Or is it just when he's happy that you get out the camera?

Mike said...

He's pretty happy, though a little cranky the past few days. I think he might be teething, but I'm not sure. He loves his sister, which is nice. He smiles whenever she comes into the room. He also likes big-band music, but hates NPR.