Saturday, December 31, 2005

Playing Make Believe

Last 10K time trial today, and frankly I wasn't looking forward to it. My Lydiard schedules had me doing an easy, short day beforehand, but since I was dealing with Kiera being sick and Christmas travel plans earlier in the week I had already "spent" my shorter days. So 10K hard the day after 14 miles it was, and I headed out. Since I was feeling a bit tired and sluggish, which is a little worrisome, I decided to play a mental game with the workout. After a 2 mile warm-up, I would run the first 2 miles of the time trial at about marathon pace, then slowly try to pick up the pace throughout the rest of the 4.2 miles. I tried to imagine the workout as the last 6.2 miles of the P.F. Chang's Rock'n'Roll marathon, which I will be tackling in two weeks.

In my mind's eye, I'm feeling the stress of 20 miles at just about 6 minute pace, and all that's left is the final 10K of the race. I run miles 21-22 at 5:57, then with 4 miles to go I slowly up the ante. Miles 23-24 I'm turning the screw, and the legs can feel the pressure but the lungs are still good, which is encouraging. Thankfully miles 25-26 are slightly downhill, and I take advantage of this and accelerate a little more. All that's left now is the last 385 yards, and the finish line is in view. I cross it and smile, then stop and catch my breath. The work is done.

In real life I ran the 10K in 35:23, or 5:41 pace, and the finish line is a "stop" sign a quarter mile past our subdivision. I was pretty happy with this, especially since I ran the second 5K in 17:07, or 5:31 pace. I'm glad to have this workout done, and doing the mental exercise of pretending it was the last part of my upcoming marathon will give me something to think about when I'm at the 20 mile mark of the real thing. The mind is a powerful tool, and the mental boost I got from the run can only help me. I ran the same out and back time trial in November about 10 seconds faster, but at that time I didn't purposely run the first 2 miles at 5:57 pace.

Tomorrow's run is scheduled to be two hours, though for all the "2 hour" and "2 hour+" runs so far on the schedule I've added 30 minutes or more. This time I'm taking the time to heart, and I've decided to just do 18 very relaxed and slower than last week. I'm a little more tired than usual, and I've been wanting to sleep in more even though the weather is nice. This fatigue, coupled with the 2 mile time trial, the 12 x 100 sprints every 200, and today's 10K this week convinces me that it's time to really dial down the pressure for the final two weeks. I have to realize that in the "coordination" phase of Lydiard's training that the aerobic work is done. I'm hoping two weeks from today my legs will be rested, and the body and mind will be ready for the challenge ahead. Have a great weekend.

Training: 9 miles, 56:20, 6:15 pace with a 10K time trial in 35:23, 5:41 pace. Second 5K in 17:07


Love2Run said...

That's a great time trial! You sure sound co-ordinated to me and ready to 'rock and roll' in a couple of weeks. Enjoy the taper!

Thomas Sørensen said...

WOW. Mike you WILL do great on marathonday. After doing a proper Lydiard schedule and mentally preparing you for the last part o the marathon all you need now is to taper. And this is a phase better overdone than "under-done".

Duncan Larkin said...

Mike. Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me some much-needed motivation today. Paul had recommended your blog a while back and I've been following your dedicated, methodical pursuit of following Lydiard which I envy. Based on the time trial today, I can't wait to see you smoke your marathon in 2 weeks. Good luck, and here's to PRs in 2006 for all of us.

Dallen said...

I found your blog today. It looks like you are due for a major marathon PR. Good luck.

robtherunner said...


Congratulations on your selection of being one of Southern Arizona's top 100 sports figures in 2005. I saw the mention of it on an ultra list where they were talking about Pam Reed being #9 so I thought I should check to see if you made the cut and sure enough you were there. Great Job!