Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back on Planet Earth

Feels like gravity is working overtime. Hard to sit down, harder to get up. Something in the G.I. tract is amiss, but I'm still running. It hurts to start and it hurts when I stop, but as I'm shuffling along it actually feels pretty good. The scenery is going by slower, but that's to be expected. I did my version of a short fartlek workout with Haiden yesterday at the elementary school field nearby as we tried in vain to keep a kite aloft.

Six months, gone in a flash. Time to start thinking about the next phase, and to figure out how long I can hold my fitness before rebuilding. Arthur Lydiard has a schedule for racing every other week or so once an athlete starts to peak, so I'm hoping I can run a 10K on January 29 and a 5K a few weeks later, if I can hang on that long. It seems that most Lydiardites feel you can hold a peak for up to six weeks, but looking at my half-marathon in December makes me think I started peaking a little eary. For now it's just shuffling along for a few more days, a little longer and a little faster each day.

Thanks again for all the kind comments, I look forward to catching up on the blogs I've been missing and returning the favor.

Training: Today, 5 miles, 39:28, 7:53 pace. Ouch
Yesterday, 4 miles, 33:53, 8:23 pace. Double-ouch


Evan said...

The transition from marathon training to post-marathon racing a tough one. Do too much and you can just be sore, injured and unmotivated all too quickly. Do too little and your aerobic fitness will decline somewhat.

After six marathons my experience is that the best racing comes 4-6 weeks afterwards. 3 is too soon for me, and just sets the recovery back.

IMHO, the way to do it is to take two weeks really easy, enjoy the downtime, then do a couple of weeks of aerobic mileage with some strides, and maybe some fartlek or tempo in week 4 or 5 post-marathon. Then race.

Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning has some useful cautionary tales about racing and training too much, too soon after a marathon.

YMMV of course.

Congratulations again!

Hunter said...

Mike, Arthur's statement, that once you start the anaerobic training, you can't stop it. This puzzles me. What's your take?

Scooter said...

If I may, I think it's that the anaerobic work changes how your body works, so you can't revert to aerobic development (and gain benefit) in a short time. Thus, once you begin peaking, you race until you stop, then return to aerobic for an extended period.

Mike, loved those "ouches"! They'll be done soon enough.

Marc said...

Mike - A belated congrats on a race well run and a great blog post - very inspirational to read how you dug it out in the final miles. Well done.

Thomas said...

Well, you know Mike, many of us would be happy enough with those ouch-paces during full training, never mind post-marathon.

The Last Runner said...


Don't do this. Give yourself a month to recover. One day for each mile you raced. I am surprised you are evn running at all. Why not take 5-7 days off and allow your body to totally R-E-C-O-V-E-R.

Why are you running? Because it is habit. Well, unhabit for a week.

olga said...

I say - ride a wave, go for it, find your limits and push beyond. And if the day is bad - forget and move on. There are many racing years, you've gotta try it all.

Mike said...

Hi Everyone,
Hunter, I think Scooter has it right. For others interested, look at page 63 of the Lydiard/Daniels thread on letsrun where I posed the question to Nobby. Here's a bit of the response-"Anaerobic capacity is different (than aerobic capacity). It is more a chemical matter. It is to develop buffer against large lactic acid build-up in your blood stream. In other words, you take something like 3 to 5 weeks to develop this chemical buffer and, if you don't continue, you lose that ability.

So once you start the fast stuff, you will lose the benefits you gain by doing it by...not doing it.

Last runner, I respect your opinion but I'm hoping to ride my condition into a few races. However, if I'm not feeling recovered I won't flog myself. Evan, I hope you're right!

Anonymous said...

Get yourself a massage if you haven't already. Your psychology is right on. If you believe that you can recover and race shortly after a marathon, you can. If you don't, you won't.

Be smart, but go for it!

tb1 said...

Mike, I like what Thomas said, so I'm shooting for your recovery pace times.

kconnor said...

Food for thought from Scott Douglas interview of George Young:

"When I got home from the '68 Olympics, it was late September, early October," he recalls. "I had won the bronze. I was in tremendous shape. That day, I started preparing for the indoor season. I knew I was ready to break world records. Once you get ready, it's not too hard to keep that fitness. Workouts that used to make me puke were now easy. But if you want to take your month or two after the Olympics, go take your time off."