Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Patience, and Free Speed

It's hard to be running slow while others are running fast, but I'm trying to deal with it. Arthur Lydiard's training is designed to get the absolute best out of a runner at a specific time, which in my case is 16 weeks from now. Until then, I'm just climbing the mountain, focusing on each footfall rather than looking for the summit (I should leave the climbing references to Duncan, he's bettter at them).

I'm feeling better today than yesterday, although I was dragging behind Lucas for most of the run. We ran up the road in Sabino Canyon, then back down again with a detour on the way there and back to get an even 12. This was my one "hilly" day for the week, although most of my runs have a fair amount of ups and downs simply because of where I live. I'm hoping to work on strength a little during these runs, and I'm trying to take to heart Lydiard's (and Nobby's) suggestions that it's better to have smooth transitions between training phases instead of changing abruptly. In a little over five weeks I'll switch to doing three hill workouts a week, so running up some steep stuff once a week now will helpfully make that switch easier on the calf muscles (and the psyche).

While reading Pete Pfitzinger's Lab Report column in the March Running Times magazine, I noticed a paragraph that seemed to explain what I'm going through during this second go-around of Lydiard contitioning. I've been a little worried about not coming around quickly (though it's only been a week and a half), and I found this in his paragraph titled "How quickly can you adapt?".

"If you are tired and stressed and your immune system is compromised, then you will not recover from hard training sessions as well as if you are at the peak of health. Improving lifestyle factors (diet, hydration, quantity of quality of sleep, overall stress level, etc.) will improve your ability to positively adapt to training."

This is "free speed", and I need to take this advice. I'm sure the stress of work, coupled with not sleeping and other unavoidable factors are making things a little tougher for me this time around. Hopefully I'm over the hump now, and while I'm still behind on lots of things (like reading everyone else's blogs), I can hopefully get back on track.

Training: 12 miles, 1:24:13, 7:01 pace, hilly run up Sabino Canyon road


Dallen said...

7:01 is not exactly slow.

Mike said...

You're right Dallen, but these shorter days are when I'm trying to put in some faster efforts, closer to sixes than sevens. I was speaking more about my death-march 16-18 mile runs, which seem to be causing more suffering than the first time around. I just finally got around to writing about it today. Hey, hope the pain goes away, and I'm glad it's not a stress fracture.

robtherunner said...

Mike, In the base training phase isn't it a good thing to push your body to a point of exhaustion. Doesn't the exhaustion from the excessive mileage signal that you are making gains, or at least in theory. I always feel as if I am always refreshed than I am not pushing myself hard enough.

tb1 said...

Thanks for not surgar coating your workouts. It gives me (and hopefully others) encouragement when I realize that I'm not the only one with a string of hard running days. Your comments from Nobby and other Lydiard proponants are heartening. I usually look at your workout times and then add two minutes to the pace to get my workout time (HA). Keep it going.