Saturday, February 25, 2006

Riding the Brakes

After yesterday's tough run I decided to take it easy today. 7:30 pace was the order of the day, and I ran a bit on trails just to make sure I didn't go too fast. The goal was to end the run feeling better than I did setting out, but at 12 miles I think it ended up being about two miles too long for that.

Tomorrow Lucas and I are planning on a good workout for a half-marathon that's coming up March 12. We need to discuss the details, but it will probably involve running the out-and-back course and adding a few miles. I think we will run the first half easy, then press the pace to 5:45 for two miles, then 5:40 for two miles, then 5:30 or so for two miles. 5:30 pace should feel tough, but it should also still be an aerobic effort...just barely. The goal is to teach the body to keep accelerating throughout the race. It's easy in a half-marathon to get complacent and just run the same pace, the pace that feels just under "red-line" for the first two miles. In my case, a pace that feels quite difficult for the first few miles can start to get more comfortable as the body relaxes and finally opens itself up to the effort rather than fighting it. When this happens, it's easy to keep running the same pace, even though the body can be pushed a little further. I managed to "keep pushing" during the Tucson half-marathon in December and it helped me gain two places in the last two miles. Sunday is about re-creating this situation and teaching the body to keep working harder. An unintended possible side-effect could be pushing too far into the red, which would mean learning to back off soon enough before crashing and burning. I'm hoping this doesn't happen.

It's good to have the long run out of the way, and to only have 15 miles in one run separating me from another good mileage week in singles. Hopefully tomorrow will go well and end the week on a good note.

In family news, Haiden starts school on Tuesday, and Kiera is running with Angie tomorrow in Sabino Canyon. Finn is officially within the normal range for head shapes (3mm difference), so his space helmet for plagiocephaly is nothing more than an early childhood souvenir. I'd be a fool to complain.

Training: 12 miles, 1:29:50, 7:29 pace


Yvonne said...

Great news about Finn! Thanks for your comments on my blog. Kids are just great all round, huh? :-)

D said...

Wonderful news about Finn! Your posts as always are informative and inspiring!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Yay for Finn!

Hope you have a good run today :) Kiera, Lisa and I had a blast!

Joe said...

Mike, first off, wonderful news about Finn...that's the important stuff. I'm happy for all of you!

thanks for explainnig the phenomenon of starting out a race at what feels like "near red line" only to find, 2-3 miles in, that the body relaxs, adapts and "red line" is another notch quicker than where you were. I've seen this in myself and wondered exactly what it was. Just a weird day? Or reality? I appreciate your clarity!