Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's Going to Take More

It stands to reason that if I train the same way, I'll get the same results. Yes, there will be an increased aerobic benefit with each successive build-up, but that's probably the only advantage. It's going to take more stimulus to improve on what I've been able to do during my first Lydiard cycle. In the end, I'm not training to run 2:40 marathons anymore, I'm training to beat the 2:40 marathoners.

Faster, longer, and smarter this time around. So far it's honestly been a mixed bag. The overall mileage is up from last time, but the paces, while generally a little faster, aren't close to where I should be running. I'm hoping the half-marathon two days ago will help kick-start my efforts to spend more time at speeds between my tempo and marathon paces. According to Nobby, sometimes an athlete can have a great marathon only a week or two after a lousy one because the body learns to buffer itself against the effort necessary to run at a strong pace for a long time. 5:48 on a hilly course for 13.1 miles fits the bill, so we'll see if this is the beginning of more serious training now that I have about 5 weeks and 475 miles of base-bulding in my legs after recovering from January's marathon.

I did get out for a second run last evening after the kids were in bed, though with everyone still sick I almost forgot about it. Let me tell you, pushing away an empty plate of nachos and heading out the door for four easy miles is not a good idea, even for someone with an iron gut like me.

Last evening was very difficult, with all four of us coughing pretty much non-stop. Haiden is down to a dry cough, Finn is worse with lots of snot and a painful cough, Kiera is woozy, has no appetite and is coughing. I'm coughing more now and still dealing with the crud, but otherwise am fine. After almost no sleep, I delayed my 16 mile run until tomorrow. Instead, after lollygagging around the house this morning I found myself with a sparse 40 minutes to run before taking Haiden to school (other than the cough she's fine). With some re-arranging I figured I could do a six mile marathon pace run this morning, then go out easy tonight for another 6-8 miles. These ideas always sound good in my head.

I headed out the door, into the wind and the uphill, and battled to get down to 6:00 pace on the Garmin by the end of the first mile. I was remembering some emails to coach Glenn McCarthy about his planned marathon pace runs, where he mentioned that he didn't really have his athletes warm up too much, as marathon pace shouldn't feel that difficult. Hmmm, I'm pouring it on and "not that difficult" isn't how I would describe the effort. After two miles of having my heart in my throat the body finally gives in to the effort and stops fighting. By the end of downhill mile 3 I'm at a cumulative 5:55 pace. I turn around and head up the 1/2 mile hill, thinking I'll drift back to 6 minute pace but now I'm actually starting to groove a bit. I bring it down to 5:54 cumulative and cruise through the last two miles fairly comfortably. It still feels a little fast for a whole marathon, but considering a double yesterday and a half-marathon the day before, I figure I'm doing ok. If I can do this type of workout 3 times a week or so, and maybe do one day around 5:40 pace, I'll feel better about improving my threshold during these last two weeks of base-bulding.

A quick change of clothes and I'm off with Haiden to school, where I get a note. "Your child may have been exposed to strep throat on March 9". Hmmm. Finn is going to the doc at 11:15 just to be sure.

Training: Today, 6 miles, 35:29, 5:54 pace, felt amazingly bad for two miles and surprisingly good for four.
Yesterday p.m., 4 miles, 30:58, 7:44 pace. Nacho, nacho man. I've got to be a nacho man.


Zeke said...

"These ideas always sound good in my head."

Ain't that the truth.

Love2Run said...

Marathon pace is never ever easy for me until marathon day. Can't explain why, more than just the training fatigue etc Seems like I'm not even breathing on race day while it's huffing and puffing to make the pace in training. But that's just me...

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Oh, a run that gets better - I love those!

Hope the family is feeling better soon (and that Finn doesn't have strep, yikes!).

Evan said...

I don't know how you do it, Mike. You ran really close to your half-marathon PR on Sunday, and Tuesday you're out trying to run marathon pace in a workout. That shouldn't feel easy. Now I know you were 3 minutes off your PR but I remember you saying that there was a significant drop in that Tucson half-marathon.

Daniels' VDOT tables equate your 56:09 10 mile to a 1:14:57 half, so running 1 minute above that at the end of a 90+ mile week ... Tough to back up workouts like that. I can't do it (at my paces). More power to you!

Mike said...

Thanks Mike, I hope to feel the same way come marathon day. Jeez, yours is coming up soon too! Angie, no strep for anyone, just a bad cold for Finn apparently. Evan, you're right about the PR half, it dropped 1000 feet! Still, it's certified so I'll take it. Being able to do that workout is a good sign for me though.

Thomas said...

I hope you and the rest of the family recover soon - especially the little ones. Strep - Yikes! I'm glad to hear it's just a cold.

Zeke said...

I agree with love2run-Mike, MP is never easy for me (especially if I'm running solo) until race day.

That's why I quesion people who run 7:30 pace everyday and then run their marathon at 8:00 pace.