Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Time to Get Tough

I just couldn't resist posting this photo by Kiera of Haiden

Just under seven weeks left until the marathon in San Diego. It's the last of four hill phase weeks, and I'm starting to transition into Lydiard's next phase, where I'll be speeding up significantly. In an effort to ease this transition I'm trying to work in some faster running. Partly inspired by a nice quote by Pete Pfitzinger on Zeke's blog I decided to run my 16 miles today at a strong effort, finishing with two miles of marathon pace or faster.

The early miles went along easily as I ran through some of the hilly neighborhoods by my house and through the lower portions of Sabino Canyon. I worked my average pace down to 6:50 or so by 10 miles in, and just kept the effort steady through the downhill section on dog-poop trail then back up through the hills that routinely pain me during the latter parts of my 22 milers. At 14 miles I had averaged a cumulative 6:49, and it was here I gave it a go. I stepped on the gas on a slight downhill and tried to maintain a solid pace. I was looking for 5:55 or better, and as I finished the two miles I was happy to see a 5:36 average pace. Tempo is always difficult, and saving it for the latter stages of a fairly strong run makes it even tougher. While this run won't really help me for the 5K this Saturday (hell, it will probably hurt me), hopefully it will stimulate a response from the body, letting it know that it can still run fast when it's tired. This is tough training, but I believe it is necessary to improve. Just running 7 minute pace every day for 4-6 months is not Lydiard training, and I have to kick myself in the pants like this more often to get the body to improve and run faster.

As far as the body goes, I'm still feeling good, though my right quad feels a little strained from some overzealous hill-bounding yesterday. Tomorrow I'll probably skip the bounding portion of my last official hill workout and stick to steep hill running drills. Hopefully this will help to put it right before the 5K.

I also wanted to congratulate my friend Scott on his 2:42 at Boston, as well as my friend Jeff's 3:15. For those of you following Pfitzinger's training model, Scott got to this time through Pete's 55 MPW schedule. Congrats also to Mike and "Scooter" on their races at Boston too. I'm jealous of all these guys after watching the coverage on OLN yesterday.

Training: 16 miles, 1:46:43, 6:49 pace, with the first 14 at 6:49 pace and the last 2 at 5:36 pace


Duncan Larkin said...

Nice one man. To suck it up and bang out the last two that fast is very telling of your fitness. I like this quote, "Just running 7 minute pace every day for 4-6 months is not Lydiard training, and I have to kick myself in the pants like this more often to get the body to improve and run faster." I feel the same way--even thought about it last night on a run. My runs are either speed sessions or 7s in some form. We got to make the 7s, 6:35s-40s and still feeling like 7s if you know what I mean.

Dallen said...

Impressive run. I don't know if it is smart or not, but I try to hit marathon pace at the end of most of my long runs.

Mike said...

Thanks guys. Duncan, you're right. Dallen, Pfitzinger's quote on Zeke's page indicated that he did the same thing as you, much to the consternation of his training partners. Nice to hear from both of you.

Susan said...

What a sweet, sweet picture. Excellent run!

Christine said...

Got any more Starcrunch songs? I really like the one you have linked!