Thursday, October 26, 2006

Holding Steady

I'm in a bit of a holding pattern for a few days as I wait for the back to back efforts with marathon pace on Saturday and Sunday. I'm pushing the longest run back to Sunday so that my wife and Angie can run early on Saturday, and since I'm still recovering a bit from the race the only other hard effort of the week was the track workout yesterday.

I was able to make the shop run for 10K last evening, and thankfully we ran the first half very slow. The legs felt a bit sore from the race, and that fatigue was certainly compounded by the 600's in the morning. I haven't been on the track since May, so fast running is a bit of a shock to the system.

After a late dinner and an ill-advised Mountain Dew I was unable to fall asleep until after midnight. My allergies and sinus problems are back, which means a fair amount of coughing and hacking during the night and during runs. It didn't affect me too much yesterday morning but it was a bit of a pain last night and this morning. I ended up sleeping out on the couch for most of the night until the kids woke around 6:30, which meant I had time for eight miles before riding Haiden on the bike for school. I was originally hoping for ten, but I may have a chance to sneak in four this evening with or without Finn in the stroller. For the most part I just ran easily by feel, but I put the clamp down a little over the last two miles with a 6:20 and a 6:15. It felt good to turn the legs over a bit after shuffling along at 7 minute pace for 6 miles or so.

While I've likely accumulated as much endurance as I will for the marathon in December, I still have a hard time figuring out just how much to do in order to maintain it. Most of Lydiard's schedules taper off on the distances of all the runs at this point, long run included. However, I think for his runners the endurance they brought along had roots that went back for years. For someone like me without as long a history of base building, I somehow feel the need to keep the distances up for at the very least one and hopefully two runs a week in addition to the long run. The danger of this approach is the risk of compromising my recovery from the faster workouts between these days by running too much, and also compromising the effectiveness of the workouts targeting my fast-twitch muscles by going into them tired from too much running. Sometimes when I'm adding 4-6 miles to a 10 miler with thoughts of adding or maintaining my endurance base it feels like driving back home a mile just to check and see if I remembered to close the garage door. Yes, it's closed. It always is. Get over it already.

Training: Today, 8 miles, 54:36, 6:49 pace with last two miles in 6:20 and 6:15
Yesterday pm., 6.2 miles, a slow 46 minutes or so


tb1 said...

Congratulations "Fast Guy"!! Only 5 weeks left until <2:30. I've been busy but I still catch up on your blog at least once a week. You've made some incredible improvements over the last 14 months that I've been reading your blog. You can be the next Lydiard poster boy. Here's to giving an early Christmas present to yourself. Keep it fun. I'll be reading.

Andrew said...

During this phase, the focus is on developing the anaerobic system so the "off" days should be done at a low intensity. However, I think a lot of Lydiard's runners did not run the marathon and therefore could sacrifice distance to gain greater recovery from the speed work. In our case, the opposite may be true. We may need to tone down the intensity at the track so we may maintain recovery running in the double digits.

Is there anaerobic development specific to marathoning? To get some specificity it seems it may be more beneficial to do "speed" in the form of surges on the track or perhaps a progression speed workout where each lap is faster than the first - simulating conditions in the final mile.

A marathon is an aerobic event, yet we all tend to go anaerobic unintentionally at some point. Either just before we run out of gas, gunning for the finish too soon, a fast start, or a mid race surge. How can we train so the damage is minimized (even eliminated) from touching what Duncan calls the "third rail" of anaerobic running in the marathon?

Anyway, just thinking out loud. Keep up the good work. Glad the garage door is closed.

Evan said...

Mike, now that you're into the anaerobic phase I'm going to be provocative and ask what you thought of the recent Running Times article by Greg McMillan which basically advocated putting the anaerobic stuff early on, and then doing race specific workouts in the last 8 weeks. McMillan's a Lydiard fan.

Big congrats on the 10 mile race. Proof of the pudding in the eating and all, you're making a good pudding. Or scones ...

Anonymous said...

Good job Mr. Speedy! Watch out for those Mountain Dews!