Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Siren Song of Speed

I've spent the last two days on my "slow-down" loop, running 8 miles yesterday and 6 today. I've had good luck with this pattern in the two days before my last two races, so hopefully I can repeat the pattern with a good run tomorrow. I'm at the point where the legs seem almost fatigue-proof, so when I found myself feeling a little sore on the run Wednesday night and Thursday morning I went back to the log to see why. Intervals Sunday, 14 on Monday, intervals on Tuesday, a double on Wednesday including a 12 mile run at 6:34 pace, and a set of anaerobic hill charges on Thursday. That's a bit of a load for me, and it seems apparent that the (relatively) fast run on Wednesday morning probably did more harm than good.

The problem is that I simply do not want to slow down, and I'm at the point in my training where the legs can quickly betray me as they did on Wednesday. Until now I've felt I've had a good handle on my recovery needs, as I naturally tended to slow down on my "off" days between workouts and anaerobic training. Now that the endorphins are pumping and I'm feeling the positive effects of the training to this point, the legs want to move fast every day. Thus I consciously put the brakes on for both today and yesterday, backing back off the pace whenever I started drifting under 7:10 per mile. This is honestly getting hard to do, but with tomorrow's workout I feel I really need it.

I'm set to try 12-15 miles at 5:54 pace tomorrow morning, in what will be my "dress-rehearsal" for the marathon in three weeks. Some of the books by Lydiard explain this final time trial, and I've gone over it so many times in my "Running to the Top" book that I can almost recite it from memory. It goes something like "With five weeks to go you can back off a bit, but four weeks before the marathon a time trial can be run, anything from 20K up to the full distance. Understand you will run the actual race faster, as you will be more rested. This run will offer a huge boost in fitness and is sufficiently early enough to make adjustments in pacing or strategy." Again, this is from memory as I'm at work but that's the general drift.

With my available time I'm doing this a week late, but that's honestly how I prefer it. I'm still debating whether or not to wear my race shoes for this one, as they are already broken in from all my fall racing. Wish me luck.

Thank you for all the comments on the coach's post yesterday, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Training: Today, 6 miles, 43:12, 7:12 pace
Yesterday, 8 miles, 57:36, 7:12 pace


tb1 said...

Good luck on your TT. 3 weeks is like tomorrow. Have patience.

Wayne said...

Tomorrow should give you a good sense of marathon pace. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Great blog and good luck. Will be back to check out how your doing.

D said...

I have to say that your blog is the most informative (with regard to running) of all the blogs that I faithfully follow. Thanks, Mike.