Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Better Exchange Rate

Warm morning temperatures and two kids sleeping until 6 this morning made for a great 10 miles today. When I'm well-fed and rested I honestly can't wait to run on these days, so I was looking forward to my second attempt at the same exchange workout the coach prescribed last week. The goal was a three mile effort broken up into four 3/4 mile sections, with the first and third run at 6 minute pace and the second and fourth run at 5:30 or faster (as fast as I could run while relaxed). After warming up for 6 miles or so I changed shoes and headed out to my one mile course to run the workout. The first 3/4 felt good at 5:55 pace, and when I hit the lap button I ran the next 3/4 mile by feel and ended up at 5:28 pace with some heavy breathing towards the end. With another click of the watch it was back to 6:00 pace for another 3/4, then it was on to the last effort. This time I did look at the watch, and I tried to run as fast as I could while still under control. I ended up averaging 5:15 pace, and when I checked my pulse afterwards I had finally made it up into the low 160's.

All in all I was fairly happy with the workout, especially when comparing it to my attempt at the same workload last week. Not having a 10K in the legs definitely made a big difference.

Work is nuts, so back to it.

10 miles, 1:05:28, 6:33 pace, w/3 miles of 3/4 mile efforts at 5:55, 5:30, 6:00 and 5:15 pace


Marc said...

Mike - I plead guilty to not keeping up with all in-depth training posts, and perhaps the answer to my question lies in there somewhere, but I'll ask this question any way: How are the paces determined for this exchange workout?

Abadabajev said...

Marc, let me take a wild guess while Mike is busy at work with his ark work. Interesting name; Exchange workout. I believe the coach is making him do 2 waves. I'm venturing a wave that looks like this (80%,90%)x2 80% would be approx. 300+60 and 90% 300+30. Mike mentioned that he is allowed to go faster than 300+30 provided that he can maintain a relaxed effort. So I assumed a max. of 300+15 which would equate to 95% or his maximum aerobic capacity. Sometimes I over analyze things so.

Mike said...

Abadabajev and Marc, I'll have to ask the coach to be certain, but I think the 6 minute pace sections is based more on the feedback I've given the coach over the past few weeks of efforts (3 mile time trials, 7 miles around marathon pace, and the 10K come to mind, plus some 400's and 200's). The faster sections were to start at 5:30 last week with the goal of making it down to 5:20 or a little faster while still running in control. My guess is the coach is figuring this (the faster end) is around where my 5K pace is right now. I guess we'll see after the 5K's on February 18 and 25.

Evan said...

Another great workout which has some similarity to this one is the alternating 400m at 5000 pace, 200m at marathon pace (all the way to 5000). Made famous by Moneghetti. You end up running about a minute off your current 5km time, and marathon pace starts to feel much easier by comparison. Best done in a group. A slightly easier variant is alternating laps of 5k/marathon pace.

Or alternating miles of marathon and tempo pace for 6-8 miles worth (Easier than the above on your own, but still worth doing in a group if you can).

What Mike's doing seems to be alternating 10km and marathon pace.

Frank Horwill has a recommendation for a similar workout saying you should be able to work up to 10000m of alternating marathon/5000 pace each lap. Never tried it. It sounds tough. 5000m worth of that workout is not as hard as one might expect, so perhaps its feasible.

As I understand it (and I'm no physiologist) the benefits you get from alternating 5k/10k pace with marathon pace is that you work somewhat on lactate clearance, and psychologically you do begin to feel like marathon pace is easy. For obvious reasons they're good workouts if you're trying to run well from 5000 to marathon in a relatively short space of time.