Saturday, March 31, 2007

Finding Threshold

About 25 minutes and almost 4 and a half miles into a 5 mile effort this morning I found my threshold. I've been looking for the darned thing everywhere, and it just popped up in front of me as I pushed into the slight uphill grade that constitutes about a quarter of my one mile Concentration Loop. Lately I've stopped short of this tempo-type effort unless I'm crossing over it quickly en route to some anaerobic fun, but today I lingered on the edge for a lovely quarter mile before getting my breath back for the final downhill stretch to end the workout. So, for whatever it's worth (not much I imagine at this point), the check engine light pops on at exactly 5:42 pace after traveling for 4-point-something miles. I could see the exit ramp ahead though, and there were no worries about having enough juice to get up it and off the freeway (hey, is that a Stuckey's I see?).

Today I acted as pace-mule or training hack for my friend Scott, who is following Pete Pfitzinger's marathon plan. He's about three weeks out from Boston, which means a final 5 mile tempo run to either boost the confidence or irreparably damage the psyche. I joined him in hopes of it being the former. The goal was to run five miles around 5:45 pace, and to work closer to 5:40 if he was feeling good. Overall the run went very well, with both of us only out of our comfort zone for a minute or two while running side by side the whole way. I've followed Pfitzinger's plan twice in the past, so I have a soft spot for this type of work and I was very happy for Scott that it went well. While I was hoping my threshold was a little higher, I chalk it up in part to being a little fatigued after running at fairly steady paces the rest of the week. The heart rate was 164 immediately afterwards (a little high), but down to 124 by one minute.

Tomorrow I'll make a focused attempt to back off a bit, as I'm sure today will take a bit out of me. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Training: 10 miles, 1:02:51, 6:20 pace, w/5 miles at 5:42 pace


Quinto Sol said...

Hi Mike... I enjoy your blog. I do have a question I was hoping you could answer. You have a progression of your 'thon PRs, I am curious as to your 5K progression. I guess I want to find a correlation between the two and see if I work as hard as you do I can see similar improvements. Note i did not say times :-) You can email me at a_5th_sun at

Keep up the good training.

Phil said...

That last tempo really is a lot of fun. By the time you get to that point in the Pfitz plan you feel that you are running at peak performance and ready to take on the world.

Marc said...

I loved the 'check engine light' analogy, very apropos.

I have just recently become a big fan of tempo runs. Nice that you could help out a friend.