Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Stamina?

I can blame the bike commutes, the two beers last night, the short time spent sleeping, or the 7 up-tempo miles yesterday for the flat feeling I had when I woke up, right?

Wrong.

I've been re-reading some of "Running the Lydiard Way" since it reappeared in my library after spending some quality time with Omniscient. Arthur Lydiard mentions several times in his book that a bad day, be it due to muscle soreness or general fatigue, is usually due to what training took place not the day before but rather in the weeks leading up to a day of difficulty.

The miles were down during the racing phase, as was the stamina training (and pretty much any training for that matter). "It's impossible to train hard and race well at the same time" is one of the most oft-repeated quotes by Arthur, and I can see why after trying to balance maintaining some semblance of conditioning one week while pummeling myself in a 5-10K the next weekend for a few months.

If having to turn myself inside out to run almost the same time as last year at my last 5K wasn't reason enough to convince me it's time to rebuild, my last two long (16+ mile) runs have been the final nails in the coffin. The first one found me out of gas around 16.5 miles, and today found me feeling off before even leaving the garage. Still, I tucked a bottle of gatorade in the bushes and headed off on my two loops.

My long run schedule with the back-to-back workouts generally alternates between one week with runs based on time at a comfortable pace (2 hours this week, 2:10 two weeks later) and a second week with 10 miles at a steady pace (I imagine 6:35-6:40), followed by 4+ miles at 6:12 pace. I was quite glad this week had me doing the former, as after 10 miles I was only at 6:50 pace and quite ready to call it a day while stopping for half a bottle of gatorade in the driveway. Still, I headed back out and finished the job, even taking a longer route home when I realized my planned path would get me home 5 minutes early. When I finally got to the last mile I ran past the house to get to an even 18 miles in, and the walk back to the driveway found the feet, legs and brain tired.

The body definitely needs to re-acclimate to both the heat and the task of storing glycogen and dosing it out slowly while hopefully burning some fat. A few more long runs ought to get me back on track, and I have plenty of time to get there...Brick by brick.

A special milkshake shared with Haiden and Finn revived me, and I continued with my effort to get more calories in sooner after these grinding runs. I hope you all have a good weekend, and I suggest you drop by Dusty's blog and congratulate her on a very solid 5K.

Training: 18 miles, 2:01:15, 6:44 pace

2 comments:

Dusty said...

I've got to say - yes & no. I see Lydiard's point - but that doesn't mean you can over-do it the day before, get drunk or something else, that won't impact you. But I do agree that if you do basically behave - then it would be the training up to it.

Thanks for the feedback - that really helps to hear - now when I get to that point, I'll just remember it means I'm doing good. :) I ran for Apollo, class of '89. I remember that second uphill when you thought you just reached the top on that course (ugh - your course!)

Mike said...

I'm a lightweight these days but it still takes more than two beers to do me in!

I remember stories of Lydiard dragging some of the gang from New Zealand out of bed and barking at them throughout their weekly 22 miler if they tied one on the night before and weren't ready.