Friday, June 08, 2007


I wasn't too thrilled with tackling the long run today, which seemed a bit surprising after having such a good day yesterday. I guess the downhills from the steep run on Tuesday met up with the faster paces yesterday and decided to gang up on me in the form of some muscle soreness and stiffness. As I sat with my coffee at just after 4 I was worried about how it would go, and I decided to do a long out and back to ensure I ran the full 2:10. This meant a trip down Gut-Check Alley, a run past my brother's house (where the hose outside was a great relief), and a long trek back through Gut-Check Alley (uphill this time). After about 6 miles I found myself at 6:55 pace or so, and I just had nothing in me to squeeze it down much further. As I hit the three miles or so of uphill on the way back I could feel the pace slow a little, followed by a bit of a second wind at 15 miles when I finally crested the final hill.

Long runs that take me far from home and back again have always been a bit tougher for me than multiple loops, but as much as I would like to avoid it, the steady stretch of uphill at about 2/3 of the way through this loop is probably a good simulation of the hills that come late in the game at Twin Cities.

It was nice to get this long run in the bag, and I'm looking forward to acclimating to these back to back workouts again.

Training: 19 miles, 2:10:00, 6:50 pace


eric said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but imagine how today might have changed had you gone with the sub-6 miles yesterday. Perhaps more soreness, perhaps more fatigue, perhaps a longer recovery...

All unnecessary and none are good!

Here's a quote from your own blog (don't you love it when readers quote your own words back to you?)

I can't do everything, not in a week. Trying to stuff every component of training into seven days is pointless. Effectively balancing months of training is the goal, and I should know that thinking in the framework of months and years is the only way to really "do everything". I think Mystery Coach gives me a little rope when I start thinking too much about the short term. The other week I emailed him my thoughts on following the same pattern during the seven days before my decent performances at 8K and 10 miles last fall in an effort to peak a bit for the 5K's coming up. I'm sure the coach chuckled at this, but instead of correcting me right away he let me come to the following conclusion on my own: Instead of looking at the seven days before these races, I should pay attention to what I was doing for the seven weeks leading up to them.

One of the hardest things for me at the beginning was buying in to the long term plan, and, consequently, abandoning the short term 'workout mentality', always wanting to pull up the roots to check progress. Eventually, I got it through my head that I couldn't do that and make progress efficiently.

Anyway, speech over. I hope Mystery Coach hasn't stopped beating you over the head with the axioms! Nice work today, Mike!

Mike said...

Jeez, when did you and Abadabajev join the Thought Police? The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with just WANTING to run fast when I don't act on it. In fact, I usually take this as a good sign that I'm recovering well (feeling good and ready to go at the end of the workout).

Unfortunately, feeling like I did today indicates I'm not recovering as well as I thought. Can't win I guess.

Mystery Coach said...

Let's see 59+ miles in the last 4 days, but my real guess is that it was the accidentally grabbing the decaffeinated coffee this morning.

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Abadabajev said...

Mystery coach. Give Mike some runs at 7:30 pace. If Mike even thinks about going sub 7:30, the 'thought' police will be all over him like a wet suit :) :) :)

Eric said...

I think my fine point was missed. Why do you *want* to run faster than necessary, harder than optimum? And why in a workout and not in a race? Until you figure that out, you're on probation.

Abadabajaev, 7:30 pace is just as arbitrary as 6:00 pace. And on the rare occasion that he would need to run that slow, it should be the body that dictates it, and not a schedule on a piece of paper.

I'm on mileage withdrawl, and yes, I'm a little cranky.

Mike said...

"Why do you *want* to run faster than necessary, harder than optimum?"

Why get back in line and ride the roller coaster a second time? Come on man, you know there is nothing quite like simply feeling good while running fast. I'm talking about playing here, not training.

Sometimes, believe it or not, thoughts of optimal pace, recovery, perceived exertion and lactate threshold melt away during the run and I just want to GO! If this ever stops happening it will probably mean (at least in my mind's eye), that my best days are behind me.

Abadabajev said...


And on the rare occasion that he would need to run that slow, it should be the body that dictates it, and not a schedule on a piece of paper.

When you wait for the body to tell you that you need to slow down, it's already too late.

A car mechanic will always tell you that when the oil light comes on your dashboard, it's already too late. You've been driving for awhile down many quarts.

Scheduled pit stops(yes on paper) is the only way to go.

Eric said...

Would you rather ride the same roller coaster a dozen times, or forego the roller coaster thrills for one ride in an F-16?

Sometimes...I just want to GO! is a cop out! Everybody just wants to go some days. You want to prove that you can! Why? That's the question I'm asking.

Just so it doesn't get lost in this chatter, I think you're doing some great training here lately, and I want to do nothing but encourage you to keep at it. I really see you checking your normally uncontrolled urges (GO!), and it's got me excited to see what you can do with well-managed effort and full recovery.

Abadabajev, I couldn't disagree more. If you're checking the oil regularly, you'll know to add a quart well before you have an acute problem. I've run many workouts where the next day, 7:30 pace or slower was how I felt and how I ran. And I've run many workouts where 6:40s felt right in recovery. In either case, the paces had me recovered for the next workout. One simply has to pay attention to the body's signals.

Scheduled recovery days, sure. Scheduled paces, not so much.

Abadabajev said...

If you're checking the oil regularly, you'll know to add a quart well before you have an acute problem

Yes but what about the tires, battery, brake fluid, winshield washer, transmission,muffler? You need a pit stop. :) :) :)

Scheduled recovery days, sure. Scheduled paces, not so much.

Yes yes yes, scheduled recovery days. You asked where I got 7:30 pace. 7:30 is approx. 60% of Mike's vo2max. A recovery day(pace) should be <=60% give or take a quart or two.

eric said...

Would you add oil without knowing first how much to add? Just dump in a quart on a regular basis? Come on...

Mike said...

Analogy Police here. I'm officially putting a moratorium on cars, planes and roller coasters here.

Abadabajev, I'm curious here. What are you thinking my vo2max is?

Eric said...

Yes, how are you calculating 60% of an unknown quantity?

Perhaps if we built a large wooden badger...

Mike said...

Eric, you're getting pretty aggro' here. You need to get out and run.

Abadabajev, I'm just thinking that taking my 5K pace as my v02max of 5:10 (which I think is a bit conservative given my 10K and half marathon paces), it would put 60% of that at 7:14, which is a bit faster than the 7:30's you are pulling for. I would guess that my 5:04 or 5:06 pace would be closer (though any guess is tough without taking max HR, age and such into account), which would put 60% between 7:06 and 7:10 pace, which I actually run once in awhile. ;)

Abadabajev said...

I'm curious here. What are you thinking my vo2max is?

I can't devulge my rocket science secret data. But all my calculations are based on you running your fastest mile in 5 flat.

Based on 5 flat, 60% vo2max falls somewhere in the 7:30 per mile pace give or take a muffin or 2.

Abadabajev said...

which would put 60% between 7:06 and 7:10 pace, which I actually run once in awhile. ;)

That's pretty funny. Which you run once in awhile. I almost choked on my pizza. :) :) :)

Show me 1 workout where you pulled a 7:30 pace in the last 12 months? :)

Abadabajev said...

Here is my secret file on you

% is of your vo2max;

60% 113s/400m pace (or 7:32 pace)
70% 105s/400m pace (or 7 flat)
80% 97s/400m pace (or 6:28 pace)
90% 90s/400m pace (or 6 flat)
95% 86s/400m pace (or 5:44 pace)
100% or your vo2max or your maximum aerobic pace 82s/400m or (5:28 pace)

if you go anaerobic 110% 75s/400m or (5 flat)

+110% or your 800m pace or 68s/400m or (4:32 pace) Isn't that the pace you were doing your anaerobic intervals not long ago? Looks like the Mystery Coach and I have the same % in mind. But what the heck do I know anyway :) :)

Please feel free to correct where my calcs don't jive.

Eric said...

Hey...that looks like my secret file.