Friday, August 03, 2007

Down but not Bottomed Out

A seven mile evaluation run back in Tucson served as my welcome home workout this morning, and the end result was less of a "missed you" hug and more of a "why'd you come back" kick in the crotch.

5:36, 5:39, 5:57, 5:57, 6:00, 6:10, 6:11. Mystery Coach bumped the heart rate window from the usual "run forever" zone of 150-155 to a more marathon specific 160 (give or take a few beats), and the resulting mile splits find me shaking my head a bit. When the pace slipped to 6 flat on the fourth mile I was bummed out, but hopeful that I had "bottomed out" and would find the last two miles passing at a similar pace. No such luck. The kicker came when I stopped after finishing the 7th mile to see how long it would take for my heart rate to get back to 120BPM. As I stood on the side of the road I could feel every bit of the 79 degrees and 75% humidity as the few remaining dry spots on my shirt and shorts slowly soaked through. After 2 minutes 30 seconds the heart rate was still at 130, which was a bit strange but was probably due to the amount of blood pumping to the skin in an effort to cool me off. Usually I'm back under 120 by a minute at the most.

The bad: Obviously I was running slower with each passing minute while at a heart rate that should find me at an even and sustainable pace for twice as long an effort. I have a long way to go if I expect this effort level to carry me 26.2 miles at 5:50-5:52 pace in October.

The good: The marathon mindset is returning. Aside from being bummed out about noticeably slowing down to keep within the assigned heart rate parameters, I was fine with the effort. Yes, the legs were a bit tired, but I blame that more on spending the eight previous days on my feet moving and packing paintings. I felt like I had several miles at 160BPM left in me, the only problem being that each successive mile would probably be slower than the previous one.

It is great to be home, even with the weather, and I look forward to settling back into my old routine.

Training: Today, 10 miles, w/7 miles at 158-163BPM HR, 5:36, 5:39, 5:57, 5:57, 6:00, 6:10, 6:11
Yesterday, 10 miles, 1:08:14, 6:49 pace, tired and hot


Dallen said...

I am fairly sure that if I did the same workout I would get the same results, only a few seconds slower. I have found that at constant hard effort my heart rate starts to jump after a couple miles. I wouldn't worry about it. I would guess that if you had heart rate date from your better marathons you would see the same result.

Phil said...

Trying to judge your correct HR while running in Southern Arizona in August is a fools game. It's too flipping hot. Plus, getting back into the groove after working out of town takes a few days. I'm not half the runner you are, but business travel is something I understand. You'll be back to full strength next week.

jpete said...

In my opinion I believe your easier runs should be run at a slower pace. 7:00 or slower. It seems all your easier runs are 6:50 or more, I think you'd feel the difference. Plus in the conditioning phase it's about time, not distance you should be covering.

Mike said...

Dallen, you are probably right about the cardiac drift, but it would be nice to keep it down a little while longer. I might try wearing a monitor for the 10 mile race this fall, which would be a good way of figuring out my heart rate at close to threshold.

Phil, we both need to get out of Arizona. Wait, you're always getting out of Arizona!

JPete, If I had a nickel for every time I was told I need to slow down on my easy days, it would easily generate more money than putting google-ads on my blog. I believe recovery is a very individual thing, and as such I hesitate to tell anyone else at what pace to run their easy runs.

Good luck at your 5K.

jpete said...

I do agree with you mike, but I run with a guy almost everyday who has a pr of 14:15 and when it's easy, it's easy! 7:30 or slower. Most college teams do this and professional athletes. I'm not trying to get into an argument, but everyone just has different opinions like me and you I guess about recovery. By the way I got a 42 second PR in my 5k today.