Thursday, September 11, 2008


14 miles, 1h38m, 6:54 pace, 140HR
Resting HR: 47 (Way high)
Sleep: 7.5h 8/10
Legs: 7/10
Weather: 69 degrees, 65 dew-point

9/10 pm., 6.2 miles in 43 minutes, felt easy

10 miles, 1h11m, 7:07 pace
Sleep: 5h 4/10
Legs: 5/10 (see line above)
Weather: 76 degrees, 60 dew-point

Tuesday's workout tired me out a bit more than I thought it would, but instead of hitting the sack early that evening I ended up going to see Squeeze after Kiera won tickets by calling in to a radio contest. Yes, I fully realize any shred of indie cred I used to have has vanished after blogging about seeing Squeeze, Ringo Starr and Hall & Oates over the past few years. Thanks to Duncan's recommendation I did catch Wolf Parade though (apparently he just saw them too).

Anyway, the combination of the workout on Tuesday and a very short night of sleep following it made Wednesday's morning run a dragging slog of sorts. I had originally planned on running 16 miles, but I just never settled in and kept finding myself wishing was done. The legs felt tired and the motivation just wasn't there, so rather than forcing it I called it at 10 miles. The evening run with the group went much better, probably because of a quick shower beforehand that dropped the temperature down into the 80's.

This morning I didn't feel great upon waking, and I was surprised to find my heart rate up at 47BPM, much above the 38-39 I've been at for the past few weeks. I decided I decided to just run easy for as long as I felt good, which ended up being 14 miles. I brought along the heart rate monitor, but the readings were about normal with a 140 average for the run. This morning's data could just be an anomaly, but combined with my general irritability over the past few days and my lack of good sleep I think it's safe to say I'm a bit behind in my recovery. Hopefully a good night's rest and an easy run tomorrow will put me right for the weekend runs.


Mike said...

Mike - do you not do many cruise intervals because tempo runs are better suited to training for the marathon, (and thus you primarily do those instead) or is threshold work in general not a big part of your training?

Mike said...

I tend to like longer, drawn out efforts more than tempo runs, especially during the earlier preparations for a marathon, mostly because they put me in the marathon mind-set of being patient and constantly monitoring how I'm feeling. During the first half of my marathon builds the focus is more on building endurance and stamina, so faster paces and rest intervals are less important. As the training gets further along and more specific, I start focusing more on economy, lactate tolerance, stride mechanics and turnover, all of which are helped by faster running. You'll probably be seeing more plain-old-vanilla intervals than cruise intervals, as this last workout was more about transitioning me into the 7 miler on Saturday at marathon pace minus 10 seconds.

Mystery Coach could certainly explain it better, and his post about the conditioning phase of my training is a good place to start.

Maybe together we can badger him to write the sequel to the above post, (wink wink).

Something else the coach and I are keeping in mind is the possibility that I might be in danger of peaking a bit early this time (judging by the race and the last back to back workout), so some of the speed-work might be either delayed or down-played.

Mike said...

Thanks a lot Mike.

If you would be so kind, I have a follow up question - It is my understanding that we have two types of Fast Twitch fibers in our muscles, and that one of these two can/will "convert" over to Slow Twitch if we run a lot of very long runs. I've seen this written up in several places, but I can't recall where at the moment.

If this is the case, is this a necessary evil for marathon training (i.e. the benefits of the distance training outweigh the loss of Fast Twitch fibers), or is this conversion simply desirable for a marathon runner? (I guess a third possibility could be that the information I've been reading isn't accurate)

Mike said...

this post by Mystery Coach seems to address what you are referring to.

Instead of "losing" fast-twitch fibers, think about them as taking on some of the "good" characteristics of slow-twitch fibers: (from the linked post above) "As you activate fibers either through speed or distance they are conditioned in the method that you activate them. Run intervals hard to activate all the fibers they become very good at high energy output but not efficient with fuel. Activate them by running very long (and slow) they become very efficient with fuel but not good at high energy output and lactate processing. Arthur figured out by trial and error that running around marathon pace for long periods is the most effective in activating and conditioning.

What I like about Lydiard's periodization model is that as a marathoner it's possible to have your cake and eat it too; First the faster twitch fibers are activated and conditioned to be more efficient with fuel and process lactate smoother for the marathon, then after recovering from the race you should be able to tweak the fibers back towards producing a higher energy output with faster training for shorter races. Ideally you'll go faster since they'll already be partially conditioned (and pretty darned efficient) from the pre-marathon work.

With all this being said, the toughest part is not overdoing it once the speed starts coming around.

Mike said...

Mike - thanks again. Really appreciate you taking the time.