Saturday, October 11, 2008


Oh man did I feel great today. Trying out the Asics Ohanas (which I'll probably use for the marathon) helped for the 7 mile effort, but even so I was just dialed in for this one. Mystery Coach set 5:44-5:48 (or marathon pace minus 10 seconds) for the pace guidelines, and since I ran on the track I figured the difference between true miles and my 1600's was about two seconds (I didn't adjust the splits). After running the first 2K a bit fast I seemed to find the pace pocket, and from that point on things just rolled. The sprinklers on the infield were spilling onto the track at many points, so I found myself dodging puddles and running wide pretty frequently in an effort to stay relatively dry. It's nice to see the Ohanas drain pretty well.

I was glad to see the heart rate rise quickly and stick at 161. It seems like the body is getting a bit more used to these kinds of efforts.

10 miles, 1h01m, 7 mile effort at 5:38(154HR), 5:40(159), 5:42(159), 5:40(160), 5:42(161), 5:42(161), 5:42(161)
Sleep: 7h, 9/10
Legs: 10/10
Weather: 73 degrees, humid & breezy and sprinkles (actually sprinklers)


Mike said...

Great effort Mike. Unlike your workout on 9/13 where the HR kept rising in the final miles, you stayed stuck at the 161 number for the duration - seems like a terrific sign.

On the 9/27 workout which was a bit slower, the HR stayed nice and even at 155. In the early part of the race, will you adjust your pace depending on HR or just go w/ a planned pace. For example, if you plan on going at 5:5x pace but the HR is 3-5 beats above expectation, will you back off? Or vice versa - if the HR is 3-5 beats under expectation will you increase the pace?

I guess the question is - will you use HR as an absolute to determine your pace? I imagine for a shorter race like a 10k you can afford to go more on feel, but that you must be much more disciplined in a marathon - and you seem to know exactly what the HR is telling you in regards to your effort and how long you can maintain such an effort. Just curious as to how much you'll use that HR data during the actual race.

Mike said...

I won't bring a heart rate monitor for the race. In fact, this is really the first build where I've dragged it out on one or two runs during the week. I thought it would be a good (and unfiltered) way to get info on my recovery to Mystery Coach, and so far it seems to be working well in that regard.

As far as me knowing what my heart rate is telling me goes, I'm basing my interpretations on Mystery Coach's posts.

As far as race pace and execution goes, it will be the usual mix of starting a little conservatively to save some of the fuel that seems to burn off quickly due in part to adrenaline, then trying to find a pace pocket that feels comfortable (ideally between 5:50 and 5:58). In the past I've gotten a bit too consumed by running very even splits, which has caused me to give up some free speed on the downhills while working a little too hard on the uphills. I'm going to try to focus more on overall effort and stress level this time instead of hitting the same number mile after mile. In other words, I'll try to make the same kind of adjustments you mention, but they'll be more geared towards the course terrain and how I'm feeling at the time rather than heart rate.

Alan said...

I came across your blog and was fascinated and read a lot of articles posted to your mystery coach.I reside in South Africa who has the so we are accustomed to high mileage and marathons are part of our weekly runs.I have been studying your training methods and daily logs and PRs, incidentally my lifetime ambition is sub 2hr30min marathon(Pr is 2hr30min58sec aged 38 three years ago)so as you can see i have lots and lots of questions.Congratulations on your 8km Pr.How and when is it possible to pose questions to the mystery coach.I was supposed to run a marathon on Sun 12/10/2008 but calf took some strain at ttrial.I tried a HR monitor in a race once but found it uncomfortable,but exellent for determining recovery.

Mike said...

Thanks for reading, Alan, and best of luck with your running. The best way to reach Mystery Coach is to email him at: mysterycoach AT gmail DOT com

It's been awhile since we've had a Mystery Coach Monday post, so definitely hit him up.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Great job Mike! There is a real stark progression in your times across each progressive effort. It really is dramatic proof of your increasing fitness.

Are you doing anything specific to deal with the hills and final inclines of the NYC course?

Mike said...


Oh crap.

Just kidding. Almost every 20 miler I've done takes me through "gut-check alley", which is a 4 mile stretch up rolling uphill before a final two miles home. I'm hoping this will help a bit. Also, most of the runs in my neighborhood have a fair amount of hills, so I'm pretty used to rolling terrain.