Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow Motion

Just not my day at the races. I think being consumed by a goal time instead of just focusing on running my best race worked against me, as once I hit the one mile mark at 5:21 I couldn't help mulling over the math in my head. Two miles at 5:02 pace were not going to happen, and the small lead pack in front of me seemed both out of my reach and out of my league, even though they hit the first mile in 5 minutes flat.

I haven't looked at a race split while racing since the New York marathon in November, and I shouldn't have made an exception on Sunday. Instead of making the most of the race and possibly turning a day when I didn't feel spectacular into a good performance, I seemed to settle in and accept my fate with a second and third mile around 5:30 pace for a finishing time of 16:50 or so.

I'm going to just put this race behind me and look forward to a 10K two weeks down the road and another 5K four weeks out.

Congratulations to Mike, Thomas and Micheal on their Boston Marathon performances. I know from experience that things don't always go exactly to plan, but I applaud all three of them for their efforts yesterday.

8 miles, 55m, 6:53 pace
Sleep: 7h 7/10
Legs: 7/10
Weather: very nice
Notes: Felt too good for having a race yesterday. Somehow I didn't leave enough out there.


Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I understand where you are coming from. I've gone back and forth on checking splits during races. Part of me thinks I should so that I don't go out too fast or too slow. But part of me thinks I should rely on my training and my sense of my body on the day to tell me how fast I should run and let the time be what it will be. I've kind of settled on the latter, partly because split markers aren't reliable and how I feel on the day is going to determine how I run anyway.

Good luck with your 10k!

Love2Run said...

'Carp diem'. Sometimes we just have to forget about times and live in the moment. I'd love to have the courage to leave my watch home someday and just race by feel. Good luck in your prep for the 10k.

Mike said...

Keep pluggin' away Mike, it'll start clicking sooner or later.

Ewen said...

Sorry about that Mike. The experience will serve you well for the 10k. Get out hard and race with the leaders.

Thomas said...

"Just not my day at the races" is what just about everyone at Boston was saying on Monday, too.

Sasha Pachev said...


Welcome to the world of neural/adrenal fatigue. Once your aerobic capacity is high enough you start hitting the neuromuscular limits. When you do not sleep they go lower. Thus you find yourself unable to hit your max HR or anywhere close, yet are stuck in a rut and cannot go any faster. Those limits can be raised with sleep, explosive strength work, and properly structured speed sessions, but it is very difficult. I have been trying to solve this problem for a long time, and had only very limited success.

Where I would go from this point. Find a way to sleep more. I know, good luck with that when you have a family and a job, but if there is a will there is a way. I would go as far as sacrificing any mileage above 70 a week for sleep if you are not getting enough. Because if you do not sleep you will not be able to use the aerobic gains anyway.

Explosive strength work - short sprints, top end speed, ideally up a hill 2-3 times a week. Not very long, no more than 10 seconds. 4-5 of them. Focus on maximum power.

Speed sessions. 5-6x400 fast, full rest. The faster the better. Once you can do them in 68, then learn to run 3x800 each under 2:24. Then move up to 2x1200 in 3:36, then run 1600 in 4:48 or close maybe with a couple of quarters afterwards if you feel the urge to do more than one interval. Once you can do that, then possibly 2x2000 in 6:25 each, then 3x2000 in 6:25, then 3000-2000-1000 9:45 - 6:25 - 3:05, and then you'll be ready for a sub-16:00 5 K.
This should help with the marathon as well long term since faster pace will not bother you as much. It is very hard to be efficient when you feel like you are sprinting.