Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More good omens

Not so much omens and woo woo as hard, clear data. For the fourth consecutive week I did the 80% of HRmax pace test.

Last week I was over the moon that the third lap, the test lap, was in 9:03. This morning I actually had to work like crazy on the pace-up lap just to get my heart rate anywhere near 149. Finally by the start of the measurement lap, which is on a slight uphill, I was able to get up to the target of 149. On this uphill section in previous my heart rate would easily creep up to 151 before I would have to adjust; today it only made it to 150 and then the slightest of easing would halt the increase and soon get it back to 149, or 148, or 147...I had to be really careful or it would just start dropping. And this was going uphill.

The time for the lap: 8:51 ... that's bloody 4:07/km!! There is no conclusion to be drawn from this other than that long, hard aerobic runs are just a veritable pot of training gold. My Tuesday and Wednesday runs over the past three or four weeks have really paid off in aerobic endurance. The comfort at a stiff pace in the race on Sunday was very real. And speaking of that, I felt absolutely no fatigue or soreness from the race until about 12 km into today's run. At this point I had to decide whether to do another lap of the park (that would result in over 18 km for the run) or head home. I was a bit torn, but was feeling that my legs were definitely not real happy about the pace we'd been running. I took that as a sign not to overdo it and pointed the pony for home. I still managed a reasonably fast park to home leg, but had to crack the whip to keep the legs turning over as they were definitely interested in a more relaxed pace.

This certainly bodes well for Tokyo, but still leaves me with a bit of head scratching to do. In particular, the sense of being underdone for genuine long runs. I could squeeze in a run of about 30-33 km this coming weekend, leaving 14 days for recovery, or just keep churning out as many of these 16 to 22 km aerobic runs as possible. It is also going to make a pacing strategy interesting. I am definitely fit enough now to be able to confidently go out at 4:10 to 4:15/km pace and hold it long into the race...but for just how long? And how bad will be the fade? I really want to avoid another fade of Ohtawara-esque proportions, so am inclined to try and be more conservative and feel relatively fresh coming into 30 km. Well, I suppsoe these are good problems to have. Better than worrying about how to optimize a running/cross training regimen that could get me to the start line of the marathon, which is where I was at only a little over a month ago.


2P said...

It is good news.

FWIW I wouldn't do the long run this weekend - unless you do it mega slow (for you) and make it equate to about the same time you expect to do for your marathon - you will be better off going in fresh.

Tesso said...

2P is very wise. Its getting way to close to M day to do anything too tough. You've done the work.

Clairie said...

And so the magic fairy waves her magic wand and yells... "that's it, the rest is up to you"

In regards to the long run I would be more tempted that close to the marathon to possibly do two sessions on the one day - both 16km. That way the distance covered is still a long run but the effort on your body is reduced due to having 6-8hrs in between. That's just my thinking though..you are more experienced and know what works for you so just apply the cotton wool, eat well and skip the beer and start visualising that race!






Ewen said...

That's a great result from the test. I agree with the 'pot of gold' from long runs for aerobic conditioning... my best test was the day after a long run when you'd expect to be tired.

I would do a long run - just for the confidence. Didn't Benoit run 20 miles the week before the Olympic trials? Maybe do it Saturday. Have a rest day or very short run the day before and do the first half, at least, at a very easy pace.

Scott said...

I think you should do that long run too. From what I've read, Nic Bideau in particular, you will still have plenty of time to recover before Tokyo and if you can have a nice steady, low heart rate 30 to 35K run it will blow away the clinging bad memories of Ohtawara and leave your mind fresh for the next attempt. The body is ready to go, I reckon, you just got to bring the mind along now.
Excellent omens Stephen.

Ingo said...

Steve, I also noticed the boost from the ATS runs which resulted in a surprising PB for me in the Shinjuku Half. I did many 10-12k's at around 79-82 HRmax. However, I have similar doubts as to the fade later in a marathon and there's now way I'll go out at 4:10-4:15. I'll try to settle into 4:20ish and will see later. And the long run this weekend is also on my plan. We recover fast enough these days. I mean, we should be peaking very soon and so should our abilities to recover, right? Ingo