Thursday, August 30, 2007

Metrics schmetrics

Last night I joined the Namban Rengo monthly 5 km time trial to conduct, for the third month in a row, a tempo-pace evaluation run. I start out at roughly about 5k race pace, maybe a tiny bit slower, but when my heart rate hits 165, as it inevitably will at this pace, I hold it there rather than allow it to continue creeping up as it would if I was actually racing.

The good news is that I did much better than last month; the bad news is I did about the same as I did in June.

June: 19:18
July: 20:06
August: 19:20

The weather was not a factor. In fact all three tests have fortuitously been run at 24 or 25 degrees. We can probably dismiss the July result because I really wasn't feeling great that night and this was, I think, a precursor to the minor health problems I subsequently had.

At first it looks like I am in the same place now as I was two months ago. So let's look in more detail at the June and August data.

I ran faster at the start in June and slower at the finish, 1:28 for the first lap, 1:37 for the last, and took only four laps to hit HR165 average for the lap. I was also having difficulty keeping my heart rate down to 165 in the last full lap.

Last night it was 1:31 for the first lap and 1:34 for the last. I took six laps to hit HR165, and every lap from six to "13" was bang on 165 average HR except the eighth, which was 164.

I do think that I finished feeling more comfortable last night and in fact just clicked my watch at 5 km and kept running, albeit slower, to add another 5 km at upper aerobic heart rate to complete the night's work (I had done an easy 6 km before the time trial).

So, while the data are not totally convincing, and maybe I need a more taxing kind of evaluation run to bear out the improvements in stamina more clearly, I do think that there are signs of improvement. Phew, otherwise I might have started to lose motivation like my old mate Ingo.


2P said...

Wouldn't the training you did in the days preceeding each test play a factor? Eg if you had a hard session the day/s before you may not have recovered sufficiently and therefore not an apples with apples comparison???

Ewen said...

It shows that raw data doesn't explain all. From what you said, you're in better shape.

Just had a look at today's 10 miler. I was going to suggest 10k on the track, but 10 milers at upper aerobic HR are probably a better test of marathon fitness than a 5k.

So, the 5k time trial is about 1:30 slower than a race? I'd like to try the same test to get an idea of my 5k race pace.

Scott said...

Shouldn't you be taking the heat into consideration. I heard its been a long hot month there and there must be some sort of cumulative effect from the summer heat as well.

MilesandMiles said...

i wonder if this kind of evaluation is compatible with a base buiding / conditionning phase a-la Lydiard... Dont you need to be reasonably rested to do this kind of test?