Recovery week.

on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:14 PM

This past week was a recovery week. The purpose of these things according to Pfitz is to allow the body to recover somewhat from the increasing amounts of mileage. Mileage was scheduled to be cutback to 37 miles a week. I skipped one recovery run so I ended up at 33 miles this week. Though describing it only as skipping a recovery run seems okay, I had to move the schedule around. The first two runs on Tuesday and Wednesday went according to plan, but Thursday morning which had a scheduled modest 8 miles, I ended up skipping in the morning and it was just too warm in the evening. Friday came and went without a run and forced myself to do it on Saturday. Sunday is long run day of 12 miles and the plan originally had a recovery run the day before, but since I already did 8 miles the previous day, I skipped it.

Sunday's long run was a bit different. The Scotiabank waterfront marathon had a "tune-up" run. These are scheduled runs set up by the race to get people to run together. I don't think I mentioned this before, but I'm going to be a pacer again for the 1:45 half at the race. Being a pacer gives free entry and free gear which is a nice gig if you can get it. One of the conditions is that you have to attend one of these tune-up runs so people can get a chance to meet you and to allow the race to advertise the pacing program and the sponsor who this year is Brooks. I haven't run in Brooks shoes since 2008. Last year Asics sponsored the pacers and I think the year before that Addidas was the sponsor. Whomever is willing to pay the bills I suppose.

So the tune-up run had three options. a 20k, 10k and a 5k distance. The 20k distance would have been perfect for me since I was supposed to do 12 miles, but when I inquired about it, the organizers had other plans. Only the marathon pacers would be doing the 20k distance, whereas the half pacers would be doing the 10k. The pacers were supposed to run their race pace as part of the tune-up run. I'm not sure that this was wise. If you think about it, someone that was going to follow a pacer that they would follow in September was being asked to run 6 miles at their half marathon pace today. This is basically a 6 mile LT run on a day when they should probably be doing a long run.

With only 6 miles on tap as part of the run, I had to make up an additional 6 miles. They had staggered the start time of the three races so that we would all basically arrive at the finish line at about the same time. Since I had arrived really early to beat the rush and because I had intended on doing the 20k, i had some time to get the 6 miles in before my race. I basically just ran the 10k route which was already marked out. It felt weird passing the km markings and aid stations knowing that I was going to run this same thing again in about an hour.

As for the actual tune-up run itself, there really wasn't much to tell. I ran for the first 10 minutes and had a group around me but when I stopped for the walk break (I was doing 10 and 1's), all but one of the group kept going. I continued with one woman doing 10 and 1's, but she said the pace was faster than she was used to. I lost her at the turnaround point, though she did say after that she ended up with a faster time than she was expecting so i guess it was a good day. I finished in 50:20 which would have put me on pace for a 1:46:12 half. Close enough.

Acura 5k report

on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 11:19 PM

The 5k race from two weekends ago. Signed up for this at the last minute. Was intending to use this to get some experience. Based on past experience, the first 5k of my racing season tends to be a disaster (see 2009 and 2008 and 2007). I was expecting this race to be no different. Prepared for this slightly differently. Day before, I did a very short, very slow recovery run with 6 strides towards the end. One thing I did differently was I did it at the end of the day about 12 hours before the actual race. I think this may have helped.

Arrived with plenty of time. Wanted to do a proper warm up so with 20 minutes to start did a slow 1-1.5 mile jog with 3 short strides. Moved into the starting corrals with 5 minutes to go and bumped into Kenny and Lee. Goal was to try and go for 20 minutes, though realistically I thought that breaking 21 minutes was going to be a challenge.

So the gun goes off and I start out at a fairly controlled pace. Usually, I'm in a panic during the first km trying to weave around people, but this time, if I got stuck behind someone, I just hung back a bit until an opening appeared. I was trying to use my garmin to ensure that I was pacing properly and though it looked like I was right on pace, I ended up being a bit too slow in the first km hitting it in 4:07. The first little bit is under the elevated freeway so it's possible the GPS signal wasn't too great. The other thing was that the HR spiked during the first km which is usually a sign of tougher things to come.

I had thought of slowing down after the HR spike and doing the 10 miler instead, but thought I'd try to see how far I could go with the elevated HR before I started to feel like crap. Motor along and hit the 2nd km marker at 4:14 though I think I pushed the lap button a bit late since I was running through an aid station and tried to get some water in my mouth (which didn't work too well). It was probably around 4:10 or so. Hit the turnaround and head for home. 3rd km is in 4:05, but this was actual short due to my previous error so it's probably more like 4:09. So to this point, I've been fairly consistent with the pacing and the HR is still spiking. 4th km is usually where I start to fade and this was no exception, though it wasn't as bad of a fade as it normally is. I usually get this feeling of just wanting to give up during the 4th km, but I didn't get that feeling this time. Sure it was tough, but a sustainable type of tough. There were a couple people ahead of me and I just sort of tried to catch them and passed 3 or 4 people during the stretch. Even so this was my slowest km at 4:14. Last km, try to pick up the effort a bit, and end up with my fastest split of 4:06.

Total: 20:46 (6:41 min/mile)

So fairly consistent splits and all this with the HR spiking.  I should probably mention that I still haven't gotten back my heart stress test results yet and won't know till the beginning of August.  At least with this, race, I  now have a gauge of a 5k pace I can hold with the HR going crazy. This was also with almost no VO2Max training.  I did 4x800m 6:20 pace five days before the race and that was it.  I'm keen on trying another 5k since I'm pretty sure that if the HR didn't spike, I could maybe break 20 minutes or at the very least try and set a new PR (20:21 PR),but 5k races take a little too much out of me and end up messing up the marathon training.  Only time I would consider it would be on a Saturday since it still allows me to get a long run in on Sunday.  There was a 5k race this Saturday I was thinking of doing, but it's a first time event on a new course. It starts with a hill at the start and then it's all downhill.  I'd rather race on a certified course, but they are hard to find in this area.  One of these days, I may just try and do a 12.5 lap time trial at the track and see what happens.


Let's see. Since I last posted I've gotten most of my mileage in according to Pfitz.

Thursday (July 8): 10.2 miles (8:41 min/mile pace)

Saturday: 4.1 miles recovery which included 6 strides.

Sunday: 5 k race in the morning in 20:46. 14 miles in the afternoon (9:21 pace)
Bonked pretty bad doing the 14 miles. Including the warmup for the 5k. Ended up doing 18-19 miles for the day. Race report for the 5k to come.

Tuesday: 9 miles including 5 miles at tempo pace. Bonked pretty bad on this run too. Didn't recover that well from the Sunday run and struggled to put down the 5 tempo miles at 7:38 pace.

Wednesday: 5.4 miles @ 9:24 pace

Thursday: 10 miles @ 8:47 pace

Saturday: 5.4 miles recovery

Sunday: 16.2 miles which included between 9 and 10 miles at marathon pace effort. I thought I was pretty recovered for this and thought it wouldn't be too hard since I did 11 miles of marathon pace two weeks ago. Drove downtown to do it by the lake but since the Honda Indy car race was on ended up going onto the Leslie spit where it was a little too warm. Ran into some HR spiking problems on the spit and towards the end. Had intended to do 10 miles at marathon pace, but probably only ended up with 9 and a little bit. The Marathon pace speed was a little faster than it was two weeks ago at around 7:35 to 7:40 pace.

Today: 7 miles. Supposed to do 8 miles with strides, but tried to do some 800 repeats instead. Not too good. Did 3 miles warm up and then did one 800m repeat and then proceeded to bonk during the second one and ended up switching it into 200m repeats.

I had a few good runs a few weeks ago in really warm weather, so I had thought that maybe I had adjusted okay to the higher temps and humidity, but I think that was just an anomaly cause all my runs in the warmer weather have just been terrible or rather any runs out in the sun during the warmer temperatures have been terrible. Ones done when the sun goes down, even if it's still warm outside have gone okay. Maybe it's an anti-Superman thing. The yellow sun is my kyrptonite.

Warming Up

on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 10:22 PM

It's gotten very hot as of late. It's funny how you go back and read about the winter training days where one prays for the warm days of summer and now I'm wishing for the cooler training days of winter.

This past week of training has gone according to plan. I did 42 miles last week which included a 16 mile long run on Sunday with about 11 miles at a marathon pace effort which came out to about 7:35-7:50 min/mile pace. Ended up driving down to the lake to do it. I'm trying to avoid driving down to the lake to do long runs this year with the exception of marathon pace runs. I like to be able to get a continuous route down by the lake where I don't have to stop for traffic lights.

I've been using the Pfitz-first edition training plan, but remembered that the 2nd edition plan (which is presumably better) is slightly different. The 2nd edition plan had an early 13 mile run with 8 at marathon pace which I was supposed to do 2 weeks ago, but since I was following the 1st edition plan I didn't. I thought I'd try the 8 marathon pace miles this past weekend though. I ended up feeling pretty good after 8 miles so I just kept going to 11.

Yesterday had me supposedly doing 8 miles with 10 strides but I wanted to try an interval workout. Up in the morning and it was very warm and humid. Did 4x800m in 3:12, 3:10, 3:09 and 3:11 with a one lap jog recovery of 2:50 in between. There's a 5k race this weekend which I was thinking of doing in my quest to break the 20 minute barrier, but based on how I was feeling on this workout, I don't think I'm ready. It could just have been the warm temperatures, so one never knows. I may end up signing up anyways just to get the experience. There's also a 10 mile race which I was considering doing instead though since there's a $10 coupon available on the website for that. Still fairly pricey though, $70 for the 10 miler and $52 for the 5k. Tough call.