Sunday, February 13, 2005

Training update

I've finally put a number of quality training days together. Three runs in four days, two of those with a new training partner, John. John is faster than I am now, but not faster than I feel I should be. He and I first went out on a 7 mile run together. Towards the end he commented on how his coach told him it was very important to make these easy days enjoyable to avoid burnout. Did he just say "easy”? I took a peak at my heart rate monitor, 160 beats per minute (bpm). Yeah, I was afraid of that. My maximum heart rate is 183 bpm, making my current rate 87% of max. I wasn't about to die, but that definitely does not qualify as "easy" .

The next day he and I went to do 1 kilometer repeats at the indoor track at the University of Rhode Island. This time the monitor was regularly hitting 171 bpm, and John was beating me by 40 - 90 meters each time. Afterwards I asked him how his splits were (I didn't time mine, afraid of what I'd see). He was running about 3:25 per kilometer. That's a pace for a 5:30 mile. Once again, this is simply not beyond my capabilities. I'm just not very fit yet.

As if I needed any more verification of my lack of foot speed, I went out by myself today and ran my tried and true 10.7 mile training loop. The final time was 1:15:09. Last year on March 10 I ran the loop in 1:08:09. 7 minutes is a lot of time. I'll be faster in March, but let's be real here, 1:08 is not happening.

Okay that's the 1/2 empty glass. Now it’s time to look at the 1/2 full bit. First, I ran 3 out of 4 days and am feeling pretty good, with only minor soreness in my ankle (no pain). Second, that 1:15:09 is 3 minutes faster than I ran that loop a month ago. Third, my running peaked in April last year and tailed off the rest of the year. Hopefully by having a slower build up, I can keep form until the end of July (Ironman USA).

If nothing else this reinforces the concept that what I choose to do for "recreation" is far more demanding and less forgiving than what I do for a paycheck. Your body always asks "what have you done for me lately?"