Thursday, March 09, 2006

10 Miles Behind Me, and 10,000 More To Go...

10 miles yesterday - my last of my runs where speed over distance is a focus. From here on out, it's not about going fast anymore, but - say it with me - slowing down least. I'll always have speed work built into my workouts, but as far as a focus of increasing speed as real purpose of training and workouts, those days are now officially done. Now it's about going a long ways as consistently as possible. If I did this right, and continue to, my speed should continue to increase naturally, and without the efforts of "trying" to go fast.

The run went almost perfectly. I incorporated some new strategies: Taking in about 350 calories and some 55 grams of carbs about an hour before the run, which took me through the first 60 minutes. After that was a new concoction called InfinIT Nutrition, which is a mixed drink that was brewed up specifically for my nutritional needs (I plug in a bunch of data, and they shoot back some options, and I tweak it from there). I swig about 3 ounces of that every 10 minutes after the first hour (off the bike, I'll try and have a surplus of calories to keep this strategy consistent), and it should provide me all the nutrition I need, no sugary Gatorade (by the way, if you see a new Gatorade called "Rain", flavored Lime, don't believe it. It's really flavored Ass) or GU required. This created a few new variables that I've been incorporating into my training the last few workouts to work up to this, the most notable being that I no longer stop to drink, but drink on the run. That's new for me. It seemed to go okay.

The numbers (no longer indicating heart rate, because as long as I'm not past my AT, I'm doing okay)

Mile 1: 8:38
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:27
Mile 4: 8:32
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:32
mile 7: 8:34
Mile 8: 8:44
Mile 9: 8:47
Mile 10: 9:22

Total AVG: 8:41/mile

As you see, the first 7 miles were really consistent. Miles 8 and 9 were consistent with each other, but I start slowing down a bit. And Mile 10 was almost a blow out. I'm not sure why, really. I was working, and pretty hard, but I wasn't in really bad shape. I'd been near my AT since about mile 8, though, so it may have just been unsustainable. Anyway, as it is, I have to be pretty happy with the numbers. 8:35ish sustained for 7 miles, and 8:40ish sustainable for 10. Consider that I did the TC10 Mile in 2004, in peak race conditions, including taper, and having 6 weeks of dedicated training - not base training like this has been - and I struggled for a 8:58 pace, and the improvements here are significant and dramatic. In all, almost a 3:30 time gain from my TC10 time.

Consider further just this season's progress - a nearly 30 second pace improvement over the 9 mile run, 40 seconds over the 8 mile run. It's important to note that those runs included slow miles for drinking, throwing off the total time, but even so, the improvement is there. Consider even way back when I had my last 02 test in January, I finished those three miles in about an 8:30 pace, but well above my AT - I couldn't have sustained that pace even 4 miles back then. So things are coming along.

From now on, my long runs become exercises in discipline, where I stay back at a comfortable 9:15-9:30 pace - or slower if I like - unconcerned with how "fast" I can go, and trying to always finish my runs comfortable, like I could keep going if I wanted to. If I find I naturally have or build a bit more speed than that, then so be it, but no more is anything forced. I will have 4-7 miles runs here and there that are speed focused, and some short workouts that are dedicated to sprints, but now I focus a lot on improving my form and economy, staying sharp and focused for long periods, keeping my nutritional strategies in focus, and continuing to improve over long, slow distances. The Half Marathon is in little over a month, and IM specific training starts in about 2 weeks. Allegedly Spring approaches, and hopefully it won't be long until the Cold Gear goes back in the closet and Old Blue finally comes trampling out.

1 comment:

Quest4Kona said...

Chris, glad to hear the running is coming along...keep pluggin' away! Hope to see you out with us on Saturday's soon...you'd be amazed as to how much easier it is with a group!