Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If 9 Miles Don't Change...

Up to 9 miles now - I intended to run them on Sunday in Madison, but alas the Hyundai gods had other plans and, with a hobbled Santa Fe struck infirm while in Madison and so in repair, I drove home my uncle's REALLY BIG Lincoln. That's the bad news, the good news is another trip to Madison this weekend, where I can conclude my bike course recon and maybe get Ol' Blue in to Cronometro for his annual exam.

I've had, the last 10 days, some frustration in life's interferences of my training schedule, so I've had some real inconsistency. At this point in the season - base training - that kind of inconsistency isn't going to totally derail the system, and I read from some triathlon Jedi along the way that's it's better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained - overtraining leading to injury, fatique, exhaustion and boredom. So, like my Ironman efforts in general, I have to take it as it comes.

That said, I was a little concerned about my 9 mile run, wondering if the lack of consistency in the week previous would affect my efforts. I think they did, but not as much as I might have thought, and I was able to stay on task and on pace during the 9 mile.

Remember from my previous analysis after the 10k "race" that I intended to bump my distance-training pace to around 9:15/min. So, that's what I set out to do. I had some small consistency problems during the run - my body kept wanting to go faster, so I'd have to pull back on the reins. This is a good indication, but it's important that I stay disciplined to the goals in mind - so I'd find myself a bit erratically hovering between 8:30 and 9:30ish pace, and then I'd try and hit a sweet spot of around 9:08 or so. This is where my inconsistent training the week before presented itself, I think - I just had trouble dialing in and staying there. So, my first mile was an 8:48 pace, which is almost 30 seconds faster than I intended, so I tried to pull back after that. 8:48 isn't unsustainable at all, but it wasn't on the day's agenda.

But, after my second mile of under 9:00 pace, I decided to just go with it. I wasn't uncomfortable at all, so I just let the run dictate the pace - something I should probably do more of. I've also been intensively analyzing my nutritional strategies over the last week (more on that later), and so I tried something else on this run - drinking every 3rd mile instead of every other. This changed my body's rest intervals, obviously, but also required different nutritional demands than I'm really used to. It all played out better than I thought.

My mileage broke down like this:
Mile 1 - 8:48/mile pace - HR 136 (notice how LOW that HR is for that pace!)
Mile 2 - 8:59/mile pace - HR 155
Mile 3 - 8:41/mile pace - HR 163
Mile 4(drink) - 9:54/mile pace - HR 158
Mile 5 - 8:46/mile pace - HR 167
Mile 6 - 8:46/mile pace - HR 171 (check the consistency on miles 5 and 6...)
Mile 7(drink) -10:04/mile pace - HR 163
Mile 8 - 9:02/mile pace - HR 170
Mile 9 - 9:00/mile pace - HR 172

TOTAL AVG: 9:08/mile pace - HR 161

So, things considered: A little sporatic with the pacing, particularly with how fast I suddenly got on mile 3. My fastest and slowest miles are 20 seconds apart which, the longer I get in distances the less significant that short of an interval becomes, but I still want to target more consistency than that. It's also clear how I started to fade on mile 8 and 9, and my HR started to climb (I think my AT right now is probably around 172, so I was pushing it in mile 9). That says to me that, had I continued at this kind of pacing another 3 miles, I probably would have gone anaerobic and wouldn't have been able to sustain this. Which is okay - the purpose of the 9 mile run is to be better prepared for the 10 mile, and the 11, and so on. Still, I was actually pleasantly surprised - 9:08 average is better than the 9:15 I was aiming for, and I continue to be really happy with where I am right now.

What I was lacking those 10 days of inconsistency, however, were my mid-range, easy runs. 3 and 4 and 5 miles with some speed intervals here and there, but mostly just slow and steady, concentrating on form and building endurance. It's not healthy or ultimately beneficial to miss those, only to hit the "major" training workouts where speed checks are involved. So I'll look forward to that this week, attending to more long, slow workouts with no regard for how fast I'm going, or comparing mile pacings, etc.

This is also my last week of base training and run-centric training. Next week I begin 24 weeks of Ironman specific training, and everything changes then. I'll move my long runs to Wednesdays now, giving me enough time to recover for my long rides, typically on Sundays. So I'll push my 10 mile run out to next Wednesday, and will continue to focus on this kind of mileage in my run training while my swim and bike training catch up. Then, after the April 15th half marathon, I'll go specifically to IM training across the board, having hoped that my early season training on this limiter (limiter = weakness, which is what running has been for me) will pay off. Exciting times.


Michael A said...

Nice job on your run, dude! Good luck on the 10 mile.

Hope your recon and Blue's check up go well in Wisconsin. Say Hi to the hills from me.

RunIrisRun said...

Sounds like a great run! I don't know how you have time for all this...I barely have time for life and ONE long run. How's my sister by the way - haven't heard from her in awhile (hint, hint).

Todd said...

Keep up the good work stud. I take it your are running outside and not pounding rubber on the dreadmill? How many days a week are you working out? Do you do any lifting or core work?

Todd said...

Okay, scratch that. I viewed your training log and see it's nothing but running....ISH!!! Good luck with that cowboy!