Tuesday, May 13, 2008

People's Exhibit A

Like I said, it ain't rocket science:

On March 22nd I had my first 10-miler of the season. I was focused only on getting the miles in, strictly base training, no concern for pacing. I ran it in 1:41:48, with a pace of 10:11/mile. The useful statistic is an average heart rate of 146bpm.

I ran 11 miles, then 12 miles, on subsequent weekends, then ran 10 miles again on April 12th. This time I did focus on speed - first 3 miles, as per my racing strategy, easy breezy, then 7 miles at race pace, then 1 mile easy. The 7 miles - which thoroughly kicked my ass - I ran at 8:38, with an average heart rate of 159bpm. The total run was in 1:28:45, with an average bpm of 154.

(Right, like I said last time, I know these numbers posts interest only me. Carry on.)

Subsequent weeks have seen 3 13.1 mile long runs, all with increasing race pace mileage (and increasing race pace), and - interestingly, as I review the Garmin - usually only one other run during the week, a speed workout.

I'm in a sort-of-taper now for the Madison 13.1 coming up next weekend (already!?!?), so yesterday I returned to a 10 mile run (and not the usual 13.1). Again, 3 miles easy, then 7 miles at "race pace".

My approach to race pace has evolved a little bit - it used to be where 8:30 was the target pace, but now it's kind of "no slower than 8:30" - yesterday I just let my RPE (again, Rate of Perceived Effort - how hard I feel like I'm working) be my guide. As long as I felt good, I kept running, whatever that pace was. I never pushed it, never tried to achieve a certain pace or time - just stay comfortable, relaxed, and fast.

The results of, what, 6 -7 weeks intentional, disciplined work at longer distances: I ran the entire 10 miles in an 8:18 pace. My "fast" 7 miles were at a (blistering) 8:06/mile pace. I just don't run this fast. I long ago resigned myself to being that guy who didn't run that fast. My average heartrate was at a my-heart-beats-faster-eating-burritos rate of 150bpm. What? My RPE was never high. I was never pushing anything, never had to have a pep talk, was barely out of breath when I finally reached my 10 and slowed to walk. Are you kidding me? Who is this guy?

Incidentally, I ran the 10 in 1:22:57. My P.R. for this distance - at the 2004 Twin Cities 10-mile, 1:29:11 (8:55 pace). Granted that was 4 years ago and I had, like, zero clue, but there you go.

I'm calling it now - Fates be damned - May 25th will see the devastating obliteration of the old 13.1 P.R. (1:58:14) I'm not going sub 2-hour, I'm going waaaay sub 2-hour. Picking it up and setting it down.

Fired up over here. Bring it on!

17 comments:

RobbyB said...

It's always nice to hard work pay off. Keep it up

Iris said...

We'll be cheering you on! Nice work. By the way - I just got my Garmin. Now, I know for sure I've been VERY lazy.

KodaFit said...

Good Luck!!

I was wondering if you would recommend a particular model of Garmin... I've been looking at all of them, and it's just not an easy decision to make. I like the 405, but am not sure how functional it is.

Alili said...

Good luck! The numbers look VERY promising:)

xt4 said...

Thanks for the love everybody!

kodafit, a few thoughts: The old 205 is cheaper, but doesn't have heart rate. The 305 - which many of us have - combines heartrate and GPS, and I even have a cadence sensor for mine so it's my computer on the bike as well. It also has all the full multisport functions - besides tracking run and bike, you can set it up so a quick press of the lap button toggles from transition to run to transition to bike, and then keeps track of your total time as well as your splits. The 405 is the new one - the biggest thing to like, I think, is form factor - it's much smaller than the frying-pan-on-a-wrist that the 305 is. But, I think it's multisport functionality is more limited (not positive, though, so check that out), and it only has an 8 hour battery life (the 305 has 13 hours). That's a major deal for Ironman racing, but if you're doing less than that, it might be a great solution. Anyway, if you get it, keep me posted on how you like it!

KodaFit said...

Thanks!! I've been trying to find out which model would be best from a triathlon standpoint, and that's the best answer I've found yet.

The plan is to do an ironman in 2010, so I may look more at the 305, but you've given me a couple of things to look at before I do.

Thanks again!

xt4 said...

No problem kodafit - one other thing to consider is cost - the 305 can be had pretty affordably right now, where the 405 is several hundred dollars. By 2010, of course, who knows what Garmin might have up their sleeves.

All things considered right now - unless the smaller form factor is a must-have, I think the 305 continues to hold up really well.

marathon2tri said...

Don't skimp on the numbers! I enjoy reading them to compare with my experiences as I Become Ironman. Is it possible to get an audio file of the Becoming Ironman Prologue you have on YouTube? I downloaded the song, which is inspirational and invokes images of your video, but I would love actually to hear that guy say "I can" or "pain, it's all up top, it's in your head" when I am in the depths of a long training run.

Steph Bachman said...

Whooo! Way to go, XT4. Looking forward to your race report.

KodaFit said...

Thanks! The 305 definitely looks like the better option...

1 final question, before I begin my campaign to convince my wife it's a 'good investment'... Is it water proof, and do you generally wear yours during the swim portion of the race, or just pick it up in T1?

Iris said...

Kodafit -
If you've got an REI membership, see if you can still get the sale price on the 305. I got mine for half price a couple weeks ago. The 405 wasn't that much smaller and I've heard has a few glitches that need to be worked out.

xt4 said...

m2tri - stand by. I'll get something up for you soon!

Steph - thanks!!!

kf - the watch is "water resistant" - I don't wear mine in the water, and don't know that anybody really does (plus, pulling a wetsuit off over that mutha would be a hassle) - I turn mine on just before I leave transition set-up, so it's ready when I jump on the bike (Garmin sells a convenient multi-sport mounting system for, like, $20 that's really great - a bike mount and special velcro watch strap - google it for more info, or amazon, I definitely recommend it). I've heard of people tossing it under their swimcap during the swim (I assume to record heart rate in the water?), but that's just weird. Incidentally, I wear a second watch that's just my overall race time, so I glance at that for my time in the water. Just an inexpensive Timex Ironman. To Iris' point, you might also check amazon - I know with the 405 they've cut prices on the 305, so it can be had for the low $200's now, I think. Pretty serious tech for relatively little coin, you ask me. I've had mine for 3 seasons now, and had my first one crap out last summer - Garmin sent me a new one, no questions asked. Anyway, not to sound like a sponsored athlete over here (you listening, Garmin???), but it's the one "toy" that might truly be indispensable to me - and I think anybody else who trains and races regularly with theirs will agree!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the great training and good luck in the race. Love your blog!

KodaFit said...

Thanks a bunch!! I've been checking them out over on Amazon and they definitely seem to have the best prices.

Thanks for the tips too - info from someone who's been there and done it is always best!

Triteacher said...

Ooh - maybe you need a post just on that Garmin bit. Some of the rest of us non-techies would benefit.

There, that's on the comments. On the post - WOW. Those are some nice numbers. IM year I watched my pace increase and my heartrate decrease. It's quite rewarding.

Steve Stenzel said...

Sweet! Heres to a PR race!!

Lisa said...

ahh, this has been some fun reading. Great work CDBIII....I am very proud.