am) 14 miles- 6 miles warm-up. Then: 3 miles on the track in 16:28 (~5:29 pace)/ Avg. HR 165. Max HR 167. This test puts me close to my fitness at Austin! And I mean on race day at Austin.. where as I am right now ~15 weeks from my marathon. Once again though I am cautiously optimistic because of my ability to lift my running in workouts and then fall short on race day. But this test was very good for me.
Lis and BJ ran their respective workouts on the track with me. BJ looks awesome with Arizona still a long way off. I never tell my athletes what they WANT to hear... rather I am always brutally honest. Sometimes it stings a little, but in the end it sets up the coach/ athlete relationship to be more productive. My athletes know that I don't bull shit them and they can rely on that. Of particular value are the times when I tell an athlete that they can reach their goals... they know from past experience that I won't lie to them. BJ can reach his run goal at Ironman. He looks very strong and is taking the steps to reach the appropriate fitness.
Lis showed up feeling wasted and concerned (as she should be) with the fatigue. That's part of the process and I don't think I convey just how many days I don't feel great. Yesterday was unusual for me, but more often than not I am fatigued and I am feeling beat down. But I have made the commitment to give this running thing an honest try.. so I don't mind. I think the severity of fatigue is perceived differently from athlete to athlete. I have a skewed sense of perception and feeling tired is the "norm" after years of hard training. Part of why I taper poorly is that feeling rested is a foreign sensation. I may perceive feeling rested as feeling bad? Lis takes her resting HR , which is something we should all do! RHR gives definitive biofeedback as to how the body is responding to stress. Lis had a high RHR along with high HR's in training, she is hydrated.. so I am having her rest for a couple of days (which is like pulling teeth!). I don't take resting HR, because I'm lazy. Also, I may be afraid of what I'll see. I used to take RHR religiously, and this is quite telling, during the year that I performed my best at Kona. In that year I also took a lot of rest days. The lowest RHR I have ever seen is 51 (the highest was 110 the day after Kona). As I said in yesterday's post- I am at a point where I am developing as a runner. I am willing to kill it (me) as much as I can in order to prepare my body and mind for the real work to come. The RHR notion is something that would be good for me to utilize in the last 8 weeks leading up to Vegas. Because of my approach, I am run down often. On days that I have hard sessions I won't always feel good... or even OK. But I don't believe that it has to limit the bodies ability to perform. The brain is the control center and it controls the pace that your legs run. Barring a true mechanical failure like a strained muscle, cramp, tendonitis... the legs will follow the brains command. I believe that this concept and the ability to execute it is what seperates the elite runners from myself. And here comes the thought digression..
Genetic limitations only apply to a very limited few. People with average genetics... listen to me... if you exploit the genetics that you possess to their 100% fullest potential- you can reach any goal. Obviously that goal can't be to set a world record in the 100 meter dash or the marathon, but the point is that people who use their genetics as an excuse are people who are not willing to line their training up to reach their potential. I have an average Vo2 max, average leg length, average lung capacity.. average everything! My economy is one that I have worked to improve. The goal that I have set- to run under 2:20- can be done with my average genetics because I am willing to put in the miles, do the correct training, diet to lose weight, etc... The point is that it may take an amount of work, and an amount of time, that you are not willing (or simply can't because of work, family, etc..) to commit to... but genetics are not what is holding you back. It's your brain. The people with jobs and family- I'm with you on this! I have set up my business to allow me time to train. I place my family first above all else. This is why I am running and not doing the Ironman! Last week I ran 14 hours- simple with a little schedule structure.
So back to the point, I am beat down more often than it seems. I think on days that I just feel OK, I think that feels great! Wasted, dead tired, tight muscles, low energy... that's just another OK day. So imagine how I felt yesterday! But you can see the up and down fluctuations with a runner 'on the edge' by seeing the disparity between today and yesterday. I don't know if other high mileage runners feel the same.
Noon) 6 miles Easy recovery 'run' on the AMT machine at the gym.. I would buy an AMT machine before buying a treadmill. The thing is the absolute best thing for a recovery session for a runner! Awesome! Sauna afterward with leg massage and nearly a gallon of water (drank).