Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday 20 miles + AeT Test

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).


GZ said...

Good thoughts. I find that the runners I know that do well do indeed average 12-15 hours of running training a week. Assume an 8 mph velocity in that and you have 96 to 120 mpw.

I have been averaging 10, sometimes 11. I know that if I want to up my game in results, I need to up my game in training commitment over a significant period of time.

I also find that the more I have to fit in, the more I am efficient and creative in getting to fit in. It is almost backwards ... when I don't have to be efficient with my time, I tend to dick around a lot more.

Lucho said...

Great point GZ on the time idea. When I have other commitments I tend to get more out of my run time. With unlimited amount of time to train when I was a professional Ironman, I always felt the need to fill that time with training and most of it ended up being 'filler'. One of my best years at Kona I had a job and only ~25 hours per week to train so when I went out- I made that time really count. Time management is at the top of the training pyramid for those of us with families and jobs. No time to 'dick around'- I like that quote!
So once you get your legs back under you- lets try to hook up more! You live on my favorite run route! Jeff and I went up in to the 'Broomfield hills' yesterday. Those are some of the best miles around! I could run up to you and pick you up. Maybe Sunday? I'm running really long tomorrow so I will need to go easier on Sunday.

jameson said...

a couple questions Lucho...

best time to take resting HR? I am assuming right out of bed? I have always wanted to do this on a regualr basis but am lazy! How long do you have to leave the HRM on to get an accurate number?

last one... you mentioned diet to lose weight. I would love to hear your thoughs on race day weight (running vs. tri) and your approach to tapering toward race weight. I know it's fine line between have some extra weight in training to not do too much damage to your body and then hitting your ideal race weight (if there really is such a thing) at the same time you reach your peak fitness.

sorry dude... i know it's a lot.

Lucho said...

Jameson- I would say to just lie still once you wake up and then take your pulse at the wrist. Not the neck. Just count for 30" and double it or do a full minute. Some recommendations are to take a rest day if it is elevated by 10% but I think for an athlete in their hardest period of training that may be unrealistic and a little to conservative. The point, after all, is to stress your body so you have to decide when to draw that line. Look also for declining performance, loss of sleep or poor sleep, intense sugar cravings, poor mood or mood swings. Combine all of these signs and you'll get a good idea as to when to skip a workout.
Race weight and 'ideal' race weight is very difficult to pin point. I think performance indicators are what to look for and particularly for a triathlete- loss of wattage on the bike. You can't compromise strength to lose a single pound. This applies more to you in that you're already quite lean. Body fat percentages as you near your 'A' race can dip down in the 5% range but I think below that and you risk your health. You start to lose intramuscular fat and more importantly, fat around your organs and in walls of your arteries and veins.
During your peak training periods- like I am in now- it is important to not be too strict with diet otherwise you lose the ability to perform hard training day after day. Being a little (~5#-10#) over race weight is a good place to be. As my training nears the 'specific' period and training decreases a little in volume and intensity then I'll try to focus my diet more on vegetables and lower fat foods. If you saw what Michael Phelps eats on a daily basis you can see the importance of not under eating.. particularly on carbohydrates. This is athlete specific.. the 'caveman' approach is non-sense unless you sit at a desk and don't train because I'm fairly certain cavemen weren't elevating their HR's like we modern athletes are! They were scavengers and hunters of opportunity.
For runners you have to consider their physiology in regards to what they have to accomplish. Little 'true' strength is required for the marathon (vs. sprinting or pedaling)so muscle mass should be low. No strength in the arms or upper body is needed. All extra mass (fat & muscle) simply implies that the heart needs to pump more blood to non-working muscles. Simple concept. You're pretty lean- are you wanting diet down even more?

jameson said...

Thanks lucho!

"You're pretty lean- are you wanting diet down even more?"

To answer your question... NO WAY. Just the opposite. I feel good right now but would actually like to pack on a couple of pounds as I just entered my intense period of training for Nationals and Worlds. I pretty much hover around my race weight all the time and don't deviate too much in either direction.

I am just cuirous if packing on a couple of pounds in the next couple of weeks would be beneficial. My key races are on 10/5 & 10/26 and I am currently 133lbs. I feel great racing at this weight but am wondering if my recovery and training would benefit with some more meat on my bones.

Lucho said...

Mrs T's pierogies... best athlete food on the planet! Eat 12 for dinner every night. Cereal with rice milk immediately after your first workout of the day. Lunch can be your normal. Certainly pick up the calorie intake each day and eat to train. If your body weight stays the same and you are eating enough then don't over think it! You should eat enough carbohydrate to nail each hard session, then enough after each hard session to recover.

GZ said...

Okay ... this might be a little stupid but I find I need to get up and pee to get my RHR. When I wake up and don't my RHR is about 3-4 beats higher. Sorry - I just need to go.

GZ said...

wait ... why would there be a difference between the wrist and the neck?

Lucho said...

Pushing on your carotid artery stimulates the vagal system and the heart rate is slowed
(this is what vagal tone does to the heart.) Radial pulse is better.
Hold it... subtract 3-4 beats from your RHR.. then pee. ;)

beej30 said...

I do believe that your training style of 'tell it how it is' is extremely beneficial...why candy coat it, everyone else does. I agree with GZ that the more extra time you have, the more you dick around. Working from home, and having a flexible schedule sometimes makes me think what would happen if I had more commitments, or other things to fill up my time so i was forced to train like you did for Kona that year. On a schedule, no time wasted, make the most of it. Might have to try an experiment that way.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, sometimes you get so involved in your own training and just accept your abilities...when actually, you can push yourself to overachieve a little. A new mantra I've been using is 'find your limits'. How else will you know how hard you can go and achieve things you've never done before.

I used to keep RHR, but found that weighing myself every morning gave me a better idea of how I recovered...and have been weighing myself religiously now for about 2 years...every morning. Works for me, might not for others.

BRFOOT said...

Damn you Tim, How dare you put the resposibility for my success or failure on me and not my genetics.:) Personal resposibilty: or lack there of is the greatest problem facing our entire country.

Lucho said...

Brfoot- Absolutely! Too often people are not taking responsibility for how they act or what they do. The greatest lesson I can teach my son is 'do unto others' and your actions have repercussions. That goes beyond my point in the post but is along the same lines.