Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Tempo run..

This run shows my rookie ability to coach myself..
#1- Not enough recovery from Sunday- legs were dead from the start.
#2- Poor choice of run course to try to hold race pace (although I think there may be value in repeating this session to gauge my progression).
Here is a course profile:

#3- Poor choice of pace considering my fatigue and current fitness.

I ran 7.25 miles in 41:21 for an average pace of 5:42 and 164 HR. My first 3 mile lap was at 6:00 pace. The second lap I didn't time as I was simply trying to keep my HR above 165 which was very difficult. Jeff road along beside me on his mt. bike and was telling me my paces with his GPS... I heard a lot of 5:45's on the uphill and a 5:17 on the downhill. Lap 3 I was dying on the uphill to hold 5:45 pace and at 7.25 I bagged the run. My HR was dropping which is a bad sign and I wasn't getting what I needed from the run anymore.

The mistakes I made were ones that I know and am familiar with from Ironman. Being self coached is pretty tough, although Jeff makes it look easy! He rocked the 5430 Half Ironman on Sunday and is recovering from the effort, otherwise I'm sure he would have run this with me and pushed me.
My motivation to get as good as I can be often times is my greatest weakness. I need to learn how to temper my desire to train hard. I needed more time between today and Sunday. I needed to hold back a little more on the uphill in the first 1.5 miles as I am not as strong as I want to be, yet. 5:30 miles are still a challenge.
I do think I am ahead of the curve though, with 17 weeks until Vegas I am far fitter than I was 17 weeks before Austin. I am in what Canova calls the "fundamental period".. here's what he says in regards to this period.
"The fundamental period lasts between 8-10 weeks and is the crucial phase of an athlete's preparation. During this period the athlete sustains the maximum work load and begins to work on power endurance.
The number of kilometers increases while muscle efficiency in distance work is enhanced and the preparation, both mental and physical, for long distance begins. The tendency is to 'attack' the organism with a mixture of stimuli.
The athlete often reaches a state of general fatigue that attenuates muscle vigor, but this condition is considered normal and should not be mistaken for inadequate physical condition."

Note: my run on Sunday was on a gently rolling course, no significant hills to speak of. I was also much more rested. Fatigue is cumulative- so after 2 weeks of 100 miles I have built up fatigue and as it accumulates you do not recover as quickly from day to day. This is why it is imperative to include rest blocks every 2-3 weeks. With that said- I am in the phase of training where running on fatigued legs is ok. The critical skill will be to bring myself to the edge with out falling over. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of fitness to gain.

Jeff counted my cadence during this run- when I was fresh I was hitting ~92. Once I started to really fatigue it jumped up to ~96... maybe too high, as I may be losing stride length.


BRFOOT said...

BAD A$$ drum cadence, I will get me some of that. It kind of freaked me out at first as I had mutiple pages open at once and didn't know the volume was turned up. All of a sudden here come the drums. I was a little disappointed when I relized it wasn't a auditory hallucination :)

Lucho said...

Brfoot- That song is on the 'Run Lola Run' soundtrack.. It's phenomenal to run to. NBC also has used it in their coverage of the Hawaii Ironman.. one shot that I remember the most of any is one of Luc Van Lierde hauling ASS through the Energy Lab and they're playing this song as the camera circles him in a helicopter.. he was running sub 6 pace at the time on his way to winning. Powerful stuff.

beth said...

i like this post a lot...good explanation of the fundamental period and where you are going with it...

yes, self-coached (or self-un-coached- like me) can be tough to find balance. i'm sure your huge reserve of training knowledge is both friend and foe when it comes to taking risks to make progress. as for me, i think my lack of knowledge falls into that category too. sometimes it works. soemtimes it doesn't.

JK1 said...

TL- I think of a few things here.

1- the beauty of your ability to train when you want to (kind of) would allow you to move this run to say- Wednesday or Thursday- having it be more quality and be prepared for it.

2- I think this is partially my fault as I suggested to ride with you and you drove a bit to do this workout, so you wanted to "push" that quality when you really weren't ready for it.

3- you now know- those sunday and tuesday workouts won't work together (for now or unless they change)

4- you're too hard on yourself. It was fun to ride support.

Dave said...

Great post as always! It's interesting to see others try to find that balance of fitness. Being somewhat new to endurance sport I thought it was only newbies that have a tough time but it gives me inspiration knowing that even experienced athletes have to tiptoe that fine line between good and evil in their fitness. Thanks for the info!

Great update on the look of the blog too! Love the music and can't wait to throw it on my ipod and go, go, go!

Matt said...

Lucho, I concur: another rockin' post, but of course now I literally mean rockin'. When I finish this comment, I'm going to work on how to get that feature on my shitty blog. Maybe if you respond you can mention how easy it is to install, or how much it costs (so I don't waste too much time!!). Again, great feature.

As for your post, in the end, it sounds like there was absolutely nothing wrong with the work-out. If we apply the quote from Canova to your work-out, the run was emblematic, aside from the fact that some workouts just don't feel great. Your fatigue, the variation in the course from Sunday ("mixture of stimuli") seems to bode well for the kind of work you're supposed to be doing - building power endurance. In other words, you're less than thrilled at first, and you seem to say so yourself (and I certainly got this from reading), that the work-out seems to be fairly typical of where you are; and on that note, you like where you are (big picture).

And you bagged it because you were dying (HR?) though you said you were having trouble keeping your HR up. What weren't you getting from the run at the end? Can you clarify.

What a service, giving schleps like me a chance to peer through the window at a pro kickin' his own ass in that honest style that characterizes your discourse.

And again, the music is so dope.

Lucho said...

Matt- That gadget is from playlist.com and it's free.
I was 'dying' in terms of leg fatigue. HR was actually quite low which isn't always a good sign. Carbohydrate depletion can cause a depressed HR. Mile 6-7 was all uphill and my legs were frying out and my pace was slowing.. also my HR was dropping showing a big loss in strength.
Ya- I will always be hard on myself as I have high expectations. And you're right that in terms of the type of training I am doing along with increased volume, not all the workouts are going to go well. With that said I think it was effective in terms of being a training stimulus. I'm not a "pro" but thanks! I don't consider myself anything more than hard working recreational jogger.. with passion for the sport.

Jeff- It was great have you there today and I don't think the drive hurt me rather it was trying to hold too hard of a pace up that 1.5 mile grade. I do think that repeating that session often would be great though to see my progression in fitness. I am kicking around the idea of running the Boulder Marathon again in September (2+ months before Vegas) so those kinds of workouts will be good for me.
I may move my long run to Saturday in order to have Tuesday be a better day. Once you get recovered I think I'll need to bring my "A" game to our runs.

Beth- There are good things about not over thinking certain aspects of training. But once an athlete reaches a certain point is can be good to start analyzing the periods in order to get to that next level. You seem to be doing great! Keep it up! See you in Vegas!

Ironboom said...

Lucho, you mention that "My HR was dropping which is a bad sign..." I am just curious as to why that is. For example, I don't know if this is true or not, but if you were running downhill at the same pace at the time of you looked at your HR monitor, couldn't that explain the lower HR. You also responded that HR could be a sign of carbohydrate depletion. If that is the case, why not just take some in at that time. I have been training with HR now with some time and am still trying figure out what exactly my heart is telling me or what is causing it at certain times, when my heart rate has been depressed or dropping, such as what you described. Thanks as always for your thought.

Lucho said...

Ironboom- Certainly if I had started a downhill section and my HR dropped then that would be fine (although you should pick up the pace and maintain HR). But- I was not going downhill, rather I was nearing the end of a long hill and pushing fairly hard near my lactate threshold, my legs were losing strength and burning. The HR dropping is a sign that your muscles can no longer push your heart. This shows that my strength is 'poor' and my aerobic system is strong. I have plenty of endurance but if I try to hold a fast (for me) pace for a long time then I die as I did today.
If I was doing a longer slower run and my HR fell I could and would take in carbohydrate. But at the effort I was running and the length of the run it would have been useless. At high intensities your body shuttles blood away from non essential organs (fight or flight mechanism) in order to supply blood to systems that are in distress. Your digestive tract immediately loses its ability to efficiently digest foods. Think about eating pizza while relaxed and sitting at home... then think about eating pizza while trying to run a mile race- HUGE difference. And although that is extreme, it does show what I mean. If I had taken in the carbohydrate it would not have absorbed in to my blood stream until well after I finished. Most of the time in our sports, once you realize you are in trouble it is often too late. I didn't 'bonk' so it wasn't severe. The real problem today was that I simply ran an unrealistic pace in relation to my fatigue and terrain.
Remember- dehydration will elevate HR. If I had seen a HR of 180 while running 5:40 pace today I would have bagged the run.

Ironboom said...

Thanks as always for the explanation. That is helpful.

Dave said...

I like the "chess not checkers" reference. I was just watching Training Day the Sunday night and was thinking about just how much life is like chess and not checkers. I think in the context of your blog it matches perfectly!