Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Track 9 miles.

On my schedule was mile repeats at 5:20 pace. During my warm-up I decided to experiment a little with my perception of pace. I changed the workout to mile repeats at perceived effort of 5:20 pace. I started my watch at the beginning of each, then didn't look at any splits.
On mile 1 I simply ran what I thought 5:20 would feel like.
Mile 1 in 5:07.
On mile number 2 I simply ran the same effort- which was quite comfortable.
Mile 2 in 5:07.
On mile number 3 I tried to just relax and stay within my comfort zone.
Mile 3 in 5:10.
On the last one I wanted to push and experiment with suffering comfortably. Each time I thought I needed to slow down, I sped up. Once I realized that the suffering wasn't getting worse by doing this I never really felt I needed to slow down. My "safety word" if you will, was "I can sustain this". I kept making sure that I could honestly say it each time I rated my exertion level.
Mile 4 in 4:56.

Here's a little dialogue to help me explain my last mile:
"Ok, here we go.. start the watch.. do NOT look at the 200 split!"
"This feels good. Quick, solid. Relax. Just chill through the 800."
"Ok. Just one more lap then you're on the last lap"
"I want to ease up a bit, no sense in killing it"
"Can I sustain this effort to the mile?"
"Pick it up just a bit... lets kill it."
"Ow.... sort of. I guess it's not THAT bad. It's not really pain."
"Can I hold this?"
"400 to go. Fu*king head wind! Push through this- you're just fine.. I can hold this."
"Pick it up, relax... This aint so bad."
"I'll bet it'll be 5:05."
"4:56... nice!"
"The world record in the marathon is 4:44 pace... shit."

pm) Walked with Ben on the trails for over an hour... the best recovery workout I've ever done.


McDuff said...

All I can say is WOW! What a workout.

and did you have a change of heart? Last Sunday's blog entry is waaay shorter than it was on Sunday night.

Dave said...

That's awesome! Really I think that you've discovered something really cool, not only about your own running, but about all of our running as well. We get so enamoured (sp?) with our gadgets we forget that running is such a natural thing. I ran with a client yesterday and had a similar breakthrough. To monitor his progress I used a GPS I haven't used in months and found that we were at a comfortable, conversational 6:45 pace-at least I was comfortable, being a freakin' chatterbox! I definately would have thought we were much slower, as it felt more like an 8 min. pace, without the GPS.
Either way, I'm sure discovering this will be of great value to you!

Lucho said...

McDuff- I did have a change of heart. GZ did nothing wrong and doesn't deserve any negativity from me. I've had the goal of stopping negative thinking and I made a mistake with that post. I don't think it was that bad- but there really aren't different degrees of negativity. I don't link to haters and trolls and I've eliminated them from my life. I need to be the man I want my son to be and after reading my post I wanted to kick my own ass. Not sure if that would be easy because I'm weak or hard because I'm weak? Anyway- I made a mistake.
Thanks for the good word.
You too Dave and I'll post some of my diet changes but they really aren't anything I would ask an athlete mine to do. It isn't a sustainable diet plan (my long term diet is with long term health in mind)and has short term goals.
Thanks again.

FatDad said...

I can always count on this blog for some thought provoking content. The paradoxical question of whether or not one would be able to kick their own ass just blew my mind.

Matt said...


obviously there are readers out there who root for you to really succeed. And I bet some of us want to take your HRM and put it under one of our car tires and go vrroooom.

You don't need to test. I suppose the HR matters in running at goal pace/HR for the 26.1 you want to do . . . BUT I think there's mounting evidence that suggests you ought to just run. The HRM is holding you back. You're proving it!

Paradigm shift?

j.p. patrick said...

Did you just use "suffering comfortably" and "safety word" in the same paragraph on a running blog?!! You sick f**k!.... Insert 'Fight Club' final credit song here... (Pixies, Where is My Mind?)

RunColo said...


Do you know your stats, LT, VO2, et al?

Hell of a workout, wow.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated to today's workout ... but related to vaso-constriction that you have talked about before ...


10 minutes of listening that I think you will find very interesting.

Der Kaiser said...


Glad to see you are enjoying this and benefit from Matt Fitzgerald. I think we should email him and point him to your blog and comments.

However, IF (!) I were your coach I would try to dampen your excitement a little bit to ensure it will last for a good while. Because at the end of the day it all comes down to just one thing: running.


Faun Ramey said...

Awesome post! I loved the track dialogue. What amazes me is how much running is the same regardless of the runner. My dialogue for running a mile on the track would have been spot on with yours right down to the headwind (although my pace would be slower).

I know you don't know me and may not feel qualified to answer, but how long would you suggest resting an inflamed IT band? I'm asking several people with knowledge of running, medicine, or both the same thing. I'm just recently coming back to running (an on again/off again runner/triathlete for 15 years) and upped my mileage from the 25-30 m/wk range to 40. Apparently too quick. I'm ready to get back out there but am old (wise?) enough now to know coming back too soon will only hinder the process.

Lucho said...

JP- Ya.. I used "safety word". Not the right context with out the ball gag. "mantra" may have been a better choice? I got the "kicking my own ass" from Fight Club...

Runcolo- I've never been tested for Vo2 but my LT has been tested ~20+ times on the bike and ~15+ times on the run. I'm at the point now where I can feel it. Vo2 is something I've never believed much in. It gives you an idea as to where your genetic limitations are- but very few athletes ever train perfectly enough to maximize their potential anyway. There's always one little thing you can do better. I've run a 49" 400m and a 14:20 5k (twice) so I know I've got the high end. The marathon has several other variables that play a larger role in performance than V02. I would say that even Geb didn't exploit his full Vo2 in his world record marathon.

Kaiser- I'm not so much excited about the times from the workout. I'm excited about my finally starting figure out my weakness! It's only been a few days since I've understood the brain training and I am already seeing good progress. I know I have a ways to go still but I'm moving. The KC Marathon is going to be a great test!

Faun- ITB inflammation can be caused from sitting too much.. do you work at a desk or drive a lot?
One way to get rid of it is to rest (generic answer) and take a round of NASAID's to get the inflammation under control. 400mg per day of ibuprofen for ~5-6 days. Ice it a lot and make extra sure to massage it fairly aggressively. I would dig in to the attachments too and try to use a tool that has a good edge on it and try to strip (scrape) the tendon to break up adhesions and scar tissue. Often times an injury will heal, then continue to hurt because of scar tissue. Stretching (as much as I hate it) might be an option once you get the injury under control. Avoid running downhill, the eccentric contraction will activate the IT band more severely. If you bike- use a road bike rather than an aggressive aero position. Try to get the saddle back.
Aquajogging is a great exercise to keep you moving and won't place anymore stress on it.
I would start with the NSAIDs if you can't afford to take time off. Massage for sure. Ice for sure. And plenty of patience. If you keep running on it while it's hurting you may just delay your training.
Injury is prevented by high mileage... it's the increase that hurts you. By keeping your mileage relatively high year around you have a better chance of not getting hurt. Good luck man.

Der Kaiser said...

"Kaiser- I'm not so much excited about the times from the workout. I'm excited about my finally starting figure out my weakness!"

Sure, I am also talking about the latter.
I think there is almost never harm to get excited about workouts.
But seldom a change in your life/parts of your life is large enough in the big picture to bring quasi-eternal momentum with it. Therefore I would tend to dampen my excitement to make it a sustainable feeling/asset in my life. Sure, enjoy the moment and savour it while it last. But still...

But I might be completely wrong and it all only depends on your personality (if you even understand what I am talking about ;)).


Ward said...

Speaking of "brain training".. I just read over an interview that CNN did with Lance about coming out of retirement.. here is an exerpt..---

CNN: Getting back to cycling, one of your former teammates, Robbie Ventura, was talking about how difficult it is. He said the hardest part will be going back to the mental discipline of training -- eating, sleeping with 110 percent commitment and snapping your brain back to the being perfect all the time. Is it the mental part that is harder than the physical part?

Armstrong: The mind has snapped back. Mentally, I feel 25 again. I feel motivated and more inspired than I've ever been to get back to the bike and work hard to make all the sacrifice it required to be competitive.

Physically, at 37, I'll be almost 38 when I start the tour next summer. That's slightly different, but ultimately, I believe that the mind powers the body, and once the mind says we want to do it, then the body will follow.

CNN: On a practical level, what is that type of training like? What do you do every day?

Armstrong: It goes in phases. Right now, I'm spending half my time in the gym and half my time on the bike. Come January, all of the gym work will go away, and really for the rest of the season, all you do is train on the bike and obviously focus on other things. Focus on stretching. Focus on the technology of cycling. Focus on diet. Focus on the team and strategy and all the other elements.

--- Mind over matter.. simple in theory, sometimes hard to execute.