Sunday, January 20, 2008

Negative Splits @ the Track

The plan was to do 7 miles today close to MP.  I decided that I'm going to avoid the hills for a week or two (except for maybe the very easy runs) until I'm confident the knee is back to 100%.  It's not so much the up hills that I'm concerned about, it's the additional impact on some of the steeper downhills - it's just not worth taking the chance.

Obviously 28 laps on the track is quite boring, so in order to alleviate some of that boredom I typically play a game where I have to run every mile faster than the last one.  In addition to reducing some of the boredom (although not much) it forces me to NOT turn the run into a Tempo Run - which I will occasionally do as I'm used to going at a faster pace when on the track. 

I ran the first 2 miles at 7:07 and 7:04, holding myself back much of the way.  The next 2 miles came in at 6:58 and 6:55 and again I was fighting to keep the pace slow.  By the start of the 5th mile I decided to let go of the reigns a bit and settle in at whatever pace seemed natural - the 5th mile came in at 6:44.  By now I was feeling great - fully warmed up, no knee issues, the breathing was very easy (somehow easier than the earlier miles), and a quick check of the HR showed me easily below threshold level.  (Whatever HR strangeness I was seeing yesterday wasn't here today - perhaps that's because I'm now about 95% recovered from my cold)

The pace continued to drop with out having to think about it.  The 6th mile was 6:34, and during the last mile I actually considered adding a mile or two to the workout because I really didn't want to stop.  My pace was in the low 6:20's now and I considered running an 8th mile at about 6:15 and then perhaps adding a 9th at about 6 flat. . . . but then I came to my senses.  Still recovering from a cold, not 100% out of the woods on the knee, and the whole reason I'm running negative splits is to keep the pace controlled and NOT turn this into a tempo run!  So I cruised in at 6:21 for mile #7 and called it a day.  

Got home and iced the knees just to be safe.  It certainly felt good to finish a successful workout while wanting to do more.  I'm also glad I did not go ahead and tack on another 2 miles - really would not have been a smart thing to do. 

Training:  7 miles on track. (7:07-7:04-6:58-6:55-6:44-6:34-6:21) Average-6:49, HR-158

Note: Ran 8 miles in the hills at 6:57 pace also w/ HR-158 last week.  This helps to confirm the 10-second delta between running on the trail and on flat surface for a given effort level.



i saw your comments on running with lydiard about you havin little pronation.
I 2 have this problem, i have very high arches and tend to turn my feet in.
i try and run on soft ground as much as possible,wear well cushioned shoes that are flexible and see a good chiropractor twice a year to fix mt back


that should have read " FIX MY BACK "

Mike said...

Thanks a lot. I too have the high arches to go along w/ no pronation. What happens to me is that I can run intervals and reps w/ minimal risk of injury, but even moderately high mileage starts to take its toll on my knees.

I've seen a Podiatrist and I believe my shoes+inserts are OK (Pearl Izumi Synchro Floats w/ SuperFeet max-cushion inserts)

I do my best to run on softer ground, but I think a week of running on hard surfaces when I was traveling around the holidays got me.

Did you ramp your mileage slower than most? Also, have you capped your weekly mileage to something lower that these 80-100+ mile/week guys?

Thanks again for the advice.


hi again mike,i've been running almost 15 years now, so hope the following i have learn't through trial and error can help you.
i read that arthur lydiards boys use to run 100 miles per week in base training,but you have to remember they were running at 6 min mile pace which works out at 10 hours per week.
i found this to be about my limit before breakdown.
i thing it is better to go by time, because if like me you are running off road it would take you a lot longer to cover the mileage.

i try not to run on the road more than twice per week.i'm lucky i have mile and miles of dirt paths and sand trails i can run on.

my running style, i found trying to run tall helps {pulling your spine upwards,so you are stretched out]this makes you lighter on your feet and stops you slamming into the ground.
keep your centre of gravity over the ball of your landing foot.
try landing on your fore foot not heels. check out POSE TECH and watch some of there video's for a better understanding of what i'm trying to describe.
foot exercises; put a golf ball on the ground, then roll your bear foot over it working up and down over the arch, this can be painful at first,but it just shows how tight your arches can be. do this every day and it should make your feet more flexible. and hence better shock absorbers.
also my calf muscles get a hammering on the road so good stetching after a run is very important.
hope this is of some use mike.

Mike said...

Thanks again. Great point about "time spent running" as opposed to "miles". I'm currently at about 5 hours/week - and I hope to ratchet that up to about 6.5 hours/week by April. (+10% every 3 weeks or so)

Yeah - the heel strikes are what gets me. Running in the hills seem to help me as long stretches of uphills makes it easier to keep the weight more on the forefoot. (Just need to be careful on the downhills) Again, interval/rep workouts are great too - less impact on the heels.

Thanks for the advice, really appreciate the help. BTW - I checked out your blog today, nice 1/2 marathon. I believe 95% of road courses are described as "fast and flat". I think even the San Francisco Marathon is described as "slightly hilly"


happy to help;
i've had good results from following ARTHUR LYDIARDS time based training program, infact i had turned around two poor years of results and starting to defy my increasing age by getting faster again. don't worry about doing 100 mile weeks,sure it will sound impressive to your club mates. at the end of the day we have to find a balance our bodies will allow without breaking down and give us max improvment.
6 1/2 hours is still pretty good, more than a lot of my club mates do.
all the best happy running